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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Step up to the mike …

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

          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

          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

            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

            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

            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

        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

          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

            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

            @ 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

              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

            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

          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

            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

            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

              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.


        • Skinny

          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

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

            • Skinny

              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

            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:

  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


        [lprent: Idiot troll. ]

        • One Anonymous Bloke

          …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

            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


          • Colin

            “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

              “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

              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


              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

          “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


            [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

              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

              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


                [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

              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

              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

          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

          meet colin – a thoughtless experiment in acting like a parrot

        • minarch

          “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

          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

            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

            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

              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:

                  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

            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

              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.

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

    “…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.

    • 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.

      • 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.)

    • 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

          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

            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

              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.


                  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

              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

              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

            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:

        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

          “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

            “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

              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

          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.

  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

    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.

    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.

  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

    (article in press:

    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.



    • 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?


      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

          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

            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

              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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    "Auckland City Mission: 10% of Kiwis experiencing food insecurity", RNZ, 16 October 2019:About half a million people are experiencing food insecurity, according to new research from the Auckland City Mission. Food insecurity, or food poverty, is defined as not having enough appropriate food. The City Mission said over the last ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 days ago
  • Press Release: “Fake News” from Auckland City Council CCOs Board Chairs re pay and performance b...
    Media Statement for Immediate Release 16th October 2019 “Fake News” from Auckland City Council CCOs Board Chairs re pay and performance bonuses for top managers Despite comments from Auckland City Council CCOs Board Chairs re pay and performance bonuses for top managers—Herald Newspaper Tuesday Oct 15th–there is very little evidence ...
    Closing the GapBy Tracey Sharp
    2 days ago
  • Ever-So-Slightly Bonkers: Simon Bridges Plays To His Base.
    Would You Buy A Used Propaganda Video From This Man? Bridges and the National Party’s strategists have discovered that the ideas and attitudes considered acceptable by today’s editors and journalists are no longer enforceable. The rise and rise of the Internet and the social media platforms it spawned means that ...
    2 days ago
  • Asking for food
    There is plenty of evidence of the way the business mentality has permeated every level of society since the recrudescence of market liberalism 35 years ago. You only need to think of how citizens in need of help from their government, their state, their country, are now routinely described as ...
    Opposable ThumbBy Unknown
    2 days ago
  • Forty years of change in the jobs Kiwi do and the places they call home
    John MacCormick Over the last 40 years, New Zealanders – and people in other countries – have experienced big changes in the jobs they do and where they live and work. These changes include: a decline in manufacturing jobs an increase in jobs in ‘information-intensive’ industries (which are better paid ...
    SciBlogsBy Guest Author
    2 days ago
  • Protecting Fresh Waterways in Aotearoa/NZ: The Strong Public Health Case
    Nick Wilson, Leah Grout, Mereana Wilson, Anja Mizdrak, Phil Shoemack, Michael Baker Protecting waterways has the benefits of: (1) protecting water from hazardous microbes; (2) minimising cancer risk and other problems from nitrates in water; (3) avoiding algal blooms that are hazardous to health; (4) protecting mahinga kai uses (cultural ...
    SciBlogsBy Public Health Expert
    2 days ago
  • Massey University triggered to rebrand
    by The Council of Disobedient Women In a press release today Massey University announced it has decided to rebrand and reorientate after struggling to be a University for grown-ups. For some time the University has wanted to be a safe play space for wee-woke-misogynists who have been really badly triggered ...
    RedlineBy Daphna
    3 days ago
  • Swinson backing calls for a second referendum (again)
    After a brief dalliance with 'hard Revoke' it looks like the Lib Dems are changing ground on on Brexit, with leader Jo Swinson reverting to calling for a second referendum on Johnson's deal.The party has tabled an amendment to the Queen’s speech requesting that any deal brought back from Brussels ...
    3 days ago
  • An odious bill
    The government has decided that someone has done Something Bad. But despite their belief, there seems to be no evidence that they have actually broken the law. So the government's solution is to pass a retrospective law allowing them to be punished anyway, on a lower standard of proof. If ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    3 days ago
  • National is now the party of climate arson
    So, Judith Collins has done a Facebook rant about climate change, peddling the same shit National has been shovelling for the past twenty years: the impacts are overstated, there's no need to do anything about it, and its too hard anyway (oh, and its so unfair that people who peddle ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    3 days ago
  • The environmental footprint of electric versus fossil car
    Climate Explained is a collaboration between The Conversation, Stuff and the New Zealand Science Media Centre to answer your questions about climate change. If you have a question you’d like an expert to answer, please send it to There is a lot of discussion on the benefits of ...
    SciBlogsBy Guest Author
    3 days ago
  • “Manifest” by Andrew Bird – A Song For The Times.
    I came across this song quite by accident. If it isn't one of Greta Thunberg's favourites - it should be.Video courtesy of YouTube.This post is exclusive to Bowalley Road. ...
    3 days ago
  • Passing the buck
    Last month, NZDF's shoddy coverup of what it knew about civilian casualties in Operation Burnham began to fall apart, with the revelation that a report on the matter, which NZDF claimed not to have, had been sitting in an NZDF safe for the past nine years. Yesterday, the man responsible ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    3 days ago
  • India a major player in Earth observation satellites
    While many imagine that countries like the USA and Europe dominate space activities, in fact India is now a major player on this stage. It launches satellites for its own purposes and also commercially, and has constellations orbiting our planet and returning data of vital importance to that nation in ...
    SciBlogsBy Duncan Steel
    4 days ago
  • The rot at the top (2).
    Thanks to a report from the Acting Inspector General of Intelligence and Security following a complaint by Nicky Hager, we have come to find out that the SIS illegally spied on Mr. Hager on behalf of the NZDF after publication of Hager’s 2011 book, Other People’s Wars. The NZDF justified ...
    KiwipoliticoBy Pablo
    4 days ago
  • Common misconceptions about “Global Warming”
    COMMON MISCONCEPTIONS ABOUT GLOBAL WARMING MYTH 1: Global temperatures are rising at a rapid, unprecedented rate. FACT: The HadCRUT3 surface temperature index, produced by the Hadley Centre of the UK Met Office and the Climate Research Unit of the University of East Anglia, shows warming to 1878, cooling to 1911, ...
    An average kiwiBy
    4 days ago
  • A climate of tyranny
    For the past week, Extinction Rebellion has been peacefully protesting in London to demand action on climate change. The British government's response? Ban their protests:Police have banned Extinction Rebellion protests from continuing anywhere in London, as they moved in almost without warning to clear protesters who remained at the movement’s ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    4 days ago
  • Collins crushes climate
    An essay by Judith Collins MP reported on Carbon News yesterday seems to show an alarming shift in attitude within the National Party. Collins argues against the Zero Carbon Bill, the Paris Agreement, and downplays the magnitude of climate impacts. The Paris Agreement was adopted in December 2015 and ratified ...
    SciBlogsBy Robert McLachlan
    4 days ago
  • More disappointment
    When they were running for election, Labour promised to overhaul the Employment Relations Act and introduce fair pay agreements to set basic pay and conditions on an industry level, preventing bad employers from undercutting good ones. They followed this up by establishing a working group, which reported back in January ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    4 days ago
  • What do these mother-child studies really say about fluoridation?
    A list of indicators of bad science – many of these are found in articles promoted by anti-fluoride activists. Anti-fluoride activists have been pouring money into a scaremongering campaign warning pregnant women not to drink fluoridated water. They claim fluoride will lower the IQ of their future child. Fluoride ...
    4 days ago
  • Losing Labour’s Mills-Tone.
    Nothing Left To Say: Labour's pollster, Stephen Mills, remains swaddled-up in the comforting myths of the 1980s. As if the experience of Roger Douglas’s genuinely radical post-Muldoon policy agenda was literally a once-in-a-lifetime thing – as much as the party could possibly absorb for at least the next 50 years.MEMO ...
    4 days ago
  • Speaker: Disability and the Royal Commission of Inquiry into Historical Abuse
    The Royal Commission on abuse in care is very significant for the disability community. For many decades last century, thousands of disabled children, and adults who managed to survive, were locked away from families and communities. This was not for anything they had done, but for the perceived threat their ...
    4 days ago
  • Spain is not a democracy
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    5 days ago
  • UK Conservatives hate democracy
    With an unfair voting system, uneven electorates and an un-elected upper house, the UK's "democracy" is barely worthy of the name. But now the government wants to make it worse:The government has been accused of suppressing voters’ rights with the potential disenfranchisement of tens of thousands of people after plans ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    5 days ago
  • What is wrong with our building industry?
    Back in the 90's and early 2000's, the building industry was building leaky homes which should never have been granted consent. Now it turns out they've been building dodgy office blocks as well:New imaging technology has revealed hundreds of major buildings nationwide have defective or missing concrete or reinforcing steel. ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    5 days ago
  • Local bodies
    Local body election results were released over the weekend, to joy or despair depending on where you live. In Auckland, Phil Goff trounced John Tamihere, who is muttering darkly about running for Parliament again (but which party would want him?) Wellington is now a wholly-owned subsidiary of Weta Workshop, except ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    5 days ago
  • A future of government
      How could government evolve over the next decades? Reports of democracy’s imminent demise are greatly exaggerated.  However, satisfaction with political systems in many countries is low, so there is much to do for governments of all political stripes to improve relevance and trust. Digital technologies are seen as one ...
    SciBlogsBy Robert Hickson
    1 week ago
  • Speaker: Catalonia, interrupted
    Two years have now gone by since the Friday afternoon when my university-student son and I headed out of our Barcelona flat to a nearby primary school, designated as a polling station for the vote that was to be held the following Sunday: the referendum on Catalonia’s independence from Spain ...
    1 week ago
  • Sage Decisions Unwisely Over-Ruled.
    Overruled: The joint decision of Finance Minister, Grant Robertson (Labour) and his Associate Minister, David Parker (Labour) arguably the two most powerful ministers in Jacinda Ardern’s government, to grant OceanaGold the consents which Land Information Minister, Eugenie Sage (Greens) had earlier denied them, offers bitter proof of how hard fighting ...
    1 week ago
  • Government may ban voting in effort to get more people to do it
    More than double the number of people who will vote in this year’s local body elections have tried marijuana or urinated somewhere they shouldn’t have. As local elections look set for the lowest turnout in decades, with many regions falling well short of 40%, the Government is exploring a number ...
    The CivilianBy admin
    1 week ago
  • Woman: Deleted.
    A Statement on Abortion Law Reform by the Council of Disobedient Women   On the eve of bringing an end to antiquated, anti-women abortion laws Green MP Jan Logie intends to write women out of the Bill. With a stroke of the pen, the woke are aiming for total erasure ...
    RedlineBy Daphna
    1 week ago
  • The Hollowest of Men Ride Again… SURPRISE!
    Musings continue apace about “the experienced businessman!” soon to be taking up a National Party MP position. Or to be more accurate, being parachuted into a seat to shut down their former MP Jamie-Lee Ross, who despite his own shortcomings shed at least some more light on the inner workings ...
    exhALANtBy exhalantblog
    1 week ago
  • Barbaric
    The Ugandan government wants to murder gay people:Uganda has announced plans to impose the death penalty on homosexuals. The bill, colloquially known as “Kill the Gays” in Uganda, was nullified five years ago on a technicality, but the government said on Thursday it plans to resurrect it within weeks. The ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • Fighting Monsters.
    Freedom Of Speech? The Säuberung (cleansing by fire) was the work of the German Student Union which, on 10 May 1933, under the watchful eye of the Nazi Reichminister for Propaganda, Joseph Goebbels, consigned 25,000 books to the flames in a ritual exorcism of “un-German thought”. According to the logic of the ...
    1 week ago
  • The next wave of kaupapa Māori politics: its constitutional, it must be.
      “There can be no such thing as kaupapa Māori political parties or politics in Aotearoa” (Willie Jackson, Labour Party (2017). Māori TV, General/List Election Special) I begin with that claim because at the time, I was confounded at first that it fell out of Willie Jackson’s mouth, and then ...
    EllipsisterBy Ellipsister
    1 week ago
  • Night lights of NZ from orbit
    New Zealand has prided itself for decades with regard to its lack of pollution, and all will be aware that the ‘100% Pure New Zealand‘ meme is under threat through land, water and air pollution of various causes. There is another type of contamination that the country also faces: light ...
    SciBlogsBy Duncan Steel
    1 week ago
  • Reporters deliver uplifting news to fleeing Japanese residents: they won’t miss any rugby
    New Zealand’s media is doing its part in Japan, reassuring those in the path of the storm that they won’t miss any rugby while away from their flooded homes. New Zealand sports reporters stationed in Japan for the Rugby World Cup have had the rare and heartwarming opportunity to inform ...
    The CivilianBy admin
    1 week ago
  • Government in contentious discussions about whether to put surplus on red or black
    Regional Development Minister Shane Jones is the only Cabinet member in favour of putting it all on green. As Finance Minister Grant Robertson finds himself with an enormous $7.5 billion surplus, the Government has begun intense, at times contentious conversations about whether to put the money on red or black at ...
    The CivilianBy admin
    1 week ago
  • Jordanian teachers’ successful strike has lessons for here
    by Susanne Kemp At the start of September close to 100,000 school teachers went on strike in Jordan.  They demanded a 50% pay rise.  A pay rise actually agreed to by the regime back in 2014. In early October, however, in the face of government repression and threats, the teachers’ ...
    RedlineBy Admin
    1 week ago
  • Why some people still think climate change isn’t real
    Climate Explained is a collaboration between The Conversation, Stuff and the New Zealand Science Media Centre to answer your questions about climate change. If you have a question you’d like an expert to answer, please send it to Why do people still think climate change isn’t real? David ...
    SciBlogsBy Guest Author
    1 week ago
  • The SIS unlawfully spied on Nicky Hager
    Back in 2011, journalist Nicky Hager published Other People's Wars, an expose on NZDF's activities over the previous decade of the "war on terror". NZDF didn't like this, and especially didn't like the fact that it was base don leaks from their own. So, they had the SIS investigate him ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • October 2019 – Newsletter ...
    Closing the GapBy Tracey Sharp
    1 week ago
  • And they wonder why we think they’re environmental vandals…
    The Zero Carbon Bill is due back from select committee in two weeks, and will likely pass its final stages in November. So naturally, farmers are planning a hate-march against it. But they're not just demanding lower methane targets so they can keep on destroying the planet; they're also demanding ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • Climate Change: Paying the price in California
    Last year, California burned. This year, to stop it happening again (or rather, to stop themselves from being found liable if it happens again), Pacific Gas and Electric is cutting power to half the state for a week:Schools are closed. Traffic lights down. Tunnels dark. Businesses unopened. Hospitals running on ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • Let’s Hear It For Up-Close-And-Personal, Hard-Copy Democracy!
    The Best Way: Missing from the on-line voting debate is any reference to the voting system that produces turn-out figures ranging from 77 to 93 percent of registered voters. The voting system used to collect and count the votes cast in our parliamentary elections. The system that involves citizens making ...
    1 week ago
  • 10/10: World Day Against the Death Penalty
    Today, October 10, is the world day against the death penalty. Out of 195 UN member states, 84 still permit capital punishment. Today is the day we work to change that. This year's theme is children. Having a parent sentenced to death or executed causes long-term trauma and stigmatization which ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • Talking Freer Lives: a Marxist gender-critical perspective from Australia
    Among the great new bunch of political friends we have been making recently is the excellent Australian-based Marxist gender-critical site, Freer Lives.  So we asked the comrade who set up that blog to write something for Redline on the blog, himself, his analysis of the rise of gender politics and ...
    RedlineBy Admin
    1 week ago
  • Government spin accepted by union leadership
    by Don Franks  The Auckland City Mission is struggling with a 40 percent increase in demand for food parcels this year. A total of 23,020 were needed by June. Last month Missioner Chris Farrelly told the Herald the “cupboards are bare” and without an emergency food drive, he can’t see ...
    RedlineBy Daphna
    1 week ago
  • Forbidden Thoughts
    by The Council of Disobedient Women   Massey Wellington Student Association had a sit-in today. Imagine a sit-in. On a campus. Against a women’s rights meeting. Did the ’60s really happen or did we fucking dream it? They gathered in the student square, an echo chamber. Sitting on soft pillows ...
    RedlineBy Daphna
    1 week ago
  • Much love to my loyal Ukrainian readership
    For some reasons, my post about the mystery message from inside the Downing Street bunker seemed to catch people's attention.  Quite a lot of hits from NZ (unsurprisingly) and the USA (a bit more puzzlingly, but hi there, USAians!!) and 76 views from the Ukraine.I've celebrated my Ukrainian readers in ...
    1 week ago
  • Another day of bonkers GNUmours (again, sorry)
    First, almost a score of Labour MPs seem to have sent a letter to the EU basically begging them to accept a deal - any deal - just so Britain can get the Heck on with Brexiting instead of being trapped in limbo:
    To avoid no deal, deliver on the ...
    1 week ago
  • Labour vs working class immigrants – again!
    by Phil Duncan In 2016 the National-led government suspended the Parent Visa Category, through which migrants were able to bring their parents into New Zealand.  Since then over 5,700 people have been in immigration limbo, stuck on the visa wait list. Labour is now bringing back the scheme.  Well, sort ...
    RedlineBy Admin
    1 week ago
  • Speak Up for Women press statement: on Massey University and Feminism 2020
    The following was released yesterday (Tues, October 8) by the women’s liberation organisation Speak Up for Women. On 23 September Speak Up For Women announced that we would be holding an event at the Massey University Theaterette in Wellington. The event is called Feminism 2020. The intention of the event ...
    RedlineBy Admin
    1 week ago
  • Farmers support dirty rivers
    The government is currently consulting on plans to improve freshwater quality. So naturally, farmers oppose it:South Taranaki farmers are preparing to fight proposed national freshwater changes that some fear will bankrupt them. The Government's proposed National Environment Standard on Freshwater Management, released in September, rated the Waingongoro River as one ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • No-one cares about local government
    Yesterday was the last day for (reliably) posting your vote away in local body elections. Turnouts are mostly much lower than the equivalent time last year (Palmerston North is down 2.3%), and so naturally people are pushing their online-voting snake oil again. Because the online census worked so well, lets ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • The political ghosts of eugenics may matter more than the genetic
    This essay, on the political legacy of the eugenics movement, by Kenan Malik was originally published in the Observer on 6 October 2019, under the headline ‘The spirit of eugenics is still with us, as immigrants know to their cost’. Birth control. Intelligence tests. Town planning. Immigration controls. It’s striking how ...
    RedlineBy Daphna
    1 week ago
  • “Surplus” again
    Another year, and the government has announced another enormous government "surplus". And just like last year, its nothing of the sort. When we have people homeless and sick and hungry, when we have schools and hospitals still falling down, when we have underpaid public servants and infrastucture unmaintained or unbuilt, ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • Inside the Downing Street bunker
    James Forsyth at The Spectator (I know, I know) has tapped one of his contacts inside Number Ten for an insight into the Johnson administration's thinking and strategy.It is fascinating, unsettling and quite, quite mad.  Some key points:Negotiations have stalled and the Johnson administration are keen to blame the EU: ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Taking Control Of The Nation’s Story.
    Fatal Contact: With the arrival of captain James Cook in October 1769, the islands of what would become New Zealand ceased to be the preserve of Polynesian navigators and settlers and became a part of both the world’s map and the world’s history.THE MAORI NATIONALIST assault upon the historical meaning ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Are GNUs extinct?
    Another round of tactical talks about forming a Government of National Unity have come to nothing with the Liberal Democrats still refusing countenance putting Jeremy Corbyn into Downing Street:Opposition talks on Monday made little headway over when to try and vote down Boris Johnson's government and who might succeed him as ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Labour chickens out again
    When the government was elected, it promised to lead the way on electric vehicles, and specifically to make the government vehicle fleet emissions-free where-practicable by 2025.They lied:There are 15,473 vehicles in the government fleet and only 78 are electric. When the coalition Government came into power in late 2017, the ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • Transgender extremism, violence at work against feminist meeting at British Labour Party conference
    by Nick Rogers The debate around the meaning of sex and gender made an appearance at this year’s British Labour Party conference in Brighton. Women’s Place UK – an organisation that questions the demand that biological males who self-identify as woman should have access to women’s spaces, to all-women shortlists, ...
    RedlineBy Admin
    2 weeks ago
  • Rebelling in Wellington
    Yesterday I went down to Wellington to participate in the Extinction Rebellion protest. Its part of the latest global wave of XR actions, with actions happening all over the world. Some of those protests are massively disruptive: in Canada, XR is blocking major bridges, stopping people from getting to work. ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • ‘The Workshop’ – Report: Talking about Poverty and Welfare Reform: A Guide to Strategies that ...
    The Workshop is a charitable trust for public good. The Workshop undertake research to find ways of communicating that will build support for the solutions that work to solve complex social and environmental problems. See their Report on Talking about Poverty and Welfare Reform below. ...
    Closing the GapBy Tracey Sharp
    2 weeks ago
  • Exclusive language
    What is language? We generally assume that it a facility unique to humans, allowing us to share what’s in and on our minds. We can tell of our plans, our past exploits, our knowledge. It also allows us to lie. And yet there are vast numbers of people we can’t ...
    SciBlogsBy Michael Corballis
    2 weeks ago

  • Methane reducing cattle feed one step closer
    The Government today announced its support for a project that could substantially reduce agricultural greenhouse gas emissions from cattle. The announcement was made as part of Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern’s and Agriculture Minister Damien O’Connor’s visit to Nelson’s Cawthron Aquaculture Park. The Cawthron Institute will receive $100,000 from the Government’s ...
    23 hours ago
  • Bill to refresh superannuation system passes first reading
    Social Development Minister Carmel Sepuloni has welcomed the first reading of the New Zealand Superannuation and Veteran’s Pension Legislation Amendment Bill. “Every New Zealander has a stake in New Zealand Superannuation and Veteran’s Pension,” says Carmel Sepuloni. “They are our most common form of social assistance – nearly 800,000 New ...
    1 day ago
  • Government announces next steps in fight against measles
    Babies in Auckland aged six months and over can receive a free vaccination and children will all have access to vaccines, Associate Minister of Health Julie Anne Genter announced today at Papatoetoe High School.   The move comes as part of Government efforts to step up the fight against measles. ...
    1 day ago
  • Speech to the New Zealand Institute of International Affairs, Pacific Futures: Connections, Identity...
    ***Check against delivery*** Good morning. It is a pleasure to be here, and to have the honour of opening this important conference on behalf of the New Zealand Institute of International Affairs. Let us take the opportunity to acknowledge all the people who have helped make today possible, including our special ...
    1 day ago
  • Police trial new response to high risk events
    Police Minister Stuart Nash says the safety of frontline officers and members of the public will be the focus of a new trial of specialist Police response teams in three of our largest urban centres. Police have this morning released details of an initiative to be trialled in Counties Manukau, ...
    1 day ago
  • New awards celebrate fisheries sustainability
    The Minister of Fisheries is calling for entries for a new public award to celebrate innovation in our seafood sector. “I have established the Seafood Sustainability Awards to recognise and celebrate those throughout industry, tangata whenua and communities who demonstrate outstanding dedication and innovation towards the sustainability of New Zealand’s ...
    1 day ago
  • More progress for women and we can do more
    Minister for Women Julie Anne Genter welcomes leaders in the private sector taking action on closing their gender pay gaps to ensure a fairer workplace for all New Zealanders. Ms Genter today launched a new report, Addressing the gender pay gap and driving women’s representation in senior leadership, from the Champions for ...
    1 day ago
  • Proposals to curb environmental damage help our coasts and the oceans
    Government Ministers today welcomed the release of a marine environment report highlighting the four key issues affecting our oceans, estuaries and coastlines.  The release underlines the importance of government proposals to combat climate pollution, ensure clean freshwater, protect biodiversity, make land use more sustainable, and reduce waste and plastic.    Environment ...
    2 days ago
  • New mental health facility for Waikato
    The Government has approved funding for a new acute mental health facility for Waikato which will provide better care and support to people with mental health and addiction issues. Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern and Health Minister Dr David Clark announced the $100 million project to replace the aging Henry Rongomau ...
    2 days ago
  • 500 new te reo Māori champions in our classrooms
    The Government is making progress on its goal to integrate te reo Māori into education by 2025, with over 500 teachers and support staff already graduating from Te Ahu o te Reo Māori,  Associate Education Minister Kelvin Davis announced today. Kelvin Davis made the announcement at an awards ceremony in Waikanae today, for ...
    2 days ago
  • Minister James Shaw welcomes 2018 Census first release
    Statistics Minister James Shaw has welcomed the first release of 2018 Census data. The first release of data today, 23 September, includes key data on population, regional growth, the number of homes and the size of different ethnic groups in New Zealand. Data from the 2018 Census will support the ...
    2 days ago
  • Driving transparency, ethics and accountability in government use of algorithms
    Minister for Statistics James Shaw today announced a public consultation on a proposed algorithm charter for government agencies. The charter has been developed by the Government Chief Data Steward in response to growing calls for more transparency in government use of data. Computer algorithms – procedures or formulas for solving ...
    2 days ago
  • New Zealand and the Netherlands working together on climate change
    Agriculture Minister Damien O’Connor, Climate Change Minister James Shaw and visiting Dutch Prime Minister Mark Rutte co-hosted a business roundtable in Auckland this morning focused on working together to address climate change.  “The Netherlands is an important partner for New Zealand. We share a strong agricultural history. Sustainable agribusiness and ...
    2 days ago
  • Protecting fairness for workers and businesses
    The Government is taking action to build an inclusive economy where more of us receive our fair share at work and businesses can compete on great products and services, not undercutting wages and conditions, Immigration and Workplace Relations and Safety Minister Iain Lees-Galloway says. Two consultations launched today seek feedback ...
    2 days ago
  • Indigenous Freshwater Fish Bill Passes
    The future for New Zealand’s threatened indigenous freshwater fish looks brighter with the passing of the Conservation (Indigenous Freshwater Fish) Amendment Bill in Parliament today said Minister of Conservation, Eugenie Sage. “Until now, our freshwater fish legislation has been 20 years out of date. We have lacked effective tools to ...
    3 days ago
  • Kiwis to take part in world’s biggest earthquake drill
    At 1.30pm tomorrow, hundreds of thousands of Kiwis will join about 65 million people around the globe in ShakeOut, the world’s biggest earthquake drill. The annual drill is to remind people of the right action to take during an earthquake which is to Drop, Cover, Hold, and to practise their ...
    3 days ago
  • Rising wages and low inflation supporting Kiwis
    Kiwis are benefiting from higher wage growth and low inflation under the Coalition Government. Stats NZ data out today shows the rise in the cost of living remains low, as annual Consumers Price Index (CPI) inflation fell to 1.5% in September from 1.7% in June. “The low inflation comes as ...
    3 days ago
  • NZ economy strong amid global headwinds
    New Zealand’s economic strength and resilience has been recognised in a major update on the state of the global economy. The IMF’s latest World Economic Outlook released overnight shows a reduced global growth forecast over the next two years as issues like the US-China trade war and Brexit take hold. ...
    3 days ago
  • Keeping New Zealanders safer with better counter-terrorism laws
    Justice Minister Andrew Little has today introduced a new Bill to prevent terrorism and support the de-radicalisation of New Zealanders returning from overseas. The Terrorism Suppression (Control Orders) Bill gives the New Zealand Police the ability to apply to the High Court to impose control orders on New Zealanders who ...
    3 days ago
  • Improved succession and dispute resolution core of Ture Whenua changes
    A Bill that proposes targeted changes to simplify the processes for Māori land owners when engaging with the Māori Land Court has had its First Reading today. “The approach taken by the Government is to ensure that the protection of Māori land remains a priority as we seek to improve ...
    3 days ago
  • Speech to CTU Biennial Conference
    Let me first thank all the new unionists and members in the room. There is nothing more important to improving people’s working lives than people making the decision to care, to get on board and help, to take up the reins and get involved. Congratulations to you. You bring the ...
    3 days ago
  • Minister ensures continued Whenuapai flight operations
    Minister of Defence Ron Mark has signed a certificate exempting the activity of engine testing at Whenuapai Airbase from the Resource Management Act 1991. The Act gives the Minister of Defence the power to exempt activities for the purposes of national security.  The certificate will mean the recent Environment Court ...
    3 days ago
  • NZ joins Coalition of Finance Ministers for Climate Action
    Finance Minister Grant Robertson has announced New Zealand will join the Coalition of Finance Ministers for Climate Action while attending APEC meetings in Chile. The objective of the 39 member Coalition is to share information and promote action to tackle climate change. It was formed in April this year, in ...
    3 days ago
  • Feedback Sought – Section 71 – Lyttelton Parking
    Feedback sought– Lyttelton commercial zone parking  The Associate Minister for Greater Christchurch Regeneration, Poto Williams, is seeking feedback on a proposal to remove on-site car parking requirements for new developments in the Lyttelton commercial zone.  The proposal, by Christchurch City Council, asks that powers under section 71 of the Greater ...
    4 days ago
  • Feedback Sought – Section 71 – Hagley Oval
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