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Open Mike 11/12/2017

Written By: - Date published: 6:00 am, December 11th, 2017 - 183 comments
Categories: open mike - Tags:

Open mike is your post.

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Step up to the mike …

183 comments on “Open Mike 11/12/2017”

  1. 2 Smart 2 be Blocked 1


    [permanent ban – weka]

    [TheStandard: A moderator moved this comment to Open Mike as being off topic or irrelevant in the post it was made in. Be more careful in future.]

    • Matthew Whitehead 1.1

      Remember, it was the Greens’ choice to be in a confidence and supply agreement, not NZF. There’s no indications thus far that a three-way coalition is off the cards.

  2. vto 2

    A suggestion to change our society’s punitive culture, which some wrongly keep pointing the finger exclusively at men over…

    1. Legislate to criminalise verbal violence.
    2. Legislate to criminalise psychological violence.
    3. Legislate to criminalise social violence.

    • One Anonymous Bloke 2.1

      Section 195 of the Crimes Act.

        • One Anonymous Bloke


          Unless you can actually be bothered to articulate exactly what you’re talking about, that is, but I expect it’s simply more monomania.

          Come on, what sections will you add to the Crimes Act and how shall they be worded? This is your chance.

    • mpledger 2.2

      In a US survey they asked men and women what they most feared when going on a date. Men were most likely to say it was being laughed at, women were most likely to say being raped and murdered.

      • One Anonymous Bloke 2.2.1

        Vto lives in a world where eg: this prosecution didn’t happen. I’m pretty sure he blames mothers for the rapes and murders their sons commit too.

      • vto 2.2.3

        In the Dunedin longitudinal study it was found that female assaults male was more common than male assaults female

        [please link and provide cut and pastes to back that up as well as provide the context e.g. how assault was measured. You are free to argue what you want here (within the limits of the Policy) but on something like DV you have to make some attempt to do so in ways that don’t mislead – weka]

        • weka

          please respond to moderator note above.

        • vto


          [please reread the moderation note. Links on their own aren’t enough. You need to demonstrate what you are saying onsite here without expecting people to read a whole article and figure out what you mean. Also, this moderator doesn’t have the time so I suggest making it easier rather than harder. – weka]

          • weka

            another moderation note to respond to.

          • ianmac

            Thanks VTO. Informative. I wonder if the difference is that male violence is more likely to inflict greater damage?
            I do know of women who slap and/or scratch their partners when angry. I know a male who has learned to never turn his back when she is angry.

            • weka

              It’s a given that women can be violent towards men, but as you point out there are very real and important differences.

              The problem with vto’s MRA-like position is that he’s misleading by trying to make out that DV isn’t gendered. I’d really welcome men here talking about all aspects of violence and how it affects them, but it’s not ok to have that conversation in the context of ‘women are just as bad as men’ because of how that impacts on women and the politics of violence.

          • Carolyn_nth

            And this article where the results of the Dunedin study are disputed.

            Ms Balakrishnan said both studies used a wide definition of “violence”.

            “Most people would consider it family violence where there is physical violence, where there is fear, where you are afraid for your safety,” she said.

            She pointed to a national Justice Ministry survey of 5300 households in 2001 which found that 21.2 per cent of women, but only 14.4 per cent of men, said they had ever had a partner who “used force or violence on you, such as deliberately hit, kicked, pushed, grabbed or shoved you, or deliberately hit you with something, in a way that could have hurt you”.

            Police statistics also show that men dominate the worst cases of family violence, including 31 out of 35 family homicides last year.

            Professor Fergusson agreed that the homicide figures showed that the worst family violence was perpetrated by men. But that was such a small group that it did not show up in his sample of 1003 people.

            And domestic violence does not cover all kinds of sexual violence or assault.

            And the Dunedin study does not examine the findings to investigate issues of gender and power.

            Far and away, most sexual assaults and sexual violence are perpetrated by men, and typically arise within asymmetrical power dynamics, where the perpetrator occupies a more powerful or dominant position in relation to the victim.

            These men have what their victims, who are in less powerful positions, want and need: a job, good grades, a promotion, a recommendation, an audition, a role in a movie, a place close to the center of power. They confuse and control by dangling enticements with one hand and wielding threats, implied or explicit, with the other.

            • weka

              Thanks Carolyn.

              Separating sexual violence from other kinds of physical violence is odd.

            • Bill

              Thinking that part of the definition is kind of crucial – where there is fear, where you are afraid for your safety.

              In adulthood, I’ve been assaulted* – physically, verbally, psychologically – mostly by women…actually. overwhelmingly so. But as I sit here, I can’t bring up an instance when I felt afraid for my safety.

              But if I take the same overt expressions of assault* but reverse the roles, then I reckon I would have felt fearful on a number of those occasions because of the surrounding or broader cultural environment and how it had previously and continuously played out on me. (That make sense?)

              * based on what I’m going to term ‘facile’ definitions – ie, any strike or blow or any verbal or psychological exchange intended to inflict harm.

              • Carolyn_nth

                Yep. Any “assault” or violence, needs to be considered in terms of it’s impact – and in terms of the power dynamics, and wider social, cultural, political and economic context.

                • Bill

                  At which point, and by “necessity” as it were, it all becomes subjective beyond very broad brush strokes that may or may not be useful in any given or particular instance.

                  And that can lead to all types of tangled messes where outsiders apply “accepted” social, cultural, political and economic contexts, with presumptions around the affects those have in a routine or matter of course way to every instance of “assault”…with the aim to then judge, condemn or excuse in light of…well, in light of their own bias.

                  I think I might not be being so clear any more 🙂

                  There are possible affects or even likely effects of social, cultural etc contexts,. But there are also individual psychologies and states of mind coming in at it from a different angle.

                  Putting the two together in an attempt to construct a “universal” framework to ‘guide’ behaviours, as some busy-body self appointed morally superior outsiders might be tempted to do? Yeah…nah.

            • savenz

              All these studies downplaying violence against women using studies that define a scratch the same as a broken arm. They need to use data where the violence also includes severity of injury hospitalisation and death to get the real statistics.

              Saying that, scarily, apparently violence is growing amongst young women not sure if violence is growing amongst young men.

        • Anne

          There is also the situation where the perpetrator and the victim are of the same gender. I was covertly stalked and criminally targeted on and off for years by an insane woman.

      • Carolyn_nth 2.2.4

        Physical rape, sexual assault and domestic violence most often, if not always, includes verbal, psychological and social violence.

        • red-blooded

          Let’s remember, too, that the Dunedin study was focusing specifically on violence between partners in long term relationships. I would suggest that violence inflicted in other relationships or when there is no relationship as such is more likely to be male on female.

    • greywarshark 2.3

      1. Legislate to criminalise verbal violence.
      2. Legislate to criminalise psychological violence.
      3. Legislate to criminalise social violence.

      That sounds like a more punitive culture, but one that suits your beliefs.

      • One Anonymous Bloke 2.3.1

        All the items on vto’s list are already covered by existing legislation.

        • vto

          No they are not. Here is a link to s.195 of the Crimes Act which you point to above


          • McFlock

            intentionally engages in conduct that, or omits to discharge or perform any legal duty the omission of which, is likely to cause suffering, injury, adverse effects to health, or any mental disorder or disability to a child or vulnerable adult (the victim) if the conduct engaged in, or the omission to perform the legal duty, is a major departure from the standard of care to be expected of a reasonable person.

            Seems to cover verbal, physical and social violence (what’s that last one?) against children.

            Assault also covers threat of force, not just use of force, so takes out a chunk of the verbal violence, too. And that’s just the crimes act.

            • One Anonymous Bloke

              social violence (what’s that last one?)

              See section 43 of the Crimes Act for one example:

              Every one is justified in using such force as is necessary to suppress a riot, if the force used is not disproportionate to the danger to be apprehended from the continuance of the riot.

              Rioting: it’s violence, and we’re doing it together.

            • vto

              You and oab are being deceptive by pretending to ignore the fact s.195 only covers children and vulnerable adults

              • One Anonymous Bloke

                Baby steps: other sections cover other situations. Like social violence (see above).

                Perhaps if you could just articulate which sections you want to add or amend, that might save a lot of time. And energy. And hassle. And me having to look it all up for you.

                • vto

                  No they don’t. The rioting one is heavily limited, like s.195. The facts don’t support your points. Stop being deceptive.

                  Why are you so afraid?

                  • One Anonymous Bloke


                    Of course it is: that’s the thing with law: it has to be specific, hence we have lots of them, to cover lots of situations.

                    Why can’t you articulate exactly what sections of the crimes or other acts you would like to see amended or added?

                    Can you give an example of the behaviour you want to outlaw?

                    Can you read the Crimes and Summary Offences Acts first? cf: a waste of everyone’s time.

              • McFlock

                I did not ignore that fact, I explicitly mentioned it.

                BTW, Summary Offences Act includes intimidation.

                FWIW, I’m not arguing the law is perfect, it could always do with improvement. But much of what you want seems to be already covered, or is redundant (how is “verbal violence” not “psychological violence” or “social violence”?). How would you draft a couple of example sections?

          • One Anonymous Bloke

            Yes, they are. To illustrate my point, you cannot articulate the answer to the question what sections will you add to the Crimes Act and how shall they be worded?

            As you cannot define the crimes you want to outlaw, you are incapable of knowing whether they are covered by the Crimes Act.

            Now’s your chance to prove me wrong: define them, say what new crimes you want to outlaw.

    • vto 2.4

      There is a fourth legislative action we could take to change the violence culture in our society…

      4. Legislate to criminalise smacking children.

      • One Anonymous Bloke 2.4.1

        Section 195 of the Crimes Act:

        …intentionally engages in conduct that, or omits to discharge or perform any legal duty the omission of which, is likely to cause suffering, injury, adverse effects to health, or any mental disorder or disability to a child…

        Assuming you disagree that this includes ‘smacking’*, how would you amend it to include ‘smacking’?

        *it includes ‘smacking’ already.

        • vto

          The smacking legislation was heralded as, among other things, a strong and important signal that society does not tolerate any form of violence.

          That work should continue into other forms of violence, as suggested at the top.

          • One Anonymous Bloke

            So you still can’t actually say which sections of the Crimes Act should be amended or added then.

            And I bet you still haven’t actually read it or the Summary Offences Act to find out.

            Lazy lazy lazy.

            Edit: it occurs to me that you may be the victim of violence. If so, have you made a police complaint?

  3. Ed 3

    The Herald reproduces an article which fails to ask any hard question of industrial factory farming in the US.
    No questions about animal cruelty or welfare.
    No questions about the environmental impact of this form of farming.
    No questions about the health impacts of eating dairy.

    The Herald.
    Owned by the finance industry.


    Were it independent, it might refer to this instead.

  4. eco maori 4

    If my mama lived another 10 years I would have been a suite wearing higher education person and would not need my medicine as there would be no less stress my great grand father went to Te after college and so did his son. but this is fait I would no have the Mana of eco Maori. Corin Dan you were a different person when you appeared on breakfast a few years back what happened????. I’m fighting for equality for all mother earth as well and when I see people pissing on our people that have the same goals as me well I’m not going to be the nice guy any more as equality
    And mother nature is to vital to our survival I say this gives me the blessing of mama to take the gloves off SO MSM Be warned. Now with colmar Braunton polls when I see truly independent audits of the process you take to get your figures an this shows no bias to national I will accept your figures. I say before we go and spend billions we should go down the route of minimiseing our use of water and waste water and don’t be like other countries that have gone down that route after exsorsting all other options and have spent billions we need to leave water for our fellow animals to have a humane life it’s there right make a law that everyone has efficient shower heads lets make a kiwi culture of being minimiseing people in every thing as this will save us big time one dollar save is like earning 2 dollars . As for a big company owning /controling most of our water assets is OK but it has to be made a asset of National security and can not be privatetise as national want to do with all our assets. I not a fan of alcohol as a lot of my whano have fallen into a bottle and it causes more damage to our society than other drugs yes alcohol is a drug. Sorry Hillary I did not mean to hurt your M8 but if he goes back to the fair man he was I will take it easy on him to my Maori culture people be proud of our culture and please make us proud as this will lift the Mana of all us Maori. Kia kaha

  5. eco maori 5

    Many thanks to the people on the breakfast news show Ka pai

  6. savenz 6


    Protesters hit K Road to fight housing development

    Sounds like the undemocratic unitary plan have put a SHA on stolen/confiscated land. As usual not much details from our news agencies but questions should be who is building the houses (aka is it council, government, private hands, private partnership?). Also what is the United Nation’s status on the land with the claim being put in?

    No surprises that the environment court and Auckland Council are not recognising the indigenous rights and have taken away the grass roots Māngere Gateway Heritage project. The super city was designed to take away community rights, democracy and special areas.

  7. eco maori 7

    These people are playing with themselves because I can read there every move lol the Rock keeps a smile on my face and keep the working man pumping. Kia kaha

  8. Ed 8

    ‘Team NZ is a big business and not necessarily a good business.’

    Nice to see someone in the media not falling for Team New Zealand’s bait.
    Indeed Rattue’s article includes some truths you never see in the economy section of the paper.

    The big lie was Rogernomics, the 1980s rush to free enterprise which inferred that health and wealth would trickle down. Ever since, the wealth has been gushing upwards, and real national health has plummeted.
    The original America’s Cup dream was actually funded by some of these new frontiersmen, a couple of bankers with – in my view – highly questionable attitudes around society values.
    No, when you live in a little country where the head of the local farming cooperative is earning more than $8m a year and gets an increase to give Beauden Barrett’s goalkicking success rate a decent nudge, all those top dogs are fair game.
    Big business will say anything to get its own way — take all inferences the good ship America’s Cup is vital for the country with a big vat of sea salt.’

    This article shows more critical thinking than anything you’d read from Hosking, Soper, du Plessis Allen, Garner, Gower, Murphy, Young, Watkins, Tame, ….

    Yes this was written in the sports section and actually shows up the bs we’ve been sold for 35 years,

    Chris Rattue’s article is worth a thread.

    Just read this section alone…..

    Philosophy, heart, soul, culture and emotion has been replaced by a fake world in the debilitating efficiency age. This includes the pseudo patriotism that lines up before every test match, hand on heart, face grimacing, team mates clutched closely, anthem turned up loud.
    But can you tell me again why it is so overwhelmingly important to beat Australia, when I don’t actually feel like that anymore?’

    or this part….

    ‘(For instance, in the real world I believe all this fawning over the rich and famous may increase feelings of alienation in many people. This could nullify any alleged economic benefit.)


  9. Rosemary McDonald 9

    Seriously, Green Party, sort this shit out….toot sweet.


    Another reason to lament the absence of some of those older, wiser and very possibly greener heads that are no longer present in the Big House.

    • weka 9.1

      “sort this shit out….toot sweet.”

      My thoughts too. I was shocked but not surprised. Shocked because that shouldn’t be happening and depending on what is going on might be a bad sign in terms of GP kaupapa. Not surprised because I get the impression they are really stretched on a number of levels going into govt.

      Although, again MSM, we don’t know the whole letter/context, or where it came from.

      • solkta 9.1.1

        I assume the letter is from one disgruntled employee yet the article claims “however the letter reveals staff are unhappy”. Can’t see how they can make that claim based on the opinion of one staff member.

        • Carolyn_nth

          The article says the letter is from “staff” not just one staff member.

          And the GP does need to elect a new co-leader as soon as. That will also indicate the future direction of the party – Genter or Davidson – indicates which direction the members want to go.

          • weka

            “A letter from disgruntled Green Party staff to its MPs has revealed complaints of low morale, bad communication and unfair treatment.”

            Sounds like plural to me.

          • solkta

            Right you are on the first point.

            On the second I don’t think the direction of the party is dependent on who the leaders are. Unlike other parties the Greens don’t allow the leaders to determine policy. It will more come down to the personal qualities on offer.

            • Carolyn_nth

              Both main contenders have a strong raft of qualities.

              The results will be tipped in the direction of which particular qualities the members tend to most value: Genter, strong on environment, transport, statistical analysis, gender issues, etc. Davidson strong on community engagement, Maori and Pacific engagement and supporting ethnic diversity, anti-poverty, gender….

              Probably other things I haven’t included.

              But the selection will indicate where the majority of members see the GP heading in future.

              • solkta

                I was referring to personal qualities. You have responded with portfolio areas.

                They are quite different people and I think the membership will look at who would be the best person for the job. This is what happened when James was elected. His leadership has not changed policy.

        • Draco T Bastard

          Yep. That was pretty much what I was thinking. No one I’ve met in the party has seem disgruntled in any way.

      • OnceWasTim 9.1.2

        From the RNZ report:
        “However the letter reveals staff are unhappy with the way they’ve been treated SINCE the party has become part of the government.” (my capitalisation)

        I have to say that I began to notice something was beginning to change (morale-wise) at Garrett Street among the people slaving their arses off BEFORE they became ‘part of gubbamint’.
        I think they know what they need to do though – and it probably isn’t calling in talking-head, political commentator, bullshit-artsist, media knob-head-friendly types as consultants. JAG would probably be a more reliable route, and probably a few more equipped with the baubles associated with oestrogen rather than testosterone.
        Probably you won’t understand what I mean, but so be it – there’ll be a few super-tuff trolls along soon to explain what I DON’T mean

        • weka

          Why would JAG be a more reliable route?

          • OnceWasTim

            There are others @Weka, but my initial thoughts were her because she actually does give a shit, she doesn’t suffer from corporate taint (though she’s well familiar with it), and is intelligent and astute.
            But as I say – there are others.
            Marama for one. I’m just concerned others will open themselves up to vicious media onslaught from the likes of the Garner type blokes.
            James does need help though, and toot sweat.

    • Ad 9.2

      In six months the Green Party have have not one strong and positive media story.

      This little one is definitely Beltway Lacrosse, but it was a deliberate leak making yet another reason for parliamentary and Wellington-based reporters to form more negative stories.

      The Otago Daily Times has picked up on the RNZ story here:


      The Greens need to start the New Year with an outstanding plan for delivering on their portfolios, electing a new Co-Leader, and having the internal capacity to sustain three years of attacks.

      • greywarshark 9.2.1

        Do you want the reporters to form more positive stories, not negative?

        • Ad

          I want the Green Party to enable the media to generate more positive stories for the government.

          It’s not a disaster because the polling looks solid for them.

          On the other hand the Greens need to show that they are an actual part of government, not a reason to be consistently unpicked by the media.

          • weka

            The irony there is that you seem incapable of talking about what they’re getting right and most of what I see in your comments is knocking them. That’s not the Green Party’s fault, it’s about how you choose to comment.

            • Ad

              Yeah it’s my fault they keep fucking up. Consistently.

              Top work there.

              • Ed

                The media have an agenda.
                Which I sense you share.

              • weka

                The impression I have is that you don’t like some of the GP politics and/or kaupapa. I also note that you are overwhelmingly critical of them. I think those things might be related.

                Your analysis above is that the GP should enable the media to present more positive stories about them. But you’re not willing to make positive comments about them. Yes the Greens make mistakes and that’s not your responsibility. But that you focus almost solely on the faults to the exclusion of what they do well and good is *your choice, nothing to do with the GP.

                • Ad

                  I am critical of politicians who don’t perform.

                  I am critical of politicians who blame everyone else for their own mistakes.

                  I am well and truly soft on them compare to the rest of the MSM, and indeed every other political blog in NZ writing about them.

                  Still, their consistent lack of performance and litany of mistakes could simply be a complete mistunderstanding, which only the Green MPs (as distinct even from their own staff) understand, and it’s actually the rest of the world that is in the real chaos.

                  Helpfully, you are siding with the Green MPs against the Green staff.

                  So we know where you stand Weka.

                  Solidarity forever.

                  • One Anonymous Bloke

                    a complete mistunderstanding [sic 😆 ]

                    Nah, they look more like malicious weasel words to me. A bit beige, if you know what I mean.

                    So we know where you stand kneel, Ad.

                  • weka

                    I am critical of politicians who blame everyone else for their own mistakes.

                    Where have the Green MPs being doing that? Be specific.

                    Helpfully, you are siding with the Green MPs against the Green staff.

                    So we know where you stand Weka.

                    Solidarity forever.

                    And yet I haven’t expressed support for the Green MPs over the staff (my first comment about sorting their shit out was because of the impact on staff). You’re an idiot who appears to be making shit up.

                    My comments in this subthread are basically pointing out that while you expect other people to be perfect and take responsibility for everything bad that happens, you seem incapable of being honest about your own inability to say anything nice about the Greens and instead use most opportunities to pull them down.

                    THere’s nothing wrong with having a personal opinion based on dislike or whatever, I’d just prefer some criticism of the Greens that was based on evidence (seriously, it’s not that hard, I do it all the time). For instance, you claimed that there’d been no positive press coverage of a GP story in 6 months. I gave you some links that demonstrate otherwise.

                    You talk about accountability, but that’s not the same as slagging off.

              • red-blooded

                Ad, I’ve seen plenty of positive commentary about James Shaw’s leadership, and about the allocation of portfolios playing to the Greens’s strengths.

                They, like Labour, are still setting up their staff, reading all the documents that they didn’t get to see in opposition, settling in to the role of government. Back off a bit, eh?

                What we need to see from the Greens, and others, is evidence that policy is being processed into legislation. But give them a chance to get moving.

            • Ad

              Martyn Bradbury takes it far further than I did, and didn’t even list half the litany of mistakes since the election:

              “The audacity of the Green Party tactics team complaining about the leadership needing to bring in talent from outside the Wellington clique is hilarious when you consider it was the total lack of anyone gaming out the damage from Metiria’s confession that cost the Greens half their vote.

              This total lack of tactics has seen the Greens spend 3 years misstepping and being held hostage by the Wellington Twitteratti. The fact they almost fucked up the last election is utterly denied by everyone concerned.

              The grim truth seems to be that no one inside there sees the opportunity of policy they could actually get through if they targeted specific Labour MPs and NZ First MPs for legislative gains.

              The madness behind their Waka jumping legislation ‘strategy’ showed a level of incompetence that is bewildering.

              Every time I see the Greens in the news headlines now it feels like the nervousness you get when the kids take the car out for a drive. You know it’s going to come back written off with a whole bunch of excuses and explanations that it was someone else’s fault.

              The Greens don’t know if they are Arthur or Martha, and if they did it take a 6 month committee meeting to decide on pronouns.

              The only hope now is that Marama Davidson is elected co-Leader and she can bring some stability to a Party that desperately needs to ask itself if it wants to wield real political power for real change or just be an exclusive club that makes those who are members feel special by their exclusion of others.

              That it’s come to this is extremely embarrassing.”


              Lovely line there about “…the nervousness you get when the kids take the car out for a drive.”

              • One Anonymous Bloke

                If Martyn Bradbury jumped off a cliff* would you “do it too”?

                *Edit: that metaphor’s in poor taste. It’s insensitive and ill-considered. Mea culpa. D’oh!

              • Carolyn_Nth

                Bradbury has been anti the GP for a long time now.

                He seems to have jumped onto the Willie Jackson/Labour Party wagon.

                • weka

                  Pretty much.

                  The Greens were still right about the welfare announcement, even though they paid a big cost. That analysis is beyond the macho politics crowd I think.

              • greywarshark

                The prevailing thought by the Greens is likely that they are misunderstood, and they are trying to be above the mangle of the politics, stay a bit aside rather than above, and get on with the kaupapa that the other parties overlook while they jockey for position.

                If that is the case, and they give out the feeling that they are too good, of finer stuff, from the rest of their age group if middle aged, then they won’t be able to capitalise and inform the younger middle class though they weill probably connect with the strugglers and self-driven.

                The Greens in the older age group may be a bit distant from the younger ones’ pressing problems of trying to make lives and relationships, get a living, get a house, and preoccupied with that plus the problems of CC and bad political management. The Greens may not be able to capitalise on their place in parliament, and get that wider and continuing support with a practical edge that is needed. Older members are probably better off and they need to keep close and be supportive and not spend too much time walking in the mountains, visiting Europe etc and be part of supporting the political scene here and not absent so much or thinking more of the community than their nearest family and friends.

          • greywarshark

            You mean feed the media the info about what is going on with the Greens, of a positive sort, not leave it to the journos to lurk and like sparrows gang up, and peck holes in our lettuces!

      • weka 9.2.2

        “In six months the Green Party have have not one strong and positive media story.”

        I suspect your bias affects what you are seeing.

        • marty mars

          Yeah ummm they got ministerial roles didn’t they ad? That was pretty positive wasn’t it.

          • alwyn

            “That was pretty positive wasn’t it”.
            Given what the jobs are it is only positive for the wellbeing of the people getting them.
            The only one that could have any power is Minister of Conservation. She may be able to do something, which is more than any of the others will be able to do. The others aren’t worth a tin of beans.
            None of them were allowed into Cabinet, on Winston’s say if rumours I have heard are to be believed, and they don’t get any say in the overall Government strategy.
            Associate Minister is the worst job of the lot. You only get assigned tasks that the Minister doesn’t want to touch. Then you catch the flak.

            • One Anonymous Bloke

              Pretty sure Hekia Parata and Anne Tolley got all their associate minister’s ‘flak’.

              LINZ and Stats have no power? Are you sure the deficit isn’t your imagination?

              James Shaw is going to oversee the production of information. Nothing to see here 😆

              • alwyn

                “James Shaw is going to oversee the production of information”.

                That means precisely nothing. The Government Statistician has statutory independence and the Minister, or the Prime Minister for that matter have absolutely no power over what is in the material that is produced.

                The Statistician tends to get very unhappy at the slightest hint that they may be subject to any control from the Government of the day. Have a look at this slap at Robertson last year when he suggested that the Government were making her produce particular results to order.

                The Minister can instruct the Statistician to produce, or stop producing, particular types of statistics. The cannot however tell them how to go about gathering the information needed, analysing it, nor how it is to be presented.


                Ministers are likely to be extremely cautious about such instructions of course. The Statistician can, and almost certainly will, make such instructions public.

                • One Anonymous Bloke

                  A list of things he can’t do will not avail you.

                  He can ask them to measure poverty and a whole host of other items National wasn’t too keen to know about. Under-employment, for example.

                  He can also affect the transparency of information.

                  • alwyn

                    Of course he can.
                    He will just have to accept whatever they find though.
                    That could turn out to embarrassing to him, and worse, to the Labour Party.
                    H2 would have his balls if the Government Statistician came out with something embarrassing. It is very hard to say he (or she at the moment) doesn’t know what they are talking about.

                    I don’t really understand what you mean by the last sentence.

                    • One Anonymous Bloke

                      Funny how your authoritarian leader-worship shines out when you think you’re being erudite and knowledgeable.

                      Heather Simpson would not be so stupid as to risk Labour’s C&S arrangement, whether you project National’s no-mates ethics or not.

                • The Minister can instruct the Statistician to produce, or stop producing, particular types of statistics.

                  Indeed. And having stopped certain types of statistics, the Minister can get up in the House and quack on about it being impossible to measure poverty, homelessness, or whatever else it might be inconvenient to have information about. Which is exactly why having James Shaw as Minister of Statistics is one motherfucker of an improvement.

            • marty mars

              Good that you agree with me alwyn. Sure as hell better than not having those roles. But just in cake you want to trifle more with this, think.

        • Ad

          We can’t go on forever with suspicious minds Weka.

          Can you name a strong and positive media story that the Greens have managed to get into the MSM in the last six months? Go right ahead.

          I am sure you can give them all the rope they need, but at some point you need to apply the same level of accountability that you do to anyone running the country and expect them to sort their actual shit out and perform, just like the others.

    • Ed 9.3

      Not good.
      However, be aware of the agenda of the finance owned media.
      They have an agenda.

      • Bearded Git 9.3.1

        yep another media beat up. if you are looking for low morale look at National at the moment….well behind Lab/Gr in the radionz poll of polls since the election and Jacinda well ahead of Bill in preferred PM stakes…Bill will be gone in March

    • + 1 yep always bound to be challenging. I hope they can navigate these rapids, they must do so because we need them there, aligned and in strength.

      I hope also that the election is being analysed seriously from a Green perspective. Maybe get some ex MPs to be in on that.

      • Rosemary McDonald 9.4.1

        “Maybe get some ex MPs to be in on that.”

        Oh my, my, my….I’m envisioning certain staunch and consistently outspoken former Green MPs and and how much more they could have achieved had they been occupying government benches.

        Those older and bolder heads should be right in there, right now, with the good oil to calm these troubled waters.

        Now. Today. Quick.

        • marty mars

          Good oil is also good in stopping mozzies. It reduces surface tension and they can fly off the pooled water I believe.

        • savenz

          I agree with you Rosemary McDonald. Personally feel it would have been good for some of the new Green MP’s to be placed lower in the list and then have had at least one election of campaigning to get the feel of it and used to the amount of work and what is involved. I believe in working your way upwards is fairer.

          Greens had a new co leader and a resigned co leader and Marama is fairly new too so having so many inexperienced people as well as new people with their own branding has not been good.

          Yes up to the Green members for the placement, but how much was influenced by Metro articles, MSM and fluff. Obviously all worked out for the MSM in the end when they saw the votes for the Greens. For whatever reason whatever happened took a lot of Green talent out of parliament.

          I’m not a member of the Greens but did party vote them and have donated to the party. If I was a member I’d be voting Eugenie Sage as co leader because she’s the only one who seems to have any lengthy conservation experience left and has an air of Jeanette Fitzsimons. But I don’t think she’s the type to step forward for promotion. Pity.

      • weka 9.4.2

        “I hope also that the election is being analysed seriously from a Green perspective”

        There’s a review going on currently that includes the members.

        • savenz

          The other issue, is in the age of dirty politics how many Green members are there and how many members could be faked or actually members of other parties to influence the list, opinion polls and party leader? We all know that governments have infiltrated Greenpeace, spied on Keith Locke and other social groups. We know from dirty politics that Mark Mitchell allegedly paid Slater to help increase his chances and smear the other’s in the running.

          In the 21st century influencing politics seems to be just another way to keep the profits coming in and stop change. Are the Greens voting systems robust enough in the age of dirty politics?

          Labour give unions voting rights for example for their party leader which might be why the leaders are still more left wing than many of the Labour MP’s – much to the MSM and Natz disgust.

    • DoublePlusGood 9.5

      If that was leaked by staff, then they aren’t suitable for continued employment with a political party and the MPs were perhaps right to be seeking external staff for certain key roles.

      • garibaldi 9.5.1

        There is much to be done in adjusting to being in govt and having fewer MPs, but as a Green supporter I have been dismayed in the naivety of much that has happened and can’t help thinking they need far better advisors toot sweet.

  10. Ad 10

    I was going to do something on the drinking water report from last week, but Gordon Campbell does a useful primer here:


    • Zorb6 11.1

      How so?He has followed the process and it doesn’t sound fair at face value.Duke has been a big success in retail,turned Briscoes around and made himself a fortune.

      • Ed 11.1.1

        A defender of the 0.01%.
        Quite a few here on the Standard nowadays……

        • Zorb6

          I asked how he didn’t abide by the rules.

          • james

            Ed – It is fair to ask you to back up accusations.

            “The uber rich don’t play by the rules.”

            What rule is he not playing by? He seems to have done everything correctly so far?

            • Ed

              Another stalwart of the neoliberal elite arrives in their defence…….

              • james

                and another post where you make accusations and cannot or refuse to back them up.

                then try and attack people who call you out.

            • savenz

              Yep, at the end of the day if the council has given other’s 6 landings a week and he gets half not really fair. (if that is true). Anyway I think great they will all be making such a din with all the helicopter landings to each other – each to themselves.

    • “It’s just going to be a family residence. It’s going to be ready about August next year. I’m taking out external and internal walls and the roof and leaving the piles and floors. Everything else will change,” he said last year of the new home.

      That, by the way, means that he doesn’t need to get consent because it’s a ‘renovation’, and not a new house despite the fact that it will be a new house.

      On the issue, one wonders why we’re letting helicopters taking off and landing over a residential area. How are they doing traffic control?

      • Ed 11.2.1

        We allow because we bow down to wealth in this country.

      • james 11.2.2

        “That, by the way, means that he doesn’t need to get consent because it’s a ‘renovation’, and not a new house despite the fact that it will be a new house”

        that is inaccurate – he will still need consent for that.

        “On the issue, one wonders why we’re letting helicopters taking off and landing over a residential area. How are they doing traffic control?”

        Same way they do it now – they call into the nearest traffic control centre.

        • Ed

          Pity you don’t have the energy to advocate for the poor with the same energy you argue for multi- millionaires.

          • james

            not arguing – just pointing out lies from the likes of yourself.

            • Muttonbird

              Careful. You’ve been warned before about these sorts of wild accusations.

              • james

                indeed – but Ed has made a couple of accusations this morning – as usual nothing to back them up, in fact his own link points to quite the opposite of Eds statements.

                So is it not fair that if all the evidence provided points to Ed not telling the truth, then its fair to call him a liar?

                  • McFlock

                    To be fair, it does seem like the richlister is indeed staying within the rules – using every inch of them, and being able to afford to challenge them, but still within them.

                    Twice a day, and all that.

                    Lol, the desire for petty point scoring is turning james into quite the custodian of decency and accuracy in others 🙂

        • Draco T Bastard

          that is inaccurate – he will still need consent for that.

          A family member is a builder and thus he actually knows the building code. Leave the floor and a wall or two standing and it becomes a renovation rather than a new house.

          They’ll probably have to get some consents – moving plumbing requires consent for example – but it won’t be to the level of a new house despite it being an actual new house. This is a rather glaring injustice within the law.

          Same way they do it now – they call into the nearest traffic control centre.

          Seems that they’re flying under VFR so no control centre involved.

      • savenz 11.2.3

        Yes have to say, I’d have a few safety concerns with all the helicopters being in a residential area. Helicopters have a higher failure rate than planes.

        • McFlock

          Couldn’t land on nicer people, I’m sure. Surely someone would give a thought about their safety…

      • Ed 11.2.4

        The wealth that James, BM and Indiana worship is created by exploiting workers.
        It is by paying them peanuts and himself a fortune he can afford luxurious properties, helicopters and membership of exclusive golf courses.

        ‘Employees from the Briscoe Group, speaking anonymously, say the starting wage there is 30 cents above the minimum rate, and most sales assistants’ wages are between $14.55 and $16 an hour, even with long service.

        At the other end of the spectrum, Briscoe chief executive Rod Duke’s salary has almost doubled over the past five years. The company’s latest annual report shows Duke was paid $891,000 for the year ending January 2014. In 2009, his pay was $458,000.’


        Executive directors Rod Duke and Alaister Wall were paid salaries of $972,000 and $465,000 respectively, which was separate to the fee pool.

        Duke owns about 78 percent of Briscoe, which delivered him dividends of $24.6 million in the 2016 financial year.

      • Ed 11.2.5

        Poor man doesn’t to be inconvenienced…

        ‘”From time to time, I have got a golf membership up the coast. I don’t want to have to drive to Onehunga,” he said referring to Advanced Flight’s base there.’

      • David Mac 11.2.6

        The tasty blocks of land on Sarsfield, Herne Bay drop off into the Waitemata Harbour. I recall something about approaches/departures from an approved H site over water having different CAA requirements than over dwellings.

        I’ve never done particularly well with slagging rich people for being rich, changes squat. I’d rather lobby the council to allow Rod to irritate the bejesus out of his neighbours whenever he wants and in return he installs a min wage at Briscoes of $17 per hour.

      • Carolyn_nth 11.2.7

        I think there are already too many helicopters flying over Auckland. I’m not near the landing sites, but they do drown out any audio I am listening to at home. Some days in the evening, there are several fly overhead – often early evening.

        I do think the number flying over Auckland in the future need to be regulated.

        I don’t know what the limit should be for any individual, but surely there will need to be flight course regulations in the future?

    • Andre 11.3

      Hmmm, he wants six helicopter flights a week. He wants to turn a boatshed into a major entertainment venue. Sounds like he’s planning to be a somewhat noxious neighbour. Considering what kind of people are likely to be his neighbours on Sarsfield St, surely that’s something to chuckle about while quietly wishing him luck.

      • Ed 11.3.1

        The rich neoliberal class care about no-one else than themselves.
        They read Atlas Shruggged and believed its sociopathic message.
        They think they are John Galt

        • David Mac

          Every day you spit on rich people. I get it, but it draws us no closer to a more favourable outcome.

          I think we’re robbing ourselves of ammunition if it is our belief that the wealthy give a rats about nobody but themselves. Even if they don’t, many think they do, that’s what matters.

          All of the wealthy and successful business people I’ve ever met have a few things in common. They love ‘The Deal’. They’re good at it. I have to go home, make phone calls, play with a whiteboard, before I’m remotely content with my SWOT analysis. These people run them in their heads in 10 seconds flat.

          That’s their language, put any proposition on the table and that’s what they’re doing. Strengths: ‘How will going ahead with this make us stronger?’ Weaknesses: ‘What adverse effects will going ahead have on what we have now?’ Opportunities: ‘What roads open up for us if we go ahead?’ Threats: ‘How will going ahead leave us exposed to competitors?’

          The best way to get Neo liberals to grow a more enhanced social conscious is to pitch our better way in manner they know and understand.

          • David Mac

            When we put on this cap other avenues start opening up.

            We could look at winding the accom supplement down if share dividends started to replace it.

            What would happen if our government approached Fletchers and said ‘We’d like to look at subsidising the purchase of Fletcher shares for Fletcher workers.’

            • David Mac

              Private ownership of state housing is a much easier pill to swallow when a 40% slice of the operation is owned by the people in the houses.

              Watch those gardens bloom.

              • David Mac

                Hands up everyone that wants to manage state housing.

                The people that have such a poor history with paying their rent, nobody in the private sector wants to know them. The people with 8 pig dogs that are in actual fact ‘family’. The guy with ‘The Mob’ emblazoned across his face. Just got out after smashing 22 people over the head with a cricket bat, he needs a home, he’s yours.

                If I was in government I’d be looking to chuck that hot potato ASAP.

      • savenz 11.3.2

        Unlike the UK which has strict planning laws so that their 60 million people can live in a country similar size to NZ with reasonable harmony. In NZ planning however the developers and councils and resource pillagers, have struck out pretty much all amenity clauses like privacy, noise, light, height to boundary, nuisance clauses etc. You can even try to steal 1km of harbour without a resource consent or steal public water for private bottling across conservation land.

        Planning does not rely on fairness or practicality in NZ, it’s all about some 100 page report from consultants voicing that anything will be of only minor effect. So as long as you have money, employ the right consultants or know someone at the council you are sweet as to do what ever obnoxious behaviour and steal as much resources as you want, in New Zealand. Anything goes.

      • Anne 11.3.3

        I was… kind of feeling sorry for the neighbours but I like your point Andre @ 11.3 😀

      • Bearded Git 11.3.4

        time to boycott Briscoes

  11. greywarshark 12

    This is what happens if you have to rely on private provision for old age, and user pays. There is likely to be to be a bad fit between the needs of people and what a company is willing to offer. Health insurance is a good example.
    11/Dec/2017 http://www.nzherald.co.nz/business/news/article.cfm?c_id=3&objectid=11957252

    And when you as a human are just a bit of business product, there is no feeling from the company that they should make some change to meet the need and include the desire to be fair as well as profitable. There is an insurance advocate I think, certainly some sort of change should be able to be made, a limited liability for the insurance company against a hefty total payment.

    I am paying for funeral cover myself and was interested in whether it would be paid if I chose managed demise (euthanasia) which would be regarded as suicide. I think that I would have to wait for two years or something. It isn’t a definite thing for me but that could prove a need for me in the near future.

  12. Ed 13

    The alcohol lobby wins.

    Workers lose.

    Families lose.


  13. Ad 14

    Patrick Gower’s leaving.

    Any takers for the job?

    • weka 14.1

      Hal Crawford, Chief News Officer Newshub said: “Paddy is one of the best communicators I have ever worked with – his new role as national correspondent will see him unleashed on the whole of NZ, something I’m looking forward to immensely.


      • Bill 14.1.1

        Grant Robertson will be pleased. (That’s not sarcasm btw.)

        • weka

          I think lots of people will be pleased 😆

          • Bill

            Way I’m reading it “National Correspondent” has the potential to be much more powerful and influential than a post tied to the Press Gallery.

            • weka

              I don’t know what national correspondent means.

              • Bill

                It means (from the blurb) that he gets to report on “stories of national significance” that will “play a key part in the Newshub Live at 6pm bulletin”.

                Who decides what’s significant and what to ignore is an open question. But I can’t see Paddy having only a limited input into those decisions.

                edit – and to reiterate what I’ve thought for quite a while, Paddy is Grant’s man.

                • Carolyn_nth

                  On your last point, I have been thinking that for a while, also.

                  But Gower also seems anti-GP, or anyone who strays away from the centre left, in a further leftwards direction.

                  • Bill

                    I don’t see any conflict whatsoever between Gower being anti- Green/ anti-left and being Robertson’s man.

                    I’d have used “and” in lieu of “but” in your comment.

      • mauī 14.1.2

        lol, they’re obviously not too bothered with ratings. Gower never seemed to me to be one made for tv.

    • savenz 14.2

      Obviously saw which way the wind was blowing and Goodbye Gower. Never mind, I believe Joyce was following his career closely – I’m sure Gower will be well looked after.

    • OnceWasTim 14.3

      Is he going back to the Herald? OR maybe he’s got a job with Fox, or more likely a job in political party spin doctoring or a gubbamint department/quango PR team.

      Dunk’s probably thinking Christ! do I have to start training another little protege in the art of hand movements and camera positioning.
      Actually that’s “Incredibly explosive, volatile and telling, and dramatic and devastating”. I’m in grief. Oh God I can’t cope!
      What will we do?

  14. ianmac 15

    Fascinating insight to trends in the Public Service versus Ministers:

    “Newsroom- Political and public administration academics Chris Eichbaum and Richard Shaw researched the freeness and frankness of New Zealand’s public servants in 2005 and 2017.

    One Respondent wrote:
    “Ministers are welcome to have political advisers who play a minor role in ‘separately’ providing politically oriented advice. The problem is when they act as an intermediary between the Minister and public servants, who are trying to provide free, frank and politically neutral policy advice. They frequently filter what policy advice goes to the Minister, actively argue against policy advice in officials’ meetings and work hard to influence the topics and content of advice….”

    • Rosemary McDonald 15.1

      Oh god, yes!

      Some years back I was driven to email the late Tony Ryall as he spouted about the impending fiscal apocalypse that would come on the back of the Appeal Court ruling for Atkinson v MOH.

      Apologies for not providing a link…but Ryall was banging on about the dire consequences of paying family carers and how if it extended to ACC ‘you can see how the costs would just go up and up…’. He did that hand over hand thing to demonstrate for the cameras.

      NOTE…ACC had nothing to do with the Atkinson case other that to provide evidence to the Tribunal in 2008 that paying family carers did not result in shit care or isolation or any other of ‘the sky is falling’ scenarios put forward by the Ministry of Health and Crown Law. ACC had been paying family carers for years…

      Clearly he had been given the wrong advice and information from some fwit or other in his orbit, and my email went along the lines of ‘the advice you’re getting is wrong and making you look like an idiot..’.

      My partner and I went to Welly and set ourselves up outside the Big House and let Ryall office know we were there should he or one of his staff like to get a truer picture of the issue.

      Three days later we got to see a staffer and yes, you guessed it, a senior adviser on disability issues from the Misery of Health. This senior adviser had already distinguished themselves in our eyes as being… how can I put this…less than well informed on basic disability issues.

      And the ballsup of a new family carers policy we ended up with…we’re going back to court on the issue again.

      Still not sure who is the dog and who is the tail and which wags what.

      Thanks ianmac for posting that link.

  15. joe90 16

    Fragile, petty and easily triggered.

    Trump asked RNC chair to stop using "Romney" in her name: report https://t.co/RmPJRHFhsO pic.twitter.com/EWEWsXaQR6— The Hill (@thehill) December 9, 2017

    I was curious about the WaPo anecdote about @GOPChairwoman dropping her middle name at Trump's request. Check out her Twitter name in December vs. May. "Romney" was dropped. pic.twitter.com/QRAOWDXEjK— andrew kaczynski🤔 (@KFILE) December 10, 2017

  16. Penny Bright 17


    11 December 2017

    Auckland Transport
    Shane Ellison

    ‘Open Letter’ / OIA to Auckland Transport CEO Shane Ellison re:Transdev public subsidies and corruption risk assessment.

    Dear Shane,

    Can you please provide the following information:

    1) How much have PRIVATE transport provider Transdev received in PUBLIC subsidies from Auckland Transport, on an annual basis since Transdev were awarded the AT rail contract to run Auckland urban passenger trains.

    2) How much have PRIVATE transport provider Transdev received in PUBLIC subsidies from New Zealand Transport Agency (NZTA) on an annual basis since Transdev were awarded the AT rail contract to run Auckland urban passenger trains.

    3) How much money have you, Shane Ellison, as new CEO of AT, the delegated authority to spend on awarding contracts.

    4) A copy of Auckland Transport’s ‘corruption risk assessment’ – (or the like) regarding your appointment as CEO of Auckland Transport (AT), given that you have just left the employment of Transdev (Australia), and Transdev have the AT contract to run Auckland urban passenger trains.


    Auckland Transport appoints new Chief Executive


    “In a first, Shane was selected in an exemplar of a collaborative approach between a CCO and the Mayor, with the Mayor, AT Deputy Chairman, Wayne Donnelly and myself fully involved in the selection process from the outset.

    Pippa Coom (Chair of the Waitemata Local Board) and Renata Blair (Member of the Independent Maori Statutory Board) were both involved in the final selection panel.

    Yours sincerely,

    Penny Bright
    ‘Anti-corruption whistle-blower’.

    Attendee: 2009 Australia Public Sector Anti-Corruption Conference.

    Attendee: 2010 Transparency International Anti-Corruption Conference.

    Attendee: 2013 Australia Public Sector Anti-Corruption Conference.

    Attendee: 2014 G20 Anti-Corruption Conference.

    Attendee: 2015 Australia Public Sector Anti-Corruption Conference.

    Attendee: 2017 Transparency International Australia Anti-Corruption Conference.

    Attendee: 2017 Australia Public Sector Anti-Corruption Conference.

    Attendee: 2017 World Justice Project International Rule of Law Forum – The Hague.

  17. The Chairman 18

    When are cheaper ($8) visits to the doctor coming into effect? Anybody know?

    • savenz 18.1

      It was a surprise to find the glossy Natz pamphlet telling me doctors visits were free to under 13 yo but when I went to the doctor I think is was over $40 for a child. They forgot to put in SOME doctors visits were free in their leaflet.

      • The Chairman 18.1.1

        Is that right, National misleading voters again.

        With the silly season coming upon us, I’m sure emergency departments would welcome it (cheaper doctor visits) sooner rather than later.

        Moreover, with hospitals struggling to cope overall, one would assume ensuring cheaper access to GPs would be one of Labour’s top priorities.

        I hope this isn’t going to be another policy that won’t take effect till 2021.

    • rod 18.2

      Ask Hoskings, he knows everything!

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  • Week That Was: Getting the job done
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  • Winston Peters responds to Simon Bridges’ ‘my sweetheart’ comment
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    3 weeks ago

  • Foreign Minister makes four diplomatic appointments
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  • Concern at introduction of national security legislation for Hong Kong
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  • Samoa Language Week theme is perfect for the post-COVID-19 journey
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  • Adult kakī/black stilt numbers soar
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  • Waikato-Tainui settlement story launched on 25th anniversary of Treaty signing
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  • Taita College to benefit from $32 million school redevelopment
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  • Redeployment for workers in hard-hit regions
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  • $35m to build financial resilience for New Zealanders
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    5 days ago
  • New District Court Judge appointed
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  • $206 million investment in upgrades at Ohakea Air Force Base
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  • Review of CAA organisational culture released
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  • New Principal Environment Judge
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    6 days ago
  • Digital connectivity boost for urban marae
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  • Govt increases assistance to drought-stricken Hawke’s Bay farmers
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    7 days ago
  • Investment in New Zealand’s history
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    1 week ago
  • Rotorua tourist icon to be safeguarded
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  • $14.7m for jobs training and education
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    1 week ago
  • Is it time to further recognise those who serve in our military?
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  • Paving the way for a fully qualified early learning workforce
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    1 week ago
  • Sport Recovery Package announced
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  • Major boost in support for caregivers and children
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    1 week ago
  • Great Walks recovery on track for summer
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  • Māori – Government partnership gives whānau a new housing deal
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  • Keeping New Zealanders Safe In The Water
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    1 week ago
  • Legal framework for COVID-19 Alert Level referred to select committee
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    2 weeks ago
  • New Zealand condemns shocking attacks on hospital and funeral in Afghanistan
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  • Government to close tobacco tax loophole
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  • $62 million package to support families through the Family Court
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    2 weeks ago
  • Tailored help supports new type of job seeker – report
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  • A modern approach to night classes
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  • Christchurch Call makes significant progress
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  • Christchurch Call: One year Anniversary
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  • Budget 2020: Jobs and opportunities for the primary sector
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  • New registration system for forestry advisers and log traders
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