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Open mike 11/06/2010

Written By: - Date published: 6:00 am, June 11th, 2010 - 30 comments
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Open mike is your post.

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Comment on whatever takes your fancy.

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30 comments on “Open mike 11/06/2010”

  1. Bored 1

    Kingz of ScuZ……big warning for Labour, you just are not good enough or clean enough to play the dirty politics game. Time for a big spring clean of policies and procedures for MPS and staff. Perhaps some hard and fast guidelines and governance of your support crew, (the media minders and secretaries, strategists etc). Everybody on the team is culpable and needs to pick up their act.

  2. Sam 2

    http://www.stuff.co.nz/business/personal-finance/3799652/Dunne-to-look-at-axing-gift-duty

    Dunne getting in on opening up tax loop holes.

    Aaron Quintal, a tax partner at Ernst & Young, said the proposals appeared contrary to other government plans to move tax liabilities away from trusts and onto individuals. The reason gift duties collected so little revenue was because people stayed within the rules to avoid them.

    “You only end up paying gift duties if you make a mistake somewhere,” Mr Quintal said.

    The Government claims the alignment of the top personal tax rate with the tax rate on trusts in last month’s Budget would cut the possible tax benefits of making gifts to trusts.

    Mr Quintal said bringing the top personal tax rate into line with the tax rate on trusts removed the advantage of transferring assets for the time being, but he predicted many people would use the end of gift duty to transfer money into trusts because of concern over what might happen in the future.

    I think you will see a flood of stuff going into trusts, concerned about what if the top tax rate goes up in the future? They could give it all away if they give people a window to get around gift duty.

    • prism 2.1

      Another tax revenue stream that has been lost came from the wiping of
      paying stamp duty on property sales. Let’s widen the net beyond the GST focus.
      What do people pay on death duty nowadays? These don’t have to be high, severe taxes by the way.

    • Lanthanide 2.2

      Certainly having to fuss around with gift duty and setting up special systems to put money into the trust over time is one thing that has kept me looking at getting a trust. If the gift duty is completely abolished, I’ll probably set up a trust even though I don’t really have much need for it.

  3. ianmac 3

    The way Jim Anderton and Chris Carter explained how hotels make up the bills, on Nine to Noon this morning first thing, is significant. A hotel bill contains all charges, is dealt with by staff accompanying a Minister. Back in NZ the bill is checked by staff and any personals are paid for by the Minister. Seems reasonable to me. It also seemed that Katherine was caught up in the blame game and struggled to continue the blame against the facts. Well done Jim and Chris.

    • Lanthanide 3.1

      Yip, that’s how hotel bills work.

      However it is also notable that in all of HC’s time as PM, she only had a single personal expense on her CC. So clearly it is possible to sort out hotel (and other) bills into personal and public at the hotel, rather than having to reconcile it later.

      However the blame ultimately comes down on ministerial services, as Jim Anderton said. He was doing the reconciliation system for 9 years, and if they ever had a problem with it, they never once approached him or his staff about it.

  4. Draco T Bastard 4

    http://www.chris-floyd.com/articles/1-latest-news/1975-war-on-the-world-obamas-surge-in-state-terror.html

    Addicott then makes this telling observation:

    They have informed high-level CIA officials about their concerns that the program is backfiring, Addicott told IPS.

    “The people at the top are not believers,” said Addicott, referring to the CIA. “They know that the objective is not going to be achieved.”

    And there you have it. The “people at the top” are indeed well aware that the stated objectives of the ever-expanding drone program — and the ever-expanding Terror War — are not going to be achieved. They are not meant to be achieved. They are meant only to give the illusion “that we’re winning,” to keep the great game going, to keep the money and the power rolling in.

    Oh dear, Americas attempt to become the supreme empire seems to be failing.

  5. prism 5

    Money is now available for high performance sport to whit $18 million plus, but not for education initiatives for ordinary citizens beyond school age study and vocational education. The study of physics and human dynamics, how to bulk up muscles and get greater performance is more important to NACT politicians than a thirst for further knowledge. Self-obssessed minds like theirs are needed to achieve in sports. Farmers sons and our clever little girls trained to earn a good living in the paying fields so they can accumulate money, that’s the use of education to the NACT mob.

    When Romans lorded it over Britain they paid gladiators to provide entertainment. According to a recent item on gladiators graves there they had one arm noticeably larger than the other through concentrated practice with that weapon arm. We have long been a country dependent on the bovine industry and land-based muscle building work. Our main sports preoccupation is still with thick-necked and thighed rugby grunts knocking into each other. There is a knockabout callous attitude to the sport that allows eye or ear gouging or balls twisting to be accepted if not sanctioned. Sport in NZ now enourages the mindless phsyical training and performance like those gladiators and the same acceptance of damaged lives.

    (I think sport now it is professional is treating its players like bulls to be farmed and exercised. More money could be made with a tv show that exploits that. Julie Christie could make a reality show with Lost overtones where we see the ‘players’ and then their home lives, and show the players jostling to get in the final team and viewers can vote blokes on or off each week. My idea is free, anyone who is interested. I won’t even want tickets to the grounds or studio.)

    We should be encouraging people’s mental gifts, seeking use of the intellect, understanding more of the world and people, not the contrast of more money spent on sport and less on universities. The desire to learn more and understand, to gain skills, to do positive learning with others particularly in rural areas, should be at the top of the list if we are to prevent ourselves becoming a dire, dour, dairying backwater receiving growing unfavourable comments from the diminishing tourists who once formed our second main income.

    • igiveup 5.1

      Have the interest free loans for tertiary education been axed then – I missed that bit of news.

  6. prism 6

    Google’s logo feature is Jacques Cousteau’s 100th birthday. Have a look.
    And follow up if you don’t already know all about the plastic vortex in the seas with this link which shows that the problems and wonders he showed us continue.

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

  7. Blue 7

    I think the National Radio story about Nick Smith trying to loosen up air quality controls is worth following up.

    http://www.radionz.co.nz/news/stories/2010/06/10/124809bab302

    Anyone?

    • prism 7.1

      Haven’t time to listen to clip at moment. But I know that there was a draconian level of air clarity set with some places only being granted one day’s ‘misdemeanour’ per season. Apparently that has been changed to three a season so it is not hugely irresponsible as some people will no doubt say. The result of multiple misdemeanours would be that the area could have no more industries that would cause some air pollution.

      Small businesses like tomato growing couldn’t cope with the regulations as mostly they used coal to fuel the heaters for their glasshouses. Houses have been forced to have expensive refits of heaters, or only electricity. (Heard recently that there has been a giant flare burning for decades? in one of the Stans over in north Europe. I wonder how much it, and the first Iraqi war have contributed to many of us being forbidden wood burning heaters?

      There was mention about people dying early. Some people have very compromised breathing systems from childhood, some have inhaled some nasty stuff before awareness of it, and that also applies to tobacco. Systems cannot come to a halt because of their frailty, help to cope is the appropriate action. And the broad field of numbers gathering of lung problems and deaths includes people up till the end of life. Not surprisingly the biggest numbers affected are over 65 when a higher death rate normally occurs, and also more deaths will follow in this group because of cold living conditions.

      In other words, they would be better off for their longevity to have a coal fire and be warm, than a costly electric heat exchange that might be the only allowable type, with power bills that soar and cause the vulnerable person to go without. Interesting about power use, a business couple’s private use apparently amounted to about $900 for one month. Whether that was just one month’s use I don’t know but $450 a month is high. And some of the power companies are tricky with their estimates. A solo mum invalid beneficiary had hers jump from about $150 to $900 for an estimate. Now that is treated as the amount to be paid, even if adjusted in a later month. This is the sort of thing beneficiaries struggle with, and no practical help from Paula and social welfare I think hardened up under Labour (apart from special groups who won some help.)

  8. Descendant Of Smith 8

    There’s been quite a bit of comment about the gradual shift in this country over time to the right. To the point where Labour is really a right wing party.

    We are ever getting closer to the American Democrat / Republican split where no one represents the workers.

    This got me thinking about some of those things I grew up with that we were proud to have from a working class perspective and could they apply today. These things probably wern’t talked about much in well off households. This was modified with some of the thinking I’ve ddeveloped over time.

    These are the sorts of policies that if espoused by a party would get my vote.

    1. The principle of an egalitarian society with all citizens being looked after and supported
    2. A clear statement that an increasing gap between the top and the bottom is not to be desired due to the negative social impacts. That the country should move forward as a whole.
    3, A fair days work for a fair days pay. The 8 hour working day and the 40 hour wroking week should be re-instated. Anyone working more than 8 hours a day or 40 hours a week should be paid time and a half. Salaries – by which some employers currently use to get around the minumum wage rules – should be set a a minimum equivalent of 40 hours per week X 120% of the minumum wage.
    4. Benefit rates should be increased immeadiately by the $20-00 per week cut made years ago. Labour should be deeply embarrassed by reinstating this for NZS but not for benefits.
    5. Government should undertake as part of their social committment to provide jobs for young people and people with disabilites – particularly in times of recession. Government Departments should be funded specifically for this. The private sector should be supported to provide jobs for people with significant disabilities by having their health / productivty assessed on a 3 yearly basis and having the difference between the productivity assessment and the Invalids Benefit paid to the employer – until the person turns 65 and qualifies for NZS if need be. Workers must be paid at least the minimum wage.
    6. All shop trading should cease on Sundays from 12:00 pm so workers all have half a day a week to spend with their families. This includes bars. This will also be positive for people running small businesses who have currently little choice but to open because their big competitors are.
    7. Alcohol should not be able to be sold in dairies and similar outlets.
    8. Gambling machines except in the casinos should be banned – this includes pubs and RSA’s.
    9. A clear progressive tax system should be implemented with the proviso each year that 20% of any surplus should be returned to all tax payers in equal shares as a lump sum payment.
    10. Depreciation should be clearly removed as a tax deduction. The basic principle should be to claim your costs when you actually incur them.
    11. All employers can claim a flat $500-00 per year per employee for costs associated with keeping employees motivated – social clubs, Christmas and staff functions etc. No other costs beyond this can be claimed as a taxable expense. This puts all workers and all employers on an even footing.
    12. Families with non-working or part-time working partners ( less than say $15,000 per annum) should be able to split their income for tax purposes.
    13. Family Benefit should be re-introduced so all people with children get this assistance regardless of income. Raising childrenn should be valued.

    There’s some thoughts anyway.

    • prism 8.1

      Not sure but is it the workers not supporting the party that has more interest in their needs – ie the leftish Labour. Don’t know if they were wholly disillusioned but I looked to the Alliance which was reasonably strong and well supported and then separated into parts. Then I supported Jim Anderton for a while, and he seemed to support the workers, but they didn’t flock to him either.

      I wonder if the workers are a bit apathetic. The unemployed weren’t good at turning out if a rally on their behalf was organised.

    • just saying 8.2

      As for the American system where neither of the two main parties represents the poor (working or not) we are already there, sad to say. The number of people in this category is larger than anyone acknowledges, and growing all the time. Maybe when those who lost their grasp on being middle-class long ago stop feeling ashamed and start feeling angry we’ll start to see some pressure build.

      Like you I’d love to be able to vote for a party committed to the social justice. And I’d love that party to be Labour. My grandparents literally fought at the beginnings of the labour movement for prosperity and justice for everyone. Now, about half their grandchildren have a university education, and all had opportunities they could only dream of. The majority are now Tories, certainly most of the most wealthy are passionately so (big family obviously).

      And now, with record inequality, and as we are facing the biggest crisis humanity has seen, labour is trying to out-bribe National for the middle-class vote with tax “relief” with resources sucked out of our ever diminishing community taonga, while noshing $100 breakfasts and swilling bollie with the jet-set.

      • prism 8.2.1

        Yes just saying. I have well-off people in my family and think they may be Tories. It’s a don’t ask, don’t tell situation.

        Actually I have the impression that it is human nature to climb the class ladder and then identify with the moneyed. Having risen out of hard times or just poverty doesn’t mean that people will remember the struggles and disappointments they had and understand those of similar ilk and also wish to help others up. One of my favourite guys is Fred Hollows who has a trust that helps people to good sight with a simple operation he developed and trained locals to carry out. He spent a fair time in an orphanage, had a good mentor in his older years, and has done great things.

        Are you saying that people are paying $100 for breakfast and bollie? Is that a fund-raiser? What do they do with the unfinished bottles? If they leave them at the back door, I’ll happily recycle them no charge.

    • prism 8.3

      Interesting thoughts dofS. Would like to see it as basis for discussion on blog.
      Social policy needs thought, not as sexy as making quick-fire criticisms of politicians drinking, spending or sex habits which many here find so enticing. P

      • Descendant Of Smith 8.3.1

        It’s all too easy to say what we don’t want – if we don’t say what we do want then we can’t expect it to be considered.

        Sometimes too the left get carried away with policy and research – it has it’s place but sometimes you simply need to stand by some principles and let policy and decisionmaking flow from that.

        You need to work out what is worth consulting on and what isn’t.

        As a manager for instance I never ever consulted about two things:
        The temperature of the air conditioning and where staff sat. There are some things that you will never reach agreement on and that take focus away from getting the real work done.

        It’s one thing the right do so much better – have a consistent set of principles from which everything else courses.

        • just saying 8.3.1.1

          Exactly DOS it’s the principles that matter and policy should flow from them. It is what has been lost. What we believe in.

          I saw a talk on TED on this subject and thought of the leadership of the left while I was watching. It’s what gets people on board and inspires confidence – apparently it’s a powerful political and marketing tool though that isn’t why it is important to me. And I’m so sick of politicians using shallow’techniques’ – it’s a big part of the problem. When did leadership become just craven pandering to short answer, narrow issue focus-groups.

          If the left can’t articulate what we stand for and our vision for the future it’s all just knee-jerk reactivity. Seeeing as this clearly isn’t working maybe this would be the time……

  9. Draco T Bastard 9

    Dangerous Exponentials by Tim Morgan. The Economist has an article on the report here.

    “Anyone who believes exponential
    growth can go on forever in a finite
    world is either a madman
    or an economist’.
    Kenneth Boulding

    That’s on the title page so should give you some idea as to what it’s about.

    • Draco T Bastard 9.1

      As an addendum to that there’s Crash Course which is probably the clearest explanation of the delusion of our monetary system that I’ve yet seen.

  10. Cnr Joe 10

    ‘scuse me
    how does John Armstrong get away with calling Shanes Jones ‘boy’ on the front page of the granny?
    wtf?

    anyone?

    • Tigger 10.1

      Glad it wasn’t just me Joe. Because he’s a dick. Armstrong that is…

      • Willie Maley 10.1.1

        Anyone listen to Mora and Armstrong on the panel?
        My lord, we may as well have been listening to Key and English discussing this issue.

        • ianmac 10.1.1.1

          Yes. Jim Mora tried hard to paint the Lab Min as really bad and of course they must be really guilty. He sounded a bit pissed that his two panellist didn’t really agree. But wait! Armstrong was there to agree with Jim and paint as much darkness as he could, regardless of any evidence to the contrary. Gone off Jim as he is far too partisan for a moderator! 🙁

          • Lazy Susan 10.1.1.1.1

            I’ve also noticed a definite swing to the right with Jim Mora of late.

            He recently rushed to the defence of Michelle Boag when she was on discussing the tax cuts with Bomber Bradbury. Hope he’s not heading for the Holmes graveyard of deluded broadcasters.

  11. kriswgtn 11

    If Jones and Carter are made to resign over the CC fiasco

    i expect Blinglish and the rest of those troughing pigs to be sacked as well..

    Goff is heading bk to deal with Jones

    Be interesting

    I see brand key is defending his drunken minister

  12. prism 12

    Gulf Oil spill – just been looking at a few items. One in May about BP not wanting reporters getting footage and info and mention of anecdotes of people’s cellphones etc being taken.
    blackout attempt

    and on contractors role –
    http://www.bloomberg.com/apps/news?pid=20601103&sid=aZo_Y53z1JvY

    Probably most have already caught up with the details but this passes info to those like me still gobsmacked.

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  • “A Passage to India”: enduring art in changing times
    by Don Franks In 1957, E M Forster wrote, of his greatest work: “The India described in ‘A Passage to India’ no longer exists either politically or socially. Change had begun even at the time the book was published ( 1924) and during the following quarter of a century it ...
    RedlineBy Daphna
    1 week ago
  • Contemptuous
    The Referendums Framework Bill was due back from select committee today. But there's no report on it. Instead, the bill has been bounced back to the House under Standing order 29593) because the Committee didn't bother to produce one. They probably tried. But given the membership of the committee (which ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • Zero Carbon: It’s not just a good idea, it’s the law
    Two years into New Zealand’s Labour-led government, the long-delayed Zero Carbon Bill became law on 7 November. Passed essentially unanimously, the lengthy public debates and political manoeuvring faded away until the final passage was even anticlimactic: Flipping through the @nzstuff @DomPost I was starting to wonder if I’d dreamt ...
    SciBlogsBy Robert McLachlan
    1 week ago
  • Climate Change: What happens next?
    Now the Zero Carbon Bill is law, what's next? Obviously, the ETS changes currently before select committee are going to be the next battleground. But we're also going to get a good idea of where we're going, and if the progress the Zero Carbon Act promises is good enough, during ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • Climate change will fuel bush fires
    Grant Pearce The effects of the current Australian bushfires in New South Wales and Queensland (and also again in California) are devastating and far-reaching. To date, the fires have resulted in several lives being lost and many homes and properties destroyed. Here in New Zealand, the impacts have been only ...
    SciBlogsBy Guest Author
    1 week ago
  • Participation rates
    A passing comment in a post the other day about the labour force participation rates of older people prompted me to pull down the fuller data and see what we could see about various participation rates over the decades since the HLFS began in 1986.   As it happens, the ...
    SciBlogsBy Michael Reddell
    1 week ago
  • Not So Much “OK Boomer” As “OK Ruling Class”.
    Distract And Divert: The rise of what we have come to call “Identity Politics” represents the ideological manifestation of the ruling class’s objective need to destroy class politics, and of the middle-class’s subjective need to justify their participation in the process.THE RELIEF of the ruling class can only be imagined. ...
    1 week ago
  • Asking for it …
    "I saw a newspaper picture,From the political campaignA woman was kissing a child,Who was obviously in pain.She spills with compassion,As that young child'sFace in her hands she gripsCan you imagine all that greed and avariceComing down on that child's lips?" ...
    1 week ago
  • New Zealand’s Poor Pandemic Preparedness According to the Global Health Security Index
    Dr Matt Boyd, Prof Michael Baker, Prof Nick Wilson The Global Health Security Index which considers pandemic threats has just been published. Unfortunately, NZ scores approximately half marks (54/100), coming in 35th in the world rankings – far behind Australia. This poor result suggests that the NZ Government needs to ...
    SciBlogsBy Public Health Expert
    1 week ago
  • Climate Change: Thank Winston
    The Zero Carbon Act is inadequate, with a weak methane target designed to give farmers a free ride. But it turns out it could have been worse: Climate Change Minister James Shaw was so desperate to get National on board, he wanted to gut that target, and leave it in ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • Illicit markets and Bali Booze
    The Herald reprints an Australian story on a couple of tragic deaths in Bali from drinking cocktails that had methanol in them.  The story argues that methanol is likely the result of home distillation. But what the young tourists were experiencing was far from a hangover. They’d consumed a toxic cocktail ...
    SciBlogsBy Eric Crampton
    1 week ago
  • This is not what armed police are for
    Last month, the police announced a trial of specialist roaming armed units, which would drive round (poor, brown) areas in armoured SUVs, armed to the teeth. When they announced the trial, they told us it was about having armed police "ready to attend major incidents at any time if needed". ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • Spain’s failed electoral gamble
    Spain went to the polls today in the second elections this year, after the Socialists (who had come to power in a confidence vote, then gone to the polls in April) rejected the offer of a coalition with the left-wing PoDemos, and instead decided to gamble n a better outcome ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • The astroturf party
    National has finally rolled out its "BlueGreen" astroturf party, fronted by an array of former nats and people who were dumped by the Greens for not being Green enough. Its initial pitch is described by Stuff as "very business-friendly", and its priorities are what you'd expect: conservation, predator-free funding, a ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • How to cheat at university
    A couple of days ago I attended (and spoke at) the University of Waikato’s “LearnFest” event. There were lots of talks and sessions on very diverse aspects of teaching, mostly at tertiary level. One was by Myra Williamson from Te Piringa Faculty of Law here at Waikato, on Contract Cheating ...
    SciBlogsBy Marcus Wilson
    1 week ago
  • How NZ was put on world maps using a transit of Mercury
    There will be a transit of Mercury – the planet Mercury will pass across the face of the Sun – taking place at sunrise in New Zealand on Tuesday, 12th November. It was by observing such an event 250 years ago that James Cook and his scientist colleagues were able ...
    SciBlogsBy Duncan Steel
    1 week ago
  • Georgina Beyer: We need to be able to talk without being offended
    Since becoming the world’s first openly transexual mayor and member of parliament, Georgina Beyer has been recognised as a trailblazer for trans rights. Daphna Whitmore talks with her about where she sees the current trans movement We start out talking about legislation the government put on hold that would have ...
    RedlineBy Daphna
    1 week ago
  • The anti-fluoride brigade won’t be erecting billboards about this study
    If FFNZ really put their faith in “Top Medical Journals” they would now be amending their billboards to recognise new research results. Image from FFNZ but updated to agree with the latest research. ...
    1 week ago
  • Chosen To Rule? What Sort Of Christian Is Chris Luxon?
    National Messiah? Chris Luxon identifies himself as an evangelical Christian. If he is genuine in this self-characterisation, then he will take every opportunity his public office provides to proselytise on behalf of his faith. He will also feel obliged to bear witness against beliefs and practices he believes to be ...
    1 week ago
  • War of the worms
    I'm going to make a Reckless Prediction™ that the Tories have 'topped out' in the 'poll of polls' / Britain Elects multipoll tracker at about 38%, and in the next week we will start to see Labour creep up on them.In fact, we might just be seeing the start of ...
    1 week ago
  • Marvelly shows us how to be a feminist without feminism
    by The Council of Disobedient Women Lizzie Marvelly: “I may have missed this… has @afterellen gone all terf-y? Or am I reading something incorrectly? “ https://twitter.com/LizzieMarvelly/status/1191840059105742849 After Ellen is a lesbian website that is unashamedly pro-lesbian, as you’d expect. So why is Ms Marvelly so bothered about lesbians having their ...
    RedlineBy Daphna
    1 week ago
  • Out of the past – Tories to revive racist laws from the 16th century
    Did you know there once was a time when it was illegal to be a gypsy (aka Romani) in Britain?That was between 1530, when the Egyptians Act was passed, and 1856, when it was repealed.Amongst other things, the act forbade the entry of 'Egyptians' into England, ordered those already there ...
    2 weeks ago
  • 1000 of these now
    Some days I sit and think, “what will I write…?” What do you say when you get to 1000 posts? Maybe you just start where you are, diverge to where this all began, then offer a collection of reader’s favourite posts, and a few of your own? (And throw in ...
    SciBlogsBy Grant Jacobs
    2 weeks ago
  • Has Shane Jones Just Saved NZ First?
    Counter-Puncher: The “activists” and “radicals” (his own words) from the Indian community who took such strong exception to Shane Jones’ remarks about Immigration NZ’s treatment of arranged marriages, may end up bitterly regretting their intervention. Jones is not the sort of person who turns the other cheek to his critics.SHANE ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Climate Change: As predicted
    Yesterday, when National voted for the Zero Carbon Bill, I predicted they'd gut it the moment they regained power, just as they had done to the ETS. And indeed, they have explicitly promised to do exactly that within their first hundred days in office. What would their amendments do? Abandon ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • Let this never be forgot
    In the spirit of Remember, remember the fifth of November, let's keep this in mind FOREVER.
    Oh dear. Extraordinary interview on PM with Andrew Bridgen and @EvanHD just now. Bridgen was defending Jacob Rees Mogg’s Grenfell comments. Evan asked him if JRM had meant to say he would have left ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Too Late To Change Capitalism’s Flightpath?
    Collision Course? In conditions of ideological white-out, the international bankers’ “Woop-Woop! Pull Up!” warning may have come too late to save global capitalism.WHAT DOES IT MEAN when international bankers are more willing to embrace radical solutions than our politicians and their electors? At both the International Monetary Fund and the ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Whooping cough vaccine works well despite its imperfections
    Pertussis (whooping cough) is a conundrum. It is a disease that was described hundreds of years ago and the bacteria that causes it (Bordetella pertussis) isolated in 1906. We have had vaccines for about 80 years but this disease is defiant in the face of human immunity. I wanted to ...
    SciBlogsBy Helen Petousis Harris
    2 weeks ago
  • Climate Change: Passed
    The Zero Carbon Bill has just passed its third reading, uanimously. In the end, National supported it - but we all know they'll turn around and gut it the moment they regain power. Meanwhile, I guess ACT's David Seymour didn't even bother to show up. I am on record as ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • Retailing of vaping products – New NZ Research
    Dr Lindsay Robertson, Dr Jerram Bateman, Professor Janet Hoek Members of the public health community hold divergent views on how access to vaping products or electronic nicotine delivery systems (ENDS) products should be arranged. Some believe ENDS should be as widely available as smoked tobacco and argue for liberal ...
    SciBlogsBy Public Health Expert
    2 weeks ago
  • Justice for Bomber
    When the Police were trying to cover up for the National Party over Dirty Politics, they went all-in with their abuses of power. They illegally search Nicky Hager's house, violating his journalistic privilege and invading his privacy. They unlawfully acquired Hager's bank records. They did the same to left-wing blogger ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • Britain’s climate tyranny was unlawful
    Last month, in response to a wave of protests by Extinction Rebellion, the British government purported to ban their protests from the whole of London. It was a significant interference with the freedoms of expression and assembly, and another sign of the country's decline into tyranny. But now, a court ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • More crime from the spies
    Last year, the Inspector-General of Intelligence and Security reported on significant problems with the intelligence warrant system. While they were unwilling to declare any warrant "irregular" (meaning unlawful) due to the recent law change, they were also not willing to give the system a clean bill of health. Now, they've ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • Vaccination, compulsion, and paternalism for the lower orders
    The National Party has come out in support of encouraging greater vaccination uptake. But it sure isn’t the way I’d do it. National’s suggested docking the benefits of those on benefit whose kids aren’t keeping up with their vaccinations. Some in National have suggested extending that to payments under Working ...
    SciBlogsBy Eric Crampton
    2 weeks ago
  • Global Protests Rage On: But Slogans Are Not Plans.
    Feeding The Flames: It is simply not enough to demand an end to “corruption”, or “inequality”, or the overbearing influence of the authorities in Beijing. These are just “lowest common denominator” demands: the sort of slogans that pull people onto the streets. They are not a plan.WHERE’S THE PLAN? Across ...
    2 weeks ago
  • 11,000 employed under Labour
    The labour market statistics have been released, and unemployment has risen to 4.2%. There are 115,000 unemployed - 11,000 fewer than when Labour took office. In that time the minimum wage has gone up by $2 an hour, which shows that the right's fears about increases causing unemployment are simply ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • Boycott this democratic fraud
    The Foreign Affairs, Defence and Trade Committee has called for submissions on Andrew Little's tyrannical Terrorism Suppression (Control Orders) Bill. Normally I encourage participation in the democratic process. I am not doing so in this case. Instead, I encourage all of you to boycott this submissions process, and to post ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • Why Mars is cold despite an atmosphere of mostly carbon dioxide
    Climate Explained is a collaboration between The Conversation, Stuff and the New Zealand Science Media Centre to answer your questions about climate change. If you have a question you’d like an expert to answer, please send it to climate.change@stuff.co.nz If tiny concentrations of carbon dioxide can hold enough heat ...
    SciBlogsBy Guest Author
    2 weeks ago
  • Climate Change: Ban private jets
    Aviation is one of the fastest growing sources of greenhouse gas emissions, and within it, one of the fastest sources is elite travel: billionaires flitting around the world in their private jets, spewing excessive pollution into the atmosphere just so they can avoid mixing with us dirty peasants. But in ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • Climate Change: Untold Suffering
    That's what we face if we don't stop climate change, according to a warning from 11,000 scientists:The world’s people face “untold suffering due to the climate crisis” unless there are major transformations to global society, according to a stark warning from more than 11,000 scientists. “We declare clearly and unequivocally ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • The left and violent misogyny
    by Phil Duncan Here’s just a few of the kind of threats issued day in and day out against gender-critical women – feminists, marxists, etc – overwhelmingly by MEN (albeit men identifying as women). “Kill all Terfs”. “Shoot a Terf today”. “All terfs deserve to be shot in the head”. ...
    RedlineBy Admin
    2 weeks ago

  • Mental Health Commission back on track
    Jenny Marcroft, Spokesperson for Health New Zealand First welcomes the passage of the Mental Health and Wellbeing Commission Bill through its first reading in Parliament. “Today’s progress takes serious action on the mental health and addiction crisis the country is facing,” says New Zealand First Health Spokesperson Jenny Marcroft. “The re-establishment ...
    5 mins ago
  • New Zealand’s key assets are not for sale: national interest test delivered
    Mark Patterson, Spokesperson for Primary Industries Today the Government announced the delivery of the promise to protect New Zealand interests by applying a new National Interest Test to the sales of our most sensitive and high risk assets to overseas buyers. This further strengthening of the Overseas Investment Act will ...
    18 hours ago
  • National interest test added to protect New Zealanders’ interests
    The Coalition Government is delivering on its promise to protect New Zealanders’ interests by applying a new national interest test to the sales of our most sensitive and high-risk assets to overseas buyers. Under current Overseas Investment Act (OIA) rules, assets such as ports and airports, telecommunications infrastructure, electricity and ...
    19 hours ago
  • Electoral law breach allegations
    Rt Winston Peters, Leader of New Zealand First Allegations raised this morning by Stuff Limited / Fairfax concern a party matter but I am confident that New Zealand First has operated within electoral laws, now and for the last 27 years. Declarable donations were declared to the Electoral Commission. Our ...
    20 hours ago
  • Wayne Brown hits back at critics: Ports of Auckland has to move
    The chairman of the Upper North Island Supply Chain Strategy (UNISCS) working group, Wayne Brown, has hit back at critics of his group’s recommendations to relocate the Ports of Auckland cargo operations to Whangarei’s deepwater port of Northport. The working group's recommendation to close Auckland waterfront to all but cruise ...
    2 days ago
  • Week That Was: Supporting our schools
    We're setting our young people up for success, investing in education around the country.  ...
    2 days ago
  • Kiwis to have their say on End of Life Choice
    Jenny Marcroft MP, Spokesperson for Health New Zealand First backs the public to decide on the End of Life Choice Bill via a referendum at the 2020 General Election. The Bill, with New Zealand First’s referendum provision incorporated, passed its final reading in Parliament this evening. New Zealand First Spokesperson for ...
    6 days ago
  • Addressing miscarriages of justice
    Darroch Ball, Spokesperson for Justice New Zealand First is proud that a key Coalition Agreement commitment which will provide for a more transparent and effective criminal justice system has been realised. Legislation to establish the Criminal Cases Review Commission, an independent body focused on identifying and responding to possible miscarriages of ...
    1 week ago
  • Week That Was: Historic action on climate change
    "Today we have made a choice that will leave a legacy... I hope that means that future generations will see that we, in New Zealand, were on the right side of history." - Jacinda Ardern, Third Reading of the Zero Carbon Bill ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Tax-free deployments for Kiwi troops
    Darroch Ball, New Zealand First List MP A Member’s bill has been proposed that would provide income tax exemptions for all New Zealand Defence Force (NZDF) personnel while on operational deployment overseas. The Income Tax (Exemption for Salary or Wages of NZDF Members on Active Deployment) Amendment Bill proposed by New Zealand First ...
    2 weeks ago
  • A balanced Zero Carbon Bill passed
    Rt Hon Winston Peters, New Zealand First Leader New Zealand First is proud to have brought common sense to the Climate Change Response (Zero Carbon) Amendment Bill, which passed its final reading in Parliament today. Party Leader Rt Hon Winston Peters says months of hard work went into negotiating a balanced ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Paramedics’ status to be recognised
    Jenny Marcroft MP, Spokesperson for Health New Zealand First has listened to calls to recognise paramedics as registered health professionals under the Health Practitioners’ Competence Assurance Act (the Act). Today, the Coalition Government announced plans for paramedics to be registered as health practitioners under the Act, and the establishment of a ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Week That Was: 2,000 teachers in two years
    We began the week by commemorating the New Zealand Wars and celebrating a major increase in the number of teachers. Then, we were busy supporting offenders into work and getting our rail back on track after years of underinvestment. And that's just the start! ...
    3 weeks ago
  • Winning an election one conversation at a time
    In October I was sworn in as the Mayor of Lower Hutt. It’s the privilege of my life to serve Hutt people as their Mayor. There is something really special to be able to serve the community where I was raised, and where I live.   ...
    3 weeks ago

  • Families Package helps over 1 million New Zealanders in first year
    1 million New Zealanders warmed by the Winter Energy Payment 36,000 families bank the Best Start Payment in first year 6,000 more families received the Family Tax Credit, 220,600 in total   They receive an increase too – from an average of $117 to $157 a week for Inland Revenue clients, ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 hours ago
  • Clamp down on wheel clamping passes third reading
    New rules to clamp down on overzealous wheel clamping and extortionate fees charged in order to release a vehicle have passed their final stage in Parliament today. The Land Transport (Wheel Clamping) Amendment Bill has now passed its third reading. “These changes mean $100 will be the maximum wheel clamping ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    13 hours ago
  • Mental Health and Wellbeing Commission Bill passes first hurdle
    An independent Mental Health and Wellbeing Commission is a step closer after it unanimously passed its first vote in Parliament today.  The Mental Health and Wellbeing Commission Bill lays the groundwork for establishing the Commission as a fully independent crown entity – delivering on a key recommendation of He Ara ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    14 hours ago
  • Boosting border security with electronic travel authority – now over 500,000 issued
    We’ve improved border security with the NZeTA, New Zealand Electronic Travel Authority, which helps us to screen travellers for border and immigration risks off-shore before they travel to New Zealand. It was launched in August and became mandatory on 1 October 2019. More than 500,000 NZeTAs have been issued since ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    18 hours ago
  • Plan of action to protect seabirds
    A proposed national plan of action to reduce the number of seabirds caught in fisheries is being circulated for public feedback. Fisheries Minister Stuart Nash and Conservation Minister Eugenie Sage say New Zealand is a global centre of seabird diversity with about 145 species in our waters. It has more ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    19 hours ago
  • National interest test added to overseas investment rules
    The Government is delivering on its promise to protect New Zealanders’ interests by applying a new national interest test to the sales of our most sensitive and high risk assets to overseas buyers. Associate Finance Minister David Parker said under current Overseas Investment Act rules, assets such as ports and ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    21 hours ago
  • New housing part of support for Kaumātua
    The Government is building special housing to accommodate one of Aotearoa’s greatest taonga- our kaumātua, says the Minister for Māori Development, Hon Nanaia Mahuta.  Speaking at a National Kaumātua Service Providers Conference in Rotorua today, the Minister reinforced the importance kaumātua play in maintaining and passing on mātauranga Māori, knowledge, ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    23 hours ago
  • Forestry helps prisoners into jobs
    Eleven men from a pilot forestry training programme for prisoners in Northland now have full time jobs or job offers upon release, Corrections Minister Kelvin Davis and Forestry Minister Shane Jones announced today. The ‘release to work’ programme was a collaboration between Te Uru Rākau and the Department of Corrections, ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 day ago
  • Reform of public service a step closer
    Minister of State Services Chris Hipkins today introduced into Parliament a Bill that will make it easier for the public service to tackle the biggest challenges facing Governments. The Bill represents the most significant change in the public service in 30 years. The State Sector Act 1988 will be repealed ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • Donations scheme to relieve pressure on families
    The families of more than 416,000 students will be better off next year as their schools have signed up to the Government’s donations scheme, Education Minister Chris Hipkins said today. The scheme will see almost $62.5 million in additional Government funding go to schools nationwide next year. “I’m really pleased ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • Further support for Samoan measles outbreak
    Foreign Affairs Minister Winston Peters has announced further support as the Government of Samoa responds to a serious measles outbreak. “New Zealand will deploy a further 18 vaccination nurses, bringing the total to 30 working in Samoa over the next four weeks,” Mr Peters said. “A New Zealand Medical Assistance ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • Speech to the Child Poverty Action Group 2019 Summit
      Fa’atalofa atu, malo e lelei, Kia ora koutou katoa Thank you to the Child Poverty Action Group for asking me to be here today to provide an update on some of the things that have been happening across my the social development portfolio.  Can I firstly acknowledge the vast ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • Speech to the New Zealand Thoroughbred Racing Annual Conference
    ***Please check against delivery*** Good morning everyone. It is a pleasure to be with you this morning to open this year’s New Zealand Thoroughbred Racing Conference and AGM. Firstly, thank you Dr Alan Jackson, NZTR Chair for your introduction. And let us acknowledge also: The NZTR Board; Dean McKenzie, Chair ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • Fairer rules for tenants and landlords
    The Government has delivered on its promise to the over one million New Zealanders who now rent to make it fairer and more secure, Associate Minister of Housing (Public Housing) Kris Faafoi has announced today. Both renters and landlords will benefit from the suite of practical changes to the Residential ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • Two decades of marine protection celebrated at Te Tapuwae o Rongokako in Tairawhiti
    A marine conservation milestone - the 20th anniversary of the establishment of Te Tapuwae o Rongokako Marine Reserve - is being celebrated today at a community event in Tairāwhiti/East Coast attended by the Minister of Conservation, Eugenie Sage. “The creation of this marine reserve in November 1999 was a game ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • Food industry asked to step up fight against obesity
         The Government is asking the food industry to step up work to tackle obesity including reducing sugar, fat and salt in their products, better information for consumers, and tighter restrictions on advertising to children. Health Minister David Clark and Food Safety Minister Damien O’Connor have responded to a ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • Modern emergency care for Queenstown area
    ew, modern emergency department and outpatient facilities at Queenstown’s Lakes District Hospital mean better emergency care for the growing tourist mecca’s visitors and locals, says Health Minister David Clark. Today Dr Clark officially opened the hospital’s redeveloped Emergency Department and Outpatient facilities. The new facilities include: •    An extended Emergency Department ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • Contraception important for New Zealanders
    Associate Health Minister Julie Anne Genter says today’s release of sexual and reproductive health data reinforces the significance of the Government’s commitment to providing free or very low-cost contraception. The Ministry of Health today published statistics from the Ministry of Health’s 2014/15 Health Survey. “It is important people can make ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • NZ medical staff and measles vaccines going to Samoa
    Foreign Minister Winston Peters has announced that at the request of the Samoan Government, New Zealand will be providing further support to Samoa as it faces a worsening measles outbreak. “In response to a request from the people of Samoa, New Zealand is providing 3000 measles, mumps and rubella (MMR) ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • Disability Action Plan 2019 – 2023
    “The new Disability Action Plan 2019–2023 moves us towards the inclusive and accessible New Zealand that this government has committed to,” Minister for Disability Issues Carmel Sepuloni announced today.  “The Action Plan was designed by disabled people, their family and supporters, the disability sector and government agencies. It will ensure ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • Joint Statement – Third Singapore-New Zealand Defence Ministers’ Meeting
    Third Singapore-New Zealand Defence Ministers’ Meeting 14 November 2019 Joint Statement 1. Defence Ministers Ron Mark and Dr Ng Eng Hen today conducted their third annual Singapore-New Zealand Defence Ministers’ Meeting in Singapore. 2. Building on the Enhanced Partnership signed between both countries in May this year, this annual meeting ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • Sexual Violence Legislation Bill has its first reading
    A Bill to improve the court system’s response to sexual violence has passed its first reading in Parliament today. Justice Minister Andrew Little says the Sexual Violence Legislation Bill will reduce the trauma sexual violence complainants experience in court, while maintaining defendants’ fundamental rights and making sure the trial process ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • Streamlined business invoicing a step closer
    Streamlined payment practices are a step closer for Kiwi businesses with the formal launch of New Zealand’s e-Invoicing framework. Small Business Minister Stuart Nash says the government has now established the structure to enable automated and direct data exchange between the accounting systems of buyers and sellers. “The move to ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • More frontline biosecurity officers protecting NZ
    Another 51 quarantine officers and four new biosecurity detector dog teams will help protect New Zealand from invasive pests and diseases this summer, says Biosecurity Minister Damien O’Connor. “The Government is delivering on its commitment to strengthen New Zealand’s biosecurity system and support our valuable primary sector “New Zealand’s flora, fauna ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • NZ space economy worth $1.69 billion
    A new report has found New Zealand’s space sector contributed $1.69 billion to the economy in the last financial year and employs 12,000 people, Minister for Economic Development Phil Twyford announced today. The report by Deloitte was commissioned by the Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment and shows New Zealand ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • New Chair for Royal Commission into Abuse
    Judge Coral Shaw has been appointed as the new Chair of the Royal Commission into Historical Abuse in State Care and in the Care of Faith-based Institutions, Internal Affairs Minister Tracey Martin announced today. "Judge Shaw, who is currently one of the inquiry commissioners, is extremely well qualified for the ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • Better mental health facilities for Palmerston North
    The Government has confirmed its third major mental health facility upgrade since the Budget, this time at Palmerston North Hospital. The Prime Minister and Health Minister today visited MidCentral DHB to announce that $30 million has been allocated to upgrade its acute mental health facility. It follows earlier announcements in ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • Bowel Screening hits halfway point
    The roll out of the National Bowel Screening Programme has reached the halfway mark, with 10 out of 20 District Health Boards now part of the programme. MidCentral DHB, which covers Palmerston North, Manawatu and surrounding districts, this week became the latest to DHB to offer free bowel screening to ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • More vaccines for meningococcal disease
    The Government welcomes PHARMAC’s decision to fund a vaccine to protect young people from meningococcal disease from 1 December this year. “Meningococcal disease is a serious threat which people at higher risk should be protected from,” says Associate Health Minister Julie Anne Genter. “The combined pharmaceutical budget was increased by ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • Fisheries innovation projects supported
    Groups involved with innovative fisheries research projects are encouraged to apply for government support in the latest funding round from the Sustainable Food and Fibre Futures programme. Fisheries Minister Stuart Nash says the SFF Futures funding is designed to be flexible enough to support small or large projects across a ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    7 days ago
  • Government fixes culturally arranged marriage visa issue
    The Government has fixed an issue affecting how Immigration New Zealand has processed visa applications for culturally arranged marriages, which will now see a consistent process applied which ensures people with legitimate arranged marriages can visit New Zealand while also preventing any rorting of the system. Earlier this year Immigration ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    7 days ago
  • Extension for Royal Commission into Mosque attacks
    The Royal Commission into the Attacks on Christchurch Mosques will report back on 30 April 2020 to give it more time to hear submissions and consider information, Internal Affairs Minister Tracey Martin announced today. The Royal Commission was originally scheduled to report back to Government by 10 December 2019. “There has ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    7 days ago
  • Terrorism and Trade on agenda as Foreign Minister visits the United States
    Foreign Minister Winston Peters will travel to Washington DC today to attend a ministerial meeting focused on defeating ISIS, and to continue pursuing New Zealand’s trade opportunities. Mr Peters will participate in a meeting of Foreign and Defence Ministers from key countries contributing to the Global Coalition to Defeat ISIS. ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    7 days ago
  • Hoiho get extra support alongside 168 community conservation groups backing nature
    The recently crowned Bird of the Year, the hoiho/yellow eyed penguin, is getting a much needed helping hand alongside more than 168 other community conservation projects announced Minister for Conservation Eugenie Sage today. 168 community conservation projects throughout New Zealand are benefiting from $8 million in government grants, including $500,000 ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    7 days ago
  • New safety measures for modified pistols
    Controls on assault rifles and semi-automatic firearms are to be broadened to include some types of pistols, under changes to a bill currently making its way through Parliament. Police Minister Stuart Nash has tabled a Supplementary Order Paper to the Arms Legislation Bill, which is currently before a Select Committee ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    7 days ago
  • Minister of Defence to visit Singapore and Thailand
    Minister of Defence Ron Mark will travel to Singapore today to conduct a counterpart visit and to co-chair the third annual Singapore-New Zealand Defence Ministers’ Meeting with his counterpart, Minister for Defence Dr Ng Eng Hen. “Singapore is one of our most important defence partners in the region, and our ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    7 days ago
  • Future secured for Salisbury School
    Nelson’s Salisbury School is to be rebuilt, creating a modern and suitable learning environment for students at the residential special school, Education Minister Chris Hipkins and Associate Education Minister Tracey Martin announced today. The school for girls aged 8-15, in Richmond, was earmarked for closure by National until the process ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    7 days ago
  • Resource management reform options released
    The panel undertaking a comprehensive review of the Resource Management Act has identified the main issues to be addressed and options for reform and is calling for feedback to inform its final report.  In July the Government announced the comprehensive review of the resource management system, including the RMA - ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Criminal Cases Review Commission established
    An important safety valve has been added to New Zealand’s criminal justice system with the third reading of the Criminal Cases Review Commission Bill today. The Criminal Cases Review Commission (CCRC) will investigate claimed miscarriages of justice. “We’ve seen how our justice system can very occasionally get things spectacularly wrong, ...
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    1 week ago
  • Racing Industry destined to be on-track
    Racing Minister Winston Peters welcomes the tabling of the Racing Industry Transition Agency (RITA) 2019 Annual Report in Parliament today. He says the 2019 Annual Report marks the point when New Zealand’s racing industry’s decline was arrested and a turnaround started. RITA’s 2019 Annual Report recorded an industry net profit ...
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    1 week ago