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Open mike 06/02/2011

Written By: - Date published: 6:00 am, February 6th, 2011 - 55 comments
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Open mike is your post.

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Comment on whatever takes your fancy.

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Step right up to the mike…

55 comments on “Open mike 06/02/2011”

  1. vto 1

    Newsflash: “r0b Admits Free Market Superiority”

    In an unprecedented announcement The Standard author and commentator r0b has come out and made an admission of free market superiority. Sources suggest that it may have simply been a bad day for the well known author whose previous politics has been staunchly anti-free market. The turn around has surprised many and has resulted in only 22 posts on the column in 24 hours, suggesting heavy discontent in The Standard community. r0b has not been available for comment (maybe still in bed on this lovely Sunday morning hee hee).

    The too big to fail myth

    • Lanthanide 1.1

      I don’t think it’s an admission of free market superiority at all.

      It’s a case of “if you’re going to do something, do it properly”.

      captcha: embarrasses

    • Bill 1.2

      Or then, maybe the impliciit suggestion is that the government should buffer the populace from the excesses of capitalism rather than bail out moneyed interests who deliberately generated unsustainable levels of debt through fraudulent trading and who transferred immense amounts of wealth to themselves from (often) the poorest members of society?

      And maybe…in line with the above…the suggestion is that government should get out of bed with those who seek to utterly financialise the enonomy (and possibly bring about a form of global serfdom on the way as everyone is forced to service impossible levels of leveraged and tradeable debt and/or risk) and (minimally) get back into its traditional bed alongside those who seek to use the economy for productive ends?

    • r0b 1.3

      Sorry I’m late, sorry, I was busy doing my photo shoot for Time (or was it Vogue? – I forget – so many appointments in the life of a top celebrity blogger).

      Anyway – g’day vto – and what? I’m on record here as supporting a mixed model economy (well of course they all are these days). Capitalism is OK with me, as long as it is well regulated, shaped by the democratic will of the people (with a careful eye on the environment and the future), and balanced with a comprehensive welfare system to support those in need.

      Pure centrally planned (Communism) doesn’t work and doesn’t exist. Pure market forces (unregulated Capitalism) doesn’t work and doesn’t exist. The balance lies in between, which is why I’m a democratic socialist.

      So yeah, let the big banks fail (while guaranteeing ordinary depositors up to some sensible maximum). The good that there is in the capitalist model comes from a balance of risk and reward. You can’t remove the risk.

      Sorry, gotta go, Oprah’s on the phone…

      • vto 1.3.1

        Ha ha, nice one. But, though I understand what you say above and it makes sense, what was suggested in your column is that leaving the market to itself (in this case to go bust to clear out the dead wood in order that new buds may shoot) worked far better than having the government step in to try and control things (as in Ireland, the UK etc).

        Putting aside the big picture settings you point out above, this is a clear example of how governments really can stuff things up quite often. And on a grand scale (here more grand than the original problem the Irish govt attempted to solve).

        This lesson can be applied to many many areas where governments intervene. This was / is one of the major problems right-tending voters have with the left, namely their blind philosophy that the government can step in to “sort things out” all the time.

        Perfect example. Was it intentional?

        • Colonial Viper 1.3.1.1

          This lesson can be applied to many many areas where governments intervene. This was / is one of the major problems right-tending voters have with the left, namely their blind philosophy that the government can step in to “sort things out” all the time.

          Perfect example. Was it intentional?

          Uh…the Irish Govt deliberately took their hands off the regulatory wheel, and deliberately attracted hot liquid capital flows from overseas via a minimum of restrictions, taxes and costs. In other words the people who were driving the Irish regulatory framework appeared to be Ayn Rand libertarians who did not seem to believe in regulatory frameworks, controls, restrictions etc.

          So, if you are saying that the Irish Govt helped cause the country’s massive financial problems then yes it did. By not taking the Governmental role of financial industry and corporate regulation seriously

        • ianmac 1.3.1.2

          Dimpost has a good roundup by Michael Lewis on the economy in Ireland:
          http://www.vanityfair.com/business/features/2011/03/michael-lewis-ireland-201103

  2. Jenny 2

    Sweet and Sour

    Three headline stories from stuff.co.nz today:

    For a country that prides itself on being a food producer to the world, these three reports from Stuff, reveal that what is dished up to New Zealanders is often adulterated and overpriced.

    1# “Soaring prices put farming in “Sweet” spot

    2# “NZ milk prices “Sour” shoppers”

    3# Gassing “Fakes” meat freshness

    As well as being very expensive, here in Papakura, Saveway red meat is horrible, especially the steak and they cut it so thin.

    The chicken and pork and lamb at Saveway is all right, presumably white meat is not able to be adulterated with the gas ‘treatment’ that makes old meat look fresh.

    I might get my meat from the Mad Butcher, even though they are more expensive, though not as expensive as Countdown which admit to adulterating their meat.

    The price of milk is a scandal everywhere.

    Will there be any government enquiry into New Zealand’s food scandal?

    Should GST be removed from food to make it more affordable to flax roots New Zealanders?

    • Bill 2.1

      And when these things become the focus of speculation (if they aren’t already), then the price will eventually soar to levels that make them unaffordable, rather than merely less affordable as they are at present.

      As for adulterating food. That was why regulations were brought in. Unfortunately, the cost of the regulatory regimes favour those bigger players who were responsible for the regulatory regimes having to be brought in, in the first place.

      And any thoughts of subsidising certain foods would run foul of those endlessly touted ‘free trade’ deals and their enforcable ‘anti-competition’ clauses.

      At the moment, it’s dairy and meat that are slipping out of reach. Tomorrow, what with the government assisted drive by financial elites to drive down wages and dismantle social welfare systems, many of us will eventually join the ranks of the billions who can’t afford bog standard basics like bread and rice.

      Or do we think that state of affairs is to be preserved for non-pink foreigners only?

      • higherstandard 2.1.1

        Food prices aren’t helped by the supermarket duopoly/cartel we have set up in NZ.

        • Herodotus 2.1.1.1

          Just wait for food inflation to Really hit- Sugar is to hit the roof in price due to Queensland floods. Sugar like salt is an input ingrediant for many low cost food, then we have a few dry spots around the world. Dairy price on the move, I have it from a good source butter is about to commence a trip to over $6/kg – but then almost all commodities are on the move.. W
          NZ was continualy commented on for cheep renewable power and producing food. It appears that those living in NZ are fast lossing the benefits of these qualities as we ship them off to the highest bidder and only a very selected few benefit.
          http://tvnz.co.nz/business-news/sugar-prices-hit-record-high-4012775

          • KJT 2.1.1.1.1

            There is absolutely no reason why we should pay more for NZ produced building materials than Australians. More for NZ produced meat than in the UK. More for NZ milk products than Singapore.
            While our wages are lower than any of them.
            How much of the claimed efficiency of our exporters is because of these hidden subsidies?
            Are they really contributing as much to NZ as they claim?

            • Lanthanide 2.1.1.1.1.1

              Sounds like the sort of thing that Labour should be pushing for an investigation on as part of their campaign. Can’t got wrong really.

    • The Voice of Reason 2.2

      Here’s one way of saving money, eating healthier and helping the world:

      World Vegetarian Day October 1st

    • Deadly_NZ 2.3

      And you missed the one about the little man getting the screw. (As usual.) But the banks are still getting their money.

      http://www.stuff.co.nz/business/money/4622457/Bank-gets-millions-as-small-investors-wait

      • KJT 2.3.1

        Also missed the other one about how US states are being encouraged to break contracts to retired state employees to continue tax cuts for the very rich.

    • Vicky32 2.4

      “Should GST be removed from food to make it more affordable to flax roots New Zealanders?”
      Absolutely… Also, IMO tampons and similar things, after all, they are necessities.
      Deb

  3. Crashcart 3

    Two interesting tid bits from the herald this morning. The first I almost missed which was Keys speech pointing out that there were already new Zealand interests interested in buying large portions of the shares from privatising state owned assets. He states this like it validates what NACT want to do rather than showing that it is an blatant attempt to shift the profit earned from these assets from the state into the hands of his mates. Now those profitable assets will generate money for the lucky few rather than the ones who invested their tax dollars in setting them up.

    Secondly was a good editorial about Simon Powers new bill to remove the right to silence because it may save time in the court system. I suppose having less ability to defend yourself from charges may reduce court time. While we’re at it lets go start stripping away more of our basic rights. After attacking the previous government about the election spending bill they have the audacity to come out with this.

    • Colonial Viper 3.1

      Save time in the courts? Lets just go the Banana republic route and have a couple of Government appointed judges on a tribunal deciding all cases. Forget juries and appeals too. Voila, efficiency supreme.

      • Crashcart 3.1.1

        And when the verdict is in they have 30 mins to make appeal, 30 mins after that they are marched out back and shot. Time and money savings galour.

        • ianmac 3.1.1.1

          And the convicted must pay for the bullets or an extra fine shall be imposed. Cost cutting.

          • Deadly_NZ 3.1.1.1.1

            And the Appeal will be Left or Right ear.

            • Colonial Viper 3.1.1.1.1.1

              Still plenty of costs incurred up to this point. Selling both kidneys (neither will be required by the convict) should recoup them however.

            • Deadly_NZ 3.1.1.1.1.2

              Thats why the Head shot dont ruin all those valuable organs.. heart , liver , lungs. and if done right eyes Kidneys pay the Bill the rest is the gravy… chinese justice anyone??? well if we buy their goods and they buy our Countrys Infrastructure from Jkeyll and co, then it’s obvious they will own our country, sooner or later. Thanx John you, you ……………………

      • higherstandard 3.1.2

        Are you suggesting we model the judicial system on the privileges committee?

    • Lanthanide 3.2

      My boyfriend pointed out that Fonterra, our largest company, is a co-operative.

      Why can’t Key propose that the privatisation of the power companies will be done as a co-operative model, where the customers own them? That way we can guarantee they won’t end up in foreign hands, while also ensuring that they have no incentive to price gouge.

      Why won’t they do it? Because they’re following ideology, pure and simple.

      • Colonial Viper 3.2.1

        Worker co-operatives can be extremely commercially successful and reap handsome rewards for worker-owners. As well as giving them a firm say in major decisions made.

        Tory farmers know this. Ironic they would back elements of a democratic socialist approach huh.

  4. Jenny 4

    .
    An estimated 500 people gathered in Queen Street Auckland, to show solidarity with the Egyptian people in revolt against the Egyptian dictatorship.

    Yesterday’s protest was part of international solidarity actions.

    Though the majority of the marchers were mostly Egyptian expatriates, there was a visible presence from the Greens Party and the Unite Union.

    The importance of this march and the many others like it, around the world, was to make it clear to the Mubarak regime that any slaughter or attack on the Egyptian people by the regime would be met with world wide outrage, and possible solidarity actions and sanctions.

    The other message from the marchers given in their signs and chants and speeches was that John Key’s support for Mubarak was a disgrace and an international embarrassment.

    One Egyptian speaker told the crowd, “I am not going to tell you who to vote for, but no one should vote for someone who supports tyranny and corruption.”

    Keith Locke addressed the marchers. Keith Locke said he was speaking for the Green Party as an official representative of the Green Party and caucus. “The Green Party totally support the struggle for democracy in Egypt” he said.

    He said that the Greens Party would be asking hard questions of the National Government over their support for for the Mubarak regime at the first day of parliament on Tuesday.

    Veteran activist and trade union leader Mike Treen spoke for GPJA, comparing the struggle of the Egyptian people to the struggle against apartheid in South Africa which all New Zealanders should support, he said. Treen as well as criticising Key also questioned Murray McCully for saying Mubarak should be the one who should be bringing stability to Egypt.

    The following is a link to a photo montage of the Auckland march on the Kia Ora Gaza website.

    Can anyone give a report of the Wellington march?

  5. Jenny 5

    .
    Report of Egyptian international solidarity protests in the US, (The one in Washington DC longer than a city block, filling Pennsylvania Ave in Front of the White House.)

    Check it out:http://www.answercoalition.org/national/news/nationwide-demonstrations-egypt.html

    As the Vietnam war protests showed, the Americans can be relied on to invent the best chants.

    capcha – “faith”

  6. Chris73 6

    My NZ team for the cricket world cup

    1. B McCullum
    2. M Guptill
    3. J Ryder
    4. R Taylor
    5. S Styris
    6. J Franklin
    7. N McCullum
    This batting line up should be set in stone
    8. D Vettori
    9. K Mills
    10. T Southee
    11. H Bennet
    Not going to argue if this order is moved around and Oram will probably be injured, if not he can replace Bennett or Southee depending on conditions

    Go the Black Caps!

    • Pat 6.1

      No – Oram and Mills should be competing for one spot.

      And if we lose a wicket during the batting power-play (which we usually do) Southee should be the next man in as a pinch-hitter. He could do some real damage with the field up and a licence to go for it.

      • Chris73 6.1.1

        I think Mills is dependable and Orams probably going to be injured but I’m thinking McCullum as pinch-hitter/finisher should be the way to go

    • millsy 6.2

      Cant see the Crap Caps getting too far in this world cup.

      They are more useless than they were back in the dark years that occured after Hadlee retired (1991 – 1998).

      Someone really needs to teach them that the object of opening the batting is to build a partnership, not throw away your wicket after getting 20 or 30, and whoever looks after the medical side of things needs to be given the boot. Having our best fast bowlers break down time after time is unacceptable (I dont recall Glen McGrath having time out with injury).

      Having said that, having John Wright as coach, is a step in the right direction.

  7. NickS 7

    I can has new council?:
    http://www.stuff.co.nz/national/politics/4620682/Ghost-bikes-fail-to-win-council-support

    While things have gotten better for cyclists in Christchurch, due to the council still freezing the placement of new bike lanes on all but new road works, and the fact some people still don’t understand basic physics and as such can’t grok what happens when bike vs car, it’s not exactly a smooth ride. And putting up white crosses is a poor option due to it already being strongly associated with motor vehicle accident deaths.

    But hey, those stupid cyclists should have just been driving right? /sarcasm

  8. NickS 8

    http://www.stuff.co.nz/national/4623207/Mayors-plea-for-open-cast-mine

    Yes, because there’s not a fracking _mountain_ range sitting on top the coal seam, covered with old growth native forest and in no way does that overburden need to be dumped somewhere, in a part of the NZ that’s lacking in abundant dumping sites and low erosion coastal areas that can be filled in. With no costs at all with removing and dumping all that overburden and to tourism on the Coast that help make the tunnelling option somewhat more viable in the first place.

  9. What the hell is Mat .McCarten playing at ? He spends as much Space critizing Labour and Goff in particular, as he does the Nats ,more in fact.. Where has his Left Wing sympathies gone? The fact that he has a column in the Herald is bad enough but to continuously criticize Goff is mind bogling .Surely a man of his experience knows that only under Labour/Green with warts and all is there any chance of worker friendly policies. Im sick to death of the attacks on Goff bad enough from the Nacts but from one who is supposed to be on our side its gut wrenching.

    • tsmithfield 9.1

      Obviously says a lot about the state of Labour at the moment.

      • Doesn’t say anything about the state of Labour at all .It tells us that some people forget their roots once they start to get a bit of money .It obvious Mat is earning a few bob with his columns and the Herald gives him a stroke or two. sad.!!

        • Chris73 9.1.1.1

          Bollix

          Hes being critical of the Labour party because he sees what they’re doing is wrong and how they should change, you should take off your rose-tinted glasses and take notice

    • Deadly_NZ 9.2

      Yeah but really McCarten is not really a politician, more like a shit stirring wanna be.

  10. tsmithfield 10

    Anyhoo. 37 degrees today in Christchurch. I’m definitely not a global warming skeptic now. 🙂

    • ianmac 10.1

      36 degrees in Blenheim today at 2:50 so watch out Christchurch. We’re right behind you!

      • Its just bloody hot in Cambridge ,but as one who served an apprenticship at Newmarket UK .I rode out on Newmarket Heath every day in the winter of 1946. There were no clothing allowances then so we were freezing cold . I have never complained about the heat since .However its still bloody hot!

    • NickS 10.2

      Yeah, I could kill for a car right now so I could get out of here for a swim…

      Too bloody hot to bike without spontaneously combusting.

      • Anne 10.2.1

        Hey NickS, I’m not one for skiting. It’s not in my nature. But dropped in to the local super-market for a few bits and pieces. Had the presence of mind to pop me swim-suit on under me shorts. Took a spin down to the local beach (one minute car-ride from the Sm) and had a long, cool swim. Arhhhhh- the bliss…

  11. rod 11

    It’s getting pretty hot in the Maori Party as well.

  12. Bored 12

    It is hard to reconcile BUT Deborah Coddington in her Herald spot makes some points I totally agree with. What she is objecting to are some provisions in the proposed Criminal Procedure Bill by which we would lose our right to silence. Further prior to trial defendants would have to supply their defense to the prosecution. All rather draconian and totalitarian. Well said Deborah.

    http://www.nzherald.co.nz/opinion/news/article.cfm?c_id=466&objectid=10704372

    • Rosy 12.1

      So how many rights are we losing under Nact now?
      Search and surveillance – free association
      Criminal Justice – right to silence
      The trust legislation – financial equality
      Ecan legislation – the right to vote
      Gerry Brownlee, king of everything – whatever he decides
      Auckland City – structure of government and control over local assets
      Foreshore and Seabed – the weeping sore

      Have I missed anything? Not bad in 2 and a bit years. From the party that campaigned on freedom from govt interference.

  13. KJT 13

    http://www.nzherald.co.nz/nz/news/article.cfm?c_id=1&objectid=10704399

    The sell off continues. I presume this was previously public land sold to the runholders.

  14. Colonial Viper 14

    Cameron lifts play straight from Winston Peters

    Or is that Don Brash?

    http://www.guardian.co.uk/politics/2011/feb/05/david-cameron-attack-multiculturalism-coalition

    Cameron told the Munich Security Conference, attended by world leaders, that state multiculturalism had failed in this country and pledged to cut funding for Muslim groups that failed to respect basic British values.

    He blamed the radicalisation of Muslim youths and the phenomenon of home-grown terrorism on the sense of alienation that builds among young people living in separate communities and the “hands-off tolerance” of groups that peddle separatist ideology.

    Just a few hours later, EDL leader Stephen Lennon told the crowd they were part of a “tidal wave of patriotism” that was sweeping the UK.

    Activists, some wearing balaclavas and others waving English flags, chanted “Muslim bombers off our streets” and “Allah, Allah, who the fuck is Allah”.

  15. tea 15

    http://www.post-gazette.com/pg/11036/1123356-84.stm

    “…holds schools accountable for math and reading scores at the expense of the kind of creative, independent exploration that science fair projects require.”

    The results of no child left behind and national standards at a young age in the USA.

  16. Colonial Viper 16

    Call for open cast mining

    Because that is what the deceased Pike River miners would have wanted…apparently. It will also happen to make more money that way.

    Kokshoorn said open-cast mining was safer and the financial benefits outweighed environmental concerns.

    “I believe that mine will operate into the future… it will be open-cast or tunnel mining. Open-cast is safer.

    “You can get 95% recovery, whereas if you tunnel, you only get 60% of the coal out because you have to leave pillars behind to hold the mountain up.”

    The estimated $6b seam could generate $10b extracted that way. “The possibility is there and I think the deceased miners would have wanted that.”

    http://www.stuff.co.nz/national/4623207/Mayors-plea-for-open-cast-mine

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  • Worse than I thought
    The Foreign Affairs, Defence and Trade Committee has reported back on the government's odious and tyrannical control orders bill. As expected, the fraudulent select committee process has made no significant changes (partly because they couldn't agree, but mostly because it was a stitch-up from the start, with no intention of ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    6 days ago
  • The cannabis bill and the referendum
    Yesterday, the government released its draft Cannabis Legalisation and Control Bill, which will be put to a non-binding referendum at the next election. I'm not a drug policy expert, but Russell Brown is, and he thinks its pretty good. And pretty obviously, it will be a massive improvement on the ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    6 days ago
  • Hard News: The Cannabis Legalisation and Control Bill: pretty good so far
    As you're probably aware, the draft bill outlining the proposed legal cannabis regime to be put to a referendum late next year was published yesterday, and has already attracted a flurry of comment. It's notable that a good deal of the comment is about proposals that aren't actually new.A minimum ...
    6 days ago
  • Climate Change: Alignment
    One of the big problems in New Zealand climate change policy is the government working at cross-purposes with itself. It wants to reduce fossil fuel use, but encourages oil and gas exploration. It wants to reduce transport emissions, but then builds enormous new roads. The problem could be avoided if ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    6 days ago
  • How climate change will affect food production and security
    Climate Explained is a collaboration between The Conversation, Stuff and the New Zealand Science Media Centre to answer your questions about climate change. If you have a question you’d like an expert to answer, please send it to climate.change@stuff.co.nz According to the United Nations, food shortages are a threat ...
    SciBlogsBy Guest Author
    6 days ago
  • More bad faith
    Last year, the government announced it was ending offshore oil exploration by no longer issuing new permits. The idea was that the industry would then die off as permits expired. Except almost immediately the government revealed its bad faith, by saying they would extend permits and alter conditions to keep ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    7 days ago
  • Banning foreign money from our elections
    The government has said it will ban foreign donations to political parties and candidates, and will be introducing legislation to be passed under all-stages urgency this afternoon. While I agree with the goal, I don't see a particular case for urgency, unless the government is concerned about a flood of ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    7 days ago
  • Reforming the Education Acts
    The government introduced the Education and Training Bill to Parliament yesterday. Its a massive bill, which replaces both existing Education Acts, as well as various other bits of legislation (including some which are still proceeding through the House). I'll leave the serious analysis to teachers and people who actually know ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    7 days ago
  • Bite-sized learning
    Amelia SharmanThere’s no one-size-fits-all when it comes to micro-credentials, those bits of bite-sized learning that can help workers stay on top of technological change.  What’s a micro-credential? While definitions vary, micro-credentials can be understood as short courses that allow people to learn new skills or have an existing competency recognised. ...
    SciBlogsBy Guest Author
    1 week ago
  • “Not The Labour Party We Once Knew.”
    All Smiles Now: Claire Szabo is taking up her presidential role after serving as the CEO of Habitat For Humanity. Which is absolutely perfect! After KiwiBuild was so comprehensively mismanaged by Phil Twyford, the party has not only elected a new president from a thoroughly respectable not-for-profit, but one who ...
    1 week ago
  • Marxist versus liberal methodology on transgender ideology/identity politics
    While much of the NZ left has transitioned to postmodern and identity politics in relation to transgender ideology, there are some very good articles about that deploy Marxist methodology in relation to this subject.  The one below is from the British marxist group Counterfire and appeared on their site here ...
    RedlineBy Admin
    1 week ago
  • Book review: The Farm by Joanne Ramos
    by Daphna Whitmore At Golden Oaks, a luxurious country retreat in the Hudson Valley, pregnant women have the best care money can buy. From the organic food, personalised exercise programmes, private yoga instruction and daily massages Golden Oaks looks like a country lodge for the upper class. Set some time ...
    RedlineBy Daphna
    1 week ago
  • Loosening the purse strings
    When Labour was running for election in 2017, it felt it needed to demonstrate "fiscal responsibility" and signed itself up to masochistic "budget responsibility rules". It was a fool's errand: the sorts of voters who demand fiscal responsibility are also the sorts of voters who believe that labour can never ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • Climate Change: How to get there
    Writing in Stuff, Joel MacManus looks at what we need to do to meet the Zero Carbon Act's targets. The core of it:1. Convert 85 per cent of vehicles on the road to electric. 2. Eliminate fossil fuels from all industrial heating up to 300 degrees Celsius. 3. Double our ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • anti-vaxxers in a measles epidemic: so many ways to be untruthful
    “Anti-vaxers are a pro-death movement,” those comments from Dr Helen Petousis-Harris speaking about six more Measles related deaths in Samoa over the past twenty-four hours. “Anti-vaxers are a pro-death movement,” those comments from Dr Helen Petousis-Harris speaking about six more Measles related deaths in Samoa ...
    SciBlogsBy Alison Campbell
    1 week ago
  • Is Youth Vaping a Problem in New Zealand?
    Professors Janet Hoek and Richard Edwards, Emeritus Professor Phil Gendall, Jude Ball, Dr Judith McCool, Anaru Waa, Dr Becky Freeman Recent media reports have presented conflicting evidence on youth vaping in NZ. While some NZ school principals report concerns about increasing vaping on school grounds and confiscating vapes, ASH Year ...
    SciBlogsBy Public Health Expert
    1 week ago
  • In pursuit of “Freedom and Democracy”: Forever Wars in “America’s backyard”.
    “America the Beautiful!”, staunch defender of democracy, freedom and… a whole lot of despotic tyrants that play nice with what is called “the Washington Consensus.” America is indeed capable of immense good, but like any Nation, and most assuredly any aspirant to the mantle of Empire, great, immense evil. All ...
    exhALANtBy exhalantblog
    1 week ago
  • November ’19 – NZ blogs sitemeter ranking
    Image credit: The beginner’s guide to blogging I notice a few regulars no longer allow public access to the site counters. This may happen accidentally when the blog format is altered. If your blog is ...
    1 week ago
  • Whodunnit? Finding the mystery 1080 testing lab
    1080 is used to control pests in NZ. Its use is contested by a noisy few. A new report claims high levels of 1080 in rats washed up on a beach. Flora and Fauna of Aotearoa (F&F) won’t name the laboratory that did their testing. It has sparked a hunt ...
    SciBlogsBy Grant Jacobs
    1 week ago
  • Authoritarian Friends, Democratic Enemies.
    What Kind Of Empire? The thing for Kiwis to decide is what kind of empire they want to belong to. The kind that, while offering its own citizens democratic rights, demands absolute obedience from its “friends”? Or, the kind that, while authoritarian at home, takes a relaxed attitude to the ...
    1 week ago
  • Boris Johnson Goes Down
    It hasn't been a good week for the Conservatives, pollwise.  All major recent polls are showing their lead shrinking.Comparing each pollster's current (between 29/11 and 22/11) and previous most recent poll.Com Res - Conservative lead down 3 points.You Gov - Conservative lead down 1 point.Kantar - Conservative lead down 4 ...
    1 week ago
  • Interesting
    Within quick succession, Countdown maths wizard and twitterer Rachel Riley, alleged comedian David Baddiel and prominent lawyer Andrew Julius have all expressed very similar opinions / ideas:
    These #3billboards are going round London today, organised by ex-Labour people, horrified by what their party has become. Their principles haven’t changed, they’re ...
    1 week ago
  • Damn the Polls
    So, there have been a bunch of bad polls out for Labour, and even the Leftie's friend, Survation, have recently given the Conservatives a rip-snorting 11% lead.  You Gov's much vaunted MRP poll - which pretty much nailed the result in 2015 - is currently predicting a comfortable majority for ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Climate Change: Europe declares an emergency
    The European Parliament has voted overwhelmingly to declare a climate emergency:The European parliament has declared a global “climate and environmental emergency” as it urged all EU countries to commit to net zero greenhouse gas emissions by 2050. The vote came as scientists warned that the world may have already crossed ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • A Bi-Partisan Commitment To X-ing “P”.
    Pure Fear: Worse than Heroin, this drug’s addictive power was terrifying. People under its influence didn’t drift off to Elysium. Nor did it persuade inadequate individuals that they could conquer the world. No, this drug – pure crystal methamphetamine, “P” for short – unlocked the gates of Hell itself. It ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Advice about measles: when ignorance is definitely not a virtue
    As the rate of measles infection, and of deaths, continues to climb in Samoa, antivaccination activists infectious disease proponents seem intent on doubling down on their claims about vaccination. (Check pretty much any news-media FB post about measles & you’ll see exactly what I mean.) Unfortunately, some of them have ...
    SciBlogsBy Alison Campbell
    2 weeks ago
  • Samoa’s devastating measles epidemic – why and how bad?
    Samoa are experiencing a devastating measles epidemic. It is possible that 2-3% of the population will ultimately be infected by the time it is over. Hopefully the mass immunisation campaign currently under way can mitigate some of this, for many it is too late. The first question many people ask ...
    SciBlogsBy Helen Petousis Harris
    2 weeks ago
  • “It’s basic rights we are defending”: the Meghan Murphy interview
    Meghan Murphy is a Canadian writer and journalist She runs the Feminist Current website which she founded in 2012.  She was a keynote speaker for the Feminism2020 conference in Wellington this month. When Massey University cancelled the original venue booking Feminism2020 was hosted in Parliament by MP David Seymour. Meghan ...
    RedlineBy Admin
    2 weeks ago
  • A week of protests in Colombia
    Text and photos by Gearóid Ó Loingsigh Colombia has lived through one week of protests against the economic measures taken by president Duque. What looked like a protest that would fizzle out after its first day on November 21st is still going strong. Part of the reason for the continuance ...
    RedlineBy Admin
    2 weeks ago
  • Anti-neutrinos–When you are your own opposite
    Around a million billion pass through you each second, almost all originating from our sun, but few of them are likely to interact with you enroute. I was reading in a physics magazine earlier in the week about the nature of neutrinos. These are extremely numerous elementary particles, but only ...
    SciBlogsBy Marcus Wilson
    2 weeks ago
  • Exoplanets, life, and the danger of a single study
    By Pallab Ghosh There’s value in covering new research advances, even when the underlying science is unsettled. But there are also risks. The recent announcement that scientists discovered water on the planet K2-18b, 110 light years away, prompted a media swoon. News stories, including a piece written by me, billed ...
    SciBlogsBy Guest Author
    2 weeks ago
  • The Intersex Continuum
    I wrote this review a couple of years ago when I was still in the process of getting my head around the politics of transgenderism, and specifically the claim that intersex conditions lend support to the notion that sex is ‘socially constructed’. Since writing this review I have come across ...
    RedlineBy Admin
    2 weeks ago
  • Leaving us with the bill
    Two weeks ago, Malaysian-owned oil company Tamarind declared it was insolvent and went into administration after a failed offshore drilling campaign. Tamarind apparently specialises in buying oil fields at the end of their life and trying to squeeze out the last few drops of pollution. But part of their scam ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • How much does flying contribute to climate change?
    Climate Explained is a collaboration between The Conversation, Stuff and the New Zealand Science Media Centre to answer your questions about climate change. If you have a question you’d like an expert to answer, please send it to climate.change@stuff.co.nz How much does our use of air travel contribute to the ...
    SciBlogsBy Shaun Hendy
    2 weeks ago
  • Climate Change: The task before us
    Two weeks ago, the Zero Carbon Act became law. Right this moment, the Climate Change Commisison will be working on its initial budgets for 2022-25 and 2026-2030, and the UN has just given them a very clear steer:Countries must make an unprecedented effort to cut their levels of greenhouse gases ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • Among my favourite asteroids: (2309) Mr. Spock
    Minor planet/asteroid (2309) Mr. Spock is named not for the character in Star Trek, but for a cat that was itself imperturbable, logical, intelligent and had pointed ears In a preceding blog post I introduced one of my favourite asteroids, (2472) Bradman, and also mentioned (6581) Sobers amongst a few ...
    SciBlogsBy Duncan Steel
    2 weeks ago
  • Measles deaths and antivax misinformation
    Today the death toll from measles in Samoa rose to 32. All but four of the dead were less than 5 years old. Absolutely terrible, heartbreaking, news. That statistic alone should be enough to give the lie to the common claim by antivaccination activists plague enthusiasts that “measles is a ...
    SciBlogsBy Alison Campbell
    2 weeks ago
  • Colombia: the state murder of Dilan Cruz
    by Gearóid Ó Loingsigh It is late here in Bogotá, almost 11.30pm on Monday the 25th of November as I write this. The day began full of hope with yet more massive marches throughout the country, a mix of the International Day of Non-Violence Against Women and the National Strike. ...
    RedlineBy Admin
    2 weeks ago
  • Anti-fluoride propagandists appear not to read the articles they promote
    Anti-fluoride activists are rubbing their hands in glee over what they claim is “yet another study” showing fluoride harms the brains of children. But their promotion relies on IQ relationships which the paper’s authors acknowledge disappearing when outliers or other factors are considered. And they completely ignore other relationships ...
    2 weeks ago
  • The rise and collapse of classical political economy
    The feature below is the conclusion of A History of Economic Thought, whose author was a leading Marxist economist in Russia in the early 20th century, Isaac Ilyich Rubin.  The book arose from a course he ran at Moscow University following the Russian Revolution.  First published in Russian in 1929, ...
    RedlineBy Admin
    2 weeks ago
  • Among my favourite asteroids: (2472) Bradman
    There are many thousands of asteroids with formal names, some humdrum but other more noteworthy (depending on your predilections). One of my favourites, the name of which I was involved in suggesting, is (2472) Bradman, named for the Australian cricketing great.  As a minor planet (synonym: asteroid) spotter, I have ...
    SciBlogsBy Duncan Steel
    2 weeks ago
  • Some cheap soundbites i thought up while reading about the underwhelming Conservative manifesto
    Tory manifesto: big on austerity, low on promise, non-existent on delivery. The Tories: the party so big on ambition they couldn't be arsed writing a manifesto. MLK: "I have a dream!"BJ: "I'll just have a nap." Labour: Broadband!Tories: Narrow minds! Labour have hope, dreams and ambition. The Tories will save ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Measles vaccination required to travel to islands and Phillipines
    The Ministry of Health has announced that “people under the age of 50 travelling from New Zealand to Samoa, Tonga, Philippines and Fiji” are now on the list of national priorities for MMR vaccination. Given the outbreaks of measles in Samoa, Tonga, Philippines and Fiji, the Ministry of Health is ...
    SciBlogsBy Grant Jacobs
    2 weeks ago
  • Giving the finger to Beijing
    Hong Kong has been protesting for six months for, demanding democracy, human rights, and an end to police violence. Today, they went to the polls in district council elections - a low-level of government with virtually no power, similar to community boards in New Zealand. But while the positions themselves ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • Colombia’s national strike
    Text and photos by Gearóid Ó Loingsigh On Friday 22nd of November a curfew came into effect and troops were deployed on the streets, here in Bogota. It was the first time since September 1977 that a curfew had been imposed on the city. The decision was a cynical pre-planned ...
    RedlineBy Admin
    2 weeks ago
  • National supports slavery
    Meanwhile, while the government is planning to restore voting rights to prisoners, National is promising to turn our prisons into US-style slave-labour camps:The Opposition is proposing compulsory education, training or employment for prisoners who are serving sentences of two years or more. [...] On Sunday, National Party Leader Simon Bridges ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • Erasing the infamy
    Last year, the Supreme Court confirmed that National's prisoner voting ban - a law so shoddily passed that it brought Parliament into disrepute - breached the Bill of Rights Act. This year, the Waitangi Tribunal added that it also breached the Treaty of Waitangi. And now, the government has finally ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • Trade unions that never fight the sex industry bosses
    Excerpts from Being and Being Bought, by Kajsa Ekis Ekman Spinifex Press, 2013. Ekman, a Swedish journalist and critic, brings together a Marxist and feminist analysis of prostitution and surrogacy in this groundbreaking book. This is the second part of a synopsis and brief commentary of the book by Daphna ...
    RedlineBy Daphna
    2 weeks ago
  • A Team Approach to Tackling the Psychology Replication Crisis
    Dalmeet Singh Chawla In 2008, psychologists proposed that when humans are shown an unfamiliar face, they judge it on two main dimensions: trustworthiness and physical strength. These form the basis of first impressions, which may help people make important social decisions, from who to vote for to how long a ...
    SciBlogsBy Guest Author
    2 weeks ago
  • Big Pharma has failed: the antibiotic pipeline needs to be taken under public ownership
    Claas Kirchhelle, University of Oxford; Adam Roberts, Liverpool School of Tropical Medicine, and Andrew Singer, Centre for Ecology & Hydrology Antibiotics are among the most important medicines known to humankind, but we are running out of this crucial resource. Decisive action is needed if we are to retain access to ...
    SciBlogsBy Guest Author
    2 weeks ago
  • A Bloody Great Political Story (From A Parallel Universe).
    Things That Make You Go - Hmmmm: “All right. Let me come at this another way. I’m guessing that what you’ve got in that box contains names, dates, bank account numbers – all the details you need to put Winston Peters and Jacinda Ardern squarely in the cross-hairs. So, the first ...
    2 weeks ago

  • Government to fund lion’s share of Ohakea water scheme
    The Government will fund the bulk of the cost of a rural water supply for the Ohakea community affected by PFAS contamination, Environment Minister David Parker announced today at a meeting of local residents. This new water scheme will provide a reliable and clean source of drinking water to the ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    15 hours ago
  • Prime Minister statement on White Island eruption
    I have had the opportunity to be briefed on the details of the volcanic eruption of Whakaari/White Island, off the coast of Whakatane in the Bay of Plenty.  The eruption happened at 2.11pm today.  It continues to be an evolving situation.  We know that there were a number of tourists ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    15 hours ago
  • Govt funds $100k for weather-hit communities
    Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern and Minister of Civil Defence Peeni Henare have today confirmed initial Government support of $100,000 for communities affected by the severe weather that swept across the South Island and lower North Island over the weekend. The contribution will be made to Mayoral relief funds across the ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    18 hours ago
  • Death of NZ High Commissioner to Cook Islands
    New Zealand's High Commissioner to the Cook Islands, Tessa Temata, died in Palmerston North over the weekend, Foreign Minister Winston Peters said today. Ms Temata, 52, had recently returned to New Zealand for medical treatment. "On behalf of the Government and the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade, we extend ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    22 hours ago
  • Wellington rail upgrade full steam ahead
    Transport Minister Phil Twyford today announced construction is underway on Wellington commuter rail upgrades which will mean more frequent services and fewer breakdowns. The upgrades include converting the Trentham to Upper Hutt single track section to a double track, with a new signalling system, upgraded stations and level crossings, and ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 day ago
  • Defence Climate Change Implementation Plan released
    Minister of Defence Ron Mark and Minister for Climate Change James Shaw have announced the release of a Defence Climate Change Implementation Work Plan, titled Responding to the Climate Crisis: An Implementation Plan.  The plan sets out a series of recommendations based on the 2018 New Zealand Defence Assessment, The ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 day ago
  • Govt releases funding to support South Canterbury
    A medium-scale adverse event has been declared for the South Canterbury district, which will see up to $50,000 in funding made available to support farming communities which have been significantly affected by recent heavy rain and flooding in the area, says Agriculture Minister Damien O’Connor. “Two weeks of solid rain ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • Speech at launch of Rethinking Plastics Report
    Thank you Professor Juliet Gerrard and your team for the comprehensive and extremely helpful report and recommendations. Thank you too to all the stakeholders and interested parties who have contributed ideas and thinking to it. “Making best practice, standard practice” is a great framework for change and the action plan ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • Govt pledges next steps on plastic waste
    The Government will phase out more single-use plastics following the success of its single-use plastic bag ban earlier this year and the release today of a pivotal report for dealing with waste. Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern has welcomed the Rethinking Plastics in Aotearoa New Zealandreport, released by her Chief Science Advisor ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • International student enrolments grow in universities and the regions
    International education continues to thrive as the Government focuses on quality over quantity, Education Minister Chris Hipkins said. The tuition revenue from international education increased to $1.16 billion last year with the average tuition fee per student increasing by $960. The total number of international students enrolled in New Zealand ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • DHB leadership renewed and strengthened
    Health Minister Dr David Clark says new appointments to DHBs represent a significant changing of the guard, with 13 new chairs including four Māori chairs. Today 76 appointments have been announced to complement elected board members, as well as eight elected members appointed as either chair or deputy chair.  Four ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • Tabuteau to advance New Zealand’s trade and political interests with European partners
    Parliamentary Under-Secretary for Foreign Affairs, Fletcher Tabuteau, is travelling to Germany, Poland, Austria, and Spain next week to bolster New Zealand’s political and trade relationships in Europe. While in Spain, Mr Tabuteau will represent New Zealand at the 14th Asia-Europe (ASEM) Foreign Ministers’ Meeting in Madrid. “New Zealand strongly supports ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • Statement from the Prime Minister on Kris Faafoi
    “I’ve spoken to Minister Faafoi, who has apologised for his poor handling of this issue,” Jacinda Ardern said. “I have confidence in Kris as a hardworking and effective Minister, but this should have been dealt with in a much clearer manner, and I’ve made my views on that very clear ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • Tonga-New Zealand Joint Ministerial Forum
    Deputy Prime Minister Winston Peters met with Tongan Prime Minister and Foreign Minister Pohiva Tu'i'onetoa in Wellington today. The pair signed a Statement of Partnership setting out joint priorities for cooperation out to 2023.  “We welcomed Prime Minister Tu'i'onetoa on his first visit to New Zealand as Prime Minister. Tonga ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • Shooting in Kurow
    The Minister of Police Stuart Nash says his sympathies are with the family of a man who died after being shot by Police in Kurow. “Initial reports are that Police were called by a family member to help the man who was threatening to harm himself,” Mr Nash says. “However ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • Government delivers funding boost for ethnic communities
    Ethnic communities will be able to plan and deliver more community initiatives thanks to an increase in Government funding, Minister for Ethnic Communities Hon Jenny Salesa said today. “Ensuring Aotearoa New Zealand is a place we can all be proud to call home has been a key priority of our ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • Govt supports Southland farmers in sustainability
    Healthier waterways, better productivity and farmer wellbeing are front and centre in a new project involving more than 1000 Southland farmers and growers. Minister of Agriculture Damien O’Connor today announced that the Thriving Southland Change and Innovation Project is the first region-wide extension programme supported by the $229 million Sustainable ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • Flood of support for Top of the South catchment
    Work to look after nature and restore freshwater quality in Te Hoiere/Pelorus River catchment is getting a significant boost, thanks to new Government funding support Minister for Conservation Eugenie Sage announced in Canvastown today. “Every New Zealander should be able to swim in their local river without getting sick, and ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • Eight Queen’s Counsel appointed under new criterion
    Eight Queen’s Counsel have been appointed under a process that includes the new criterion of a commitment to improving access to justice, Attorney-General David Parker announced today. “The new criterion was included this year. It emphasises that excellence and leadership in the profession can be seen through a wider, community ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • Major expansion for Wellington’s Onslow College
    Onslow College in Wellington will get 20 new classrooms for more than 400 students, Education Minister Chris Hipkins announced today. The much-needed investment will relieve growth pressure the school has been experiencing for some time. Seven existing classrooms which have deteriorated over time will also be replaced, bringing the total ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • Talented young Kiwis awarded PM’s Scholarships to Asia and Latin America
    More than 250 young New Zealanders will add international experience to their education, thanks to the latest Prime Minister’s Scholarships for Asia (PMSA) and Latin America (PMSLA), Education Minister Chris Hipkins announced today. This round of scholarships supports 252 recent graduates or current students to undertake study, research or internships ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • Government to improve competitiveness and transparency in the retail fuel market
    Consumers will benefit from a more competitive, transparent retail fuel market as a result of changes the Government will be making in response to the findings of the Commerce Commission’s study of the fuel sector. “We accept the Commission’s findings and, as the Prime Minister has said, we’re ready to ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • More cancer medicines for more people
    Five new cancer medicines have now been funded this year, meaning thousands of people have more treatment options PHARMAC has today announced that it has approved two new medicines for funding – fulvestrant for breast cancer and olaparib for ovarian cancer. This follows earlier decisions on advanced lung cancer treatment alectinib, ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • Government acts to sort out electoral ‘coin toss’ problem
    The Minister of Local Government, Hon Nanaia Mahuta says the Government will consider making changes to local electoral legislation before the 2022 elections to fix the problems that have arisen where elections are settled by a coin toss.  The Minister says the recount process in the Murupara- Galatea ward at ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • NZ to Join IMO Convention to Reduce Ship Emissions
    New Zealand will sign up to new international maritime regulations to reduce ship emissions and lift air quality around ports and harbours, Associate Transport Minister Julie Anne Genter announced today. Subject to completion of the Parliamentary treaty examination process, New Zealand will sign up to Annex VI of MARPOL, an ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • Bill to empower urban development projects
    New legislation to transform our urban areas and create sustainable, inclusive and thriving communities will tomorrow be introduced to Parliament, Urban Development Minister Phil Twyford said. “The Urban Development Bill gives Kāinga Ora-Homes and Communities the tools it needs to partner with councils, communities, mana whenua and private developers to ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • Early Learning Action Plan to kickstart long term change
    Today’s launch of He taonga te Tamaiti: Every child a taonga: The Early Learning Action Plan 2019-2029 provides the foundation for long-lasting changes to early learning, Education Minister Chris Hipkins says.   “Early learning will be one of the Government’s top education priorities going into 2020,” Chris Hipkins said.   ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • Climate change lens on major Government decisions
    Major decisions made by the Government will now be considered under a climate change lens, Minister for Climate Change James Shaw announced today. “Cabinet routinely considers the effects of its decisions on human rights, the Treaty of Waitangi, rural communities, the disability community, and gender – now climate change will ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • New Tertiary Education Commission Board announced
    Education Minister Chris Hipkins today announced the appointment of Māori education specialist Dr Wayne Ngata and Business NZ head Kirk Hope to the Board of the Tertiary Education Commission (TEC). Dr Alastair MacCormick has been reappointed for another term. “Wayne Ngata, Kirk Hope and Alastair MacCormick bring a great deal ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • Next phase of Pike River recovery underway in time for Christmas
    The next phase of the Pike River Re-entry project is underway, Minister Responsible for Pike River Re-entry Andrew Little says. “Fresh air will be pumped into the Pike River Mine drift this week, following acceptance of the plan for re-entry beyond the 170m barrier by New Zealand’s independent health and ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • Insurance contracts to become easier to understand and fairer for consumers
    New Zealand consumers will have greater certainty about their insurance cover when they need to make claims as a result of proposed government changes. “Insurance is vitally important in supporting consumers and businesses to be financially resilient when unexpected events happen,” Minister of Commerce and Consumer Affairs Kris Faafoi said. ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
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  • A new opportunity for Ngāpuhi collective and regional negotiations
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