Open mike 05/02/2022

Written By: - Date published: 6:00 am, February 5th, 2022 - 132 comments
Categories: open mike - Tags:

Open mike is your post.

For announcements, general discussion, whatever you choose.

The usual rules of good behaviour apply (see the Policy).

Step up to the mike …

132 comments on “Open mike 05/02/2022 ”

  1. pat 1

    “Our restrictions there have served us well as a country, but they were only ever intended to be temporary. I think everybody would agree it’s not feasible to keep those kinds of restrictions in place for a prolonged period,” he says “If anything, I think most of us wouldn’t have envisioned they would be in place for as long as they have been.”

  2. Dennis Frank 2

    Anna Fifield is editor of Stuff's Wellington newsroom and the Dominion Post:

    I have been shocked since returning to New Zealand at the end of 2020, after two decades reporting overseas, at just how obstructive and deliberately untransparent our public service has become.

    While plenty of public servants try to do the right thing, they cannot prevail against the inertial effect of their neocolonialist culture. There would have to be a culture change before bad behaviour in the public service gets eliminated by design. The relation of incentive structures to systemic function is the key to that design!

    open government appears to be on the wane. This is partly because of the growth in the “communications industrial complex”, where vast battalions of people now work to deflect and avoid, or answer in the most oblique manner possible. We journalists are vastly outnumbered by spin doctors.

    Although public service cheerleaders tend towards smug complacency, they do have to defend their turf against the public interest. Spin doctors serve that purpose.

    When I was writing about New Zealand’s response to the pandemic for The Washington Post, almost every minister or ministry I contacted for an interview responded with a variation on: I’ll need to check with the prime minister’s office. Since coming home, I’ve been surprised by the lack of access to ministers outside carefully choreographed press conferences.

    Labour do need to circle their wagons to defend themselves from the horde of circling marauding journalists. Nobody should be surprised. It's Labour.

    Perhaps the most alarming, and certainly the most prevalent, trend I’ve noticed is the almost complete refusal of government departments and agencies to allow journalists to speak to subject experts.

    Yes, but experts have an alarming tendency to provide revelations to the media. These, when reported to the public, infect the body politic. Paranoia is realistic.

    Instead, all questions go through the communications unit, and almost always via email. That means we have no opportunity to ask for clarification or follow-ups or even to get answers in plain English. We often just get insufficient answers written in bureaucratese.

    What else would one expect from bureaucrats?? Arcane priesthoods doing jargon has been a feature of control systems for millennia. The current lot were taught their 19th century version and know no better.

    There’s certainly no chance to ask them anything like a probing question. That, of course, is the whole point of this stonewalling.


    This obfuscation and obstruction is bad for our society for two key reasons.

    • KJT 2.1

      Are there any Journalists left?

      Probably coincides with the need to defend against the abdication of critical thought by pretend Journalists, who think their main task is no longer "reporting the news".

      Who think their function is to tell the public the "Journalists" too often ill informed and partisan opinion.

      When they are not lazily parroting National/ACT press releases.

      • Adrian Thornton 2.1.1

        On the subject of "Are there any Journalists left?" it is probably well known around here that I have little time for the bulk of MSM content around foreign affairs, most of it being little more than stenography fed to them by enablers of Western Corporate Imperialism…however there is occasionally a piece written or a moment on western MSM that gives you a little hope…and here is one of them, here is US journalist Matt Lee doing exactly what should be the norm and not the exception, watch/read and enjoy…

        Reporter challenges US gov't 'Russian false flag' conspiracy, compares it to Alex Jones

        • Ed

          Totally agree Adrian.

          We are being propagandised to about the Ukraine, Taiwan, Hong Kong…

          In 2003 we were lied to about Iraq and weapons of mass destruction. And Bush and Blair went to war. Millions marched against their lies and they still went ahead with this illegal war.

          History is repeating itself.

          And this time, there are fewer people who are aware of how much they are being played.

      • Hunter Thompson II 2.1.2

        My thoughts too – real journalism (remember Richard Long?) disappeared in NZ about the same time we lost a true public service. It was replaced by outfits led by CEOs who stayed just long enough to (a) do real damage (b) get up their minister's nose and leave with a fat payout after a couple of years.

        Brian Easton has written on this on Pundit "How Broken Is The Public Service?"

    • Robert Guyton 2.2

      Stuff's Wellington newsroom editor wants greater cooperation from public servants and so calls them an "arcane priesthood"?

      Should do it.

      • Sabine 2.2.1

        How dare she/he. Don't they know their place?

        Maybe they should get on the floor on their knees and kindly ask some Labour Gatekeeper if now is the right time to ask some pre-approved questions. Maybe they should send in their article to be approved by some Labour Censor? Can't let them write something that would make this band of suits look less then stellar. After all they want to win another election, cause what would they do if they don't? Retire. Lol.

        But seriously would that be good enough for you Robert?

      • gsays 2.2.2

        Looking at the quote marks, I think it's Dennis using the term arcane priesthood.

        What should they be called to get some of the transparency promised by Ardern?

      • Stuart Munro 2.2.3

        Neither the media nor the public service plausibly represent the public interest – a plague on both their houses.

    • Foreign waka 2.3

      I saw this article and agree, we are ever so close to the Soviet Union style politics, where secrecy is persuasive. But I also put it to journalists, the information is always somewhere even in small print and if not, research. This is the job of the journalist. But equally, being a small country if one loses the job its not easy to get back on the horse. By now it is clear that those reporting on politics are now the only chance for NZ landers to get a clearer picture what is happening in the background. We await your report with full anticipation. Meanwhile, I judge what the truth is by access to health services, income erosion, tax increases on the low and middle class, education outcomes (!) against international standard, money “gifted” left right and center. Looking at manipulating reports of increased profits being due to property changes but really its the 16 Billion gift tag that went to shareholders. I also wait after that stellar profit report from Briscoes whether the have the backbone to pay back the “support” that keeps NZlanders in jobs. Yeah right. Any person can watch this and make up their mind. Well, Mr Saymour looks at the moment more appealing than Mrs Adern. You know what you get. Deceit is not on the list.

      • Blazer 2.3.1

        My understanding is that Briscoes did pay back Govt support subsidies.

        Harvey Normans…certainly did not..even had the audacity to hand out a special dividend to shareholders.

        • Foreign waka

          If they have, I stand corrected.

          • alwyn

            Yes they did pay it back. After the lockdown sales picked up to the extent that they could repay the subsidy and then reinstate paying dividends. They had cancelled their dividend earlier in the year).

            "That sustained performance meant, in October, the company, which owns Briscoes, Rebel Sport, and Living & Giving chains, was able to repay an $11.5m wage subsidy it received from the Government, she (Board Chair Dame Roseanne Meo) said.


            • Foreign waka


              Yes, you are right. I found that report from November last year. Scrolling down shows the companies from highest to lowest payout. The real issue is that 18 billion dollars of "our" tax money has been spend without a sliver of control, checks etc. It needed a statement from the Auditor General to get some (MSD drags their heals) traction. We are talking about standard prudent process that has been completely sidestepped. And now the same taxpayer has to pay for their infrastructure and social services (unemployment insurance) again because "you will be poor and you will be happy"? (sic)

              Essentially, putting 2 generations into debt at such scale without prudent process is, sorry to use the word: incompetent. Not that I believe that the Nats or even the Greens are any better.

  3. Herodotus 3

    Something imo that is very good to watch, a 10 episode of Maid, I did find it quite heavy. Side note this has as the main characters a real mum daughter play the same roles on screen

  4. tsmithfield 4

    I saw the interview between John Campbell and Poto Williams that was on TV1 Breakfast I think on the 3rd of February. The full interview can be seen here and is worth a watch:

    In this interview, John Campbell is questioning her about what the government intends to do about the fact the poor have got much poorer and the rich much richer over the last several years, and the fact that renters are becoming incredibly squeezed with high rents.

    A heavily edited version was put up on Kiwiblog, and I think this was very unfair to Poto because it intentionally made her look clueless, and made John Campbell look domineering. However, the full interview I think both John Campbell and Poto do quite well.

    The take-away was that Poto recognised she (and the government) are in an incredibly tough spot, and they are struggling to come up with answers.

    I thought it would be good to kick off some discussion around this point, to see if there are some good solutions to this very difficult problem.

    Firstly, the reason for the inequality problem really isn't the governments fault. National probably would have done exactly the same so far as printing money and borrowing in the face of the looming pandemic crisis.

    However, the unintended consequence of this action is now being seen in terms of sky-rocketing house prices and inflation. It is an incredibly difficult problem to unwind without crashing the economy and making things even worse for the poor.

    Secondly, though, I think the government is at fault for some of the new burdens they have put on landlords. For instance, changing the interest deductibility rules for landlords,

    And changing tenancy laws to make it more difficult for landlords to cease tenancies:

    Amongst a number of other changes.

    The intention obviously was to make things better for renters. But the unintended consequence is for landlords to pass on the increased costs and risks to tenants in the form of higher rents.

    The other problem is inflation. Costs generally are increasing. This affects landlords as well. For instance, some councils are intending to increase rates at far higher than the rate of inflation:

    These costs are also passed on to tenants in the form of higher rents.

    So, what to do about this problem?

    Poto correctly identified in the interview that the ultimate solution was to increase the supply of housing. In this respect, it really is a pity that the government is nowhere near being on track with their promised 100000 houses, as that would be making a big difference right now. She correctly identified that this increased supply was going to take time, and that it wasn't going to help right now.

    So, she said that the government was looking at options to solve the problem. She talked about the possibility of rent controls and/or indexation (I assume indexing rent to the rate of inflation).

    So, I thought I would consider some of the options available to the government, and what the effect might be.

    Rent Controls:

    I think this is a bad idea. For a start, there is a generally accepted principle that price controls cause shortages.

    In the case of rents in NZ, it is important to remember that we soon will be having an influx of kiwis returning from overseas, all needing housing. So the demand for houses is going to increase not decrease.

    If the government were to bring in rent controls, landlords are going to become incredibly choosey about who they rent to. This is going to make it much more difficult for the poor to find housing.

    So for this, and for other reasons, I don't think rent controls are going to work.

    Another option the government could consider is increasing accommodation supplements for the poor.

    But this option is going to have the same effect as money printing and borrowing in that it is effectively injecting more liquidity into the housing market, so will just push up house prices and rents further.

    So, that will probably do for the moment. You may disagree with some of the points I have made. If so, let me know why you think I am wrong.

    However, I would really be interested in whether we can come up with some effective solutions to this really difficult problem that avoid the unintended consequences of making things worse for those that are affected by the housing shortage and high rents.

    • Bearded Git 4.1

      tsmithfield-I disagree entirely. Making interest non-deductable on rental house loans is one of the best things this government has done. It should have been done long ago. Before this the playing field was tilted way to much towards investment in housing rather than in other things.

      You say that landlords simply pass the cost of this to the tenant but that is not how the rental market works. Its supply and demand.

      This is why the record house construction and building consents now being experienced in NZ is a good thing.

      • tsmithfield 4.1.1

        I agree that the building of houses is a good thing, and that will solve the problem eventually.

        But what Poto correctly recognised was that it wouldn't solve the problem straight away.

        I agree with you that ultimately supply and demand determines pricing. But it is not quite so simple in terms of factors such as the interest deductibility.

        The thing is that if the government makes it less desirable to be a landlord (by increasing costs, compliance, and risk), then that will motivate some landlords to exit the market, thus decreasing supply. Thus, supply decreases and prices rise, in accordance with your own argument.

        Exiting the market doesn't necessarily have a zero effect on house supply because many of those houses will go to people like my son and his partner who were happily living with us until they had the opportunity to purchase their own house.

        • tsmithfield

          I think part of the solution to the rent crisis is for the government to make it easier for people to become landlords. This may incentivise people to start renting out some of the unoccupied 200000 ghost houses in New Zealand:

          This would increase rental supply and should then help reduce the pressure on rents.

          Another thing I would like to see happen is more "build to rent" projects.

          It is likely that many will never be able to afford to purchase their own home given the high price of houses and the difficulty of saving for a deposit, especially when people are already having to pay for rent, and raise families.

          The build to rent solution would give people the same certainty of home ownership, and allow them to live in the same house for years, thus effectively making it their own at hopefully a lower cost than funding a mortgage.

          • Blazer

            I am guessing we can add another 9 empty houses to the existing 40,000 in Auckland!-all done in the…best possible..taste!

            A stamp duty would kill this .

            'Lockdown project': NZ's richest man Graeme Hart starts on Auckland house-buying spree – NZ Herald

            • Sabine

              well i guess no one is scrutinizing his spending on coffee and pies.

              • Blazer

                that would be…Hartless'.

                The new C redit Contract requirements are being used as a red herring by the banks,mortgage brokers especially and RE agents to blame the Govt for

                something that is common sense.

                The new requirements should destroy the usery/used car market in low socio economic areas.

            • Patricia Bremner

              Currently Auckland 540000 homes of which 7% aprox empty = 20412*

              That is likely to be a mix of, empty to sell, empty to let, empty to renovate, empty for a holiday period etc. Length of time empty is not caught by a census.

              • Blazer

                Don't know the source of your info.Way understated.

                Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern is not convinced by "ghost home" concerns despite Census data from 2018 showing nearly 40,000 vacant houses in Auckland'

                By tracking power and water use it is easy to ascertain.

          • Bearded Git

            More state housing would help, which this government has done.

            Key and English sold off or demolished state houses while pretending not to. I'm sure 7-houses will do the same if he gets elected.

            • tsmithfield

              I agree with state housing. One of the problems is that it tends to be focussed on immediate need. So, people may be moved on if they don't need a property of a particular size anymore.

              I do like the idea of the "build to rent" concept.

              One of the problems with renting in NZ is that people can be forced to move quite frequently. I think this is very destabilising for families and children. It can mean them having to constantly move to new schools and find new friends. And families have to continually establish new social networks.

              With the "build to rent" concept, a family might be able to live in the same house for as long as they want; even perhaps ten years or longer.

              That would lead to a lot more stability in people's lives and make it a lot better for children who wouldn't be constantly shifted around.

              I know my wife found that lifestyle hard. Her father was in broadcasting and they often moved around the country with his job and she found that very unsettling.

          • Anker
            • Chris Trotter posted an interesting article on his blog site about Chinese kitset houses, that cost around $10,000 and could be imported and constructed at great speed (remember the Wuhan hospital constructed in days at the start of the pandemic. Seize a golf course or two in the big cities and build like the Chinese. Chris talks about getting a guarantee on quality from the Chinese Govt, but if this proves to delay things, I would do it anyway. How much are we paying for motel units that we don’t even own? Even if these houses only last for ten years, that would give us a chance to build better houses while people are accommodated

            having promised 100,00o houses while in opposition ( how come they didn’t know this scheme wouldn’t work, it should have been thoroughly researched). Labour have failed massively on housing. Young people who carry the burden of this failure will only continue to vote for them, if they have the equivalent of Stockholm syndrome

          • Anker
            • Chris Trotter posted an interesting article on his blog site about Chinese kitset houses, that cost around $10,000 and could be imported and constructed at great speed (remember the Wuhan hospital constructed in days at the start of the pandemic. Seize a golf course or two in the big cities and build like the Chinese. Chris talks about getting a guarantee on quality from the Chinese Govt, but if this proves to delay things, I would do it anyway. How much are we paying for motel units that we don’t even own? Even if these houses only last for ten years, that would give us a chance to build better houses while people are accommodated

            having promised 100,00o houses while in opposition ( how come they didn’t know this scheme wouldn’t work? It should have been thoroughly researched). Labour have failed massively on housing. Young people who carry the burden of this failure will only continue to vote for them, if they have the equivalent of Stockholm syndrome

        • Blazer

          Regarding supply and demand.

          If there is demand and limited stock,just like a game of monopoly or poker the person with the biggest bank…wins.

          They keep outbidding those with le$$ fund$…that's how the game is…played!

        • alwyn

          "But what Poto correctly recognised was that it wouldn't solve the problem straight away."

          Well isn't that just fine. Did Poto realise as well that it is her Government that has caused the problem and if they go on the same way it is never going to get any better? Or did she say it was an "unintended consequence" rather than admit that it was an entirely predictable consequence of their actions?

          I wonder if she is like most of the Labour MPs who owns their home and is doing very nicely out of the rising value?

          Yep. A home in Christchurch, a residence in Wellington and some blocks of land in the Cook Islands according to the Return of Pecuniary assets.

          • mac1

            Here's the complete list of property owners as published in 2020 prior to the election. '

            An MP owns a family home. Well, 2/3 kiwis do. 250,000 Kiwis own one or two investment properties. MPs are required to live in Wellington as part of the job as they work there. It makes sense to buy one's residence in Wellington as rent money is dead money, while paying off a residence in the capital makes sense, especially when a rental does not provide security of tenure, or may involve issues of privacy etc.

            Poto Williams comes from the northern Cook Islands. I am sure she has an interest in ancestral land there.

            MPs tend to be older citizens, and therefore age and income would indicate higher rates of home ownership.

            The question, though, is whether MPs allow their personal ownership interests to influence their decisions as MPs.

            Are you implying they do, alwyn?

            • gsays

              "The question, though, is whether MPs allow their personal ownership interests to influence their decisions as MPs."

              Grayling's Law states: "Anything that can be done will be done if it brings advantage or profit to those who can do it."

              The corollary is "What can be done will not be done if it brings costs, economic or otherwise, to those who can stop it."

              Looking at that, plus the lack of evidence of change (the accommodation supplement is still transferring wealth to landlords), then I would answer yes to your question.

              • Blazer

                I would concur with you…I see the baseline pay for Congress persons in the U.S is around $170,000….yet they are all millionaires afaik.

              • mac1

                Hmm. Not heard of Anthony Grayling, so I've briefly looked at a couple of articles, one from him and another of his recent appearance on RNZ.

                Rather pessimistic but he does say to keep working on change.

                His final comment was about the same as Blade's citing of the Carole King song "It's too late".

                There is a paradox here that I will have to leave to the philosophers amongst us.

                Grayling says in essence that we will act to our advantage and not act to our disadvantage? Yet, if by doing this it brings about the end as he foresees where a super artificial intelligence decides to end humanity's time on this earth as being too dangerous for the earth, then surely the ones who make the decisions will see that acting as we do now for personal advantage is not actually to our advantage but the contrary. That's the paradox, I see.

                But I got raised on literature, not on philosophy.This is all new.

                I'd say that a good number of our politicians do recognise that acting out of self interest is not actually in our society's best interets.

                Altruism does exist. Some people understand that poverty, division, all the '-isms' do impact negatively and act accordingly.

                Harkening back to my Uni English course and the social thinker John Ruskinwho wrote Unto This Last, I remember him saying there was a class of people who acted outside their class interest. He seemed then to be a proto-socialist as I described him in a tutorial.

                I would welcome some discussion of this.

                The alternative seems to be to sink into a view of the world best enunciated by the Scottish philosopher, Private Fraser, in Dad's Army.

                "We're all doomed!"

                • Blazer

                  'altruism does exist. '…pleased to hear that…any examples?

                  • mac1

                    Food kitchens.

                    Charity. Donations. Gifts.

                    Being Father Xmas at a children's party.

                    Coin into beggar's bowls.

                    "Have one on me."

                    From that to hospital ships and foreign aid.

                    Now back to my altruistic cooking of a meal for self and a significant other.

                    And yes, in all these examples some self reward occurs……. but it's not the sole motivation. Unless you want to argue that altruism is actually a self centred form of self virtue signalling.

                    • Blazer

                      Accept what you say there..I was meaning altruism at a more 'powerful' level…not community bonhomie.

                • gsays

                  I agree, he does seem a little grim, but tapping into a darker side of human nature.

                  I figure the crux of this is entering parliament with a lot of ideas and ideals. Then the rubber hits the road and the realities and the party line hold more sway than the constituents that are supposed to be represented.

                  ISTR having an exchange with you in the past and my cynicism of pollies was revealed then…

            • alwyn

              “Are you implying they do, alwyn?”

              No I am not. There have been very few even marginally unethical examples of behaviour by New Zealand MPs.

              However I am sure that you would find that most of our MPs would be pleased that their house was worth much more than it was when they bought it, rather than, if they are a Government MP, being ashamed at the damage their parties policies may be doing to the people of New Zealand when house prices go up.

              They would, like most people in New Zealand tend to think that the increase was due to their cleverness in selecting the property to buy rather than to the foolishness of the policies their party has actioned.

              • Blazer

                'There have been very few even marginally unethical examples of behaviour by New Zealand MPs.'…comedy gold!

                • alwyn

                  I was making that statement in the sense that I took Mac1 to have meant it.

                  That was of MPs making decisions and voting in a manner that would be financially advantageous to themselves, or making use on insider information to make money for themselves at the cost of the public of New Zealand..

                  It does not mean that they wouldn't lie in order to give them political advantage, or political advancement. That is simply a given. I am, in general, a believer in that old political maxim. "How do you tell if a politician is lying?". "They have their mouth open".

                  • Stuart Munro

                    The Christchurch rebuild, Key's involvement in Elders IXL, the rollover of slave fishing, Kinloch…

                    The list goes on and on. A vigorous prosecution service like Korea's could make a full time job of dealing with NZ MPs who invariably put personal advantage over the public interest, the shameless wretches.

      • Jester 4.1.2

        "You say that landlords simply pass the cost of this to the tenant but that is not how the rental market works. Its supply and demand."

        I agree re: supply and demand, but because there is a shortage of supply at the moment and for for seeable future, that is exactly what happens. Rents are expected to increase significantly this year and landlords with their one rent increase a year need to cover the extra interest cost to them (and they are). And due to the shortage of supply of rentals the poor tenant pretty much ends up paying it.

      • Gypsy 4.1.3

        "Making interest non-deductable on rental house loans is one of the best things this government has done."
        No it was batshit crazy, and is just one of a list of interventions in the market that have pushed rents up.

        "You say that landlords simply pass the cost of this to the tenant but that is not how the rental market works. Its supply and demand."
        That is precisely how the rental market works! At the moment it is easy for landlords to pass these costs on. Do you seriously think every landlord is going to accept all of the increased costs being imposed on them by this government without passing those on?

        • Bearded Git

          You are sounding like a landlord there Gypsy. Am I right?

          The removal of interest rate deductibility and the bright line test extension have been 2 excellent things done by this government to shift investment away from housing and towards more productive uses.

          • Gypsy

            I've stated previously I am a landlord. As for whether or not investment will shift away from housing:

            1. It may not. There is a shortage of rental properties, and landlords just put the rents up and the investment remains attractive.
            2. If it does, the excess of demand over supply will increase and further drive up rents.

            As long as this government is in power, I will not divest of property. The increase in property values and potential rental incomes is just too attractive.

    • Shanreagh 4.2

      Thanks for the analysis T C Smithfield. Always welcome with lots of links. Hope it stimulates some debate. smiley

  5. Blazer 5

    How to peel boiled eggs perfectly…every time.

    Gently tap the biggest end of the raw egg on a hard surface till it cracks….there is an air pocket in this part.

    Then boil as per usual.

    You will be amazed at how easy they peel.

    Don't mention it!wink

  6. Robert Guyton 6

    He waka eke noa, farming's representative group tasked with solving the problem of agricultural greenhouse gases, propose that farmers plant a few trees in order to avoid paying for their emissions. It sounds preposterous. A roadshow around the country is underway now, to connect with farmers and bring councils on board with the proposals. I hope this issue gets taken up here on TS and diced and spliced til the reality of the proposals are revealed. Here is the most recent article on the issue. It's quite comprehensive.

    For starters:
    “A farming-led body is designing a method to measure and price methane and nitrous oxide emissions, to avoid the agriculture sector being put into the Emissions Trading Scheme (ETS).

    Using the standard settings in a consultation document, a farm producing 500 tonnes of emissions could face an annual pollution bill of $2125 in 2025. Yet by planting native trees absorbing just 25 tonnes, it wouldn’t have to pay a cent. With vegetation sucking 50 tonnes per year, it could bank a thousand-dollar credit.”

    Those trees that are claimed to be “absorbing 25 tonnes” will begin, as trees are won’t to do, tiny. As seedlings/saplings, they’ll be absorbing only minor amounts of CO2. It will take years before the “25 tonne” target is reached. What, I wonder, does He waka eke not propose we do while we wait?

    • Blazer 6.1

      Everytime I see the wonderful Sir David Attenborough on T.V, I think to myself TVNZ should have you fronting a programme on the flora and fauna of NZ Robert.

  7. Stephen D 7

    The quote is from an article about Portugal, but the ideas hold for almost any democracy.

    ”It’s an age-old lesson, really. Any oxygen given to the far right is dangerous. The normalisation of a far-right discourse through national television, daily newspapers and by the commentariat, even if for the sake of contradicting talking points, often only serves to lend momentum. In a country that nearly 50 years ago stamped the far right out of power, it is particularly chastening and disturbing to see its modern-day equivalents return to the São Bento palace, where parliament sits. For all the sweet relief that the Socialist party may be feeling, the rise of Chega is a reminder that complacency is never an option.”

    • Foreign waka 7.1

      Up to: "lend momentum" it could have described any government whether right or left. Once any government believes that they have a mandate to dictate to their constituency what to think and vote for, the road to dictatorship of any hue is paved.

  8. Dennis Frank 8

    For Myanmar's citizens, it has been a year of indiscriminate street killings and bloody village raids. Most recently in December 2021, a BBC investigation discovered the Tatmadaw carried out a series of attacks that involved the torture and mass murder of opponents.

    More than 1,500 people have been killed by security forces since the coup in February 2021, according to the Assistance Association for Political Prisoners (Burma).

    But how did the Tatmadaw become so powerful and why is it so brutal?

    Addressing that question, Nick Marsh and BBC Burmese provide an illuminating capsule history.

    For centuries the Burmese monarchy had a standing army, but it was disbanded under British rule.

    The Tatmadaw's roots can be traced back to the Burma Independence Army (BIA), which was founded in 1941 by a group of revolutionaries that included Aung San, regarded by many Burmese as the spiritual "Father of the Nation". He was Aung San Suu Kyi's father.

    Aung San was assassinated shortly before Burma gained independence from Britain in 1948. But before his death, the BIA had already started to join with other militias to form a national armed force. After independence, it would eventually form what we know today as the Tatmadaw. By 1962, it had seized control of the country in a coup and would rule virtually unopposed for the next 50 years… Myanmar is made up of more than 130 different ethnic groups, with Buddhist Bamars the majority.

    Bamars also make up most of the country’s elite – and experts say the army sees itself as the elite of this elite.

  9. Jester 9

    What a great example of how low humans can go. Melissa Herewini you are an oxygen thief.

    Child, 2, dies after Rotorua driveway accident, family member steals from doctor trying to save child's life – NZ Herald

  10. Anne 10

    Anti-Maori conspiracy loving extreme right wing white man or white men of very low intelligence?

    • Blade 10.1

      Don't jump to conclusions.

      Feral Maori /nga wanting to start something? The spelling and the graffiti look suss.

      Of course, that's just another guess.

      • Muttonbird 10.1.1

        Tell you what, I'll take a day off tomorrow.

        – Blade, 4 February 2022

      • Shanreagh 10.1.2

        The graffiti certainly (tagging) does not look like anything other than a stupid tagger. They go into graveyards and desecrate them pushing over gravestones or painting Nazi symbols. I think police have said the paint on the tag is the same as the paint on the flagpole

        I'd have a look for a group of swaggerers with their hats on back to front, trousers at half mast, saying 'yo' and doing strange finger gestures…….one of them I am sure will be anti vax or have got the flagpole history thing wrong.

        How's that for a good bit of stereotyping?

        • Blade

          You are coming along well. When in doubt…always go to the stats.

          • Shanreagh

            Yes learnt all about 'naughty' stereotyping when doing Criminology. Out one night on course-compulsory patrols with police and saw some people who looked suspect, waited and cop pulls over. After we talk about stereotypes, all the theory about how it is, and it can be bad. No question. . He wisely says 'stereotypes are not as useful as being suspicious of someone being in the wrong place at the wrong time'

            Later the same evening I draw attention to a young guy who seems to be just lurking and who we have passed a couple of times on the patrols…….cop pulls over, asks what he is doing, where he is going?. No rational answer……finds tools for burglary. Go back to station, his record is printed out and honestly it is one of those old dot matrix printers and it clicked and clacked pages and pages came out folding onto a heap on the floor.

            Cop says 'Well you have been a bad boy haven't you?".

            The tag will be photgraphed and compared to 1000s they have on file.

            • Blade


              Sounds interesting. University course. Police course?

              The first rule of a professional burglar I knew was always have a story about what you are doing and where you are going. And have that story backed up. It only fails if you are caught putting a big screen TV into a car at three in the morning.

              • Shanreagh


                Also from prof burglars via Police, they secure their exits before getting down to the business of burglarising. Often when your place has been burgled you might come home and find front door open and back door as well, or a window or just the back door. If just the back door is open this means they have been able to come and go as they had planned out the front door etc.

      • Anne 10.1.3

        You could be right Blade. If and when the police catch the blighters we will know.

    • Higherstandard 10.2

      I thought you were a female retiree from the northshore ?

  11. Patricia Bremner 11

    That poor family. How harrowing for the mother to have lost a child and have a relative be so callous. Sad sad. It appears alcohol is the basis of the problem. Addiction changes perceptions and behaviours. Let us hope the year of supervision helps with that.

  12. Dennis Frank 12

    Once upon a time universities were considered bastions of free speech. No longer.

    Two high-profile University of Auckland academics raised important questions about academic freedom with their complaint to the Employment Relations Authority (ERA) that their employer had failed its duty of care to them.

    Associate Professor Siouxsie Wiles and Professor Shaun Hendy have become well known for their work explaining the science behind COVID-19 and guiding the public and government response. But not everyone has agreed with that response or valued their contribution, and the academics have been threatened by what they have called “a small but venomous sector of the public”.

    So the U of A advised them to keep quiet instead. University experts ought to wear a muzzle to remind them not to venture expert opinions.

    My focus is on the initial determination by the ERA, which referred to a letter from the university to Wiles and Hendy in August 2021 that urged them “to keep their public commentary to a minimum and suggested they take paid leave to enable them ‘to minimise any social media comments at present’.”

    According to the ERA, this advice was “apparently given after [the university] received recommendations from its legal advisors to amend its policies so as to ‘not require’ its employees to provide public commentary, in order to limit its potential liability for online harassment.”

    The ERA also noted the university “says that the applicants are not ‘expected’ or required to provide public commentary on COVID-19 as part of their employment or roles with the respondent, but it acknowledges they are entitled to do so.”

    This issue is central to my concerns about academic freedom.

    The writer is Jack Heinemann, Professor of Molecular Biology and Genetics, University of Canterbury.

    The academics argued that the university is statutorily required to “accept a role as critic and conscience of society” – as is set out under section 268 of the Education and Training Act 2020.

    Universities routinely fulfil this role when academic staff and students state controversial or unpopular opinions and the results of their independent scholarship. Asking academics to step back from those roles to avoid risk seems to acknowledge that the threat derives from them doing their work.

    Seems straightforward enough, eh? So the university authorities must perform a delicate sidestep to avoid their moral obligations.

    The Auckland academics are not the first to receive threats because of their “critic and conscience” activities. In the US, my former boss Dr Anthony Fauci says he, too, has received death threats from members of the public because of his work on the pandemic.

    Less visible but still damaging threats or derogatory comments can come from within the university community, too. Systemic discrimination based on gender and race is well documented in academia.

    A coalition of government, universities, unions, staff and students needs to work together to redefine what can be done.

    Damn good idea, I reckon! Whether anyone will make it happen is another question entirely. Most people with get up & go in Aotearoa got up & went (overseas).

    • Sabine 12.1

      Once upon a time Universities also encouraged critical thinking and that is now a reason for 'cancellation' if the thinking is deemed ' offensive' or 'hate crimey'.

    • alwyn 12.2

      I might have a bit more sympathy for these two if they hadn't led the charge to silence (or was it sack) the other academics who dared to proffer the view that "traditional Maori knowledge" wasn't science and shouldn't be taught as part of the Science curriculum.

      • swordfish 12.2.1

        Yep … their blatant double-standards & sense of self-entitlement are staggering.

        • Anker

          100% agree Swordfish.

          I thought the letter from the seven academics was quite respectful and one of them is Maori I understand.

    • Foreign waka 12.3

      The rot set in some 33 years ago when the education reforms were introduced and with that a business model. When you work under a business model you have to toe the line. I spoke to some lecturers at the time and they were very concerned that freedom of speech and true research not "colored by the "employer" agenda will suffer. The reforms were introduced by the then labor government, with the "Rogernomics" agenda being put firmly in place. Labor was at the time in power since 1984 and these, you could say neoliberal reforms damaged the cohesiveness of the general population and economy considerable. It took years to recover from the shock NZlanders experienced.
      Just to give some background as to the why, how and when.

    • Peter 12.4

      The problem is the backlash from ignorant arseholes at any utterance from some uni expert … and the media precipitating that. Some expert gives and opinion, gently formed and expressed becomes "Expert slams …," next it's big on cretintalkbackzb. Their life would be spent in the mire of attendant bullshit.

      It's easier to say nothing. Anyway as the coronavirus orgy has shown us, there are more people in places like this and Kiwiblog who know more that the experts.

  13. Blade 13

    They say rubbish truck operators can always tell the mood of an economy by the rubbish consumers discard. Whether that's true or not, I'm not sure, but it's obvious by the stacks of empty alcohol bottles put out on collection day that we are a nation of pissheads.

    For me, the supermarket is the place I use to gauge our economy. And weird things are starting to happen at my local supermarket.

    The empty shelves are still roughly of similar number to a few weeks ago. What's new is signs popping up all over the place reading:

    1- Dear customer. Due to shortages…

    2- Dear customer. Due to increased demand…

    I found the juxtaposition between the signs unusual especially when some products have both signs rotated depending on the retail situation.

    Baby formula for example.

    Today, however, I witnessed something unwelcome. I watched a trolley with 4 tiers filled with meat packs being pushed towards a back room. Just to confirm my suspicions I played ignorant and asked the girl what was happening to the meat in the trolley

    ''It's going in the 'pig bin,' '' she replied.

    Allied to that was numerous trays of meat that had " Quick Sale'' stickers on them.

    So it looks like meat is telling us something about our economy. At my supermarket, a medium tray of mince costs $16.

    Didn't mince used to be a cheap source of meat for poor and middle class folk?

    Veganism anyone?


    • Sabine 13.1

      Vegan Food is neither cheap nor easy to cook. Again, meat was / is popular because it was a. affordable and b. easy to fix. And i eat a lot of vegetarian food, and bake for a lot of vegetarians/vegans – specifically the Indian community.

      And what is lacking is the ability to buy meat at the open counter by the gram. I.e. a plate of spags for a family of 4 need not more then 200 – 250 grm of meat. The rest can be bulked with onions, zuchini, and a tin of cheap tomatoes. But sadly one can only get trays of 500+ grm to buy. But for the really poor on a budget that 500 grm will take out to much money for the budget and needs to be processed immediately, lest it spoils.

      And i would also venture a guess that the Mad butcher is doing good business and that people that used to shop at New World/Countdown now may actually get their meat and sausages from there.

      • Blade 13.1.1

        You have just reminded me of a vegan product that was plant based and tasted like chicken. I think the company was called ''Sunrise.'' They were ages bringing the product to market…and when they did it cost $12 for six miserable pieces of fake chicken.

        ''And what is lacking is the ability to buy meat at the open counter by the gram.''

        That's a biggy. When a sole owner butcher shop I frequented closed, it was a shock when I had to buy meat from the supermarket.

      • Blazer 13.1.2

        Surprised the Mad Butcher is still in business.

        Most of the franchisees struggled to make a living.

        The chain was floated on the sharemarket for circa $40million,andbought back by the

        biggest shareholder for around $8million

    • Foreign waka 13.2

      You mean the "gold section" of the supermarket? Mince is usually the cheapest meat as all sorts goes in there and you cannot identify what. I looked at the cheapest beef cut the other day, $ 20 per KG. Veges are not much cheaper. Half a cauliflower is $3.00 – in season. Frozen vege freezer is almost empty on most days. But we can buy plenty of Coca Cola!

      • Blazer 13.2.1

        Try Hellers pre cooked sausages often $9-(10.90 rp) 1 kilo pack…15 sausages-70% meat.GF.

    • Peter 13.3

      And does that looks like meat is telling us that supermarkets would rather throw it in the pig bin than put it at super cheap prices and have me buy it?

      • Blade 13.3.1

        Yes, what a waste when it could go to a good cause.

      • Belladonna 13.3.2

        Don't know about your supermarket, but all of the 3 that I shop from locally in Auckland (2 equidistant from home – 1 (PakNSave) the cheapest, about 10 minutes further), regularly mark down meat that is due to pass the Best Before Date the next day.

        Still happening even during Covid. Supermarkets would rather get 'something' than nothing.

        The local bread chain (Bakers Delight) doesn't mark down. But does supply all of their unsold stock to food banks.

    • mauī 13.4

      Interesting insight, they also say you can tell the health of the nation by peering into the collective toilet bowl.

  14. Blade 14

    ISIS leader Abu Ibrahim al-Hashimi al-Qurayshi has been tapped. Apparently no one in the house surrendered. That would include women.

    It's a given the West will receive payback.

    I also believe revenge will be taken out on NZ for the Christchurch massacre.

    Thankfully terrorism hasn't increased during Covid.

  15. Adrian 15

    That’s an unusual assumption Blade given that the Arsehole from Australia who killed 54 Muslims came out of the same mould as Qurayshi who has been killing Muslims of a different flavour to himself for years. Ignore the religion mould, the general source of too much evil, but its the arsehole mould.

    • Blade 15.1

      Yes, but what you have written is the product of rational thought and logical deduction.

      The arsehole class don't see things that way. They have a piece of ribbon to protect at all costs.

      ''A soldier will fight long and hard for a bit of coloured ribbon.

      Napoleon Bonaparte.''

    • Muttonbird 15.2

      It's worth repeating both Qurayshi and the Australian are fundamentally ultra conservative.

      Extremist versions of right wing politics all over the world.

      • Blade 15.2.1

        That would suit your narrative.

        They could also be considered patriots.

        Religious bigots.

        Bad guys.

        And psychos looking for a cause.

        I'm reading a good book at the moment – Once An Arafat Man. Lefties support Palestine. Should I make something of that?

      • Stuart Munro 15.2.2

        I'd suggest the deculturized might be a better description.

        It is not mainstream contemporary Muslims, however conservative, that typically turn terrorist, but those who have lost contact with settled communities of coreligionists.

        So too the Australian assassin is by no means typical of conservative Australian thought, but a disturbed outlier who was not well-settled in his own country.

  16. ghostwhowalksnz 16

    Wise heads could see this backdown coming from way back…shes anti-vax after all. knock me over with a feather

    Covid 19 Omicron outbreak: Thames-Coromandel mayor Sandra Goudie won't get Novavax jab

    • mauī 16.1

      The article states she's anti-mandate, which many would agree with her on. To call her anti vax is clearly a move by some to denigrate her and inflame this whole issue.

      • solkta 16.1.1

        Read the article. She said she wouldn't get vaxxed cause she was waiting for Novavax but now won't get that either. Anti-vax is anti-vax.

        • Shanreagh

          Yes she was anti vax before the mandates were even thought of……then her story was that she was concerned at the mRNA vaccine and would wait for another to be approved. She is plain anti vax and perhaps got another excuse to use instead of being vaccinated.

        • mauī

          Using this bizarre logic someone who refuses to take one medication would be called anti-drugs, or a person who refused to eat pork would be called anti-meat.

          • ghostwhowalksnz

            This isnt about dietary choices this is about a Mayor refusing to get vaccinated, she wouldnt do what many mayors are doing as community leaders- support the vaccine rollout in many ways at community events.

            She wouldnt use the tracing app either , again for spurious reasons.

            Fine , if shes anti mandate, anti contact tracing and anti vaxer why doesnt she just come out and say it instead of hiding behind the usual covid deniers cover stories they share ( a new one I saw last week , its not a 'real' vaccine its a biological agent!)

          • solkta

            Read the article. She said she wouldn't get vaxxed cause she was waiting for Novavax but now won't get that either. Anti-vax is anti-vax.

          • Shanreagh

            Well one part of what you say is correct. Her actions and utterances are bizarre. Her evasiveness does her no credit at all.

          • Shanreagh

            There is a name for this kind of argument Maui,, reductio ad absurdum. Done effectively it can be very effective.


            • mauī

              Have you reflected on the absurd part of your argument yet? i.e calling someone an anti-vaxxer who isn't one.

              • Shanreagh

                But what else…..she doesn't want the Pfizer and now that it is here she doesn't want the Novavax. What is she waiting for? Sugar water in a vial called a vaccination?

                What can one call someone who refuses two different types of vaccinations. Is 'selective anti vaxxer' better?

                She is a public figure, her public deserve better really.

      • Robert Guyton 16.1.2

        "Goose" would be a more suitable tag.

  17. newsense 17

    So much energy into trying to float George Osborne and David Cameron in NZ…

    Clifton, ol wassisnsme from kiwi/iwi, evergreen Steven Joyce, Claire Trevett trying to make out that JA is a JK tribute act…

    a lot of excitement over much lower poll numbers than Simon Bridges had

    certainly making ACT a bit nervous they’re about to go bye bye

    It does seem unnecessary and unable to meet challenges, but then so to a large degree has the more third way instincts of this Labour leadership team re housing and climate change and so on…

    inflation a problem? Tax the sector that’s had more than 100% inflation in recent times, that’ll knock it on the head.

    watch the horror as although houses can go up in value by millions, if poor people have their wages increase by cents, shock horror

  18. Belladonna 18

    Looking at the news articles around the proposed employment insurance scheme.

    It's difficult to get a complete grip on what it means, since it's a bit of a trial balloon ATM – Labour have indicated that they want to do it, but left the fine details up to be negotiated later.

    Robertson: "The scheme is out for proposal now and could change before being enacted in 2023."

    But this article seems to highlight the things which I was questioning (and wondering if I was alone, in doing so).

    Specifically, this seems to be predominantly aimed at M-F 9-5 middle income workers. Who are much more likely to be middle aged, middle class and white. Not, for example, women or people on casual or fluctuating hours contracts, etc.

    Also discussed with the people I work with (private enterprise, largely female workforce, with a significant number on or slightly above minimum wage – [tend to be slightly left of centre politically – though, like most lower-income Aucklanders their biggest priority is living paycheque to paycheque]). All were very concerned over a new 'levy' coming out of their pay – especially in a time of increased inflation. And, foresaw that the employer levy was likely to halt any pay rise coming their way.

    Yes, I know this isn't forecast to be legislated until 2023, and may not come into force until even later – but people make decisions on their situation 'now', rather than projecting into the future.

    I'm really not seeing a groundswell of support for this.

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  • Reading the MPS numbers thinking about the fiscal situation
    Michael Reddell writes –  The Reserve Bank doesn’t do independent fiscal forecasts so there is no news in the fiscal numbers in today’s Monetary Policy Statement themselves. The last official Treasury forecasts don’t take account of whatever the government is planning in next week’s Budget, and as the Bank notes ...
    Point of OrderBy poonzteam5443
    3 days ago
  • Charter Schools are a worthwhile addition to our school system – but ACT is mis-selling why they a...
    Rob MacCulloch writes – We know the old saying, “Never trust a politician”, and the Charter School debate is a good example of it. Charter Schools receive public funding, yet “are exempt from most statutory requirements of traditional public schools, including mandates around .. human capital management .. curriculum ...
    Point of OrderBy poonzteam5443
    3 days ago
  • Paranoia On The Left.
    How Do We Silence Them? The ruling obsession of the contemporary Left is that political action undertaken by individuals or groups further to the right than the liberal wings of mainstream conservative parties should not only be condemned, but suppressed.WEB OF CHAOS, a “deep dive into the world of disinformation”, ...
    3 days ago
  • Budget challenges
    Muriel Newman writes –  As the new Government puts the finishing touches to this month’s Budget, they will undoubtedly have had their hands full dealing with the economic mess that Labour created. Not only was Labour a grossly incompetent manager of the economy, but they also set out ...
    Point of OrderBy poonzteam5443
    3 days ago
  • Rishi calls an Election.
    Today the British PM, Rishi Sunak, called a general election for the 4th of July. He spoke of the challenging times and of strong leadership and achievements. It was as if he was talking about someone else, a real leader, rather than he himself or the woeful list of Tory ...
    Nick’s KōreroBy Nick Rockel
    3 days ago
  • Photo of the Day: GNR
    This post marks the return of an old format: Photo of the Day. Recently I was in an apartment in one of those new buildings on Great North Road Grey Lynn at rush hour, perfect day, the view was stunning, so naturally I whipped out my phone: GNR 5pm Turns ...
    Greater AucklandBy Patrick Reynolds
    3 days ago
  • Choosing landlords and the homeless over first home buyers
    The Government may struggle with the political optics of scrapping assistance for first home buyers while also cutting the tax burden on landlords, increasing concerns over the growing generational divide. Photo: Lynn Grieveson / The KākāTL;DR: The Government confirmed it will dump first home buyer grants in the Budget next ...
    The KakaBy Bernard Hickey
    3 days ago
  • Orr’s warning; three years of austerity
    Yesterday, the Reserve Bank confirmed there will be no free card for the economy to get out of jail during the current term of the Government. Regardless of what the Budget next week says, we are in for three years of austerity. Over those three years, we will have to ...
    PolitikBy Richard Harman
    4 days ago
  • An admirable U-turn
    It doesn’t inspire confidence when politicians change their minds.  But you must give credit when a bad idea is dropped. Last year, we reported on the determination of British PM Rishi Sunak to lead the world in regulating the dangers of Artificial Intelligence. Perhaps he changed his mind after meeting ...
    Point of OrderBy xtrdnry
    4 days ago
  • Climate Adam: Can we really suck up Carbon Dioxide?
    This video includes conclusions of the creator climate scientist Dr. Adam Levy. It is presented to our readers as an informed perspective. Please see video description for references (if any). Is carbon dioxide removal - aka "negative emissions" - going to save us from climate change? Or is it just a ...
    4 days ago
  • Public funding for private operators in mental health and housing – and a Bill to erase a bit of t...
    Headed for the legislative wastepaper basket…    Buzz from the Beehive It looks like this government is just as ready as its predecessor to dip into the public funds it is managing to dispense millions of dollars to finance – and favour – the parties it fancies. Or ...
    Point of OrderBy Bob Edlin
    4 days ago
  • Why has Einstein Medalist Roy Kerr never been Knighted?
    Rob MacCulloch writes – National and Labour and ACT have at various times waxed on about their “vision” of NZ as a high value-added world tech center What subject is tech based upon? Mathematics. A Chicago mathematician just told me that whereas last decade ...
    Point of OrderBy poonzteam5443
    4 days ago
  • Contestable advice
    Eric Crampton writes –  Danyl McLauchlan over at The Listener on the recent shift toward more contestability in public policy advice in education: Education Minister Erica Stanford, one of National’s highest-ranked MPs, is trying to circumvent the establishment, taking advice from a smaller pool of experts – ...
    Point of OrderBy poonzteam5443
    4 days ago
  • How did it get so bad?
    Ele Ludemann writes – That Kāinga Ora is a mess is no surprise, but the size of the mess is. There have been many reports of unruly tenants given licence to terrorise neighbours, properties bought and left vacant, and the state agency paying above market rates in competition ...
    Point of OrderBy poonzteam5443
    4 days ago
  • How serious is an MP’s failure to declare $178k in donations?
    Bryce Edwards writes –  It’s being explained as an “inadvertent error”. However, National MP David MacLeod’s excuse for failing to disclose $178,000 in donations for his election campaign last year is not necessarily enough to prevent some serious consequences. A Police investigation is now likely, and the result ...
    Point of OrderBy poonzteam5443
    4 days ago
  • Gordon Campbell on the privatising of state housing provision, by stealth
    The scathing “independent” review of Kāinga Ora barely hit the table before the coalition government had acted on it. The entire Kāinga Ora board will be replaced, and a new chair (Simon Moutter) has been announced. Hmm. No aspersions on Bill English, but the public would have had more confidence ...
    4 days ago
  • Our House.
    I'll light the fireYou place the flowers in the vaseThat you bought todayA warm dry home, you’d think that would be bread and butter to politicians. Home ownership and making sure people aren’t left living on the street, that’s as Kiwi as Feijoa and Apple Crumble. Isn’t it?The coalition are ...
    Nick’s KōreroBy Nick Rockel
    4 days ago
  • Getting to No
    Politics is about compromise, right?  And framing it so the voters see your compromise as the better one.  John Key was a skilful exponent of this approach (as was Keith Holyoake in an earlier age), and Chris Luxon isn’t too bad either. But in politics, the process whereby an old ...
    Point of OrderBy xtrdnry
    5 days ago
  • At a glance – How does the Medieval Warm Period compare to current global temperatures?
    On February 14, 2023 we announced our Rebuttal Update Project. This included an ask for feedback about the added "At a glance" section in the updated basic rebuttal versions. This weekly blog post series highlights this new section of one of the updated basic rebuttal versions and serves as a ...
    5 days ago
  • Bryce Edwards: How serious is an MP’s failure to declare $178k in donations?
    It’s being explained as an “inadvertent error”. However, National MP David MacLeod’s excuse for failing to disclose $178,000 in donations for his election campaign last year is not necessarily enough to prevent some serious consequences. A Police investigation is now likely, and the result of his non-disclosure could even see ...
    Democracy ProjectBy bryce.edwards
    5 days ago
  • Get your story straight, buddy
    The relentless drone coming out of the Prime Minister and his deputy for a million days now has been that the last government was just hosing  money all over the show and now at last the grownups are in charge and shutting that drunken sailor stuff down. There is a word ...
    More Than A FeildingBy David Slack
    5 days ago
  • A govt plane is headed for New Caledonia – here’s hoping the Kiwis stranded there get better ser...
    Buzz from the Beehive Foreign Minister Winston Peters has confirmed a New Zealand Government plane will head to riot-torn New Caledonia in the next hour in the first in a series of proposed flights to begin bringing New Zealanders home. Today’s flight will carry around 50 passengers with the most ...
    Point of OrderBy Bob Edlin
    5 days ago
  • Who is David MacLeod?
    Precious declaration saysYours is yours and mine you leave alone nowPrecious declaration saysI believe all hope is dead no longerTick tick tick Boom!Unexploded ordnance. A veritable minefield. A National caucus with a large number of unknowns, candidates who perhaps received little in the way of vetting as the party jumped ...
    Nick’s KōreroBy Nick Rockel
    5 days ago
  • The Four Knights
    Rex Ahdar writes –  The Rt Hon Winston Peters, Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Foreign Affairs, likes to trace his political lineage back to the pioneers of parliamentary Maoridom.   I will refer to these as the ‘big four’ or better still, the Four Knights. Just as ...
    Point of OrderBy poonzteam5443
    5 days ago
  • Could Willie Jackson be the populist leader that Labour need?
    Bryce Edwards writes –  Willie Jackson will participate in the prestigious Oxford Union debate on Thursday, following in David Lange’s footsteps. Coincidentally, Jackson has also followed Lange’s footsteps by living in his old home in South Auckland. And like Lange, Jackson might be the sort of loud-mouth scrapper ...
    Point of OrderBy poonzteam5443
    5 days ago
  • Unacceptable
    That is the only way to describe an MP "forgetting" to declare $178,000 in donations. The amount of money involved - more than five times the candidate spending cap, and two and a half times the median income - is boggling. How do you just "forget" that amount of money? ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    5 days ago
  • Justice for Gaza!
    It finally happened: the International Criminal Court prosecutor is seeking an arrest warrant for Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu for war crimes in Gaza: The chief prosecutor of the international criminal court has said he is seeking arrest warrants for senior Hamas and Israeli officials for war crimes and ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    5 days ago
  • Media Link: AVFA on the implications of US elections.
    In this week’s “A View from Afar” podcast Selwyn Manning and spoke about the upcoming US elections and what the possibility of another Trump presidency means for the US role in world affairs. We also spoke about the problems Joe … Continue reading ...
    KiwipoliticoBy Pablo
    5 days ago
  • Web of Chaos, Secret Dolphins & Monster Truck Madness
    Hi,Two years ago I briefly featured in Justin Pemberton’s Web of Chaos documentary, which touched on things like QAnon during the pandemic.I mostly prattled on about how intertwined conspiracy narratives are with Evangelical Christian thinking, something Webworm’s explored in the past.(The doc is available on TVNZ+, if you’re not in ...
    David FarrierBy David Farrier
    5 days ago
  • How Government’s road obsession is ruining Auckland’s transport plans
    “TL;DR: The reality is that Central Government’s transport policy and direction makes zero sense for Auckland, and if the draft GPS doesn’t change from its original form, then Auckland will be on a collision course with Wellington.” Auckland’s draft Regional Land Transport Plan (RLTP) 2024 is now out for consultation, ...
    Greater AucklandBy Connor Sharp
    5 days ago
  • Bernard’s Dawn Chorus and pick ‘n’ mix for Tuesday, May 21
    The Government is leaving the entire construction sector and the community housing sector in limbo. Photo: Lynn Grieveson / The KākāTL;DR: The Government released the long-awaited Bill English-led review of Kāinga Ora yesterday, but delayed key decisions on its build plan and how to help community housing providers (CHPs) build ...
    The KakaBy Bernard Hickey
    5 days ago
  • Climate change is affecting mental health literally everywhere
    This is a re-post from Yale Climate Connections by Daisy Simmons Farmers who can’t sleep, worrying they’ll lose everything amid increasing drought. Youth struggling with depression over a future that feels hopeless. Indigenous people grief-stricken over devastated ecosystems. For all these people and more, climate change is taking a clear toll ...
    5 days ago
  • The Ambassador and Luxon – eye to eye
    New Zealand’s relationship with China is becoming harder to define, and with that comes a worry that a deteriorating political relationship could spill over into the economic relationship. It is about more than whether New Zealand will join Pillar Two of Aukus, though the Chinese Ambassador, more or less, suggested ...
    PolitikBy Richard Harman
    6 days ago
  • Fast track to environmental degradation
    Been hoping we would see something like this from Sir Geoffrey Palmer. This is excellent.The present Bill goes further than the National Development Act 1979  in stripping away procedures designed to ensure that environmental issues are properly considered. The 1979 approach was not acceptable then and this present approach is ...
    More Than A FeildingBy David Slack
    6 days ago
  • Leading Labour Off The Big Rock Candy Mountain.
    He’s Got The Moxie: Only Willie Jackson possesses the credentials to meld together a new Labour message that is, at one and the same moment, staunchly working-class, union-friendly, and which speaks to the hundreds-of-thousands of urban Māori untethered to the neo-tribal capitalist elites of the Iwi Leaders Forum.IT’S ONE OF THE ...
    6 days ago
  • Priority is given to powerlines – govt strikes another blow for the economy while Jones fends off ...
    Tree-huggers may well accuse the Government of giving them the fingers, after Energy Minister Simeon Brown announced new measures to protect powerlines from trees, rather than measures to protect trees from powerlines. It can be no coincidence, surely, that this has been announced at the same as Fisheries Minister Shane Jones ...
    Point of OrderBy Bob Edlin
    6 days ago
  • Climate Change: The question we need to be asking
    One of National's first actions in government was to dismantle climate change policy, scrapping the clean car discount and overturning the Government Investment in Decarbonising Industry, which had given us Aotearoa's biggest-ever emissions reduction. But there's an obvious problem: we needed those emissions reductions to meet our carbon budgets: ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    6 days ago
  • Bryce Edwards: Could Willie Jackson be the populist leader that Labour need?
    Willie Jackson will participate in the prestigious Oxford Union debate on Thursday, following in David Lange’s footsteps. Coincidentally, Jackson has also followed Lange’s footsteps by living in his old home in South Auckland. And like Lange, Jackson might be the sort of loud-mouth scrapper who could take over the Labour ...
    Democracy ProjectBy bryce.edwards
    6 days ago
  • The Tikanga challenge for law schools, the rule of law – and Parliament
    Barrister Gary Judd KC’s complaint to the Regulatory Review Committee has sparked a fierce debate about the place of tikanga Māori – or Māori customs, values and spiritual beliefs – in the law.Judd opposes the New Zealand Council of Legal Education’s plans to make teaching tikanga compulsory in the legal curriculum.AUT ...
    Point of OrderBy poonzteam5443
    6 days ago
  •  The Huge Potential Benefits of Charter Schools
    Alwyn Poole writes –  In New Zealand we have approximately 460 high schools. The gaps between the schools that produce the best results for students and those at the other end of the spectrum are enormous.In terms of the data for their leavers, the top 30 schools have ...
    Point of OrderBy poonzteam5443
    6 days ago

  • Major investment in teacher supply through Budget 24
    Over the next four years, Budget 24 will support the training and recruitment of 1,500 teachers into the workforce, Education Minister Erica Stanford announced today. “To raise achievement and develop a world leading education system we’re investing nearly $53 million over four years to attract, train and retain our valued ...
    9 hours ago
  • Joint statement on the New Zealand – Cook Islands Joint Ministerial Forum – 2024
    1.  New Zealand Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Foreign Affairs Rt Hon Winston Peters; Minister of Health and Minister for Pacific Peoples Hon Dr Shane Reti; and Minister for Climate Change Hon Simon Watts hosted Cook Islands Minister of Foreign Affairs and Immigration Hon Tingika Elikana and Minister of Health Hon Vainetutai Rose Toki-Brown on 24 May ...
    1 day ago
  • Middle East, Africa deployments extended
    The Government has approved two-year extensions for four New Zealand Defence Force deployments to the Middle East and Africa, Defence Minister Judith Collins and Foreign Minister Winston Peters announced today. “These deployments are long-standing New Zealand commitments, which reflect our ongoing interest in promoting peace and stability, and making active ...
    2 days ago
  • Climate Change Commission Chair to retire
    The Climate Change Commission Chair, Dr Rod Carr, has confirmed his plans to retire at the end of his term later this year, Climate Change Minister Simon Watts says. “Prior to the election, Dr Carr advised me he would be retiring when his term concluded. Dr Rod Carr has led ...
    2 days ago
  • Inaugural Board of Integrity Sport & Recreation Commission announced
    Nine highly respected experts have been appointed to the inaugural board of the new Integrity Sport and Recreation Commission, Sport & Recreation Minister Chris Bishop says. “The Integrity Sport and Recreation Commission is a new independent Crown entity which was established under the Integrity Sport and Recreation Act last year, ...
    2 days ago
  • A balanced Foreign Affairs budget
    Foreign Minister Winston Peters confirmed today that Vote Foreign Affairs in Budget 2024 will balance two crucial priorities of the Coalition Government.    While Budget 2024 reflects the constrained fiscal environment, the Government also recognises the critical role MFAT plays in keeping New Zealanders safe and prosperous.    “Consistent with ...
    2 days ago
  • New social housing places to support families into homes
    New social housing funding in Budget 2024 will ensure the Government can continue supporting more families into warm, dry homes from July 2025, Housing Ministers Chris Bishop and Tama Potaka say. “Earlier this week I was proud to announce that Budget 2024 allocates $140 million to fund 1,500 new social ...
    2 days ago
  • New Zealand’s minerals future
    Introduction Today, we are sharing a red-letter occasion. A Blackball event on hallowed ground. Today  we underscore the importance of our mineral estate. A reminder that our natural resource sector has much to offer.  Such a contribution will not come to pass without investment.  However, more than money is needed. ...
    3 days ago
  • Government sets out vision for minerals future
    Increasing national and regional prosperity, providing the minerals needed for new technology and the clean energy transition, and doubling the value of minerals exports are the bold aims of the Government’s vision for the minerals sector. Resources Minister Shane Jones today launched a draft strategy for the minerals sector in ...
    3 days ago
  • Government progresses Māori wards legislation
    The coalition Government’s legislation to restore the rights of communities to determine whether to introduce Māori wards has passed its first reading in Parliament, Local Government Minister Simeon Brown says. “Divisive changes introduced by the previous government denied local communities the ability to determine whether to establish Māori wards.” The ...
    3 days ago
  • First RMA amendment Bill introduced to Parliament
    The coalition Government has today introduced legislation to slash the tangle of red and green tape throttling some of New Zealand’s key sectors, including farming, mining and other primary industries. RMA Reform Minister Chris Bishop says the Government is committed to  unlocking development and investment while ensuring the environment is ...
    3 days ago
  • Government welcomes EPA decision
    The decision by Environmental Protection Authority (EPA) to approve the continued use of hydrogen cyanamide, known as Hi-Cane, has been welcomed by Environment Minister Penny Simmonds and Agriculture Minister Todd McClay.  “The EPA decision introduces appropriate environmental safeguards which will allow kiwifruit and other growers to use Hi-Cane responsibly,” Ms ...
    3 days ago
  • Speech to Employers and Manufacturers Association: Relief for today, hope for tomorrow
    Kia ora, Ngā mihi nui ki a koutou kātoa Tāmaki Herenga Waka, Tāmaki Herenga tangata Ngā mihi ki ngā mana whenua o tēnei rohe Ngāti Whātua ō Ōrākei me nga iwi kātoa kua tae mai. Mauriora. Greetings everyone. Thank you to the EMA for hosting this event. Let me acknowledge ...
    3 days ago
  • Government invests in 1,500 more social homes
    The coalition Government is investing in social housing for New Zealanders who are most in need of a warm dry home, Housing Minister Chris Bishop says. Budget 2024 will allocate $140 million in new funding for 1,500 new social housing places to be provided by Community Housing Providers (CHPs), not ...
    4 days ago
  • $24 million boost for Gumboot Friday
    Thousands more young New Zealanders will have better access to mental health services as the Government delivers on its commitment to fund the Gumboot Friday initiative, says Deputy Prime Minister Winston Peters and Mental Health Minister Matt Doocey.  “Budget 2024 will provide $24 million over four years to contract the ...
    4 days ago
  • Residential Tenancies Amendment Bill passes first reading
    The Coalition Government’s Residential Tenancies Amendment Bill, which will improve tenancy laws and help increase the supply of rental properties, has passed its first reading in Parliament says Housing Minister Chris Bishop. “The Bill proposes much-needed changes to the Residential Tenancies Act 1986 that will remove barriers to increasing private ...
    5 days ago
  • Montecassino Commemorative Address, Cassino War Cemetery
    Standing here in Cassino War Cemetery, among the graves looking up at the beautiful Abbey of Montecassino, it is hard to imagine the utter devastation left behind by the battles which ended here in May 1944. Hundreds of thousands of shells and bombs of every description left nothing but piled ...
    5 days ago
  • First Reading – Repeal of Section 7AA of the Oranga Tamariki Act 1989
    I present a legislative statement on the Oranga Tamariki (Repeal of Section 7AA) Amendment Bill Mr. Speaker, I move that the Oranga Tamariki (Repeal of Section 7AA) Amendment Bill be now read a first time. I nominate the Social Services and Community Committee to consider the Bill. Thank you, Mr. ...
    5 days ago
  • First reading of 7AA’s repeal: progress for children
    The Bill to repeal Section 7AA of the Oranga Tamariki Act has had its first reading in Parliament today. The Bill reaffirms the Coalition Government’s commitment to the care and safety of children in care, says Minister for Children Karen Chhour.  “When I became the Minister for Children, I made ...
    5 days ago
  • China Business Summit 2024
    Kia ora koutou, good morning, and zao shang hao. Thank you Fran for the opportunity to speak at the 2024 China Business Summit – it’s great to be here today. I’d also like to acknowledge: Simon Bridges - CEO of the Auckland Chamber of Commerce. His Excellency Ambassador - Wang ...
    5 days ago
  • Assisted depatures from New Caledonia
    Foreign Minister Winston Peters has confirmed a New Zealand Government plane will head to New Caledonia in the next hour in the first in a series of proposed flights to begin bringing New Zealanders home.    “New Zealanders in New Caledonia have faced a challenging few days - and bringing ...
    5 days ago
  • Assisted departures from New Caledonia
    Foreign Minister Winston Peters has confirmed a New Zealand Government plane will head to New Caledonia in the next hour in the first in a series of proposed flights to begin bringing New Zealanders home.  “New Zealanders in New Caledonia have faced a challenging few days - and bringing them ...
    5 days ago
  • Government to rollout roadside drug testing
    The Coalition Government will introduce legislation this year that will enable roadside drug testing as part of our commitment to improve road safety and restore law and order, Transport Minister Simeon Brown says.  “Alcohol and drugs are the number one contributing factor in fatal road crashes in New Zealand. In ...
    6 days ago
  • Minister responds to review of Kāinga Ora
    The Government has announced a series of immediate actions in response to the independent review of Kāinga Ora – Homes and Communities, Housing Minister Chris Bishop says. “Kāinga Ora is a large and important Crown entity, with assets of $45 billion and over $2.5 billion of expenditure each year. It ...
    6 days ago
  • Pseudoephedrine back on shelves
    Associate Health Minister David Seymour is pleased that Pseudoephedrine can now be purchased by the general public to protect them from winter illness, after the coalition government worked swiftly to change the law and oversaw a fast approval process by Medsafe. “Pharmacies are now putting the medicines back on their ...
    6 days ago
  • New Zealand-China Business Summit
    Tēnā koutou katoa. Da jia hao.  Good morning everyone.   Prime Minister Luxon, your excellency, a great friend of New Zealand and my friend Ambassador Wang, Mayor of what he tells me is the best city in New Zealand, Wayne Brown, the highly respected Fran O’Sullivan, Champion of the Auckland business ...
    6 days ago
  • New measures to protect powerlines from trees
    Energy Minister Simeon Brown has announced that the Government will make it easier for lines firms to take action to remove vegetation from obstructing local powerlines. The change will ensure greater security of electricity supply in local communities, particularly during severe weather events.  “Trees or parts of trees falling on ...
    1 week ago
  • Wairarapa Moana ki Pouakani win top Māori dairy farming award
    Wairarapa Moana ki Pouakani were the top winners at this year’s Ahuwhenua Trophy awards recognising the best in Māori dairy farming. Māori Development Minister Tama Potaka announced the winners and congratulated runners-up, Whakatōhea Māori Trust Board, at an awards celebration also attended by Prime Minister Christopher Luxon and Finance Minister ...
    1 week ago
  • DJ Fred Again – Assurance report received
    "On the 27th of March, I sought assurances from the Chief Executive, Department of Internal Affairs, that the Department’s correct processes and policies had been followed in regards to a passport application which received media attention,” says Minister of Internal Affairs Brooke van Velden.  “I raised my concerns after being ...
    1 week ago
  • District Court Judges appointed
    Attorney-General Judith Collins has announced the appointment of three new District Court Judges, to replace Judges who have recently retired. Peter James Davey of Auckland has been appointed a District Court Judge with a jury jurisdiction to be based at Whangarei. Mr Davey initially started work as a law clerk/solicitor with ...
    1 week ago
  • Unions should put learning ahead of ideology
    Associate Education Minister David Seymour is calling on the Post Primary Teachers’ Association (PPTA) to put ideology to the side and focus on students’ learning, in reaction to the union holding paid teacher meetings across New Zealand about charter schools.     “The PPTA is disrupting schools up and down the ...
    1 week ago
  • Craig Stobo appointed as chair of FMA
    Commerce and Consumer Affairs Minister Andrew Bayly today announced the appointment of Craig Stobo as the new chair of the Financial Markets Authority (FMA). Mr Stobo takes over from Mark Todd, whose term expired at the end of April. Mr Stobo’s appointment is for a five-year term. “The FMA plays ...
    1 week ago
  • Budget 2024 invests in lifeguards and coastguard
    Surf Life Saving New Zealand and Coastguard New Zealand will continue to be able to keep people safe in, on, and around the water following a funding boost of $63.644 million over four years, Transport Minister Simeon Brown and Associate Transport Minister Matt Doocey say. “Heading to the beach for ...
    1 week ago
  • New Zealand and Tuvalu reaffirm close relationship
    New Zealand and Tuvalu have reaffirmed their close relationship, Foreign Affairs Minister Winston Peters says.  “New Zealand is committed to working with Tuvalu on a shared vision of resilience, prosperity and security, in close concert with Australia,” says Mr Peters, who last visited Tuvalu in 2019.  “It is my pleasure ...
    1 week ago
  • New Zealand calls for calm, constructive dialogue in New Caledonia
    New Zealand is gravely concerned about the situation in New Caledonia, Foreign Minister Winston Peters says.  “The escalating situation and violent protests in Nouméa are of serious concern across the Pacific Islands region,” Mr Peters says.  “The immediate priority must be for all sides to take steps to de-escalate the ...
    1 week ago
  • New Zealand welcomes Samoa Head of State
    Prime Minister Christopher Luxon met today with Samoa’s O le Ao o le Malo, Afioga Tuimalealiifano Vaaletoa Sualauvi II, who is making a State Visit to New Zealand. “His Highness and I reflected on our two countries’ extensive community links, with Samoan–New Zealanders contributing to all areas of our national ...
    1 week ago
  • Island Direct eligible for SuperGold Card funding
    Transport Minister Simeon Brown has announced that he has approved Waiheke Island ferry operator Island Direct to be eligible for SuperGold Card funding, paving the way for a commercial agreement to bring the operator into the scheme. “Island Direct started operating in November 2023, offering an additional option for people ...
    1 week ago
  • Further sanctions against Russia
    Foreign Minister Winston Peters today announced further sanctions on 28 individuals and 14 entities providing military and strategic support for Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.  “Russia is directly supported by its military-industrial complex in its illegal aggression against Ukraine, attacking its sovereignty and territorial integrity. New Zealand condemns all entities and ...
    1 week ago
  • One year on from Loafers Lodge
    A year on from the tragedy at Loafers Lodge, the Government is working hard to improve building fire safety, Building and Construction Minister Chris Penk says. “I want to share my sincere condolences with the families and friends of the victims on the anniversary of the tragic fire at Loafers ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Pre-Budget speech to Auckland Business Chamber
    Ka nui te mihi kia koutou. Kia ora and good afternoon, everyone. Thank you so much for having me here in the lead up to my Government’s first Budget. Before I get started can I acknowledge: Simon Bridges – Auckland Business Chamber CEO. Steve Jurkovich – Kiwibank CEO. Kids born ...
    2 weeks ago

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