Open mike 06/08/2023

Written By: - Date published: 6:00 am, August 6th, 2023 - 104 comments
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Open mike is your post.

For announcements, general discussion, whatever you choose.

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

Step up to the mike …

104 comments on “Open mike 06/08/2023 ”

  1. SPC 1

    Donald Trump's criminal defence lawyer, admits live on Fox News, than one of the indictments is valid.

    He said that Trump had asked Pence to go with "option D" (cited in the charges against Trump, that he conspired to … )

    The Last Word With Lawrence O’Donnell on MSNBC

    Donald Trump’s Lawyer Is Dumber Than Donald Trump

    The case is made here, based on the testimony so far by John Lauro, Trump's lawyer. The freedom of speech defence ridiculed, he’s charged with organised conspiracy to commit a crime.

    As in “The Apprentice”, the real ability of a CEO is to identify talent.

    Trump once boasted that he could commit a crime every American knew he was guilty of and get away with it – he used the example of shooting someone in the street (or organising someone to do a crime for him like a mob boss).

    That was Trump posing as a fascist political leader (his version of Putin’s cornered rat story) offering to seize power on behalf of those who supported him, to end the contest for political legitimacy through a fair democratic process – because their might was right.

    He noted many Christian dominionists were little more than white race nation supremacists, and when they prayed kingdom come, they were seeking their power over other Americans. Thus control of SCOTUS etc.

    This is a result of GOP adopting the southern strategy.

  2. SPC 2

    More Russians are facing conscription. Younger singles have emigrated and now those young couples planning on starting a family are impacted.

    This is a nation with a declining birth rate, and if these people leave and have children abroad will they return?

    Even married men with young children are facing the risk of conscription or prison (will they leave or sign up to Wagner once in prison)?

    At the end of July, Russia raised the maximum conscription age by three years, widening the pool of men that can be called up to serve.

    Before, all healthy men in Russia aged between 18 and 27 had to serve one year of compulsory military service. Conscription was carried out twice a year.

    Now, all men up to 30 years of age can be called up.

    • Francesca 2.1

      About the only thing that gives me hope is the increasing reluctance of young men to go to war.The exception ,sadly, would be those young men who view the military as their only economic option.

      But the imperialist needs of nations will persevere regardless.We're heading for remote controlled AI wars

      • SPC 2.1.1

        In Israel there were those reluctant to serve in the IDF on the occupied West Bank and now reservists saying they will not be available (unless Israel is attacked) because of the move to negate the Basic Law (protecting the rights of citizens) and subject the nation to the rule of any government with a parliamentary majority.

        The unnecessary war is now entering its stalemate phase, the lines on the map do not change no matter how many lives are placed at risk in any offensive (Haig/ Joffre reprise) – so it’s likely to be drone and missile attacks behind the lines – as per WW2).

    • joe90 2.2

      They're letting their rapists, murderers and washing machine thieves off the hook, too. What could possibly go wrong.


      Translated from Russian by

      Wagner suspected of killing 6 people In Karelia, two friends were arrested on suspicion of killing six people. One of them recently returned from the war. On the night of August 1, five men and one woman were found stabbed to death in the village of Derevyannoye. The killers set fire to two houses belonging to the dead. Security forces detained suspects in severe intoxication. They were Igor Sofonov and Maxim Bochkarev. According to journalists, the men were friends and were in prison together. They were tried on serious articles, including murder, robbery, robbery, rape and drugs. Igor Sofonov was recently pardoned. He went to fight, presumably in the Wagner PMC. During the meeting on the choice of a measure of restraint, Sofonov tried in every possible way to emphasize his belonging to the military, local media reported. To the questions of the judge, he answered "Yes, exactly." The court arrested both men for two months. In a criminal case on the murder of several people, they face life imprisonment (Part 2 of Article 105 of the Criminal Code of the Russian Federation).


      Russian soldiers may now be able to avoid criminal prosecution if they serve on the frontline in Ukraine, the Kommersant business daily reported Wednesday, citing a recent ruling by Russia’s Supreme Court.

      The new legal precedent was set in a deadly automobile accident case where Corporal Vladislav Ustinov was handed a two-year prison sentence in May 2022 for running over and killing two people.

      But instead of being dismissed from the military following his conviction, Ustinov was sent to to fight in Ukraine, where Kommersant says he is still serving.


      Russian courts will now be able to cite a defendant’s involvement in military operations as mitigating circumstances and grounds for reviewing sentences, according to Ustinov’s lawyer Sergei Bizyukin.

      Days before the Supreme Court ruling, Russian lawmakers approved legislation allowing convicts to clear their criminal records in exchange for joining the country’s depleted military.

      Legal experts told Kommersant that Russian courts could now use both the new law and the Supreme Court precedent in Ustinov’s case to free criminally convicted soldiers who serve in Ukraine.

  3. SPC 3

    The actors seeking to be National's support partners (the nice Maori who believe in assimilation, David Seymour and Winston Peters) having been competing for attention by lying about the size of holes – parroting the lines of Steven Joyce.

    Imitation is the sincerest form of flattery that mediocrity can pay to greatness”. As Oscar Wilde once noted.

    Of course whether Steven Joyce was ever great is something for others to determine. Someone like William Birch, once Mr Think Big, then Mr No (his filibusters without extravagant language or change in tone, till people gave up and went away and never come back asking him for any money, indicated his road to damascus conversion to fiscal prudence – reminding some of the character Marvin the Paranoid Android)

    Marvin the Paranoid Android is a fictional character in

    The fact Moody’s credit rating agency, in its latest report, held the country’s rating at Aaa stable, saying New Zealand’s fiscal position is “healthy … compared with that of peers” ought to give pause for extreme scepticism to anyone considering the various Eeyore-ish claims.

    We will have to wait until the Pre-election Economic and Fiscal Update (PREFU) on September 12 for Treasury’s latest view. At the same time, we will be able to judge – as has been suggested – whether Robertson and his colleagues are reacting to an early warning from Treasury of a sharper and deeper deterioration.

    Normal and everyday garden variety administrative practice.

    In truth, the Government’s books are under pressure, but it is extremely unlikely Treasury will suddenly forecast a “fiscal hole” as serious as this week’s shroud-waving might suggest.

    There are any number of potential blunders and “fiscal holes” to be discovered among the parties’ manifestos and election promises, and that is the place to look.

    External auditing of the ACT manifesto, to demonstrate best practice and readiness for government responsibility, or not?

  4. Patricia Bremner 4

    SPC this was a reply that did not attach.
    Those lies about fiscal responsibility, fit in with the "Chaos meme" of the right.

    "The Government is in chaos, therefore there is a hole in the funding and planning." (Well Fitch did not find that. Aaa is a very good rating in todays shaky world.)

    Lies will be repeated, and it is hoped that voters will jump from left to right.

    This goes with the misleading headlines, the failure to report on completed projects except as "Too little too late

    The lack of real reporting on gains by the left is amazing on one level, but on another no surprise.

    Jenna Lynch, partner of Act's Andrew Ketels, is hardly a balanced reporter given her affiliations.

    Thanks for showing how these lies are started and used and repeated, especially in parliament where MPs are not able to be held to account for such accusations.

  5. Anne 5

    Oh dearie me,

    It looks like the government has trumped the NAct revelation concerning alleged proposed changes to GST on fruit and vegetables with a stunning revelation of their own. As far as I can tell they kept it under wraps without anyone knowing it was coming!

    I refer to the proposed new harbour crossings… one from Akoranga (almost alongside the present bridge) and a light rail tunnel system from Albany passing though Takapuna and Belmont and across the harbour. Both projects end up at Victoria Park with links to all the present motorways. The details coming.

    That should send shockwaves through Nicola Willis' undies. She never saw that coming.

    • Patricia Bremner 5.1

      I will be interested to hear from Ad.

      According to him, it is National that plan big projects!! devil

      • Anne 5.1.1

        Its massive Patricia. Without doubt the biggest transport project ever commissioned in NZ. I recall recently some government minister (I think it was PM Hipkins) reflecting on the fact "they were mindful of the huge economic importance of Auckland to the whole country". Words to that effect anyway. He knew what was coming. wink

        PS The good thing about it is that CC was front and centre of the decisions made – unlike the other lot who just want to build more and more roads regardless of the effects on our future weather patterns.

      • alwyn 5.1.2

        "it is National that plan big projects"

        I'm sure I can remember a big project that the current Government were going to carry out. They were going to build a walkway/cycleway alongside the current harbour bridge at a cost of about a billion dollars weren't they? Then little Napoleon Wood blotted his copybook and got fired , having meantime managed to waste a lot of money on preparations for his brain explosion.

        Doesn't that count as planning a big project? I note you only said planned. You didn't say anything about completing a project.

        • Bearded Git

          They canned it quickly Alwyn… try to get over it.

        • Adrian

          I used to work in the movie industry and if an art director came up with a fairly ridiculous idea for a set that the producers couldn't or didn't want to pay for, we in construction were quietly told to price it, quadruple it and double it again so that it was untenable. ( Yes, yes, all you frustrated ADs out there, that's what happened to your precious. ).

          I'm pretty sure the same thing happened to the Harbour Bridge Bike Rack.

    • newsense 5.2

      Well fronted by Hipkins too. Good messages. Clear distinction between National who are going to let it flood.

    • newsense 5.3

      I got my comment into moderation so I’ll try a re-phrase.

      Good crisp communication from Chippy. There’s a reason he’s got good numbers.

      Clear distinction from the National party whose policy is to ignore climate change and shirk their responsibility, ignoring the consequences that are already with us.

    • Belladonna 5.4

      Green Party not happy (from your link)

      The Green Party has called the plan bonkers.

      Co-leader James Shaw said the government seemed to have a tendency to choose the most expensive and over-engineered plans possible.

      "I don't think that six lanes of traffic are going to solve Auckland's congestion problem. Frankly, during a climate crisis it's a bit bonkers to be building more roads and inducing more traffic and more car dependency."

      • newsense 5.4.1

        I think Labour will be happy if they can get criticised by the Greens on this. It means the PT derangement syndrome troops get undercut.

        Two potential rapid transit modes created or enhanced sets their values clearly in comparison to National.

      • Adrian 5.4.2

        Just what the fuck do the Green Party think all the electric cars and buses and trucks are going to move around on? They still jam up like ICE ones.

      • Anne 5.4.3

        So I gather Belladonna. I believe they are wrong. In fact, I voted for them last time because of CC. It won’t happen this time around.

        Its time the Greens re-entered the real world. There is no way you can banish petrol driven vehicles overnight so there is no way you can do without sufficient roads to accommodate them until such a time when they can be written off as an extinct inorganic species. The trick is to build the extra transport lanes required now in a manner which enables that extinction to occur sooner rather than later.

        Building more roads like Nact plan to do, will do nothing to assist the transition to an almost carbon free environment. All it shows is they are tunnel-visioned when it comes to combating climate change.

        What the Govt. is proposing is by far the better option imo and it is more realistic with the ultimate aim of getting people out of their cars and on to swift, trouble-free public transport.

        And another positive is that it should drastically reduce the current road toll.

        • arkie

          There is no way you can banish petrol driven vehicles overnight so there is no way you can do without sufficient roads to accommodate them until such a time when they can be written off as an extinct inorganic species. The trick is to build the extra transport lanes required now in a manner which enables that extinction to occur sooner rather than later.

          What you are describing has been the pattern thus far; this leads to induced demand. It is a well-studied fact that building more roads increases congestion. Public transport that shares the road will inevitably be caught in this same congestion making it less appealing and less used. Prioritising public transport options, such as light rail, is better overall and this is the Greens preference.

          A developed country is not a place where the poor have cars. It's where the rich use public transportation. – Gustavo Petro

          As the Julie Anne Genter says:

          “These road tunnels are carbon intensive to build, and they would cost tens of billions of dollars that should instead be invested in low carbon transport options like regional rail.

          “At the very least, the Government should have prioritised the light rail first.

          “It is maddening that on the one hand Labour can say the economic conditions aren’t right for a fair tax system that will benefit millions of people, and on the other announce unbelievably expensive and poorly thought through transport projects.

          “The Prime Minister says money doesn’t grow on trees, but apparently it does grow on roads.

          “Labour and National seem to be in a road race to come up with the worst possible transport plan. Induced demand is a real thing – more urban roads, equals more cars, equals more congestion. People deserve better.

          “Green Ministers in Cabinet to speak up for the climate in every decision has never been more essential.

          “The Green Party is 100% committed to transforming rail in Auckland with a new Harbour connection, and making space for walking and cycling over the current Harbour bridge immediately. This will save billions of dollars which can be used to upgrade other rail links in the region and beyond. The time is now for real transport solutions.

          Greater Auckland on induced demand:

          • bwaghorn

            I'm a bit divided on it , in an ideal world yes rail should come first, but it would be a disaster for Auckland if the bridge failed before the tunnel was built,

    • Ad 5.5

      National and Labour will likely agree on the 6 lanes of traffic tunnels. This has been in advanced planning since 2014 and has strong momentum within NZTA.

      My hesitancy of launching this without any idea of how to pay for it is that it gets to precisely the same place Labour were in prior to the 2017 election when they announced light rail for Auckland going to both the airport and up to Westgate. I know we can remember what happened through 2018 to that.

      • newsense 5.5.1

        You forgot the high speed rail between Auckland and Tauranga! Was looking forward to hopping a train to the beach with a beer at 4:45pm…

      • bwaghorn 5.5.2

        To pay for it I'd put a toll on the bridge today for personal vehicles, 6 years of revenue in the bank for those that will enjoy the bridge most, might get a few of them on the bus to😉

        • Patricia Bremner

          +1 bwaghorn

        • Belladonna

          To pay for it I'd put a toll on the bridge today for personal vehicles, 6 years of revenue in the bank for those that will enjoy the bridge most, might get a few of them on the bus to

          No, it won't. Anyone who can (i.e. they are going to the CBD, and can afford the time out of their working day for PT) – is already taking the bus (or, rarely, the ferry) – train isn't an option from the North Shore. The Shore bus transit lane is the envy of Auckland – it's the only one which has any level of effectiveness at all (although, we all hope the NW motorway will be as effective once it finally becomes operational)

          Note, the majority of the traffic headed over the Harbour Bridge in the morning isn't going to the CBD – it's heading on South.

          Penalizing people who have no alternative (the buses don't take them where they need to go within a reasonable timeframe) – doesn't get people on side – it antagonizes and alienates them.

          The people who have carparks in the CBD – and therefore drive – (what I think of as the high-priced lawyer brigade) – are entirely unmoved by tolls or congestion charging – it's simply a business expense for them. The only thing which might be remotely effective is a very high FBT on carparks, and daily parking fees ($80+). And, of course, these are entirely independent of any toll on a bridge crossing.

          Still waiting for the tolls to be applied to the new motorway in Wellington (after all, why shouldn't "those who enjoy it most" pay for it). Politicians seem to be reluctant to trial these things in their own back-yard, for some reason….

          • Patricia Bremner

            The original bridge was paid by tolls.

            In Australia you set up a digital account and it charges your number. Tauranga has this.

            • Belladonna

              It was indeed. And the tolls went on for long after the bridge was actually paid for (and were only stopped by public outcry).

              If tolls are such a wonderful idea – then I'm waiting to see them applied to Transmission Gully (probably only take 20 years to pay it off).

  6. PsyclingLeft.Always 6

    Te Huia train service offers free tickets with return to central Auckland

    And behind the scenes…Angela Strange: Waikato Regional Councillor

    We need more like…in our Councils and Govt Depts.

    Onya !

  7. aj 7

    Andrew Little wants to increase our defense forces and uses, as an example, the need to protect our $20B of trade through the South China Sea. He didn't mention China by name.

    Can anyone else see the elephant in the room. If this trade is threatened by a war, then on which side should our forces side with? Giving military support to a nation attacking China in a conflict is going to help protect this trade?

    • Anne 7.1

      How about you include the fact that the increase in spending amounts to no more than a maximum of 1% of GDP. That is, it will be closer to 2% of GDP – well below other comparable countries.

      How about you include the major factors at play? I refer to the poor retention rates within the Defence Services, the rapid spread of disinformation and the effects it has on society and most important of all, the effects of CC related cataclysmic events requiring immediate action in order to save lives and property.

      Something in the order of 80% of Defence Service activity is tied up with disasters and potentially dangerous situations – plus search and rescue operations – within NZ and the wider South Pacific. In order to properly carry out all of its functions it requires sufficient personnel and up to date equipment. You know, a bit like when a person runs their car into the ground and has to replace it with a newer and more reliable model so it can continue to be of service.

      That is all that is happening.

      • aj 7.1.1

        I didn't criticise increased defense spending, just one of his reasons. Perhaps this is just a sop to to the USA.

        I agree with all your reasons especially the final paragraph.

    • satty 7.2

      Reminds me of this Utopia episode:

      Utopia – Australia's Defence Policy

      • Patricia Bremner 7.2.1

        Thanks Satty. I laughed, but last time we were bombed it was France remember.

        So know telling who we are protecting ourselves from.

        We do need a standing Army and Reserves. Our region is not as stable as it used to be. Politically geographically and weather wise

      • Anne 7.2.2

        Yes. It's funny and there is a healthy grain of truth to it. 😀

        But to be fair. We do have to think about out trade routes – all of them. We rely more heavily than most countries on our food exports so it is essential we have a way of getting them to our major markets.

        As for China. Its an enigma that seems impossible to resolve.

    • KJT 7.3

      So. We need the defense force, to fight against China, to keep our trade routes to/from China in the South China sea open????


  8. newsense 8

    Professor Davis joins Hayden Donnel in saying F this lazy media pile on campaigning for the Nacts.

    Whereas Hayden points out that Australia has award wages and a whole bunch more tax than us, and is much more unionised. IE the rich are screwing us in NZ and the complaining is to keep the bill low. The Spin-off- linked yesterday.

    Professor Davis says actually we don’t know how lucky we are: we’re doing quite well in the grand scheme of things. It might be miserable with all Paula Bennett’s buddies, but not universally. On Newsroom.

  9. Ad 9

    Very interesting to see Minister Little say that a National Intelligence and Security Agency (NISA) is a "priority task" that "is not too far away'.

    Presumably it folds together the acronym soup of SIS, GCSB, NSG and many more.

    I would at least like to see Labour inviting public debate on this before it is just implemented.

  10. Ad 10

    Everyone will be rushing to get their contracts renewed, projects passed through Boards and procurement teams, as Act seeks BIMs that explicitly state how much they can cut in MBUE staff, Three Waters, He Waka Eke Noa, Auckland Light Rail, Fees-Free and the Provincial Growth Fund.

    Act wants its BIMs to contain three key details:

    • The teams that sit within ministries and departments.
    • The activities the teams do and the outputs they produce.
    • A breakdown of expenditure on the teams and activities.

    Seymour said ministers would use that information to “identify teams and activities they require departments to cut because they aren’t providing value for taxpayers or because they overlap with functions that exist elsewhere in the bureaucracy”.

    I am particularly worried for the funding for the Transport Recovery East Coast Alliance, which National wants to raid for pothole funding.

    TREC is the largest state investment the East Coast peoples will ever receive and they need every dollar of it.

    Act are definitely worth fighting against.

  11. Patricia Bremner 11

    Seymore will dress this up as collecting wasteful spending. It is Dog eat Dog spiral to the bottom, all MBIE staff looking over their shoulder, waiting to be fingered, wondering who will have their lives wrecked next, while the money "saved" after redundancies, will go to tax cuts? He is a dangerous little man, and I agree with Jacinda's description!!

    “Act are definitely worth fighting against. ” 100% He has delusions of Grandeur .

    Act are dangerous and would be damaging.

    • observer 11.1

      But it's worse than that. It's a fraud.

      We all know that the huge savings ACT say will happen, won't actually happen. We know because they didn't happen before (and don't happen elsewhere with right wing governments). If National/ACT are in government, then in 3 years' time there will be stories about more private consultants and minimal savings. "Red tape" will be cut, and then stuck together again with sellotape, making for false economies.

      National say they will "invest" in so many projects it's hard to keep count, all of which will require more spending on those bureaucrats they despise. Or … cut costs on oversight, and bring back Leaky Homes Part Two. Real cost to taxpayers … billions.

  12. Adrian 12

    So as its Monday tomorrow get ready for the latest revelation from the rights Disinformation Project, we have been warned that there will be one a week until the election. Maybe the first was the anynomous More Yelled At Staffers in the ministers office, leaked through who knows, and last Monday's leaking $20 billion hole initially through Winston Peters. What's up tomorrow, can't wait, whatever it is it will be fantastic, and then rubbished by reason and proven to be lies a few days later.

  13. Patricia Bremner 13

    Suzie Fergusson project on Disinformation and misinformation, and recovered bodies who ended up looking where they had been and deciding who they would in future talk to online. Very revealing and shows how family and friends influenced people who were already anti in some way. It is worth a listen… Could someone kind link for me after 7am Sun news on RNZ.

  14. arkie 14

    Greens will fund free dental care:

    “Dental care for adults in Aotearoa is now among the most expensive in the world. Unbelievably, we have a higher rate of unmet dental care in Aotearoa because of cost than even the United States.

    “Seventeen years ago, the former Prime Minister Helen Clark expanded dental care from our youngest children to everyone aged 18 and under. The time is now to finish the job.

    “Free dental will be fully funded through fair and simple changes to the tax system that will unlock the resources we need. Every dollar will come from those most able to contribute.

    “Our fully costed plan will give everyone the peace of mind that no matter what, they can visit the dentist when they need to,” says James Shaw.

    • arkie 14.1

      The plan would include free annual check-ups; mobile dental vans and funding for community clinics, including on marae; specialist care for people needing oral surgery and "complex treatment"; Māori-run community and whānau oral health services; and "a plan to train the next generation of dentists", with increased caps on training placements (from 60 to 80) and support for encouraging more Māori and Pasifika into dentistry.

      A poll earlier this year found three-quarters of voters back free dental care.

      Earlier this year, then-Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern said it would be "enormously expensive".

      The Greens estimated it would cost $1.41 billion in the first year, rising to $1.71b in the 2025 and 2026. Buying a few hundred more dental vans would cost $150 million.

      "We anticipate that costs will decrease long-term as a greater focus on preventative care improves oral health outcomes for all New Zealanders," the party said.

    • Patricia Bremner 14.2

      That will be a popular Policy.

    • Belladonna 14.3

      Have the Greens said where they are going to find the dentists to implement this policy?

      Increasing the training cap from 60 to 80 is a drop in the bucket – won't even reach replacement for current dentists retiring; and, most importantly – won't even kick in for 5 years (takes 5 years to train a dentist at Otago)

      Dentists are in just as short-supply in NZ as GPs are; and dental nurses (or dental hygienists) aren't much better.

      We can see this, by the immense pressure the school dental service (with the free treatment) is – many, many children are not seen within 3 years, let alone annually, as they are supposed to be. And, while it's free to have the dentist check your child's teeth out – most practices (certainly in Auckland) won't enrol children or teens (they don't get enough in payments from the government to even cover their costs).

      Announcing a policy, with no practical idea of how to staff it – does not incline people to take you seriously.

      • Drowsy M. Kram 14.3.1

        Not surprising that a NZ Labour government expanded dental care from our youngest children to everyone aged 18 and under.

        Announcing a policy, with no practical idea of how to staff it – does not incline people to take you seriously.

        Gosh, sounds as if the Green's policy of a 33% increase in the training cap for dentists could be worse than nothing – a respectful ‘centrist's’ work is never done.

        Will NAct favour voters with a reaction – perhaps even a policy of their own?

        ACT will release its Health Workforce Strategy in coming weeks which will promote real change in the healthcare system. [20 March 2023]

        Or maybe NAct have faith that the invisible hand of the market will provide.

        The Guardian view on the dentist shortage: a gap that needs filling
        [2 May 2022]
        As with healthcare in general, prevention is infinitely preferable to cure. So areas lacking dentists must have them. Like the NHS’s wider staffing problems, this one cannot be fixed overnight.

        MPs demand dentistry overhaul as patients resort to DIY treatment
        [14 July 2023]
        Report calls for urgent reform to NHS services with some people unable to access care said to be using pliers to extract teeth

        Question No. 8—Social Development and Employment [2 August 2023]

        8. RICARDO MENÉNDEZ MARCH (Green) to the Minister for Social Development and Employment: Do special needs grants for dental treatment adequately meet need for dental care, considering 40 percent of adult New Zealanders are unable to afford treatment?

        Hon CARMEL SEPULONI (Minister for Social Development and Employment): This Government has shown that it is committed to ensuring New Zealanders have access to dental care when they need it. For the first time in 25 years, we increased the maximum special needs grants for dental treatment from $300 to $1,000 in Budget 2022. This has seen the number of non-recoverable dental grants nearly doubling from 23,025 to 43,479 and the total amount of support provided through the grant increasing nearly five-fold from $6,395,819 to $30,773,018. Previously, you could only receive one dental grant per year, even if it did not reach the $300 limit; now clients can access the grant multiple times in one year up to the value of $1,000. This is making a difference for whānau, but we certainly know there is more to do.

        "More to do." What more might Labour do? Or NAct for that matter – vouchers? wink

        • Belladonna

          An increase of 20 places a year – which will – at the very best – start to have an impact in 5 years time, does not incline anyone other than the most one-eyed of lefties to believe this is a well-thought-through policy – let alone a priority for the Green Party.

          I note that you have carefully avoided answering the question of where the dentists are going to come from – for at least the next 5 years.

          I'm on record as supporting a whole new dental school (I'd suggested Waikato) – in order to actually deal with the gap between the numbers being trained and the evident need.

          Centrists are placed to see the policy benefits of all sides of the political spectrum – not being constrained to support 'my party, right or wrong'.

          • Drowsy M. Kram

            An increase of 20 places a year – which will – at the very best – start to have an impact in 5 years time, does not incline anyone other than the most one-eyed of lefties to believe this is a well-thought-through policy – let alone a priority for the Green Party.

            This policy clearly indicates that providing free dental care to all Kiwis is a priority for the Green Party – only the most one-eyed NAct enthusiast would be pushing a different line, imho.

            Your chief moans seem to be that it takes 5 years to train a dentist (what, precisely, do you expect the Greens to do about that?), and that they should be increasing the dentistry training cap by more than 33%.

            Do NAct even have a policy? Maybe it's not their priority, and why would it be.

            The shortage of dentists in NZ didn’t happen overnight, and will take years to fix – think less ‘a filling’, and more ‘orthodontic correction.’ Not doubt NAct will rubbish the Greens policy for free dental care in due course, without suggesting any alternative solutions.

            • Belladonna

              Nope – it's an election bribe that they devoutly hope they'll never be called upon to deliver – because they literally can't.

              A true attempt to resolve the issue would be to have pushed for a substantial increase in training places for dentists (and other dental professionals) – sometime in the last 2.5 years (when they were actually part of the government). Not as a last-minute election promise.

              Trying to pretend that NZ has the capacity to provide this level of service – is frankly disingenuous. It doesn't matter how much money you're prepared to throw at the issue – if there aren't the people there to deliver the service.

              Only the most one-eyed of lefties doesn't recognise an election bribe, just because it comes from his party.

              • SPC

                The demand for new dentists would create pathways for foreign skilled workers to come here.

                That our horticulture sector has been dependent on foreign tourists and the Pacific migrant workers does not mean it should not exist.

              • Shanreagh

                Yes agree BD. I initially read that the policy will be funded by the so-called wealthy again per wealth tax. As Labour has ruled out a wealth tax following the Greens etc publicity before, despite working on a a very fair & reasonable version itself, this indeed is pie in the sky.

                I guess the reason for publishing is so that a potential coalition partner can look at what they may have to agree to……..oh I forgot,,,,,,the Greens have ruled out several potential coalition partners.

                In my view The Greens have a potential partner in Labour, with whom they have been 'mates' with for sometime. Were any of these policies raised at the time ie when there was a chance they could be implemented?

                When are the Greens going to say what their plans are for when they are faced with a potential coalition? I guess not.

                What are the Greens plans for combatting inflation, breaking up the supermarket duopoly, breaking down the energy costs for households ie pushing back the Bradford reforms, Bank profits, …….rail/coastal shipping

                As the Greens may be in an important place after the next election I would like to know how/when/if etc they will support Labour in the deep issues we are facing. Surely we have grown up a little and don't need election bribes any more…or perhaps election bribes that rely on being funded by something that has already been ruled out by a potential coalition partner.

                Excuse my cynicism.

                (Waits for the 'RW'/'incrementalist'/ or whatever the insult du jour is.)

                • arkie

                  What are the Greens plans for combatting inflation, breaking up the supermarket duopoly, breaking down the energy costs for households ie pushing back the Bradford reforms, Bank profits, …….rail/coastal shipping

                  The answers exist if you actually look for them


                  “Last year the Reserve Bank admitted in response to my questioning that they are engineering a recession to try and rein in inflation.

                  “We know this will disproportionately impact low income people in Aotearoa. It doesn’t have to be like this. This is only happening because the Government isn't acting.

                  “Reducing government spending on essential public services would be a mistake at a time when we know our crucial infrastructure across health, housing, education, the environment, and transport desperately needs investment.

                  “Instead of relying on the Reserve Bank to use blunt monetary policy like raising the OCR, or manufacturing a recession, the Government can tax the super wealthy.

                  “Instead of allowing trickle-down economic thinking to drive economic policy that perversely pushes people out of work, the Government can tax the rich and build a fairer society,” says Chlöe Swarbrick.


                  Supermarket duopoly:

                  “A report released today says that the Government’s proposed reforms will not be enough to address the high cost of groceries,” says the Green Party’s spokesperson for commerce and consumer affairs, Ricardo Menéndez March.

                  “The report agrees with what the Green Party has been saying for a really long time: that the time is now to break up the supermarket duopoly.

                  “Not only that but the government can take immediate action with a tax on excessively high supermarket profit and use the money to help people.



                  • Fundamentally reform the electricity market structure and ensure that the market works in the public interest. (1.2)
                  • Ensure a national integrated energy transition strategy that includes: phasing out the use of fossil fuels while maintaining energy security for households and essential public services. (2.6.3)
                  • Establish Tiriti-based energy legislation that provides an enabling framework for Māori and Community involvement, ownership and leadership in energy projects. (3.1)
                  • Prioritise maintaining, strengthening and/or transforming existing energy infrastructures so they better withstand extreme weather events and can manage mass electrification and increase distributed energy resources. (3.9)
                  • Set an ambitious goal, consistent with our commitments to keep global warming to 1.5 degrees, to increase the share of renewable energy in the total primary energy supply, taking a strategic whole-of-system approach. (5.1)



                  With calls growing for inquiries and action on bank profits, the Greens say the Government has all the information it needs to act now and put a levy on banks.

                  “Four Australian banks made $180 a second in the past year while lower income New Zealanders spent ever more of their income on essentials,” says Green Party revenue spokesperson, Chlöe Swarbrick.

                  “These banks make, on average, adjusted for income, 20% more from New Zealand customers than their Australian counterparts.

                  “There’s a clear and immediate solution and that’s an excess profits tax. A 10% tax on those excess billions would raise more than half a billion and go a very long way to supporting flood and cyclone impacted New Zealanders.

                  “When the Reserve Bank and Monopoly Watch argue there’s something far more sinister under the hood of these banks, politicians of course should take a deeper look. That’s why we also support an inquiry, of whatever form we can get across the line, to look at far more fundamental problems.

                  “The bottom line remains: the big banks are fleecing New Zealanders and should be taxed to help pay for the cyclone clean up. The only thing standing in the way is political willpower,” says Chlöe Swarbrick.


                  Coastal shipping:

                  “The Green Party would transform public transport networks, build light rail in Auckland and Wellington, and provide comprehensive bus lanes in all cities. We will invest in nationwide rapid rail for passengers, and rail and coastal shipping for freight, to connect regions and major cities, and contribute to economic development, and decarbonisation.

                  “Plus, we’d create safe walking and biking routes for every school with more pedestrian crossings, and lower speed limits near schools.

                  “The Greens are the only party with a plan that shows how we can make things better for everyone in Aotearoa. With more Green MPs we will invest in a transport system that gives people real affordable options that protect the climate,” says Julie Anne Genter.


                  • Shanreagh

                    And all these have been announced with a big fanfare 'rah rah' with special individual threads on TS?

                    Pardon my cynicism.

                    I know Labour's poilicies are light on the ground so far but I feel we waste our time on Green policies that

                    1) can only come into force if there is a left- leaning group holding seats and courage enough to beat off other comers, and

                    2) can only come into force if they are picked up as part of a coalition, and

                    3) rely on being funded by forms of taxes or other regimes that the possible majority left leaning partner has ruled out

                    It is for those reasons and noting those constraints that I would go along with the notion that they are election bribes and bribes put up with a degree of cynicism as The Greens, failing an absoloute miracle, have no ability to grab enough seats to hold a majority and this be assured of the ability to bring these policies into fruition.

                    Labour has actually worked on this and has increased the amount available via grants substantially since 2022.

                    • arkie

                      What you call bribes are election promises, just like every other party. They are seeking the votes of people who want action on these issues. That you think they are cynical about it indicates your cynicism towards the Greens seems to be boundless. I can't help you with that.

                      A vote for Labour is an endorsement of their current approach. For all those who want a aspirational left party, the Greens and TPM are the only options. With a larger share of the vote they will be able to demand more of any future government. The idea that a majority is required to enact policy is an oversimplification of MMP.

                      The argument against the Greens policies is only 'we can't do anything that upsets the status quo.'

                • SPC

                  The first step in combating inflation was a rent freeze.

              • Drowsy M. Kram

                Trying to pretend that NZ has the capacity to provide this level of service…

                Belladonna, who (apart from you) is pretending “that NZ has the capacity“?

                It's clear you find the Green Party's policy to provide free dental care for all Kiwis galling, and with ~40% of Kiwis unable to access affordable dental services, it may prove particularly popular among those less likely to vote.

                Building the capacity to providing free dental care for all Kiwis will take time – better to start sooner rather than later (or never), imho.

                • Belladonna

                  Well, indeed, apparently the Green Party is pretending that "NZ has the capacity" to deliver on this promised service. Otherwise, why have they released the policy?

                  Several commenters here have repeated the GP announcement about training, as an absolute answer to questions about dental workforce capacity for 2024. [Hint: Not at all the same thing]

                  I don't find the policy galling – I find the … misinformation …. about being able to deliver on it disingenuous.

                  Aspirational is fine. Putting in place policies to seriously and (hopefully) rapidly increase the dental workforce, excellent. Building health workforce capacity – I'm going to cheer that on, regardless of the political party championing it.

                  Implying that people will be getting free dental from 2024? A disingenuous election bribe at the most blatant, as you seem to be acknowledging. "it may prove particularly popular among those less likely to vote."

                  I don't find this kind of pork-barrel electioneering any more palatable from the left side of politics than I do from the right.

                  • Drowsy M. Kram

                    Well, indeed, apparently the Green Party is pretending that "NZ has the capacity" to deliver on this promised service. Otherwise, why have they released the policy?

                    Isn't the Green's policy on providing free dental care to all Kiwis partly about building capacity in the dental services sector? See @14.3.2.

                    If "the Green Party is pretending that "NZ has the capacity" to deliver", then why would their policy include details about how to “deliver a public dentistry workforce“?

                    Implying that people will be getting free dental from 2024?

                    That's what you're implying. You're not thick, so what does that leave?
                    For the many, not the few smiley

                    I don’t find this kind of pork-barrel electioneering any more palatable from the left side of politics than I do from the right.

                    What are some examples of “pork-barrel electioneering” “from the right“, in your opinion?

                    • Belladonna

                      No point in discussing further. We're simply rehashing the ground.

                      If the GP want to convince the Centrists that this is serious policy, then they need to address the serious questions.

                      Implying that we're 'thick' for asking them – doesn't exactly get us on side.

                    • Belladonna

                      Oh, and just to make you happy – here's an example of pure pork-barrelling from National

                      "To support Kiwi families bearing the brunt of the cost-of-living crisis, National will introduce FamilyBoost – a childcare tax rebate of up to $75 per week on the costs of childcare."


                      This is a direct subsidy to the childcare centre industry. Little, if any, will stay in the pockets of 'Kiwi families'.

                  • Drowsy M. Kram

                    Implying that we’re ‘thick’ for asking them – doesn’t exactly get us on side.

                    Perhaps re-read @5:12 pm – your intelligence isn’t in question.

                    Oh, and just to make you happy – here's an example of pure pork-barrelling from National

                    Just to make me happy?! Wouldn't a true centrist make an effort to highlight pork-barrelling from the left and the right? Time will tell laugh

                    • Belladonna

                      The true Centrist has just done precisely that.

                      Even though it has nothing to do with the discussion in hand – and is actually an example of whaddaboutism.

                      Perhaps you might look at your biases – continually slinging off at me about being a true Centrist is getting pretty old.

                  • Drowsy M. Kram

                    Perhaps you might look at your biases –

                    I'm aware of and acknowledge my political biases – "From each according to his ability, to each according to his needs", nuff said.

                    But "perhaps you might look at your biases", as evinced by your furious barrage of 'centrist' comments dissing the Green's detailed and costed policy on free dental care for all Kiwis.

                    Still, fairs fair – with about two months until the general election, you deserve the benefit of the doubt. After all, you could be making equally prolific and disparging comments about ACT's policies on a right-leaning political blog – only you can know for sure.

                    Btw, are there any broadly centrist parties that appeal to you this election – perchance TOP, or New Zealand First?

                    And in this context, I think the NZF results are significant – not that this makes me one bit happy…..

                    • Belladonna

                      I've been entirely clear that I dislike Winston Peters – and feel that his only priority in power is 'what's in it for Winston'.

                      I do wonder if you understand that the Left needs to persuade Centrists to vote for their parties/polices. If so, you're, personally, doing a really poor job of persuading anyone who isn't already on board with your declared biases.

                      But, perhaps, as someone with a self-declared Marxist philosophy – the opinions of the bourgeoisie are irrelevant – after all – what value is democracy….

                  • Drowsy M. Kram

                    But, perhaps, as someone with a self-declared Marxist philosophy – the opinions of the bourgeoisie are irrelevant

                    You're middle class too? I'd be interested in your opinion about the value of "for the many, not the few", given spaceship Earth's inability to support our overshoot civilisation.


                    Zen and the art of motorway maintenance [7 August 2023]
                    In this sense the pothole is a good symbol how of this election is proceeding. There are itches all around the body politic that demand scratching. In the moment we are far more aware of them than we are of the tumour quietly growing inside, the virus caught but not yet symptomatic, the vehicle crash that awaits around the corner, the fire about to engulf our home. The snake oil retailers draw attention to the easy solutions to the surface and immediate issues and we are often only too willing to reward them for it.

                    As for "what value is democracy", it's easy voting Green. You have my sympathy for the trickier choices that political centrists face.

          • Blazer

            There has been a notable increase in migrants from Sth America in the last decade.Perhaps Brazil can help NZ with the shortage of dentists.

            'Dentistry is the area of health that has expanded the most in recent years in Brazil, with more than 264,000 dentists. That is equivalent to almost 20% of the dentists in the entire world, according to Dentistry Federative Counsel, in 2015. Dentistry, along with medicine and nursing, constitutes the basic nucleus of professionals of higher level of health in Brazil (IPEA 2015; Morita, Haddad, & Araujo, 2010). The rate of dentists to population in Brazil is about 737 habitants per dentist.

            Dental genetics in Brazil: Where we are – PMC (

      • arkie 14.3.2

        That's your reasoning for the status quo? From the policy document:

        To deliver a public dentistry workforce, the Green Party will:

        Increase domestic placements for dentistry
        Despite the clear need for more dentists, successive governments have capped the number of training places at just 60 per year. The Green Party will fund an additional 20 placements from 2024. We’ll review training pipelines and placement numbers in subsequent years to ensure we’re meeting demand for dentists. This will start to close workforce gaps and ensure the increased demand for public dental services can be met.

        Boost the Māori and Pasifika Workforce
        When whānau visit the dentist, it is important they feel safe and comfortable accessing the services they are entitled to. A key part of this is making sure the dentistry workforce reflects our communities. Right now, only 5 percent of dentists are Māori or Pasifika. The Green Party will support Māori and Pasifika pursue careers in dentistry by:

        • Introducing scholarships.
        • Ensuring Māori and Pasifika are supported to access domestic placements and complete their dentistry studies.
        • Ensuring the Health Workforce Plan 2023/24 actions to boost the Māori and Pasifika workforce apply to dentistry

        Training and upskilling Oral Health Therapists
        The Green Party will provide pathways for oral health therapists to treat adults through community providers. We will make sure licensing and workforce training reflects this and lift the cap on the domestic placements for oral health therapists.

        In addition to providing more training and career opportunities for people currently in Aotearoa, the Green Party will also maintain recruitment of internationally qualified dentists and specialists. We will develop recruitment actions in the Health Workforce 2023/24 Plan to apply to oral health professionals.

        • Belladonna

          That's your reasoning for the status quo?

          No. That's your assumption.

          I don't have a problem with increasing denistry places. Although this is far too little, far too late. I'm a firm believer that we need another dentistry school – my suggestion would be Waikato.

          The part I have issue with, is that – at the very earliest- this will result in an extra 20 dentists a year in 2029. Note: this will not even make up for the numbers retiring.

          It is entirely disingenuous, then, to announce free dental care for all. The GP have no idea how they would be able to staff such a system.

          It reminds one of the Labour promise of 100,000 houses – when it was clear that they had zero idea of how it could be carried out (and, indeed, all of the people who said that it was not actually possible, were right)

          • arkie

            Your criticism is that there isn't sufficient staffing so therefore this policy is not possible to institute? That is 100% accepting the status quo. If we want to improve outcomes for everyone increased funding for services is one of the only ways to achieve it.

            It's very easy to point out what's wrong with a plan; for instance your plan for a new dentistry school also wouldn't increase the number of dentists until 2029 either, so by your own standards it is a non-starter. Are you expecting to be taken seriously?

            • Belladonna

              Opening a new dental school would increase the supply of dentists long-term and provide redundancy and flexibility in the training of this speciality (one-source of supply is never a safe option).

              It has nothing to do with provision of free dental care.

              However, a promise to deliver free-dental care is worthless without the dentists to deliver it. It doesn't matter how much money you are (theoretically) able to throw at it. Pointing out that, appears to be incurring the wrath of the lefties blinded by the bling of political promises.

              • arkie

                Oh I see, current dentist cease to exist once free dental care is promised.

                What you are pointing out is that you think there are insufficient dentists now and that means, according to you, the policy is completely unworkable. Clearly we need to run everything past you so that we can be 'taken seriously'. Trying to increase the provision of dental care is not worth attempting unless Belladonna has personally deemed the policy to be perfect from the outset, we can't possibly have goals that aren't immediately achievable, we can’t build capacity over time it must already be there before any action can be taken.

                That is you argument.

                • Belladonna

                  Gosh, if you have no answers – just say so.
                  Making personal attacks because you don't like people pointing out the flaws in policies – is both trite and trivial.

                  • arkie

                    Personal attack? Lol. Can't see it, but I guess you did say I'm a 'blinded leftie'.

                    You have ignored any post pointing out the Greens are aware of the shortage and have a plan to increase dentist numbers. You have declared it won't work and is unserious. This is your opinion not a fact.

                    • Belladonna

                      So, explain

                      • Where are the dentists (and other oral health care professionals) going to come from in order to deliver this free-dental-care policy from 2024?

                      The GP's 'plan to increase dentist numbers' can only come into effect from 2029?

                      Even the most blinded leftie should be able to see a 5 year gap.

                    • arkie

                      From the existing pool of dentists initially and from the increased training numbers eventually, as well as by immigration and upskilling. As has been pointed out to you repeatedly.

                      You don't think this will work, you advocate for another dental school, which also doesn't immediately solve the dentist shortage problem, this also would have at the very least a 5 year gap.

                      What you are arguing is that it is unrealistic but you don't have a better solution, you just have an alternative priority that doesn't include doing anything initially to help with the current crisis of provision of oral health.

                      I like my politics to be aspirational, with a vision, a goal, even if it may take a lot of work to get there. This is what the Greens are proposing.

                    • Shanreagh

                      Arkie, This whole board works on opinions and views provided these are arguments are made in a careful referenced manner.

                      You are making your opinion known and so is BD.

                      In the persistance you are showing about someone else's very reasonable opinions I am reminded of the statement 'you can't make someone love you'.

                      We want and need people who can see the flaws, who make us think.

                      As you say we also want/need aspirational policies. Some of us would agree.

                      There is a time and a place for these too. With the ruling out of a wealth tax and the big problems we are facing as we try to pull the country out of a 'slough of despair' we do not need 'pie in the sky' (which is a meaning from me for 'aspirational' applied incorrectly, naively or with eyes closed).

                    • arkie

                      And Belladonna isn't also being persistent in their 'reasonable' assertions? The ‘flaws’ they point out are already acknowledged and planned for in the Greens policy, which is all I have been reiterating. I have not expressed an opinion on it other than praising the attempt to address the current inequity of oral health provision.

                      It is interesting to me that "Growing up/being realistic" means suppressing empathy/insisting society can't provide for all.

                      It is better to try, and fail, than it is to not try at all.

                    • Belladonna

                      Estimate is that there are 40% of NZers who cannot afford to go to the dentist now. I think that's an under-representation – but even taking those figures. You'd need 40% more dentists than we have now to accommodate this demand.

                      In 2024. Not in some future far-off time.

                      NZ is already trying to recruit overseas dentists to work here – it's going about as well as trying to recruit any of the other medical specialities that we're short of. Not, very.

                      The GP policy is to train and recruit internationally – neither of which will be producing effective numbers in 2024.

                      As I've pointed out, and you've repeatedly ignored. Having a plan to increase numbers is not the same as having a plan to have the numbers in place in 2024.

                      Aspiration is all very well. But pretending that your aspirational goals are concrete political reality is profoundly disingenuous.

                    • arkie

                      pretending that your aspirational goals are concrete political reality

                      Who is doing this? It's a policy proposal to take to post-election negotiations.

                      You are insisting that because the policy is not perfectly setup from it's proposed beginning it is somehow disingenuous and therefore no action should be taken. It's letting impossible perfection be the enemy of a good proposal.

                    • weka []

                      This is such an important point. People don’t seem to understand how electioneering happens. In truth, if the Greens got day 20 MPs and had the power to get this policy near the top of the post-election coalition building list, it’s going to be revamped and more detail worked out.

                      What we could be doing in this debate is looking at how to make the policy work, instead of naysaying. We could be starting with the principle of dental health care for all, and seeing how it could come about now. Not in some vague hand wave future. This is the brilliance of this year’s Green campaign, they pointing repeatedly to how we don’t have these things because of political choices (not because of dentist shortages), and that we can make different choices.

                      One practical thing I’m wondering is how many dental practitioners who aren’t dentists can do initial checks.

                • Descendant Of Smith

                  Some might be induced to change from doing cosmetic surgery for the well off to actual dentistry.

                  Likely not they are a mercenary bunch.

          • SPC

            The demand for new dentists would create pathways for foreign skilled workers to come here.

  15. joe90 15

    Tl;dw – the US is going to freeze the conflict in order to give themselves and the UK the time to use their experiences with the Taliban, ISIS, and modern neurolinguistic programming, aided by pagan sectarians and a fake pseudo orthodox church, to create a shop-till-you-drop kamikaze making nation of zombies unified by their homosexuality. Or something.

    And Niger.

    fwiw, transcript translation

    Julia Davis



    Putin's former advisor Sergei Markov claimed to know America's plans for Ukraine and laid them out on state TV. He demanded that Saudi-hosted talks in Jeddah ensure the participation of Viktor Yanukovych and Viktor Medvedchuk in future Ukrainian elections.

    • joe90 15.1

      Dollars to donuts the AfD isn't the only Western party getting Poots' cash.


      Leaked communications between Vladimir Sergienko, a naturalized German citizen, and “Alexei,” a suspected FSB operative, show the extent of Russia’s infiltration of the Alternative for Germany party. Their “active measures” included a plan to stop or slow delivery of German main battle tanks to Ukraine using frivolous litigation against the German government. It would only cost $93,000.

      Vladimir Sergienko, an aide to a Bundestag deputy, has been acting as an intermediary between the Kremlin and German lawmakers in the far-right Alternative for Germany (AfD) party, a joint investigation between The Insider and Der Spiegel can reveal. Sergienko, a staff member of AfD parliamentarian Eugen Schmidt, has helped coordinate AfD speeches, lobby for pro-Russian initiatives, and even helped trigger a lawsuit against his own government aimed at halting or slowing German weapons transfers to Ukraine – all at the instruction of a suspected Russian intelligence officer. Moreover, Sergienko personally shuttled cash between Moscow and Berlin and directed wire transfers to a German NGO sympathetic to the Kremlin to facilitate his efforts.

    • Francesca 15.2

      Easy to see why he's a former advisor

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    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 ...
    6 days 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 ...
    6 days 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 ...
    6 days 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 ...
    7 days 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 ...
    7 days 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 ...
    7 days 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 ...
    1 week ago
  • New Zealand and Vanuatu to deepen collaboration
    New Zealand and Vanuatu will enhance collaboration on issues of mutual interest, Foreign Minister Winston Peters says.    “It is important to return to Port Vila this week with a broad, high-level political delegation which demonstrates our deep commitment to New Zealand’s relationship with Vanuatu,” Mr Peters says.    “This ...
    1 week ago
  • Penk travels to Peru for trade meetings
    Minister for Land Information, Chris Penk will travel to Peru this week to represent New Zealand at a meeting of trade ministers from the Asia-Pacific region on behalf of Trade Minister Todd McClay. The annual Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) Ministers Responsible for Trade meeting will be held on 17-18 May ...
    1 week ago
  • Minister attends global education conferences
    Minister of Education Erica Stanford will head to the United Kingdom this week to participate in the 22nd Conference of Commonwealth Education Ministers (CCEM) and the 2024 Education World Forum (EWF). “I am looking forward to sharing this Government’s education priorities, such as introducing a knowledge-rich curriculum, implementing an evidence-based ...
    1 week ago
  • Education Minister thanks outgoing NZQA Chair
    Minister of Education Erica Stanford has today thanked outgoing New Zealand Qualifications Authority Chair, Hon Tracey Martin. “Tracey Martin tendered her resignation late last month in order to take up a new role,” Ms Stanford says. Ms Martin will relinquish the role of Chair on 10 May and current Deputy ...
    1 week ago
  • Joint statement of Christopher Luxon and Emmanuel Macron: Launch of the Christchurch Call Foundation
    New Zealand Prime Minister Christopher Luxon and President Emmanuel Macron of France today announced a new non-governmental organisation, the Christchurch Call Foundation, to coordinate the Christchurch Call’s work to eliminate terrorist and violent extremist content online.   This change gives effect to the outcomes of the November 2023 Call Leaders’ Summit, ...
    1 week ago
  • Panel announced for review into disability services
    Distinguished public servant and former diplomat Sir Maarten Wevers will lead the independent review into the disability support services administered by the Ministry of Disabled People – Whaikaha. The review was announced by Disability Issues Minister Louise Upston a fortnight ago to examine what could be done to strengthen the ...
    1 week ago
  • Minister welcomes Police gang unit
    Today’s announcement by Police Commissioner Andrew Coster of a National Gang Unit and district Gang Disruption Units will help deliver on the coalition Government’s pledge to restore law and order and crack down on criminal gangs, Police Minister Mark Mitchell says. “The National Gang Unit and Gang Disruption Units will ...
    1 week ago
  • New Zealand expresses regret at North Korea’s aggressive rhetoric
    Foreign Minister Winston Peters has today expressed regret at North Korea’s aggressive rhetoric towards New Zealand and its international partners.  “New Zealand proudly stands with the international community in upholding the rules-based order through its monitoring and surveillance deployments, which it has been regularly doing alongside partners since 2018,” Mr ...
    1 week ago
  • New Chief of Defence Force appointed
    Air Vice-Marshal Tony Davies MNZM is the new Chief of Defence Force, Defence Minister Judith Collins announced today. The Chief of Defence Force commands the Navy, Army and Air Force and is the principal military advisor to the Defence Minister and other Ministers with relevant portfolio responsibilities in the defence ...
    1 week ago
  • Government puts children first by repealing 7AA
    Legislation to repeal section 7AA of the Oranga Tamariki Act has been introduced to Parliament. The Bill’s introduction reaffirms the Coalition Government’s commitment to the safety of children in care, says Minister for Children, Karen Chhour. “While section 7AA was introduced with good intentions, it creates a conflict for Oranga ...
    1 week ago
  • Defence Minister to meet counterparts in UK, Italy
    Defence Minister Judith Collins will this week travel to the UK and Italy to meet with her defence counterparts, and to attend Battles of Cassino commemorations. “I am humbled to be able to represent the New Zealand Government in Italy at the commemorations for the 80th anniversary of what was ...
    1 week ago
  • Charter schools to lift educational outcomes
    The upcoming Budget will include funding for up to 50 charter schools to help lift declining educational performance, Associate Education Minister David Seymour announced today. $153 million in new funding will be provided over four years to establish and operate up to 15 new charter schools and convert 35 state ...
    1 week ago
  • COVID-19 Inquiry terms of reference consultation results received
    “The results of the public consultation on the terms of reference for the Royal Commission into COVID-19 Lessons has now been received, with results indicating over 13,000 submissions were made from members of the public,” Internal Affairs Minister Brooke van Velden says. “We heard feedback about the extended lockdowns in ...
    1 week ago

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