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Open mike 07/11/2014

Written By: - Date published: 6:35 am, November 7th, 2014 - 158 comments
Categories: open mike - Tags:

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158 comments on “Open mike 07/11/2014”

  1. mickysavage 1

    Radio New Zealand this morning is saying that the Government’s decision not to re enter Pike River mine to recover the bodies is allowing the community to “move on”. Funny choice of phrase. It could have reported on the Government’s failure to fulfill Key’s promises to the families. Strange it should use such a government friendly phrasing.

    • miravox 1.1

      I think Psycho Milt got it exactly right in his comment on the NRT: Betrayal at Pike River thread

      • mickysavage 1.1.1

        Agreed. He said:

        Well, yes, Key’s a corporate weasel who’s done damage-control on this by telling people what they want to hear until the potential for popularity-damaging media stories has fallen to an acceptable level. That stage has been reached, which means he can now finally bring himself, four years too late, to say what should have been said at the start – risking live people for dead ones is pointless and stupid, so the mine will be sealed off and declared a tomb, with appropriate memorial in place.

        It would be nice if we had a PM that wasn’t a corporate weasel and could be relied on to do the right thing, but we don’t. That doesn’t alter the facts of the situation. Holding the people responsible for the deaths is a separate matter, and it’s no surprise that Mr Corporate Weasel doesn’t plan to do that either.

        There has still been a failure by the state not holding anyone properly to account for what happened.

        • Once Was Tim 1.1.1.1

          Can anybody explain to me WHY its actually Solid Energy’s right to decide anyway?
          If a repiler working on my house died after it all collapsed on him – do I have the right to say “awe … too hard, too dangerous – just leave him there and I’ll shove a cross on the front lawn as a memorial. I don’t want rescuers to endanger themselves EVEN though they tell me the risks are manageable”.
          (which of course raises a whole other can of worms in our ‘risk managed society’)

        • RedLogixFormes 1.1.1.2

          No I disagree.

          Everyone has been suckered into this ‘too risky to be worth just retrieving some bodes’ idea.

          Nah – Key the Weasel has just let time discount the sentimental value getting the men out. (Without in any sense demeaning how much that would have meant to the families – the people once more kicked in the guts here.)

          And Key the Weasel cynically waits until the political safe harbour of the post-election period to do it.

          And at no point, not once has Key the Weasel mentioned what was always the real, concrete reason to re-enter the mine – to determine precisely what the proximate, root cause of the disaster was.

          There are plenty of qualified people who say it is was possible, and who stand willing to do it. Because while they feel a real solidarity to return the bodies to the families – as mining professionals they want to find out what went wrong. They want to know exactly what lesson must be learnt to prevent a repetition on their shift.

          • miravox 1.1.1.2.1

            I don’t think there’s any contradiction between pm’s pov and yours rlf. but I guess pm can comment on that if he wishes.

          • Treetop 1.1.1.2.2

            Key will be remembered for Pike River. What he said he would do and what he actually did. Pike River also symbolises the part the government played in the demise of Solid Energy. ($$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$ over the lives of 29 men).

          • Once Was Tim 1.1.1.2.3

            +1.
            I am no expert of course.
            What I DO know of this whole sorry saga is that
            – a friend’s boyfriend at the time (prior to the explosion/ my friend being at the time working in NZSO publicity but having actually visited inside the mine, and her boyfriend being a mine expert) said he thought this “was an accident waiting to happen” AND he reported that fear to whomever it was he thought was appropriate. (The
            – By ‘western’ international standards (including Australian miners), this Pike River kaka was considered quite primitive

            What ‘appears’ to me as regards what happened, is that those
            – not qualified to make certain decisions were put in the position of having to do so (and I’m thinking Gary Knowles for one).
            – corporate interests have been allowed to guzump any sort of natural response from those – not only emotionally involved, but way way far more qualified to do so in terms of their expertise (See my question above – still unanswered as to how it has come to pass that Solid Energy are allowed to make ‘final decisions’)
            – the wrong people appear to have been given the authority to make various decisions (see above)
            – Risk Management – usually based on various economic considerations rather than primary concern for life and limb is now the world’s (especially the neo-lib’s) reoccupation. IF (for e.g.) I want to go into a burning building to rescue my son/grandson/person I love – I don’t really need some young rock-hopper with only a couple of years of life experience to prevent me from doing so on the basis that “oooo oooo oooo it’s too dangerous – you might get hurt!

            What I question and still wonder when/how/why it ever came to pass that Solid Energy were allowed to decide the future of trapped miners …. dead or alive. To me, it epitomises the facist state whereby a corporate interest guzumps what should be the decisions/responsibility/accountability of the nation-state, the community, the person, the individual.

            I ask the question again – if anyone knows ….. how did this come to pass, and is it actually so, or legally is it merely we’re all being bluffed and blustered by a used car salesman and his enterage?

    • Wairua 1.2

      Move on ? Have you tried selling a property on the West Coast recently ?

      • b waghorn 1.2.1

        I here that , they say move to were the work is but if your house is worth 150 k
        Or there about you would have to saddle your self with a mortgage of at least 250 k to get something similar in a city

      • Tracey 1.2.2

        well had the money been paid in full they cld. but it wasnt. these guys really care 🙄

        I am with psycho milt.

        that some directors now suggest the new law against directors affected solid energy decision to go after the bodies is an appalling way to try and get the law reversed….

    • Paul 1.3

      RNZ have become repeaters, not reporters.

    • tc 1.4

      I would be surprised if they did not use govt spin lines mickey.

      It has been a partisan outlet under griffin who has successfully removed or diluted most of the trouble making truth seekers in order to participate in the 2 track DP strategy.

      RNZ bans bomber yet allows farrar and hooten their soapboxes, says it all.

      • JanM 1.4.1

        He was never very bright, unless you mean in the low cunning sense – reminds me of the PM

    • Naki man 1.5

      [You should learn to be more polite and how to spell – MS]

      • Paul 1.5.1

        zzzzzzzzzz
        Let’s ignore these tr***s today.

      • Naki man 1.5.2

        MS you should learn that your petty and spiteful comments are a bad look for the Labour Party.

        [RL: Maybe you now you have an inkling of why we let you hang around here naki. But don’t push your luck.]

    • Skinny 1.6

      You do Labour no favours sorry to say Micky. There is only ash left, the heat in that mine was that of a furnace. Why risk other lives? In this instance pining it to Key lying looks what it is, petty and spiteful.

      Like usual Key will come out of this smelling of roses, when he pushes for a grand memorial site in honour of the lost souls.

      • Weepus beard 1.6.1

        What form do you think this memorial will be?

        Will the whole mine be sacred, as it were, and untouched in the memory of the miners, or will there only be a nice statue of some sort for future work to be done around?

        The reason I ask is there there is still a lot of high quality coal down there which is unlikely to be left unused forever.

        • Skinny 1.6.1.1

          Weepus Beard, I imagine some face saving arrangement between the Government & Solid Energy will transpire. With Key coming out on top by some jacked up headline “National Government forces Solid Energy to erect a bronze statue of the brave miners ( brothers in arms) who gallantly lost their lives in Pike River mine.”

          They will want it placed in Greymouth ‘no where near the mine’ so as you point out the ‘black gold will get extracted’ once the dust settles and of course as soon as they can predict the price is on the verge of heading up.

          Corporate trade agreements like the TPP will smooth the way so environment laws can be by-passed. Open it up with explosives-TNT, heavy machinery and robotics, opencast mining if far cheaper and more productive and most importantly for the corporates financially lucrative.

          • Weepus beard 1.6.1.1.1

            I can imagine what you describe. It’s all too likely to happen that way but will any media remember what was said by the govt today?

            Have any of the media remembered what was said by the govt in November 2010?

          • greywarshark 1.6.1.1.2

            @ Skinny
            There is a good living waiting for you in the PR dept of pollies. You have got the tone right with your –
            “National Government forces Solid Energy to erect a bronze statue of the brave miners ( brothers in arms) who gallantly lost their lives in Pike River mine.”
            Unfortunately it would reflect the glossy finish covering the less than heartfelt attitude of NACT to the men and their families in this Pike River disaster, and any others unfortunate happenings to workers. But different to the treatment of upper-class people who have been injured falling off their office chairs, or slipping on their BMW’s door ledge.

            • Skinny 1.6.1.1.2.1

              Thanks Warbler, funny you should say that. Without meaning to sound blowy, during the election campaign I got invited to a National Party forum where Key & Joyce were speaking. Arranged a little welcoming party out front, then entered the venue for the snake oil session, Key and his crony MP’s all looked over snarlingly at me, made worst by most of the media hacks I knew smirking as I got seated.

              Got a congratulations from Key & Joyce’s spin doctors afterwards. Told me I’d run a great campaign for the Opposition party’s in my region given the Nats a bit of a fright, saying “your on the wrong team and should be working for us” I laughed and said ” you guys are only it for the money, I’m not and do it for love… plus I have a conscience.. you lot don’t ” we all laughed in agreement on that one.

          • Murray Rawshark 1.6.1.1.3

            Bronze is too expensive. Fibreglass formed on a clay mould is more Key’s style for workers.

      • weka 1.6.2

        ” There is only ash left, the heat in that mine was that of a furnace. Why risk other lives?”

        Are you saying that the people who want to go in and look for the bodies are incompetent/deluded?

        • Skinny 1.6.2.1

          No I’m not saying that at all Weka. It doesn’t matter how competent they are if the roof through an unstable section known as spaghetti junction collapses on them. That mine has claimed enough lives without potentially claiming any more.

          Why risk going down there to find a pile of ashes, you have to be a real, the mine burnt for weeks at the temperature of a furnace.

          • Tracey 1.6.2.1.1

            i think some of it may relate to a generational miners mindset. could be wrong, feel free to correct me. miners worst fear since mining began is being buried in the mine, alive or dead. i think it is this idea that leads their folks to hang on for what seems like a very long term to a seemingly hopeless idea. ensuring their loved ones are not buried by a mine forever.

            i come from a family with a few generations of miners from my grandparents back, in one instance back to wales. i dont claim any expertise.

          • weka 1.6.2.1.2

            There’s two differnt things here.

            One is the issue of whether it’s worth more lived. My feeling personally is that the people who are affected should make that decision and take the consequences.

            The other is that you claim to know what is left in the mine. This is why I asked you if you think the people who want to go in re deluded/incompetent. Because if YOU know what’s what inside the mine, the obvious conclusion is they don’t. I just wanted to clarify that you are in fact claiming to know and that the people who want to go in don’t know.

            • Skinny 1.6.2.1.2.1

              Cut the cheap shots out Weka you only look like a fool, read what I replied to McFlock below.

              At least I can say I’ve worked 5km into a mountain and been a whistle blower after serious safety breeches nearly killed half a dozen men, as soon as I heard the mutterings I didn’t just shrug my shoulders and say oh well nevermind. Down tools stopwork meeting, get TV News and Newpapers along, line up the MP’s to lambast the Minister in House. End result, next fuck up a prosecution (happened) as a result bullet for the CEO.

              When your a worker ya just a number to the bean counters at the top and your expendable, your life is just figures, calulated into it are the odd mishap ‘your death’ no real value. You fightback, look out for ya fellow worker, even if your fellow mates don’t see the ducks lining up as you do.

      • McFlock 1.6.3

        There is only ash left, the heat in that mine was that of a furnace.

        bullshit.

        • Skinny 1.6.3.1

          Call it as you see it McFlock, however I’ll chose to go by what one of the mine rescue team members told me. He was part of the team on stand by ready to go in. I was of the same opinion and asked why hasn’t a recovery happened yet? He respectfully told me the nothing but ashes opinion. That was good enough for me he is the expert not me. If you know better please do share.

          • McFlock 1.6.3.1.1

            Just what monk et al have said.
            And the suggestions about what was on the camera.

            • Skinny 1.6.3.1.1.1

              Too be honest mate I felt for the young fellow on his first day. Those workers cost that kid his life. They broke rule number 1, if it isn’t safe don’t do it. They had a personal responsibily to ensure their own safety and for fuck sake that of a young fella on his first day on the job. The things those blokes walked past was insane.

              However how Whithall got applauded as a hero was unbelievable. He should have been arrested immediately and be serving hard time right now. Corporate manslaughter should have been introduced ‘under urgency’. But no this country is full of human sheep, actually the real breed are smarter.

              • McFlock

                I find much to agree with in your second paragraph.

                The trouble with the first paragraph is that these situations evolve if there are pressures on production and zero oversight for safety. Somebody takes a shortcut, others follow, and it becomes the group’s “new normal” that the next shortcuts are taken from. It really takes a qualified outsider to have a look and get the folks to realise just how fucked things have become.

                There’s loads of work on human factors in this sort of situation, particularly pioneered by the aircraft crash investigators.

                • Skinny

                  That’s true, I remember reading the propaganda put out by the company, boasting of increased production before the tragic event. At the same time I also remember reading the business news of cost overruns and problems, less productivity than the market expected, and needing financial proping up.

                  I had an unease feeling back then for those poor miner who were put under pressure as you say. Monk makes me sick because he also had a hand to play. It cost one of his sons lives and could well have cost the other.    

                  • greywarshark

                    @ Skinny
                    Don’t you think that Monk himself feels sick about it? He wouldn’t believe that things could get so bad and he was probably thinking all the time that they would tighten safety as soon as they were over the production hump and asked for machinery and repairs in the meantime. And didn’t get them.

          • RedLogix 1.6.3.1.2

            So what. Expert investigators still recover remarkable amounts of information from the ashes of even the hottest fires.

            As I’ve said before – what I keep sensing here is an establishment more than keen to find any reason not to go back in.

            Redline puts it more pungently than me.

    • AsleepWhileWalking 1.7

      “Move on” is trotted out anytime a government agency doesn’t want to spend any more money.

  2. Manuka AOR 2

    For anyone who may feel helpless in the face of intractable politics:

    From Little Things, Big Things Grow
    Kev Carmody & Paul Kelly

    Story behind the song:
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/From_Little_Things_Big_Things_Grow

  3. Paul 3

    The abandonment of Pike River
    The abolition of tea breaks
    Involvement in war in Syria and Iraq
    The abolition of collective bargaining

    These are dismal days to be a New Zealander…

    • Paul 3.1

      Should have been on Open Mike..

      to adapt it for here I could add
      The refusal to listen to of Science regarding :
      Climate Change (IPCC report)
      Water quality

      These are dismal days to be a New Zealander…

      [lprent: Indeed. You just caused me considerable work moving this to OpenMike. I will also un-ban Colin because in this case he just showed poor judgement rather than a deliberate stupidity.

      The only reason that you didn’t pick up a ban was because you recognized the issue. In future just try to DELETE your comment when you realize you made a cockup. ]

      • Colin 3.1.1

        [deleted]

        [lprent: Idiot troll. ]

        • One Anonymous Bloke 3.1.1.1

          …you can get more money and better conditions by having an individual contract with your employer?

          There is a large body of empirical research internationally on the union/non-union wage differential, using both micro- and macroeconomic models. Those studies almost uniformly conclude that union members receive
          higher wages then their non-union counterparts.

          Feinberg-Danieli and Lonti, Policy Quarterly 2006.

          We you lying delberately or did you swallow lies you were spoonfed?

          • Serpentine 3.1.1.1.1

            He’s lying deliberately.

            The gloating, sneering tone – the smooth confident repetition of grandiose hyperbolic fantasies flying in the face of known facts – the complete lack of moral compass in comparing levels of support for the families – and then the cherry on the top, the cynical little bit of ‘concern’ for the ‘water quality’ and how ‘something’ (carefully unspecified) should be done.

            Sociopath. Taking his cues from his boss.

          • Tracey 3.1.1.1.2

            both

          • Colin 3.1.1.1.3

            “We’re you lying delberately or did you swallow lies you were spoonfed?”
            Oh what, like the “no workers in NZ can have tea breaks now they’ve been abolished” union nonsense?

            And as for Feinberg-Danieli and Lonti, Policy Quarterly 2006 – seriously? A study on unions in the Public Service from 2006 is somehow relevant to employment relations in the private sector in 2014? With all the legislation that’s been passed in that time? Give me a break!

            In industries that are heavily unionised, and in countries like the US and Australia, union members unquestionably earn more than non-union members. Unions use their strength to ensure that’s the situation. But here, the unions have become an irrelevance with nothing like the power they used to wield. Remember how the interisland ferries would be on strike every Christmas holidays till the unions got better pay and/or conditions for their members? Doesn’t happen so often now, does it?

            And water quality, yeah, every drop of water in NZ was pure sparkling blue before Key became PM, then it instantly turned undrinkable. Never said Key and National are perfect – they’re far from it – (water quality is just one of the balls they’ve dropped) but the majority of NZ’ers recognised they still were (and are) a far better option than the alternative.

            • framu 3.1.1.1.3.1

              “Oh what, like the “no workers in NZ can have tea breaks now they’ve been abolished” union nonsense?”

              youve put it as a quote – so can you tell us where its been said, and provide links?

              and your criticism of a survey from 2006 followed by a union reference from decades earlier doesnt really help you in the credibility stakes

              “but the majority of NZ’ers”

              thats factually incorrect. the majority of those that voted did, but they are a subset of all voters, and that in turn is a subset of all NZers

              keep it up colin

            • Tracey 3.1.1.1.3.2

              please post your sources for your assertions…

              meanwhile back on the topic of the post…

              gagging scientists unfavourable to the government of the days ideology. sounds familiar.

              [lprent: He won’t be able to. It just collected a 4 week ban for making a comment that had nothing to do with the post.

              He got unbanned when I realized that the rot started further upstream with an accident. Wasting my time grrr…. grumpiness index rising. ]

              • framu

                yes – apologies to mods for the massive off topic-ness before this got moved here

                that will teach me for working on one monitor and commenting on the other at the same time 🙂

            • One Anonymous Bloke 3.1.1.1.3.3

              Liar.

              In New Zealand, private sector union employees get paid more. it was true in 2006 and it’s true today, whether you like it or not, liar.

        • Macro 3.1.1.2

          “Fully support smacking ISIS” -completely off topic – but you really are a very slow learner . Have you learnt nothing from Gallipoli, Vietnam, Iraq, and Afganistan? There will be no smacking going on with ISIS, the only ones to suffer will be the families at home for no reason at all.

          • Colin 3.1.1.2.1

            [deleted]

            [lprent: Banned 4 weeks for diversion comments. If you want to raise of topic that isn’t part of the post then use OpenMike.

            Unbanned. It turned out that Paul was being a fool and triggered your stupidity. If it is way off-topic in a post then ignore it. Your comments were ignorant anyway. Can’t be bothered with the effort of restoring them. ]

            • Macro 3.1.1.2.1.1

              tough world isn’t Colin – but even crazier to make it more so.

              Yes I grieve for those who endue the ravages of bigotry and war, but the way forward is not to respond with bigotry and war but with compassion and aid. As for the problems of Sunni and Sh’ite – that really is for them to settle – not us.

            • framu 3.1.1.2.1.2

              so these people, who are in varying levels of danger, were there people in similar circumstances every other time the west stomped around the middle east creating and funding future terror groups?

              whats different this time round and how will that make doing the same thing that has failed every other time different?

              • Colin

                [deleted]

                [lprent: Doubled your diversion ban to 8 weeks.

                Unbanned. It turned out that Paul was being a fool and triggered your stupidity. If it is way off-topic in a post then ignore it. Your comments were just ignorant anyway. Can’t be bothered with the effort of restoring them. ]

                • Tracey

                  you volunteering? or do others need to die for your ill thought out ideas?

                • Tracey

                  what would it look like if the us hadnt funded hussein… hadnt stood by while he used chemical weapons on his people cos it suited their agenda

                  dont choke on the crap you keep eating

            • Fahrenheit 451 3.1.1.2.1.3

              Hey Colin, I agree on your points about ISIS, not going into Pyke, however, the point of this particular post is freedom of speech.

              Which is what you are doing right now, but taking it right off topic.

              Go well

              [lprent: Freedom of speech is a relative concept. There is none here except what the moderators decide we will allow on our site based on the policy. Pays to read the policy. What we will allow is pretty wide. But deliberate diversions usually result in a deliberate killing of a freedom to speak here. ]

            • Draco T Bastard 3.1.1.2.1.4

              The only people who should do anything about ISIS is the people who live in those regions. The West going in there will make matters worse and not better – the same way that it has for centuries.

              [lprent: Don’t feed trolls with attention please. ]

        • Mark 3.1.1.3

          No No No.
          No cherry picking. When you sign up to the Nats it is not a pick and choose. So when responsibility for appaling water quality is sheeted home to the Nats as it will be, you are also responsible as you voted for them with the full knowledge that they were responsible for the problem. You are as guity as the Nats of degrading water in New Zealand.

        • framu 3.1.1.4

          meet colin – a thoughtless experiment in acting like a parrot

        • minarch 3.1.1.5

          “These are freaking great days to be a New Zealander! All the muppets and puppets who desperately believed the Nicky/Kim smoke n mirrors show and thought they were headed for election glory and socialist utopia are still walking around gobsmacked!”

          I notice “i was right and they were all wrong , nah nah nah ” was first in your list

          if Labour had won would you have held your breath until you turned blue(er) Colin ?

  4. Paul 4

    The abandonment of Pike River
    The abolition of tea breaks
    Involvement in war in Syria and Iraq
    The abolition of collective bargaining

    These are dismal days to be a New Zealander…

    • The Gormless Fool formerly known as Oleolebiscuitbarrell 4.1

      But, mainly the tea breaks.

      • RedLogixFormes 4.1.1

        No none of these things will affect you.

        You will never work in a coal mine or logging operation.

        You will have the privilege of working in an employment situation where tea-breaks are unlikely to be an issue.

        You will never go to a war, nor any of your privileged family.

        You live in a world where you have some security and comfort about your income. You don’t have an employer who treats you as disposable toilet paper to be shat on and flushed at their whim.

        Nope none of these things matter to you. You can sit there and sneer with cowardly impunity from behind your keyboard. I’ve watched you do it for years now. You’ll never change.

      • Draco T Bastard 4.1.2

        No, the real problem is the RWNJs who think that turning us all back into serfs for the corporations is a good idea.

        • The Gormless Fool formerly known as Oleolebiscuitbarrell 4.1.2.1

          1. 29 men dead in Pike River.
          2. Thousands dead in Syria and Iraq and New Zealand potentially being involved.
          3. Regulation of tea breaks going back to what it was for all but the last six months of the last Labour government.
          4. Minor changes to employment law

          Do these things seem of equal importance to you?

          • Tracey 4.1.2.1.1

            on that basis when do we go to war in africa gormless fool? you volunteered yet? or are others going to die for your misguided beliefs?

            taleban still killing innocents
            al qaeda still killing innocents
            usa funding some killing of innocents but currently denying it but to be confirmed by leaks or declassifications. .. remember who backd hussein and did nothing while he gassed his own people with cias full knowledge…

          • blue leopard 4.1.2.1.2

            Depends if you consider consequences, Gormless Fool.

            Does an erroneous 1 degree shift in direction, leave you a long way away from where you planned to end up, when long distances are involved?

            • The Gormless Fool formerly known as Oleolebiscuitbarrell 4.1.2.1.2.1

              Fair enough, Tracey, but what about the tea breaks, for fuck’s sake?

              • RedLogix

                Let’s try a little thought experiment.

                You take it as a right to own and operate a motor vehicle. Sure you have to satisfy a number of non-onerous bureaucratic requirements and pay an annual rego – but if you do leap over these fairly low hurdles – the car is yours.

                Now imagine if we changed the law just a teeny little bit. Same set of requirements, same annual rego fee – but MoT had the option to say no. At their complete discretion and with no need to justify their action. Nor any easy way for you to challenge the decision.

                And if you should object I respond by saying ‘it will only affect a very few people, and besides it’s only a tiny change to the law’.

                But you would understand nonetheless that there is a big difference between being able to do something as of right and being permitted to do so under sufferance.

                • Colonial Rawshark

                  But you would understand nonetheless that there is a big difference between being able to do something as of right and being permitted to do so under sufferance.

                  Spot on. Because privileges can always be withdrawn on a whim by those in power. And especially if you find yourself classified as one of some newly defined undesirable class. Once upon a time being Black or gay would do it. Today, being Muslim or politically active would, for instance.

                • blue leopard

                  Yes, very well said RedLogix

                • Colin

                  I don’t get where you are coming from on this. It is STILL against the law for any employer to deny breaks to their staff.

                  This is cut and paste directly from the Department of Labour website:
                  http://www.dol.govt.nz/infozone/myfirstjob/employees/during/holidays-and-leave/breaks.asp

                  Tea and lunch breaks

                  Employers are required to provide employees with the following paid rest breaks and unpaid meal breaks:
                  ■one paid 10-minute rest break if their work period is between two and four hours;
                  ■one paid 10-minute rest break and one unpaid 30-minute meal break if their work period is between four and six hours;
                  ■two paid 10-minute rest breaks and one unpaid 30-minute meal break if their work period is between six and eight hours.

                  If more than an eight hour period is worked, these requirements automatically extend to cover the additional hours on the same basis.

                  Where I work and across 90%+ of NZ businesses, nothing has changed. All the legislation did was make breaks flexible and negotiable – want longer/shorter breaks? Or to agree to miss a break or two so as to finish early that day? – can now be done if employer and employee agree. If they don’t agree, then the default of 2 10 mins and 1 x 30 min break appply in the case of an 8 hour day.

                  With the fines the DOL and Employment courts dish out for the slightest breach of employment laws, no sane employer would risk it. Especially with Heath and Safety on the case – if an employee could show they’d worked four hours plus continously with no break prior to their workplace accident, the company they work for would be fined out of existence.

                  • RedLogix

                    And exactly what has been gained by this ‘flexibility’?

                    Where I work and across 90%+ of NZ businesses, nothing has changed.

                    I agree in many workplaces that was already the case, most reasonable employers are quite relaxed about when and how people take breaks.

                    So exactly why would Key’s govt want to introduce this change? On the face of it we are both saying it was quite unnecessary.

                    Because if you cannot see how some unreasonable employers will see the opportunity to game the rules, and pack all the ‘breaks’ into one big one at the end of the shift – then you need to spend a wee while working in the fast food or hospitality industry.

                  • Foreign waka

                    Correct, until 4 months from now when the changes will take effect.

          • Draco T Bastard 4.1.2.1.3

            1. Yes, a good example of people being turned back into serfs
            2. Has nothing to do with us and we should keep our noses out of it. Us going there will make it worse
            3. Citation needed
            4. Actually, they’re fairly major changes that are undermining peoples ability to earn a living. Great for boosting profits for the corporates though

            • The Gormless Fool formerly known as Oleolebiscuitbarrell 4.1.2.1.3.1

              We’ll have to take these one at a time.

              I suggest we start with the most important first.

              Tea breaks, obviously.

              • Colonial Rawshark

                An injury to one is an injury to all.

              • blue leopard

                Bad attitudes toward others should not be being encouraged by our government nor by the policies they introduce.

                Compromising a workers’ right for breaks encourages seriously unrealistic and bad attitudes toward workers and is also bad business practice. All these antisocial and bad practices are being encouraged by this legislation. Anyone with half a brain could work that out.

                I don’t think the members of this government have half a brain between them, actually, I may as well add in those who support this government too, and one still wouldn’t end up with half a brain between them all.

  5. Sanctuary 5

    According to the Guardian the Podemos party in Spain is now ahead of all the “traditional” Spanish political parties. Podemos, a left wing party, and was only founded in January.

    http://www.theguardian.com/news/datablog/2014/nov/06/podemos-a-crisis-of-trust-and-the-rise-of-new-political-parties

    So what are it’s policies? According to Wikipedia:

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Podemos_%28Spanish_political_party%29

    “…Podemos presented a collaboratively written programme for the European elections 2014. Some of the most notable policies are:

    – Recovering the economy places emphasis on public control, includes poverty reduction and social dignity via a basic income for everyone. It includes lobbying controls and tax-avoidance remedies for large corporations and multinational organisations, as well as promotion of smaller enterprises.

    – Promoting liberty, equality and fraternity is about breaking down barriers across Europe and allowing people to cooperate fairly without either intelligence gathering or social inhibitions.

    – Redefining Sovereignty implies revoking or curtailing the Treaty of Lisbon, abandoning memoranda of understanding, withdrawing from some free trade agreements and promoting referenda on any major constitutional reform.

    – Recover the land deals with reduction of fossil fuel consumption, promotion of public transport and renewable energy initiatives, reduction of industrial cash crop agriculture and stimulus of local food production by small and medium enterprises…”

    The first thing that strikes me is the way Podemos’s policies are a synthesis of traditional primary left-wing concerns with additional new primary concerns tailored for the information age and the environment. But how would they go here? Let’s re-write those for a left wing party in NZ:

    – An economic policy calling for the re-nationalisation of the SOE’s, poverty reduction and social dignity via a basic income and the introduction of the living wage for everyone, and the promotion of Kiwibank as a state owned alternative to the foreign banks. Introduce strict lobbying controls and tax-avoidance remedies for large corporations and multinational organisations, as well as promotion of smaller export orientated enterprises.

    – Promoting liberty, equality and fraternity is about breaking down barriers and allowing people to cooperate fairly without either intelligence gathering or social inhibitions.

    – Redefining Sovereignty implies revoking or curtailing the five eyes intelligence gathering agreement, abandoning the TPPA, withdrawing from some free trade agreements and promoting referenda on any major constitutional and trade reform.

    – Recover the land deals with reduction of fossil fuel consumption, promotion of public transport and renewable energy initiatives, reduction of dirty dairying agriculture and stimulus of local food added value production by small and medium enterprises.

    That would be a left wing policy agenda I would proudly vote for.

    • Colonial Rawshark 5.1

      But but but but we can’t afford nice things for the masses (only for the 0.1%)!!!

    • Murray Rawshark 5.2

      Podemos means we can. It reminds me a bit of Obama 🙁 The policy looks like a good start though. Golden Dawn has started up in Spain now, so the gloves are coming off.

  6. greywarshark 6

    we might have to talk to each other then, or god forbid do something constructive. A comment from Weka. I notice that we find it difficult to do something constructive because we are scattered, because we have other demands, because it is easier to throw our hands in the air and say woe is me. (We had considered the possibility of starting a radio giving leftish views and news.)

    I suggested we look at forming a practical plan to present to local bodies on local area currency as a way of boosting enterprise and wellbeing with currency that stays in and circulates only in the area in which it is generated. There was one comment only. Happily that offered a good link which I will study and present something further by or after Christmas, as I have time.

    In the meantime I will look out for something constructive that is being done and report it on Open Mike as a way of recording such, not just commenting on what is going wrong.
    I invite others also to look for positives and put them up, with a 30 word explanation of why and how they are useful for citizens or democracy.
    edited

    • weka 6.1

      I think one of the difficulties would be deciding what to work on.

      But there was a conversation a while back about us looking at working together. I’ll see if I can dig it up.

      I get that this site is mostly for discussing politics, and that there is much that is useful in that, in terms of what gets said/read and also the flow on effects into people’s lives. I do feel a certain amount of frustration that so much time gets spend arguing, especially with troles, and wonder if it could be spend better.

    • minarch 6.2

      “I suggested we look at forming a practical plan to present to local bodies on local area currency as a way of boosting enterprise and wellbeing with currency that stays in and circulates only in the area in which it is generated”

      The Ithaca HOUR is a local currency used in Ithaca, New York and is the oldest and largest local currency system in the United States that is still operating

      One Ithaca HOUR is valued at US$10 and is generally recommended to be used as payment for one hour’s work, although the rate is negotiable.

      http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ithaca_Hours

      • greywarshark 6.2.1

        @ minarch
        Thanks for that. Will study. It could be like Green $ which did not have a sufficiently robust and clear-cut objective and understanding of its purpose in my experience. But I need to look closely at it.

    • Murray Rawshark 6.3

      Weka was replying to my request to not feed the trxlls. The conversation here goes better without them. In any case, when I come home mid 2016, I want to do something in community education. I’m not sure what at this stage.

  7. just saying 7

    Has anyone else read Brain Easton’s latest on Pundit about fetal alcohol disorders and found it as offensive and facile as I did?

    I’m not saying there is no moral issue, but this post pissed me off on a number of levels. Uncle Brian reckons women shouldn’t drink if they could become pregnant (even with the most effective contraception 35-45 years) or if they are pregnant, lest they produce under or unproductive economic units as a result. He even pompously suggests a positive spin-off could be less babies conceived when their mothers are inebriated, even though being drunk while conceiving has no known effects on the future productivity of her progeny. He just doesn’t approve.

    Anyway this has been a pretty sarcastic interpretation of his blog so I’ll leave Brian with the last words:
    (My small contribution is I wont drink alcohol in the presence of a pregnant woman. I’m not a wowser; I enjoy a pinot with a meal. My approach is one of solidarity with those avoiding this terrible condition.)

    http://www.pundit.co.nz/content/what-is-the-fetal-alcohol-spectrum-disorder

    • miravox 7.1

      Easton wrote:

      “I have no expertise on the medical condition”

      Enough said really.

      Edit: not that I don’t think this is important. It’s that Mr Easton can have his moral 2 cents worth but is in no position to lecture. In his own words, he is not qualified.

      • RedLogixFormes 7.1.1

        Sorry but that’s a dishonestly selective quote miravox. The full para reads:

        I have no expertise on the medical condition but I was the economist on a Canadian team concerned with measuring with the economics of FASD. Last month I gave a paper on the subject to a Health Promotion Hui of the New Zealand Cancer Society. I report my understanding of the disorder; remember I am not a clinician – although I have checked with clinicians about what I am about to report.

        Which a damn sight more expertise than 99.9% of people.

        And nothing either of you have said in the slightest diminishes or alters what Brain is saying about this sad and wholly avoidable condition.

        Personally I deplore the social nexus that seems to entwine sex and alcohol so frequently in our society.

        • miravox 7.1.1.1

          It’s a horrible condition, I agree. but Brian Easton does not know what a safe amount of alcohol is because clinicians don’t know what a safe amount is. Next thing you know there will be calls to criminalise the drinking of women who have a one glass shout for a birthday.

          Even the Daily Mail (which Easton references) is at least providing some useful context

          Foetal Alcohol Syndrome (FAS) is a complex condition, denoting a collection of features including retarded growth, facial abnormalities and intellectual impairment.
          There remains uncertainty in the medical community over the relationship between alcohol consumption and harm to the foetus.
          While it occurs in babies born to alcoholic women, most babies of alcoholic women will not be affected, as other factors, including nutritional status, genetic make-up of mother and foetus, age and general health, are also thought to play a role.
          There were 252 diagnoses of FAS in England in 2012 to 2013.

          • RedLogixFormes 7.1.1.1.1

            Well if Easton is reporting 600 cases a year in NZ and the number for the whole of England was 252 – this suggests either something is wrong with the data, or NZ has a horrendous problem.

            No-one knows what a safe amount is. Given the uncertainties and other factors involved no-one can predict in advance if any amount of alcohol will have an adverse effect or not. Therefore the only possible recommendation is zero.

            We are on the same page about criminalising. Education and awareness has to be way, way ahead of that. On the other hand what if a Court had clear evidence that a woman persisted in drinking both defiantly and heavily, despite being warned and well aware of the risks?

            The case mentioned did at least bring the issue into the open.

            • Colonial Rawshark 7.1.1.1.1.1

              Dude, you’re just another guy trying to tell women that they need to change their behaviour. In the modern universe, that’s going to be seen as the main problem.

              • miravox

                “Dude, you’re just another guy trying to tell women that they need to change their behaviour. In the modern universe, that’s going to be seen as the main problem.”

                Given sperm is affected by alcohol, let me just change a sentence that Easton wrote to the masculine and spread it about…

                That means we have to reach out to men who can potentially impregnate. (Allow me a side remark that if such a program was successful perhaps there would be fewer pregnancies conceived while the man was drunk.)

                Or how about we say all alcohol should come with a warning to all people of who might get someone, or become, pregnant to abstain from drinking?

                Once again, I don’t advocate drinking while pregnant. It is a serious problem. I believe most women who go through with a pregnancy want a healthy baby at the end of it. I’m objecting to the moral dimension of Easton’s think piece.

                • Tracey

                  quality response

                  • Colonial Rawshark

                    Interesting. So let’s extend it one more step.

                    Project what men’s response would’ve been compared to what we have seen here to his original article. Would men have got on Easton’s case about being out of date, moralistic or paternalistic? Would men have got on Easton’s case for being unqualified and speaking without expertise? Would men have got on Easton’s case for being facile and offensive?

                    Nah, men would’ve just told him to get f****d and tell him he was buying the next round.

                    However, a few guys who are trying for a pregnancy with their missus might also quietly start drinking Coke after that round.

                    • miravox

                      No, let’s backup a bit.

                      One woman brought Easton’s piece to the attention of TS readers. Of all the women who read the post, a whole four have commented (including the original poster). Of those four:

                      – One used the words facile and paternalistic

                      – I consider his view went beyond the clinical and into the moral argument. I repeated Easton’s own assertion that he was not a expert (albeit rlf not liking me stopping at the ‘but’ in Easton’s original sentence that qualified that statement).

                      – The third woman had no real problem with Easton’s tone – she might be concerned ‘if’ a small-minded tone was used.

                      – The fourth didn’t express a view on tone.

                      None expressed the view that the drinking behaviour of women shouldn’t change while they were pregnant. None expressed a view that the danger of foetal alcohol syndrome shouldn’t be raised.

                      Yet quickly you decide ‘women’ (with the grand sample of four out of however many have read the post) have a negative hivemind about being told what to do?

                      If you think all men are going to say ‘get fucked and you buy the next drink’ when their behaviour is criticised in such a general way by an unqualified, maternalistic woman who makes a unasked, condescendingly symbolic gesture, then I don’t think you know your own gender as well as you think you do.

                • RedLogix

                  At one extreme it’s obvious that pregnant women should not take say – Thalidomide. If a medical professional prescribed such a thing there would be legal consequences for certain. If a woman chose to take Thalidomide herself – no-one could support such an action.

                  At the other extreme you could argue that because all genetic risks increase with age – that no-one over say 30 should be allowed to parent a child. And no-one would support that either.

                  Clearly there has to be some threshold in between where as a society we accept that life has risks we can never fully mitigate and people should just get on with making babies – and that some actions come with such egregious and expensive consequences we should make strong efforts to make people aware of them, and if necessary prohibit them.

                  For what it’s worth I agree that alcohol and making babies does not work for either gender. I don’t like seeing them mixed at all for a whole lot of reasons. Without wanting to head down too sharp a tangent, I think this post I read a few days ago is pertinent.

                  http://tangerina.co.nz/2014/11/03/sex-negativity-breeds-rape/

                  And in our society far too much of this negativity is closely associated with alcohol. I don’t see this as a moral judgement – just plain good sense.

              • greywarshark

                …that’s going to be seen as the man problem. fify

            • miravox 7.1.1.1.1.2

              As Easton said, he’s not an expert.

              I can understand why clinicians recommend zero, however there is no evidence that one more than zero is going to cause foetal alcohol syndrome.

              Notice how he doesn’t reference his opinion on the practices of midwives or about whether women understand the importance of restricting alcohol while pregnant? I think he has gone beyond his economic argument and strayed into one about morals.

            • Tracey 7.1.1.1.1.3

              how does the data compare to say pre 70’s when drinking and smoking during pregnancy was more prevalent in terms of birth outcomes?

          • Molly 7.1.1.1.2

            The diagnosis of FAS in NZ is fraught, and I know of one case where the parents were continually sent to parenting classes by CYFS until the FAS diagnosis was given.

            It can be misdiagnosed as aspergers, autism or just wilful behaviour – and – of course, bad parenting.

            When I was pregnant, I was advised that a glass of wine was permissible and may help you relax – and most importantly – it would do no harm.

            Imbibed perhaps twice during my first pregnancy – but felt no desire or need to during my subsequent ones.

            Since my last child, I have had a close friendship with a family whose child has been permanently affected by FAS. And have read the literature and studies passed on by that mother in order to help understand and support them. Have also witnessed the failure of CYFS to acknowledge the need for diagnosis or the subsequent provision of professional support when the diagnosis was finally confirmed. This has taken years, and a stressful case in the family court.

            Knowing that they are unable to pinpoint a “safe” measure or a “safe” time for alcohol consumption, convinces me that a precautionary approach of abstinence is the only safeguard from this particular condition.

            It genuinely appalls me when I read articles that not only dismiss that there are possible permanent negative impacts for the person that is born, but advocates for the consumption of alcohol.

            Canada leads the way with recognition and advocacy for this syndrome, having identified it and started dealing with it a couple of decades ago.

    • greywarshark 7.2

      How difficult it is to advance any idea when someone is always ready to spring on it and tear the idea to bits in high indignation even anger.

      In other countries they are tearing people to bits for daring to suggest that ebola or polio or pregnancy can be avoided if you just do this or that, have this injection or pill. And the reaction is due to some malicious intervention in the good-intended program, by some say lurking CIA propagandists. Here if you want to add fluoride to water in appropriate doses soapboxes and mythmakers abound, fired by mistaken published findings.

      Now here in NZ not a word can be said about alcohol and women and pregnancy and its danger on causing damage to babies and distress to both the baby and the parents, and avoidable expenditure by parents and government during the child and adult’s less enjoyable life, without attack.

      • miravox 7.2.1

        A word can be said gw, I reckon NZ is too quick to implement moral bans when there is no clinical basis. Maybe the stress on a pregnant woman through the guilt of drinking one shandy in 9 months would cause more damage than the shandy.

        (I chose a Daily Mail link to match the quality of Easton’s link)

        Do you have any evidence to say otherwise? Because I’m pretty sure the clinicians don’t.

        Disclaimer: I do not advocate drinking alcohol during pregnancy.

        Edit – btw: http://www.cdc.gov/preconception/careformen/exposures.html

        In a study in an addiction treatment center of alcoholics, testosterone level, semen volume, sperm count, and the number of sperm with normal morphology and motility were lower among men who abused alcohol than men who did not.

        But again, the evidence for non-chronic drinking is not clear.

        • Molly 7.2.1.1

          “But again, the evidence for non-chronic drinking is not clear.”

          You need to immerse yourself in the literature to understand that there is no “safe amount” or “safe time”. Genetic predisposition – more usually undiagnosed – will also play a part in the vulnerability of the development of the fetus.

          The end result – whether chronic alcohol consumption or occasional – for the lifetime of the person who ends up with the FAS – is a permanent condition.

          What is clear is that to avoid any chance of it occuring – abstinence is the only precaution a pregnant woman needs to take. Unless of course, it is more important they she provides more statistics on exactly “how much” and “when” is safe, given your particular DNA profile.

          My proviso is – like you – I would be concerned with the censure from small minded people towards all pregnant women. However, for me, that is a problem that needs to be considered and solved, and advocacy for the prevention of any further FAS sufferers would take precedence.

          • miravox 7.2.1.1.1

            “But again, the evidence for non-chronic drinking is not clear.”

            That line was about the effect of alcohol on sperm.

            I’ve a fair idea of the problems with alcohol and pregnancy. I also have a fairly strong aversion to framing clinical matters as moral problems.

            i certainly don’t advocate for women drinking alcohol during pregnancy. On the other hand if a woman wants to have a glass of champagne for her birthday I’m not going to stand there and frown. If I met a woman who did drink regularly while pregnant I would certainly try and discourage it.

            But unlike Brian Easton, in my experience women are aware they should stop drinking during pregnancy and can usually advised by their midwives and other health professionals to abstain.

            • Molly 7.2.1.1.1.1

              Apologies. Missed the link was to sperm – assumed it was to do with the topic at hand. However –

              “i certainly don’t advocate for women drinking alcohol during pregnancy. On the other hand if a woman wants to have a glass of champagne for her birthday I’m not going to stand there and frown. If I met a woman who did drink regularly while pregnant I would certainly try and discourage it. ”

              (You assume that I am the type that would stand there and frown at people that do things that impact negatively on others. If that were true, I’d be frowning 24 hours a day – living as I do in true-blue National country.)

              The difficulty is – that a lot of people are unaware of the possibility, degree and permanence of FAS. So the woman having the glass of birthday champagne, may be uninformed at the consequences. She needed to be informed during pre-pregnancy discussions and news and media articles so that the “choice” is truly hers, and not one of someone who is uninformed.

              Women are already advised to avoid pre-packaged salads, seafood, and soft cheeses given the possible likelihood of listeria..

              Most women take that information and use it to make their dietary choices during pregnancy. Unless information is shared regarding the effects of FAS without censure, then we fail both those women who are looking to make good choices, and those people who may have avoided being afflicted with FAS.

              I do have, and continue to have discussions with women and females of all ages in the hopes that their further discussions with their friends and family continue to inform. Might include next time your hypothetical woman with their birthday glass of champagne. And I would say to her “Don’t risk it. Save it for your child’s first birthday”.

              Talk to families who deal with FAS, and have their beloved children so adversely affected that they are living with the result for the rest of their lives, and a “frown” is not the worst case scenario.

              Lack of informed choices is.

      • just saying 7.2.2

        Now here in NZ not a word can be said about alcohol and women and pregnancy and its danger on causing damage to babies and distress to both the baby and the parents, and avoidable expenditure by parents and government during the child and adult’s less enjoyable life, without attack.

        Rubbish Greyshark, this is one response to one blog-post.

      • Tracey 7.2.3

        in your world is challenging something, carefully and logically as Miravox is doing, an attack?

        • just saying 7.2.3.1

          Are you replying to me, Tracey?
          If so, I think you’ve got the wrong end of the stick.
          In italics is a quote from Greyshark.

          Just a couple of things I want to add. I’d find Easton’s alleged sacrifice a lot more sincere if he gave up his precious Pinot and all other alcohol for forty years in solidarity with the women he speaks of so patronisingly, as opposed to giving up one lunchtime tipple in solidarity with a fetus inside a woman.

          Also, what proportion of Pundit readers would be unaware of the risks of drinking while pregnant? Zero would be my guess. Easton is pontificating and moralising for the sheer pleasure of it imo.

      • greywarshark 7.2.4

        If I have stirred up anyone as a result of what I have said, that’s tough. Some things have to be talked about, assertions checked to see if they are facts and if there are errors and if there are faults they need to be corrected. Women aren’t entitled to be exempt from criticism or examination of their behaviour any more than men are.

  8. joe90 8

    Surprise surprise…
    /

    The intelligence services may have illegally intercepted privileged communications between lawyers and their clients in sensitive security cases, a tribunal has been told.

    Information, obtained by listening in to conversations with lawyers or capturing their emails, may have been exploited illegally and resulted in miscarriages of justice, the Investigatory Powers Tribunal, which considers complaints against MI5, MI6 and the monitoring agency GCHQ, has heard.

    […]

    Dinah Rose QC, for Belhaj, said the documents also appeared to show that on occasions vital information had even been withheld from courts hearing security cases.

    Lawyers for Belhaj have brought a claim to the IPT alleging that legally privileged communications may have been intercepted and exploited by the intelligence agencies who are defending the compensation claim.

    http://www.theguardian.com/world/2014/nov/06/intelligence-agencies-lawyer-client-abdel-hakim-belhaj-mi5-mi6-gchq

  9. miravox 9

    Clashes erupt in Brussels between demonstrators and riot police after around 100,000 protesters marched through the Belgian capital on Thursday. Belgians were protesting against the new government’s proposed reforms and spending cuts. Unions said thousands of workers and students joined in the protest

    http://www.theguardian.com/world/video/2014/nov/06/protesters-brussels-clash-riot-police-spending-cuts-video

    Some people in countries that weathered the GFC quite well are not taking ideologically-inspired austerity measures quietly.

  10. greywarshark 10

    Chris Trotter writes a satirical study of the free thinkers whom Key has rounded up to ‘think’ about potential national security risks.
    http://bowalleyroad.blogspot.co.nz/2014/11/risk-and-resilience-introducing-john.html

    His last paragraph comments on those who could have added something of depth and integrity to the panel.
    So, there you have it. The Prime Minister’s free-thinking panel. Those of you who are disappointed that the SRRP does not include people like ‘New Zealander of the Year’, Dame Anne Salmond; investigative journalist, Nicky Hager; former Court of Appeal Justice, Sir Edmund Thomas; TPPA opponent, Professor Kane Kelsey; or that other tireless campaigner for our national sovereignty, CAFCA’s Murray Horton; must understand that when John Key talks about “free thinkers”, he is not.

    This comment is apt –
    Lieutenant-General Rhys Jones, the former head of the NZ Defence Force, is already very good at imagining the unimaginable. He was, after all, able to imagine that New Zealand’s award-winning war correspondent, Jon Stephenson, might be foolish enough to jeopardise his international reputation by claiming he had been somewhere he hadn’t, and met someone he didn’t. That Lt-General Jones wasn’t able to go on imagining such nonsense indefinitely might be considered a weakness. But at least he has proved that imagining things that never happened is a crucial element of the NZDF’s skill-set – one that Lt-General Jones is now very well placed to pass on to his colleagues on the SRRP.

    Then amongst others – is one who knows when something is cricket, another on laundering (information anyone?), keeping track of international financial transactions (on arms deals?), how to look after babies and other vulnerable citizens, one managing education for said babies and bewildered adult citizens, someone who has worked for a number of acronyms and would probably assist the education spec. with encryption problems and whether? earthquakes, leaky homes, or such hazards can be prevented which are not even caused by terrorists or subversives, in the conservative view.
    edited

  11. Goodsweat 12

    I was amused by the spin that rotated out of Solid Energy’s PR Dept. Whilst they have overseen the mine it has had a name change. What we once knew as the Pike River Mine is now the Pike River Drift.

    The word ‘drift’ conjures up suggestions of danger.

    • framu 12.1

      or they can rename the mine behind the drift and open up a “new mine”?

      thats just wild speculation on my part – but it wouldnt surprise me if that sort of thinking was in play

      • RedLogix 12.1.1

        Nah – the term ‘drift’ is pretty standard naming in the industry. I’d think Solid Energy just started calling it that because it was consistent with how they name all their other sites.

    • Colonial Rawshark 12.2

      State sponsored propaganda – yet more of it.

  12. Draco T Bastard 13

    UK parliament to debate money creation for first time in 170 years

    There are lots of important questions that Parliament should address during the three hours in the Main Chamber, these include:

    Who should create money? Should high-street banks have the effective right to create money every time they make a loan, given the recent consequences for the economy? How should newly created money be used? Do we want banks to have the power to create money when this leads to unaffordable housing and financial instability? Should we have allowed the Bank of England to create £375bn with little scrutiny from parliament, and use this money to inflate financial markets? Were there better uses of this money?

    Well, at least they’re going to talk about it which is a hell of a lot more than what our politicians are doing.

    • b waghorn 13.1

      What would the legality be of a government allowing banks to only lend to the government valuation of a property including the deposit to stop the endless spiral of house prices.

  13. wonderpup 14

    http://research.vtc.vt.edu/news/2014/oct/29/liberal-or-conservative-brain-responses-disgusting/

    (article in press: http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.cub.2014.09.050)

    Your neurological reaction to a visual stimulus will predict your political leaning. That’s the upshot from the paper referenced above. Conservatives tend to react more than liberals to images showing highly emotive content.

    My interpretation is that Conservatives are more emotionally driven, where Liberals are more rational.

    Discuss.

    🙂

    • RedLogix 14.1

      I’d be reasonably sure that there is a neurological basis for political leaning has been known for decades. The next question to ask is; is this something that is fixed for an individual by their genetic inheritance – or is it influenced by environment?

      And it the latter – can it be manipulated?

      Quote:

      Responses to disgusting images could predict, with 95 percent to 98 percent accuracy, how a person would answer questions on the political survey.

      That’s remarkably high for any experiment like this.

      • wonderpup 14.1.1

        It really does explain that when a Conservative says they are ‘disgusted’, they really are!

        My thoughts are that since Conservatives (the right) are so emotionally invested in politics, they assume that liberals are as well, if not more so. The fact that the opposite is true, that the left is less emotionally invested in what they see, (and potentially have a more rational reaction) is pretty counter intuitive to them.

        Neo-liberalism is a reaction, potentially, to avoid the emotional rollercoaster of having to deal with the reality of individual pain. No wonder its aesthetic is so bland, as well. I’m drawing a long bow here though…

        • RedLogix 14.1.1.1

          On reading the article again I find at least part of the answer to my own question:

          “We pursued this research because previous work in a twin registry showed that political ideology — literally the degree to which someone is liberal or conservative — was highly heritable, almost as heritable as height,”

          We’ve seen a fair amount of similar research all pointing pretty much in the same direction – that there is a real difference in emotional responses that correlates with political leanings.

          How to extract useful and actionable meaning from it is still an unsolved question.

          • greywarshark 14.1.1.1.1

            Highly heritable like height? Surely emotionality, responses to stimuli, mixed with feelings of connection to a political ideology would be largely nurture. How can it be like height?

            • b waghorn 14.1.1.1.1.1

              So right wingers are disabled buy there weak stomachs.
              (Humour I hope)

              • chris73

                Or you could suggest right wingers are more attuned to survival (I don’t put much stock in these type of studies)

    • BM 14.2

      What a load of wank.

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  • Smashing down the barriers: Where are we at with COVID vaccines?
    In the absence of a vaccine or a cure for a deadly disease, staying home in your bubble is what you do, the concept is not new.  To the best of my knowledge last time we did this in NZ was for polio, in the years before a vaccine came ...
    SciBlogsBy Helen Petousis Harris
    2 hours ago
  • National Network on Cuba (USA): “Cuban medical solidarity is a pillar of its society and is founde...
    The following statement was released on March 28 by the National Network on Cuba, a coalition of 40 groups, based in the United States. In recent weeks, Cuba has deployed hundreds of medical providers to over a dozen countries in Europe, Asia, as well as to their neighbors in Latin ...
    RedlineBy Admin
    2 hours ago
  • Alarming decrease in calves increases fears for endangered Hector’s dolphin
    This has been a terrible summer for Hector’s dolphins. The first indication was very low numbers of dolphin sightings during late spring and early summer. The Otago University Marine Mammal Research Team has carried out routine dolphin surveys at Banks Peninsula for more than 30 years. In all that time, ...
    SciBlogsBy Otago Marine Science
    5 hours ago
  • Time for Grant Robertson to reveal package #2?
    On March 17, Finance Minister Grant Robertson was quick out of the blocks with an economic rescue package to help businesses through the inevitable recession resulting from the coronavirus pandemic. Robertson had pulled together a scheme in short order that so far seems to have saved many jobs. In his ...
    PunditBy Tim Watkin
    7 hours ago
  • Saving lives
    The purpose of the lockdown is to save lives, by reducing the spread of covid-19. We won't know if its really working for another week, but given the devastation that will result if it doesn't - 14,000 dead is the optimistic scenario - its definitely worth trying. But pausing the ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    11 hours ago
  • Life in Lock Down: Day 5
    . . March 30: Day five of living in lock-down… Woke up still in darkness. Alarm hadn’t gone off. Turn to radio clock; it’s a few minutes after 6am… I lie there in the dark, waiting to drift off to sleep… but it ain’t happening. Clock ticks over to 6.55 ...
    Frankly SpeakingBy Frank Macskasy
    12 hours ago
  • Speaker: Les Gray: the man who told the truth
    The story of Les Gray, the public sector psychologist who told the truth about his use of cannabis and set off a storm, has a special place in the lore of cannabis reform in New Zealand.When Paul Shannon interviewed Gray for the 'Dope and Hope' issue of Planet magazine in ...
    13 hours ago
  • Why now? Historical specificity and the perfect storm that has created trans identity politics
    by Phil Duncan For Marxists, a key concern about social trends is their context – not just their causes, but why they happen when they do.  Events and phenomena have causes, but they also are time or period-specific. While much of the left have capitulated recently to postmodernism, most notably ...
    RedlineBy Admin
    1 day ago
  • Time for a living wage for supermarket workers
    Since the lockdown began, we've all suddenly been reminded who the actually essential workers in our society are: not the people at the top who pay themselves the big bucks and rort the perks, but the people at the bottom they screw over and squeeze: cleaners, warehouse staff, truck drivers ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 day ago
  • Hard News: MUSIC: Lockdown Grooves
    Kia ora! As I've watched nearly all my remaining work vanish over the past couple of days, it has occured to me that one good way to keep me away from arguing with fools on Twitter all the time (in the knowledge that all we're really doing is processing our ...
    1 day ago
  • A place of greater safety?
    Aotearoa New Zealand has committed to trying to extirpate the virus that causes COVID-19 from its shores. To do that, as a society we’ve moved to “Level 4”. That means adapting to unprecedented restrictions on our personal freedoms, particularly to our rights to move freely and associate with friends and ...
    PunditBy Andrew Geddis
    1 day ago
  • The police and public trust
    When the Prime Minister declared a state of emergency last week, she handed the police powers to enforce it. And almost immediately, we started hearing about heavy-handed, arbitrary "enforcement" by police who (at best) cared more about order than law, or (more likely) had no idea what the rules were ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 day ago
  • Life in Lock Down: Day 4
    . . Lock Down: Day 4 – A photo essay with observations . March 29: Usual wake up routine as RNZ snaps on my radio-clock. Jim Mora’s voice slowly enters my conciousness; there’s talk of a second wave of covid19 taking hold in South Korea; the week in Parliament – ...
    Frankly SpeakingBy Frank Macskasy
    1 day ago
  • COVID-19 vs New Zealand
    Yesterday, New Zealand recorded its first Covid-19 related death on the West Coast. Unfortunately this is unlikely to be the only fatality, with the virus now being found in every region of the country.However despite the significant danger, people are still unfortunately breaching lockdown rules.There’s really only one main very ...
    1 day ago
  • 2020 SkS Weekly Climate Change & Global Warming Digest #13
    Story of the Week... Toon of the Week... Coming Soon on SkS... Climate Feedback Claim Review... SkS Week in Review... Poster of the Week... Story of the Week... ‘Misinformation kills’: The link between coronavirus conspiracies and climate denial   Grist / Rob Kim / Stringer / CSA Images  Scientific ...
    2 days ago
  • Rāhui day 4
    The kids did surprisingly well today – meltdown count was about 3, and mostly fairly short ones. (And a fourth while I was writing.) Game-wise I had a go at Fell Seal: Arbiter’s Mark. It’s a fairly standard RPG with turn-based combat and what they call a “mature storyline” (it ...
    The little pakehaBy chrismiller
    2 days ago
  • Letter to a friend
    by Don Franks Hi David, Nice hearing from you, I’m glad to hear you’re getting by okay in these grim times. You asked how’s it going for us back here in New Zealand. You would have heard that the whole country is locked down and with breaks for exercise and ...
    RedlineBy Daphna
    2 days ago
  • Life in Lock Down: Day 3
    . . Lock Down: Day 3 – A photo essay with observations . March 28: First day of the first weekend in Lock Down. It feels like it’s been weeks since only Level 3 was declared last Tuesday, only four days ago. Woke up this morning to RNZ; coffee; toast, ...
    Frankly SpeakingBy Frank Macskasy
    2 days ago
  • 2020 SkS Weekly Climate Change & Global Warming News Roundup #13
    A chronological listing of news articles linked to on the Skeptical Science Facebook Page during the past week, i.e., Sun, Mar 22, 2020 through Sat, Mar 28, 2020 Articles Linked to on Facebook Sun, Mar 22, 2020 In Just 10 Years, Warming Has Increased the Odds of Disasters by Chelsea Harvey, ...
    3 days ago
  • Rāhui day 3
    I’m here in lockdown with my flatmate and her two girls (6 and 2) and it. is. a time. They’re usually really active so to start with the only boardgame in the house is the copy of Guess Who that the 6 year old got for her birthday. Flatmate commented ...
    The little pakehaBy chrismiller
    3 days ago
  • A test of civil society.
    The CV-19 (COVID) pandemic has seen the imposition of a government ordered national quarantine and the promulgation of a series of measures designed to spread the burden of pain and soften the economic blow on the most strategically important and most vulnerable sectors of society. The national narrative is framed ...
    KiwipoliticoBy Pablo
    3 days ago
  • Life in Lock Down: Day 2
    . . Lock Down: Day 2 – A photo essay with observations . March 27 – Day 2 of our Strange New World. The Park and Ride near my suburb, usually filled with hundreds of vehicles, had just… four; . . Another drive into Wellington City on a highway nearly ...
    Frankly SpeakingBy Frank Macskasy
    3 days ago
  • How Do You Feel? What Do You Think?
    Fortune's Children: Under extraordinary pressure, the leader of the Government and the leader of the Opposition will each show us what they are made of. Have they been blessed with intelligence, grace, wit, poise, toughness, empathy and humour – and in what measure? More importantly, to what extent have they ...
    4 days ago
  • Landlords are NOT an essential service
    If you’ve ever had the misfortune of having to rent a property on the open market in New Zealand, which is one of the most expensive in the entire world, you’ll likely be keenly aware of just how arrogant and entitled landlords and their real estate agents can be.Unfortunately for ...
    4 days ago
  • A “new Society” post-COVID19 will definitely emerge. The question is: on what path?
    Society-wise, aside from the specific morbidity shall we say of the medically-oriented aspects of this COVID-19 crisis, what is unfolding before the world is in more than one way an instructive study of humanity and reactions to a high intensity, high stress environment in real time. Friends, we are at ...
    exhALANtBy exhalantblog
    4 days ago
  • Raise the Bar: Everything you need to know about the wage subsidy
    Right now low waged and insecure workers are feeling the economic brunt of the looming #Covid19 Recession. In response legal advocate Toby Cooper* and hospitality and worker’s rights advocate Chloe Ann-King, are putting together a series of legal blogs about your employment rights: In this legal blog we outline some ...
    PosseBy chloeanneking
    4 days ago
  • The massacre of prisoners in Modelo jail, Bogota, March 21
    by Equipo Jurídico Pueblos and Gearóid Ó Loingsigh (25/03/2020) An escape plan in question On the night of March 21st and the early morning of the 22nd, the forces of the Colombian state stormed into the Modelo prison in Bogotá, murdering 23 prisoners and injuring 83, in response to the ...
    RedlineBy Admin
    4 days ago
  • We are not America
    When the government banned semi-automatic weapons in response to a terrorist atrocity, gun-nuts were outraged. Mired in toxic American gun culture, they thought owning weapons whose sole purpose was killing people was some sort of "constitutional right", a necessity for "defending themselves" against the government. Now, the Court of Appeal ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    4 days ago
  • When will we know the lockdown is working?
    Just before midnight on Wednesday March 25, Aotearoa New Zealand entered a countrywide alert level four lockdown. For at least the next four weeks, everyone who isn’t an essential worker is confined to their bubble. We are doing this to stop the explosive growth in people contracting and dying from ...
    SciBlogsBy Siouxsie Wiles
    4 days ago
  • Lock Down: Day 1
    . . Lock Down: Day 1 – A photo essay with observations . Day one of the Level 4 nationwide lock-down (or, DefCon 4 as I sometimes cheekily call it) started at 11.59PM on 25 March. For a moment, most of the nation held it’s collective breath. In that brief ...
    Frankly SpeakingBy Frank Macskasy
    4 days ago
  • A Compelling Recollection.
    Broad, Sunlit Uplands: How those words fired my young imagination! Or, perhaps, it is more accurate to say: how those words fused, in my young mind, with the image printed on every packet of Fielder’s Cornflour. Always fascinated by history, especially modern history, I cannot hear Churchill’s wonderfully evocative words, even ...
    5 days ago
  • The Warehouse – where everyone gets a virus
    . . 24 March 2020 9.46AM Number of covid19 cases in Aotearoa New Zealand: 102 . As of 11.59 on Thursday, most of New Zealand will go into “lock down”. People will be expected not to travel to work; not to socialise; and to stay home. I will not be ...
    Frankly SpeakingBy Frank Macskasy
    5 days ago
  • Aggressive action to address climate change could save the world $145 trillion
    This is a re-post from Yale Climate Connections A respected research group, Project Drawdown, finds that deploying solutions consistent with meeting the Paris climate targets would cost tens of trillions of dollars globally. But crucially, those outlays would also yield long-term savings many times larger than the up-front costs. The new 2020 Drawdown ...
    5 days ago
  • After the Pandemic
    It will pass. What happens next? Not immediately, but longer term. There are many opinions, fewer certainties. Will it “change everything!” as many confidently, and contradictorily predict? In this post I look at how foresight can help bound some of the uncertainties so you can more objectively consider the future. ...
    SciBlogsBy Robert Hickson
    5 days ago
  • Coronavirus – Cuba shows the way
    We’ve been meaning t write something on Cuba and the coronavirus but have just discovered a very good article on the subject in the US left publication Jacobin.  The article looks at how Cuba, a poor country but one where capitalism has been done away with, is leading the way ...
    RedlineBy Admin
    5 days ago
  • Using privacy law to prevent the death penalty
    In 2018, El Shafee Elsheikh and Alexanda Kotey - two British citizens who had purportedly been stripped of their citizenship by the British government - were captured while fighting for Isis in Syria. The British government then conspired to hand them over to the US, and agreed to provide evidence ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    5 days ago
  • It’s Time For Disaster Socialism.
    Transformers: The disaster of the Great Depression was transformed into a new and fairer society by the democratic socialism of the First Labour Government. The disaster of the Covid-19 Pandemic offers a similar transformative possibility to the Labour-NZ First-Green Government. Seize the time, Jacinda! You will never have a better ...
    6 days ago
  • Skeptical Science New Research for Week #12, 2020
    Tamper with The System? Well, we already are. But there's a difference between accidentally trickling sand into a precision gearbox versus formulating a plan to alter it on the fly with improvements in mind. One action is more or less innocently unscrupulous, the other amenable to earning an easy ...
    6 days ago
  • Avoidable hospitalisations: Helping our health system get through COVID-19
    Associate Prof George Thomson, Louise Delany, Prof Nick Wilson While it is possible that New Zealand can use intense public health controls to eradicate COVID-19 from the country – we must also plan for other scenarios where thousands of New Zealanders are sick – including many urgently hospitalised.1 Better resilience ...
    SciBlogsBy Public Health Expert
    6 days ago
  • Raise the Bar: 10 questions to ask your employer proposing redundancy
    Kia ora my name is Chloe Ann-King* and I am the founder of Raise the Bar, a campaign and non-profit that gives free legal aid, advocacy and tautoko to hospitality workers in Aotearoa. Right now all over our country hospo workers are being fired at will, having shifts cut or being ...
    PosseBy chloeanneking
    6 days ago
  • An equitable way to support business
    The Herald reports that the government is planning to lend billions of dollars to large businesses to keep them operating during the pandemic. As with mortgage relief, this is necessary: we need companies to stay in business, to reduce the economic damage and help things get restarted again when this ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    7 days ago
  • Hard News: Together Alone
    We're about to do something unprecedented as a nation. We hope that by taking this extraordinary action before a single life in New Zealand has been lost to the deadly novel virus we will save tens of thousands of lives. Our  lives. We'll do it together, in households, in isolation ...
    7 days ago
  • Why timing is everything: ‘A time to refrain from embracing’ starts today
    “There is a time for everything,    and a season for every activity under the heavens.”So writes the author of Ecclesiastes, a book in the Old Testament that’s counted as a ‘wisdom’ book and written as if by an unnamed king of Jerusalem. But who would have thought there would be a time ...
    PunditBy Tim Watkin
    7 days ago
  • Dealing with the Covid-19 Tsunami.
    I was surprised when the prime minister described the Economic Response to Covid-19 package as the ‘largest peacetime government spend in New Zealand's history’. Reflecting – checking through history – I realised that the term ‘spend’ was crucial and the package had no income tax cuts. Even so, it has ...
    PunditBy Brian Easton
    1 week ago
  • What about renters?
    The government today announced the latest part of its pandemic relief package: a six-month mortgage holiday for people whose incomes have been affected by the pandemic. Which is great, because these people are going to need help, and that's what the government should be doing. At the same time, it ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • Living within our means.
    Years ago the Argentine sociologist Carlos Weisman wrote a book titled “Living within our Means.” It was a critique of Argentine society that focused on the paradoxical question of why, in a land of plenty, there was so much economic instability, inequality, corruption and political turmoil. His conclusion was basically ...
    KiwipoliticoBy Pablo
    1 week ago
  • Transparency and the pandemic
    Parliament will be leading by example and adjourning tomorrow after a special sitting to consider an epidemic notice and state of emergency. Day-to-day oversight of the government will be delegated to a select committee. But that's not the only overight mechanism. The OIA will still be law, and (so far) ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • ‘Overjoyed’: a leading health expert on New Zealand’s coronavirus shutdown, and the challengin...
    Michael Baker, University of Otago Overjoyed. That’s not a word epidemiologists normally use, but that’s how I felt after hearing Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern’s announcement about New Zealand’s COVID-19 shutdown of everything except essential services for at least four weeks from midnight on Wednesday. More than anything, I just ...
    SciBlogsBy Public Health Expert
    1 week ago
  • One way to solve the housing crisis
    How much homelessness is caused by house hoarding? We're about to find out. The pandemic has destroyed tourism, which means that house hoarders who put their hoarded properties up as short-term tourist rentals are now offering them on the ordinary rental market:Property investors are pulling properties from Airbnb to offer ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • The pros and cons of planting trees to address global warming
    This is a re-post from Yale Climate Connections by Bruce Lieberman It seems like such a simple, straightforward, empowering idea: plant trees – a lot of trees – all over the world, and watch the planet’s temperature fall. Who doesn’t love a tree or two, even far more – the right ...
    1 week ago
  • Not a grand coalition, but a government of national salvation
    According to Newshub, Simon Bridges is open to joining a “grand coalition” with Labour as we hunker down to go into a month long lockdown. The idea is sound. Before now, the role of the opposition was to scrutinise and oppose. In the context of what almost amounts to a ...
    PunditBy Liam Hehir
    1 week ago
  • Raise the Bar: hospitality workers & wage subsidy entitlements
    Kia ora my name is Chloe Ann-King* and I am the founder of Raise the Bar, a campaign and non-profit that gives free legal aid, advocacy and tautoko to hospitality workers in Aotearoa. Right now all over our country hospo workers are being fired at will, having shifts cut or ...
    PosseBy chloeanneking
    1 week ago
  • Lifting our game against COVID-19
    We need to be lifting our game against COVID-19. You and I need to help those working to prevent the spread of COVID-19 while they’re trying to lift the testing and treatment efforts. We don’t want to be playing this game running backwards. Best to play it solidly forward, from ...
    SciBlogsBy Grant Jacobs
    1 week ago
  • The maths and ethics of minimising COVID-19 deaths in NZ
    Prof Tony Blakely, Prof Michael Baker, and Prof Nick Wilson The NZ Government must do more to clearly articulate its COVID-19 strategy: eradication or ‘flattening the curve’ mitigation. But to do so means understanding the maths and ethics of both these strategies. In this blog, we adapt our work for ...
    SciBlogsBy Public Health Expert
    1 week ago
  • All aboard the Covid Train
    A few days ago I was starting to write something about the pandemic, which now seems unconscionable. It took the form of a letter to an agony aunt:“Dear Deidre, I have an ugly confession. I am quite excited by Covid-19.”This is how the piece went:“I’m not a psychopath, honest. Although the ...
    PunditBy Phil Vine
    1 week ago
  • 2020 SkS Weekly Climate Change & Global Warming Digest #12
    Story of the Week... Toon of the Week... Climate Feedback Article Review... Coming Soon on SkS... Climate Feedback Claim Reviews... SkS Week in Review... Poster of the Week... Story of the Week... In Just 10 Years, Warming Has Increased the Odds of Disasters The likelihood of extreme events ...
    1 week ago
  • We are all socialists now
    Last week, the government announced a $12 billion initial package to support people during the pandemic. Today, the Reserve Bank is buying government bonds - effectively printing money - to keep up the money supply during the crisis. Normally such moves would have the right apoplectic. Instead, the National Party ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • A plea to experts: safeguard your role in public life
    I am a pundit, somebody who opines and comments on the news. There are no real qualifications to punditry though having a rudimentary way with words and good general knowledge helps. That is one reason there is a constant oversupply of would-be pundits and why it is quite hard to ...
    PunditBy Liam Hehir
    1 week ago
  • Enlightenment when?
    I recently encountered the following prescription from a Faculty of Education at a leading New Zealand University. At first I wondered if it was another product of the postmodern generator (http://www.elsewhere.org/journal/pomo/), designed to create gibberish in the postmodern form, but I’m told it is real: The “schooled” society: Towards the ...
    SciBlogsBy Michael Corballis
    1 week ago
  • What the Crisis Can teach Us
    The coronavirus pandemic has of course had a major impact on individual lives and on societies as a whole. But, long after the crisis has passed (assuming it does), we will begin to realise that its real and lasting significance lies in the lessons it has taught us, if only ...
    Bryan GouldBy Bryan Gould
    1 week ago
  • Hammering home measures to stop COVID-19
    COVID-19 has plunged Aotearoa New Zealand (indeed, the world) into territory that, while maybe not totally unprecedented, certainly hasn’t been seen during the lifetimes of most of us here today. Our borders are closed to non-citizens, we’re being told not to gather in groups of more than 500 outside/100 inside, ...
    PunditBy Andrew Geddis
    1 week ago
  • What does ‘level two’ mean – and why does it matter?
    For the last few weeks, I’ve been urging you to prepare yourself, your family, business, and community for Covid-19. Now it’s time for real action.  Yesterday the director-general of health Dr Ashley Bloomfield announced another 13 confirmed cases of Covid-19 in New Zealand, bringing our total to date to 52. ...
    SciBlogsBy Siouxsie Wiles
    1 week ago
  • 2020 SkS Weekly Climate Change & Global Warming News Roundup #12
    A chronological listing of news articles linked to on the Skeptical Science Facebook Page during the past week, i.e., Sun, Mar 15, 2020 through Sat, Mar 21, 2020 Editor's Pick Now Isn’t the Time to Forget About Our Climate Change Efforts   Tasha Tilberg, Lindsey Wixson, and Liu Wen photographed ...
    1 week ago
  • Is the Guardian becoming  a real newspaper again?
    by Jan Rivers The article has been corrected to show that it was Ewen MacAskill, former Guardian journalist and not Luke Harding who travelled to meet Edward Snowden with journalist Glenn Greenwald and filmmaker Laura Poitras.  Some of the Guardian’s well-known journalists who did not sign the protest letter are ...
    RedlineBy Daphna
    2 weeks ago
  • Life asserts itself regardless
    by Cultural Worker Late March 2020 amidst the virus. With gigs crashing and burning all around it was without much hope that I called a long standing rest home booking: “ Hi, I’m supposed to be entertaining at your place this afternoon – is it still on?” “”If you don’t ...
    RedlineBy Daphna
    2 weeks ago
  • Politics, the possible, and the pandemic
    Whenever people demand real change from their politicians, we're told that "politics is the art of the possible". The implication is that change isn't possible, so we'd better just get used to the sucky status quo. But now that there's a pandemic, a lot of things we were previously told ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • The Only Way Through This Crisis Is Together.
    Together: In leading New Zealand through the Covid-19 Pandemic, the Prime Minister could do a lot worse than allow herself to be guided by the spirit of collective sacrifice and co-operation that animated the New Zealanders of 80 years ago. Most Kiwis alive today have had no opportunity to prove their ...
    2 weeks ago
  • GFC vs Covid-19
    It is said that generals fight the last war. In the case of the early stages of the Global Financial Crisis (GFC) they had learned from the Great Depression of the 1930s and they fought intelligently and successfully. Later their advice would be ignored in favour of the Austerians who ...
    PunditBy Brian Easton
    2 weeks ago
  • Nobody Left Behind.
    Solidarity Forever: All over the world, the arrival of the Covid-19 virus has exposed the fragility of the walls we erect around ourselves and our loved ones. It has shattered our illusions of autonomy and revealed to us how utterly dependent we all are on other human-beings. Finally, we see ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Rebuilding a truly “Democratic” counter, or a “moderate Republican” bolt-hol...
    Looking across the various arguments for/against the leading candidates to take the Democratic Nomination, you might honestly be very hard pressed to tell. There are a number of things that have now started happening since Amy Klobuchar and “Mayor Pete” Buttigieg both threw the towel in and immediately (and ...
    exhALANtBy exhalantblog
    2 weeks ago
  • Abortion law reform a win for women
    by Daphna Whitmore Abortion is no longer in the Crimes Act in New Zealand. The law reform passed yesterday and now abortion is a medical matter between a woman and her doctor. Many women’s groups and progressive people have campaigned for reform for decades. The women’s liberation movement and some ...
    RedlineBy Daphna
    2 weeks ago
  • How to spot bogus science stories and read the news like a scientist
    Doug Specht, University of Westminster and Julio Gimenez, University of Westminster When fake news, misreporting and alternative facts are everywhere, reading the news can be a challenge. Not only is there plenty of misinformation about the coronavirus pandemic, climate change and other scientific topics floating around social media, you also ...
    SciBlogsBy Guest Author
    2 weeks ago
  • Why New Zealand needs to continue decisive action to contain coronavirus
    Michael Baker, University of Otago and Nick Wilson, University of Otago With some of the toughest border restrictions and a newly-announced NZ$500 million boost to health services, New Zealand is among a small number of countries with a strategy to contain the COVID-19 pandemic. New Zealand is also fortunate in ...
    SciBlogsBy Public Health Expert
    2 weeks ago
  • Parliament and the pandemic II
    As expected, the government has introduced a sessional order to allow Parliament to operate during the pandemic. You can read it on the Order Paper here, but the short version is that questions and motions can be filed electronicly, select committees can work remotely, and the the Business Committee can ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • When a virus goes viral: pros and cons to the coronavirus spread on social media
    Axel Bruns, Queensland University of Technology; Daniel Angus, Queensland University of Technology; Timothy Graham, Queensland University of Technology, and Tobias R. Keller, Queensland University of Technology News and views about coronavirus has spread via social media in a way that no health emergency has done before. Platforms like Twitter, Facebook, ...
    SciBlogsBy Guest Author
    2 weeks ago

  • Government seeks infrastructure projects
    The Government has tasked a group of industry leaders to seek out infrastructure projects that are ready to start as soon as the construction industry returns to normal to reduce the economic impact of the COVID-19 pandemic, Economic Development Minister Phil Twyford and Infrastructure Minister Shane Jones say. The Infrastructure ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 hours ago
  • Essential media COVID-19 guidelines refined
    The Government is refining its COVID-19 essential business guidance to include the distribution of news publications for communities which are hard to reach. The Minister of Broadcasting, Communications and Digital Media, Kris Faafoi, said the move was in recognition of the importance for New Zealanders who might be harder to ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    7 hours ago
  • New Zealand defence personnel conclude mission at Taji
    Following the successful conclusion of the Building Partner Capacity (BPC) mission at Taji, New Zealand defence personnel are returning to New Zealand from Iraq, in accordance with the Cabinet decision made in June 2019, Foreign Affairs Minister Winston Peters and Defence Minister Ron Mark announced today. “New Zealand is very ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    11 hours ago
  • State of National Emergency extended
    The State of National Emergency to help stop the spread of COVID-19 has been extended for a further seven days, Minister of Civil Defence Peeni Henare said. The initial declaration on March 25 lasted seven days and can be extended as many times as necessary. “Since we went into isolation ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    11 hours ago
  • Strong Govt books support ‘go hard, go early’ response
    New Zealand’s ability to go hard and go early in the fight against COVID-19 has been underpinned by strong Government finances and the growing economy heading into this global pandemic, Finance Minister Grant Robertson says. The Treasury today released the Crown financial statements for the eight months to the end ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    14 hours ago
  • Christchurch Hospital Hagley ICU to open to support COVID-19 response
    Health Minister Dr David Clark says 36 new intensive care beds at Christchurch Hospital’s new Hagley building are being fast tracked so they are available for treatment of COVID-19 patients.   The Ministry of Health is working with contractor CPB and Canterbury DHB to enable access to the hospital’s ICU, ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 day ago
  • Government supports Air NZ freight flights
    The Government has fast-tracked up to $1 million to help Air New Zealand move urgent freight to and from New Zealand, with the first flight to Shanghai leaving tonight, Transport Minister Phil Twyford announced today. Phil Twyford says it’s crucial that trade in vital goods such as medical supplies and ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • Tariff concessions on COVID-19 related products
    New Zealand will temporarily remove tariffs on all medical and hygiene imports needed for the COVID-19 response. Trade and Export Growth Minister David Parker and Commerce and Consumer Affairs Minister Kris Faafoi said today that the New Zealand Customs Service will apply tariff concessions to all diagnostic reagents and testing ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • Clarification of modification to wage subsidy scheme
    Minister of Finance Grant Robertson has clarified that the changes to the wage subsidy scheme announced yesterday mean that employers should be passing on the full subsidy to workers, except in the case where the person’s normal income is less than the level of the subsidy. “We still want employers ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • Face masks flowing to DHBs
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    5 days ago
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    6 days ago
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  • Canada, Australia, Chile, Brunei and Myanmar join NZ and Singapore in committing to keeping supply a...
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    6 days ago
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    1 week ago
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    1 week ago
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    1 week ago
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    1 week ago
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    1 week ago
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    1 week ago
  • PM Address – Covid-19 Update
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  • NZ and Singapore commit to keeping supply and trade links open, including on essential goods and med...
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    2 weeks ago
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    2 weeks ago
  • Transit between Australia and New Zealand
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    2 weeks ago