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Open mike 11/12/2011

Written By: - Date published: 6:00 am, December 11th, 2011 - 145 comments
Categories: open mike - Tags:

Open mike is your post. For announcements, general discussion, whatever you choose.

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Step right up to the mike…

145 comments on “Open mike 11/12/2011”

  1. Carol 1

    http://www.stuff.co.nz/national/politics/6121341/Maori-Party-deal-expected

    National is today set to seal a new deal with the Maori Party giving Prime Minister John Key the support he’s after to embark on a more aggressive second term reform agenda.

    […]

    He yesterday formally advised Governor General Sir Jerry Mateparae of his intention to form the Government.

    A further three votes from the Maori Party are likely to be announced today after late night talks on Friday suggested the party was headed for another term backing a National-led Government.

    The last of the Maori Party hui canvassing the views of members on a deal wrapped up yesterday and Key said he was ”very optimistic” of announcing a deal as early as this afternoon.

    “I would be absolutely stunned if they don’t do a deal with us,” Key said.

    Really? What a sorry shell of their former aspirations the Maori Party have become. About to sign a deal to support National’s “more aggressive second term reform agenda”? For what? Some baubles of office and a sweet asset sales deal for some of the Iwi elite?

    SHAME!

    And how will this sit with the large amount of Maori on low incomes, the working poor and the unemployed?

    • Lanthanide 1.2

      Presumably if the large amount of Maori on low incomes cared, they would have voted for the left.

      According to iPredict, the voter turnout in the Maori electorates was about 56%.

      • Carol 1.2.1

        Well, it certainly doesn’t show a lot of confidence in the Maori Party.

      • weka 1.2.2

        “Presumably if the large amount of Maori on low incomes cared, they would have voted for the left.”

        Or maybe they felt they wouldn’t get a good deal from the left either.

        • Blue 1.2.2.1

          $15 minimum wage and WFF extended to beneficiaries has to be better than the shit the right are serving up.

          • Colonial Viper 1.2.2.1.1

            First $5000 tax free to all, including beneficiaries, workers and those on super is also better than a kick in the nuts.

    • Bored 1.3

      “I would be absolutely stunned if they don’t do a deal with us,”. from a man who gives used car sales people a good name. Its so bloody obvious, name your price and let us do what the f**k we want.

      • seeker 1.3.1

        Right wing governments need high unemployment and voter apathy to thrive. In NZ ,oxygen from the Maori Party can also be added to Grinch Key’s wish list.

    • drongo 1.4

      It’s now time to stop being nice to the Maori Party. Their stupidity can’t be tolerated now because the stakes are too high. We now need to subject the Maori Party to total derision and disdain. They’ve had long enough to shape up. They will never learn, therefore they must be removed from the landscape. See the irony in the advice finally going to Sir Jerry Mateparaea a government’s being formed: Maori advising Maori that they’re preparing to shaft Maori.

      • felix 1.4.1

        Totally agree drongo.

        For three years we’ve given them the benefit of the doubt and tried to believe that they’re not really right-wingers, they’re supporting National for now but really they’re a left wing party that’s lost and wants to come home.

        Well fuck that, they’ve had their chance. If they support National, that means they fucking support National.

        They’re no more a friend of the left that Banks or Dunne is.

    • Vicky32 1.5

      And how will this sit with the large amount of Maori on low incomes, the working poor and the unemployed?

      Turia and Sharples basically don’t care! They’re resigning anyway but even if they weren’t, they’ve shown their true colours. Turia is all about getting her own way, as I was told in 2008 by a family member who said to me that “Aunty” scares the living donuts out of her friends and family.

  2. LynW 2

    Places to go, people to see…the travelling Labour Road Show! Looking forward to hearing all the candidates and being amongst likeminded people.

    Matt McCarten seems to have slightly toned down his previous opinion heavily endorsing Shearer, with this column titled ‘A battle between popularity and experience’

    http://www.nzherald.co.nz/opinion/news/article.cfm?c_id=466&objectid=10772324

    And what better issue to unite and mobilise the Labour Party than that highlighted in the recent landmark OECD report, Divided We Stand: Why Inequality Keeps Rising, as discussed in this article, titled ”Rich-poor gap is NZ’s shame’

    http://www.nzherald.co.nz/opinion/news/article.cfm?c_id=466&objectid=10772328

    “In the space of a generation, New Zealand has become a country that many New Zealanders do not recognise or like much. If the OECD report tells us anything, it tells us that it is not enough to carry on doing what we have been doing and hope for a different outcome.”

    • Carol 2.1

      Thanks for the links. Mc Carten says this:

      Cunliffe has a lot of enemies in his caucus. His self-confidence and ambition annoys some. Frankly, I would have thought his colleagues understood these attributes are needed in spades for any leader trying to win.

      But still ends up supporting Shearer because he is easy to like and popular like John Key. Does he not realise key is about to become less popular because of his policies (and the recent election result doesn’t show THAT much support for his party), and we are facing very difficult times, requiring a very gutsy kind of leader…. not someone the guys want to chat to over a beer at the barbie!?… as highlighted by the article on the extreme inequalities in NZ.

      • kriswgtn 2.1.1

        totally…. agree

        Cunliffe all the way

        Shearer speaks well but I dont think he has that bulldog attitude
        Bulldog is wot this government needs to give it a bitch slap

      • Colonial Viper 2.1.2

        The Herald on Sunday has changed its opinion to ‘it doesn’t matter whichever David wins on Tuesday, Labour are still losers’. This is what we have to look forward to from the HoS for the next 3 years.

        http://www.nzherald.co.nz/opinion/news/article.cfm?c_id=466&objectid=10772325

        • Carol 2.1.2.1

          And yet, they are not calling English and Brownlee “old and stale”.

          • newsense 2.1.2.1.1

            Or Ryall, McCully…

          • Salsy 2.1.2.1.2

            Maybe not in the Herald but in todays Sunday Star Times Anthony Hubbard writes a full pager attacking Key and “his dull grey men” in particular Bill English for their attacks on the poor and contribution to the latest OECD report into our terrible, widening inequality gap. Titled “Smugness will be the Killer”, it contains seething paragraphs such as “Key, John Banks and Peter Dunne more than ever lean together like three drunks who would all collapse without each others suppport.. “

        • Anthony 2.1.2.2

          Who couldn’t see that coming, build up Shearer over Cunliffe then smack them both down.

          • RobM 2.1.2.2.1

            Yep. Get the soft option, knock him down, paint the replacement as a hater & wrecker.

            They’ll have a harder time taking out Cunliffe and if they do then Brand Shearer will only face a year or so’s scrutiny and he may have a chance of out-nicing that nice Mr Key.

            It’s time to get combative, it’s time for Cunliffe.

            Mallard is Labour’s Haig and a good chunk of the shadow cavalry should be put out to pasture.

        • Olwyn 2.1.2.3

          This should ring warning bells about placing too much trust in the traction to be gained from David Shearer’s back story and his instant popularity, having been the focus of the public eye for about two weeks. John Key’s “popularity” is backed by powerful people with a vested interest in its being maintained. As many have noted here,he is treated by the media like a protected species: the myth must be maintained and counterexamples either ignored or explained away.

          No Labour leader is going to get that treatment, and I have even wondered if the endorsements that come from Farrar, Slater etc, may be contingent on the belief that they have already got the material they need to burst the Shearer myth before it takes hold. It does not take much – a decontextualised employment dispute, a prudent decision that can be recast as cowardly, a brave decision recast as reckless…the possibilities are endless. But even if this is not true, there has to be more than popularity to a Labour leader. The ability to rise to the challenge and withstand criticism is probably a more valuable asset at this stage.

          • Anthony 2.1.2.3.1

            Or the ability to actually change the ways voters understand their world, instead of just giving up and playing to a superficial populism.

            Most people know something isn’t quite right, and certain things aren’t working as the evidence is all around them at the moment – they are actually experiencing it. a Labour leader needs to articulate clearly and simply why this is and how we can change it instead of treating them like stupid drones.

            There must be something occurring in the public mind if even Obama is risking channeling it.

            People automatically like Shearer, but I think Cunliffe has something deeper, the ability to actually win and convince people because he speaks with conviction and passion.

          • Colonial Viper 2.1.2.3.2

            It does not take much – a decontextualised employment dispute, a prudent decision that can be recast as cowardly, a brave decision recast as reckless…the possibilities are endless.

            An example where lives were lost due to a communications problem or misunderstanding at the UN would be classic.

            A replay of John Kerry being ‘swift-boated’.

            • Anthony 2.1.2.3.2.1

              Will they risk being that overt? Will they just go for the long game of painting him as a nice guy but ineffectual and bureaucratic?

              It doesn’t work with John Key because he has the concrete result of his wealth which is fairly convincing proof of being effective to many, but for humanitarian work the results are way more ambiguous.

              • Olwyn

                It doesn’t work for Key, not because of his wealth, but because his mythical popularity serves various powerful interests, who need him for things to go a certain way, and whose noses will be out of joint if they do not. He is on the side of the fence where a hollow popularity works, because those that could undermine it know which side of the bread has butter on it.

                The people whose noses are out of joint when things do not go well for Labour are not that powerful, except where their numbers are large enough to pose a threat. Cuddly popularity does not get you to that position, but commitment, conviction and resilience just might. It is true that Len Brown managed to get he mayoralty through personal popularity, but it was at a time when Rodney Hide’s supercity was hated, and came largely from his natural ability to connect with people, rather than his life being turned into a grand narrative.

                • Anthony

                  I agree completely, but while the money=worth thing is the dominant ideology he’s fairly bullet-proof on that front.

                  Len also benefited by the real fear of South and West that they would be left in the dust of any Supercity so he managed to unite a plurality of outsider interests under a single idea.

          • drongo 2.1.2.3.3

            It was surprising to see how public the leadership contest was made and thought it might’ve been detrimental to Labour by highlighting factions present in any caucus but which are normally hidden under the shroud that is caucus. But it’s been a blessing in disguise because we’ve realised that Emperor Shearer’s got no clothes. Bloody lucky, let’s hope enough people have realised in time.

        • Draco T Bastard 2.1.2.4

          This is what we have to look forward to from the HoS for the next 3 years.

          So, no difference from what we’ve had for the last 3+ years then.

        • oftenpuzzled 2.1.2.5

          how do you think the left especially Labour needs to deal with the media to get a fairer and less judgemental hearing? It’s apparently extremely difficult by all counts

      • mikesh 2.1.3

        Matthew Hooton said something significant on Citizen A a couple of nights ago. He said that Cunliffe must not be given the finance portfolio (in the event, presumably, of Shearer becoming PM). The right seem terrified Cunliffe will take the country too far to the left.

        • Anthony 2.1.3.1

          David Cunliffe has the ability to communicate to people how economies work and how they work within it – and also what they should expect from it. They would be totally terrified of him doing it, half their power rests on people being ignorant/indifferent.

      • seeker 2.1.4

        LynW. thanks for the link and comment@ 7.32am

        I too thought, “McCarten seems to have slightly toned down his previous opinion heavily endorsing Shearer,”….but found this was not so.
        In fact he subtly undermined at David Cunliffe, and Nanaia, throughout his article. while continuing to spreading his ‘support Shearer’ propaganda.

        I have often thought that McCarten has ‘failed politician syndrome’ whose symptoms display as undermining the Labour party and anything that maybe good for it at every possible opportunity. He is intelligent enough to know that Cunliffe is the better man to lead Labour at this present point in time, but he is also clever enough to know that by pushing Shearer, he is shafting Labour.

      • David 2.1.5

        Funny and interesting how both left and right fear Cunliffe. Matt McCarten this morning did the odd thing of continuing to support a Labour right candidate, even though most of that candidate’s credibility as an upfront leader has been catastrophically undermined for anyone who has seen him in action this week. McCarten of course wants to push Labour to the right to give his party breathing space. What is interesting about Cunliffe is how, he as a genuine left candidate, appeals to people who are looking for business sense and a bit of the mongrel when it comes to the attack. No wonder the Nats and the Left Left are pulling the kitchen sink off the wall!

      • prism 2.1.6

        Carol quotes McCarten –
        “Cunliffe has a lot of enemies in his caucus. His self-confidence and ambition annoys some. Frankly, I would have thought his colleagues understood these attributes are needed in spades for any leader trying to win.”

        Reminds me of an interesting assessment of NZs by a NZ living in Berlin. She says that NZs don’t speak up assertively. She gave a simple example of herself being offered a ride home which she turned down for no good reason until finally was assured it was OK and accepted. Says that NZ find Germans seem aggressive but are really just being straightforward.
        I have also read that Israelis find that we are reluctant to say it like it is. So perhaps the Labourites like the soft-spoken approach that Goff adopted. The trouble is I think that lost us the election. So let Cunliffe shine for pete’s sake. By the way did anyone see Steve Braunias column on David Shearer. Bit much, but perhaps he has hit a tender spot.

      • drongo 2.1.7

        The more I look at Shearer’s eyes the more I think he’s Key’s long lost brother. Shearer will deliberately take Labour down the road of right-wingers and nasty bastards. I just can’t trust him.

  3. Carol 3

    And so it continues…. more high paid jobs handed out to the well-off by the government in order to organise the many on struggle street. And what does Gerry the Hut say?…

    It is what it is…”!

    http://www.stuff.co.nz/national/christchurch-earthquake/6121245/Quake-assessors-wage-bill-144m

    Figures obtained by the Sunday Star-Times show the Earthquake Commission spent $144,528,907 on contracted assessors to inspect damage from September 4, 2010, until September 30 this year. The commission said it contracted 814 assessors in that time, 95 from Australia, meaning the $145.5m bill averaged out to more than $177,000 per assessor in just over a year.

    Although the amount includes food, flights and accommodation costs for out-of-town assessors, it was much larger than the standard salary expectation.
    […]
    Reverend Mike Coleman from the Wider Earthquake Communities Action Network, WeCan, is disgusted by the figure.

    “I think it’s appalling but I’m not surprised. We’ve been battling for little, small amounts for people and here we’ve got the commission spending vast amounts. It just seems unbelievable, really,” he said.

    Coleman said the assessors knew they were on to a good thing. “I’ve talked to two contractors and one was very concerned. He said he was getting $5000 clear in his bank account every week. He said if that ever comes out the whole thing’s going to be quite a major story.

    “But no one who is getting that kind of money is going to blow the whistle. Why would you if you’re getting $5000 every week? $144m is phenomenal.”

    To the barracades!

    There is going to be soooo much to protest about with this government, milking everything on the back of a slim minority, and slithering away from responsibility and accountability.

    “It is what it is”!!!!!!!

    • LynW 3.1

      +10 again!
      I felt exactly the same disgust when I read that article, just couldn’t put it into words. You have done so beautifully. To the barricades indeed! How absolutely out of touch this man is! Have the people earning that money no conscience either? Look forward to the inquiry.

      • Colonial Viper 3.1.1

        And yet the people of Christchurch didn’t return Brendon Burns to office. Gratitude eh.

        • Jackal 3.1.1.1

          Something fishy going on there.

          • Bill 3.1.1.1.1

            Double dipping on posted voting forms to old address at one booth and last minute special vote on the back of a new address at a different booth type thing?

            • vto 3.1.1.1.1.1

              Gerry Brownlie’s response to this is in line wiht previous utterings such as the one regarding Jenny Shipley et al getting $1,000/day because Brownlie “thought that was appropriate”.

              EQC assessor pay rates are widely regarded as the biggest rort in town.

              Perhaps someone could explain why a dipstick assessor (and trust me they aint nobody special – they are very average people doing a job they have never done before. Anyone can do it) gets paid $75 per hour and the people will actually do the important work of repairs (fully qualified trades, with multi-year apprenticeships and the like, plus years of experience) get $45 per hour??????????????

              Anyone? Brownlie? How does that work?

              Typical governmental arrogance and bullshit. It goes on under every single government.

              to be or not to be that is the question – whether tis nobler in the mind to suffer the slings and arrows of outrageous fortune or to take arms against a sea of struggles and by opposing end them….

              • Draco T Bastard

                …people will actually do the important work of repairs (fully qualified trades, with multi-year apprenticeships and the like, plus years of experience) get $45 per hour?

                They don’t get $45/hour though. They’d be lucky to get $25/hour. The $45 is what the contractor (usually a labour hire firm that knows nothing about building) gets.

                Typical governmental arrogance and bullshit.

                It’s typical of capitalism and the skewed values that it produces. The administrators and owners are viewed as being worth more than the people who actually create the wealth.

          • prism 3.1.1.1.2

            Nikki Wagener on the radio explained her win by the shifting of so many Labour supporters and looks forward to further election wins which will probably happen as many low income people won’t have a place or a job in Christchurch.

    • seeker 3.2

      @ Carol 7.58am

      $145.5m bill maybe be okey dokey and ‘is what it is ” for Gerry but for Peter Dunney ‘it is what it is is too much’ when it is $10,000 dollars and could save thousands in health bills as well as lives.

      http://www.3news.co.nz/Government-accused-of-alcohol-review-cover-up/tabid/419/articleID/236136/Default.aspx

      “The Government is tonight being accused of a cover-up – burying major research that shows overwhelming public support for alcohol reform.

      The research, which was most comprehensive ever conducted of New Zealanders’ attitudes towards alcohol, was undertaken to inform the review of liquor laws but it was never made available to the politicians involved in that process because Associate Health Minister Peter Dunne put a stop to it……..

      The Ministry of Health sent the draft results to Peter Dunne saying it would cost $10,000 for the report to be finalised and peer reviewed.

      But the associate minister’s office put a stop to it — saying the $10,000 could be better spent elsewhere – and so the report was never published.”

      Suppressing an important report like this should be a sackable offence. It will definitely have affected the select committee’s law making decisions, which in turn could detrimentally affect lives.

  4. Salsy 4

    So there is a bit of a movement toward a petition to stop asset sales – over at http://www.averagekiwi.com/?p=674 some interesting discussions – Firstly Jeanette Fitsimmons weighs in with:

    Great initiative, but why not use the process that forces them legally to hold such a referendum? there is legislation setting this up. You have to have the text approved by the clerk of the House of Parliament. I don’t think there is any provision for signatures to be electronic. You have to get the signatures of 10% of eligible voters (from memory – check this – it’s around 300,000.) They check random batches against the electoral roll and if people can’t be found there they are struck off. then a similar proportion of all signatures are struck off. So it’s an arduous and meticulous process but the benefit is that legally they then HAVE to hold that referendum. This process would hold things up for a term of parliament. I’m willing to help if people want to do this.

    But also in the comments section I found this…

    As someone who was approached by a trader at Craigs Investement Group (the company who have been given the right to set the value of, and sell the assets) and offered undervalued shares in the first round of sales, which I could then sell in the subsequent rounds for approximately 100% profit (this estimate came directly from John Key himself, according to the trader) to overseas interests, I think the title probably hits the mark.

    Regards,
    Dr Matthew Brown

  5. Afewknowthetruth 5

    I have rewatched Mike Ruppert’s Portland 9/11 2011 speech:

    As he said on several occasions in the speech, until you change the way money works you change nothing

    He also highliighted something else many of us have been saying for a long time: so-called Chrisitans have adopted the biblical concept of dominion over the Earth to mean the right to plunder and destroy it (rather than be good custodians of it).

    What MR omitted to say is that until you change the energy system, i.e. corporations looting fossil fuel resources and selling them to society for society to burn, you change nothing.

    Nothing will change for the better until those three fundamental issues are tackled.

    Whether the Maori Party sell out to corporate greed again or not will determine how much contempt the leaders of the Maori Party will attract, and perhaps whether they will be known for posterity as traitors, along with all the other peddlers of neo-liberal ‘shock doctrine’ economics.


    .

    .

    • oftenpuzzled 5.1

      It seems a red herring to me that Iwi should have first option to buy shares in our power companies they are still in private hands and when the going gets tough they will sell, surely, unless there is some clause which will put controls around their purchase and that is highly unlikely

      • Descendant Of Smith 5.1.1

        Selling to iwi seems to me just a similar ploy as paying your workers low wages so you can get the wages back by being a landlord or a lender.

        Payout treaty money and then get it back by selling a power company they already own as taxpayers.

        I’ve got a bridge in Auckland I can sell if you are interested.

        • drongo 5.1.1.1

          Key wants to keep the bridge so he can give his permission to the Maori Party to fly the Maori flag from it on Waitangi Day in return for support for asset sales – although he’ll also want to charge them rent. Still a good deal for Pita, though, and his “small gains for Maori” claptrap. Good to see Pita’s got such high aspirations for Maori. Complete sell-out. Off with his head.

  6. Afewknowthetruth 6

    The Most Important News Story of the Day/Millennium

    ‘The most important piece of news yesterday, this week, this month, and this year was a new set of statistics released yesterday by the Global Carbon Project. It showed that carbon emissions from our planet had increased 5.9 percent between 2009 and 2010. In fact, it was arguably among the most important pieces of data in the last, oh, three centuries, since according to the New York Times it represented “almost certainly the largest absolute jump in any year since the Industrial Revolution.”

    http://www.commondreams.org/view/2011/12/05-8

    ‘The CEO of Exxon gets up every morning and goes to work changing the chemical composition of the atmosphere. No one has ever done anything as radical as that, not in all of human history. And he and his ilk spend heavily on campaigns to make sure no one stops them–the US Chamber of Commerce gave more money than the DNC and the RNC last cycle, and 94% of it went to climate deniers.

    Corporate power has occupied the atmosphere.’

    • Bored 6.1

      I am a bit torn between some conflicting viewpoints on global warming and resource depletion:

      * the lets tax things/ send market signals so things will come right…..standard neo lib bollock speak for the market knows best and people will do what is “right” as seen by price discovery.
      * the “resources are not accounted for” properly viewpoint that says if a true and fair price had to be paid to exploit them it would not happen…yeah right, maybe more slowly.

      Ultimately what we are doing to the planet cannot be enumerated in money and its corollaries (market price discovery, actual value etc etc )) as they are human constructs that ignore some absolutes imposed by the planet. Stopping global warming and resource depletion is ultimately down to doing the right thing, making individual moral judgements. In this we have singularly failed as a species.

      • Afewknowthetruth 6.1.1

        Bored.

        ‘In this we have singularly failed as a species.’

        I know this is not technically correct but it does seem to me that humanity has divided into three distinct species:

        1. a tiny minority who only see resources and people as things to exploit for their own benefit/pleasure and don’t give a damn about anyone else (not even their own progeny)

        2. a tiny minority who want to live within the Earth’s ecological limits

        3. the vast majority who don’t want to think about any of the things that actually matter.

        ‘human constructs that ignore some absolutes imposed by the planet’ Yes, that sums up the present economic system and the present parliamentary process.

    • Lanthanide 6.2

      Yes, lets blame the CEO of Exxon because it’s all entirely his fault that he enables us to pollute the atmosphere.

      That’s the problem with global warming: until the average person takes responsibility for their actions, nothing will change.

      • Pete George 6.2.1

        Same with everything related to consumerism, it’s the consumers that keep things going as they are.

        • Colonial Viper 6.2.1.1

          Consumerism is a symptom of societal and corporate emphasis, not a primary cause.

        • Afewknowthetruth 6.2.1.2

          PG

          Are you saying that a chimpanzee which is trained to perform tricks in a circus is responsible for its own actions?

          People living in western societies are trained by society from a very young age to behave in a particular manner and have particular opnions:

          Key componenets of the training system include the belief that:

          1. industrialism is normal (it is not; it is a gross abberration)

          2, consumption is good (it is not; it is a major source of problems)

          4. those in authority know best (they don’t; most of them are poorly educated and are self-serving)

          5. the system is benevolent and is taking humanity toward some kind of nirvana (it is not: it is rapidly detroying the habitability of the planet we live on)

          From the comments you have made over recent months it is very clear that you have been brainwashed very effectively and don’t know that the cage you are living in has a door which is unlocked.

      • Colonial Viper 6.2.2

        Its the capitalist system of maximising shareholder returns (even at maximum cost to other parts of society) which is the issue.

        Individuals “taking responsibility” is one part, but a largely ineffective part unless focus is turned on to the bigger system as well.

      • Afewknowthetruth 6.2.3

        Lanth.

        Don’t forget that the CEO of Exxon (or Shell or BP or dozens of other corporations, including many in NZ) ensure that a large portion of the corporations profits are funnelled into keeping the general public misinformed and consuming. Of course, he/she is just doing what the board of directors require him/her to do, i.e. lie continuously.

        Central government is culpable, since it promulgates misinformation designed to keep the general populace consuming the future.

        By the same token, the CEOs of city and district councils are highly culpable in the destruction of the future, since they generate and sign off community plans which are full of misinformation designed to keep the general populace dumbed-down and consuming. City and district councillors are culpable because they endorse the bullshit churned out by council CEOs.

        The whole system is utterly corrupt and utterly inept, and will bring about absolute catastrophe for coming generations, commencing around 2015 in most places.

  7. Jackal 7

    Charter school surprise

    There is something very wrong about announcing a major policy just after the election. People weren’t given a chance to make a decision based on proposed policy, which in some ways is even worse than a broken election promise.

    […]

    Act is claiming that legislation already exists that has given the government a mandate to set up a trial charter school system. Let’s have a look at exactly what the legislation states…

    • Bored 7.1

      Remember Roger and his “lets keep them off balance and just do it” theory that followed Leninist revolutionary practices to the letter. These people dont give a toss for democratic process, Key and his crew knew if they did this term one they would be thrown out, they know they will be next time so get ready for a lot of corporatist and extreme right wing nasties to just appear, and keep appearing.

    • ianmac 7.2

      I am against Charter Schools. But around the late 80s when the Education Act was being written, that was a feature. That is that a group of likeminded people could set up a special nature school which would be at least partly state funded. It was also said that where State Schools were lying empty the rooms would be available for their use. It did get written in and I wonder if some of those religious schools currently running did so under that setup. I heard some teachers wondering if they could set up a breakaway school to avoid the worst aspects of the Ministry of Education, but they didn’t do it.

      But the suspicion around so-called “Charter” schools may be because of the lack of trust developed over the craziness of National Standards, Anne Tolley, and suspicion of John Banks. If he says its good, then you can bet it is bad for most people.

      • Jackal 7.2.1

        That’s an interesting point concerning existing legislation regarding charter schools taking over empty schools. Perhaps this is a reason for National going against the wishes of many communities and closing down schools… so that they’re available for the charter regime.

        John Banks will have Ronald McDonald teaching kids about the benefits of processed food before we know it or perhaps Destiny Church ensuring kids learn of the god like status of Brian Tamaki. They will be chaffing at the bit to get their hands on more government funding.

  8. oftenpuzzled 8

    The Euro debate is confusing for an economic pleb like myself but ‘The slog’ generally clarifies aspects. I wonder what we should be taking on board from this post re the issue of debt? http://hat4uk.wordpress.com/2011/12/10/fiscal-analysis-why-money-no-longer-just-talks/

  9. Draco T Bastard 9

    Robert Fisk: Bankers are the dictators of the West

    It seems to me that the reporting of the collapse of capitalism has reached a new low which even the Middle East cannot surpass for sheer unadulterated obedience to the very institutions and Harvard “experts” who have helped to bring about the whole criminal disaster.

    The real comparison, needless to say, has been dodged by Western reporters, so keen to extol the anti-dictator rebellions of the Arabs, so anxious to ignore protests against “democratic” Western governments, so desperate to disparage these demonstrations, to suggest that they are merely picking up on the latest fad in the Arab world. The truth is somewhat different. What drove the Arabs in their tens of thousands and then their millions on to the streets of Middle East capitals was a demand for dignity and a refusal to accept that the local family-ruled dictators actually owned their countries.

    And that is the true parallel in the West. The protest movements are indeed against Big Business – a perfectly justified cause – and against “governments”. What they have really divined, however, albeit a bit late in the day, is that they have for decades bought into a fraudulent democracy: they dutifully vote for political parties – which then hand their democratic mandate and people’s power to the banks and the derivative traders and the rating agencies, all three backed up by the slovenly and dishonest coterie of “experts” from America’s top universities and “think tanks”, who maintain the fiction that this is a crisis of globalisation rather than a massive financial con trick foisted on the voters.

    Time to get rid of the elected dictators and turn to real democracy. A democracy where the people have the say rather than the corporations and the greedy few.

  10. Afewknowthetruth 10

    Following on from my previous comment, we now see that the so-called safe target level of a 2 Celsius rise in average temperature is actually not safe at all and that we are so far off course we are bound to miss the target anyway, whatever the outcome of the talkfest in Durban.

    Indeed, we are well on track for the 4 Celsius rise in average temperature I have been alluding to for several years.

    ‘For today’s inconvenient truths (ahem), we turn to Kevin Anderson, a professor of energy and climate change who was, until recently, director of the U.K.’s leading climate research institution, the Tyndall Energy Program.’

    ‘Sadly, even that cold comfort is not available to us. The thing is, if 2 degrees C is extremely dangerous, 4 degrees C is absolutely catastrophic. In fact, according to the latest science, says Anderson, “a 4 degrees C future is incompatible with an organized global community, is likely to be beyond ‘adaptation’, is devastating to the majority of ecosystems, and has a high probability of not being stable.” [leads to positive feedbacks that take the temperature even higher]

    http://www.grist.org/climate-change/2011-12-05-the-brutal-logic-of-climate-change

    Of course, the current climate chaos will not become an utter catastrophe for another couple of decades, so there is plenty of time for global corporations to loot and destroy what remains of the natural world so that a few greedy ‘apes’ can live beyond the ecological limits of the planet for a little while longer.

    • johnm 10.1

      Right AFKTT
      Us baby boomers perhaps the greediest generation ever to have lived on this Planet will be long dead when the Climate really TSHTF big time. This is a form of maximising profits in the short term and socialising losses down the pipeline onto future generations!

      I’m not smug I actually find the implications frightening to the extreme.

      • Colonial Viper 10.1.1

        I personally don’t think climate change is going to be a big deal for another 50+ years.

        Energy depletion on the other hand is likely to massively disrupt ‘present economic arrangements’ (to steal a phrase from AFKTT) in the next 10 years. Or 5 years.

        • Afewknowthetruth 10.1.1.1

          CV

          “I personally don’t think climate change is going to be a big deal for another 50+ years.’

          That is a very odd thing to write in view of the fact that climate change is already a big deal and the linked article -from one of the world’s top climate researchers- indicates a severe problems within in a couple of decades.

          Yes, oil depletion will hit hard soon, But abrupt climate change trumps everything else (except all-out nuclear war or an asteroid impact).

          • Colonial Viper 10.1.1.1.1

            So its a matter of timing.

            Personally I think that the industrial and economic collapse you predict to reach a crescendo in the next 3-4 years (and which I believe is driven by peak debt and peak oil) will sort out our population concerns, energy/resource usage and GHG emissions fairly rapidly.

  11. RedBaron 11

    Pure flight of fantasy this one.
    Once the funds for charter schools are known (and they may be generous) how about setting up a “trust or cooperative” that includes teacher’s unions, boards of trustee representatives etc etc. among others and bases itself on the current rules and standards in the state sector..
    It offers to act as the umbrella group for “charter schools” that wish to preserve the status quo [without national standards as that will free up some money] throughout the country. All the current primary schools are invited to join it and the relevant bits of the Ministry move over to administer it. This preserves the national state school structure until this lot go. Of course any such nationwide co-operative will measure all the children together, not school by school, so it would be hard to deny funding to some sections and not others so long as overall performance remains at the high OECD standards, and indeed the “contract” could have this as one of the performance markers.
    So we would then have privatisation, non profit making, cooperation, democracy, something for everyone.

    • ianmac 11.1

      It offers to act as the umbrella group for “charter schools” that wish to preserve the status quo [without national standards as that will free up some money] throughout the country.
      Great idea Red Baron. And all the 6 State schools in our town could become Charter Schools with all that autonomy promised by Key Banks.
      What a hoot and must be possible on the basis of information so far.

  12. RedBaron 12

    And Thank You.

    As it is almost the holiday season I was thinking of those who had made my life more enjoyable over the last year.
    I would like to say a great big personal thank you to all the people who run and maintain this site where I can hang out to keep up with all the news the papers won’t print, gives me a chance to voice my opinions and just keep up with a like minded community. A little island of brightness.

    So the best of the season to you all and may the coming year be a happy and positive time.

  13. Seen this?

    Protest ‘CAMPS’ have an arguably long and internationally significant history.

    eg: The Greenham Common Women’s Peace Camp, lasted for 19 years – from 1981 – 2000.

    http://www.greenhamwpc.org.uk/

    “Greenham Common Women’s Peace Camp
    1981 – 2000

    LINKS: Commemorative and Historic Site Non – Violent Women – v – The Crown Prerogative

    On the 5th September 1981, the Welsh group “Women for Life on Earth” arrived on Greenham Common, Berkshire, England. They marched from Cardiff with the intention of challenging, by debate, the decision to site 96 Cruise nuclear missiles there. On arrival they delivered a letter to the Base Commander which among other things stated ‘We fear for the future of all our children and for the future of the living world which is the basis of all life’.

    When their request for a debate was ignored they set up a Peace Camp just outside the fence surrounding RAF Greenham Common Airbase. They took the authorities by surprise and set the tone for a most audacious and lengthy protest that lasted 19years.

    Within 6 months the camp became known as the Women’s Peace Camp and gained recognition both nationally and internationally by drawing attention to the base with well publicised imaginitive gatherings.

    This unique initiative threw a spotlight on ‘Cruise’ making it a national and international political issue throughout the 80s and early 90s.

    The presence of women living outside an operational nuclear base 24 hours a day, brought a new perspective to the peace movement – giving it leadership and a continuous focus. At a time when the USA and the USSR were competing for nuclear superiority in Europe, the Women’s Peace Camp on Greenham Common was seen as an edifying influence.

    The commitment to non-violence and non-alignment gave the protest an authority that was difficult to dismiss – journalists from almost every corner of the globe found their way to the camp and reported on the happenings and events taking place there. ………….”

    _____________________________________________________

    ” Bylaws Case
    Dates of Creation 1985-1990
    Reference Number(s) GB 106 5GCW/A/02
    Physical Description 2 folders
    Scope and Content

    Correspondence, court papers and related notes regarding litigation begun in 1986 by Jean Hutchinson and Georgina Smith, (both GCW protestors) as a challenge to Bylaws introduced by the Ministry of Defence, 25 Apr 1985.

    This legislation, introduced under the 1892 Military Lands Act, restricted movement in and around Greenham Common in an attempt to curb GCW protests, thus criminalising many protestors. The legal challenge was based on the grounds that the 1892 Act made provision for Bylaws on common land, provided that no rights of Common existed on the land, which was not the case with Greenham Common.

    Over the course of four years, this case progressed from Magistrate’s to Crown to High Courts, eventually reaching the House of Lords. The Bylaws were pronounced invalid by the House of Lords on 12 Jul 1990. ”

    Penny Bright
    [email deleted]

    • Renderer 13.1

      Hey Penny do ya prostitute the same rubbish on every blog is the country?

      • Jackal 13.1.1

        The country is a blog? Who would have thunk it.

      • deuto 13.1.2

        Hi Renderer – new here are you? Haven’t seen you on other blogs either; but perhaps you inhabit ones that I choose not to.

        In terms of Penny, i do not necessarily agree with some of what Penny stands for – BUT I have come to have tremendous respect for Penny in terms of her strength of belief in what she believes in, her ability to research and present information to support that, her willingness to continue to stand up for her beliefs etcs against opposition and disappointment. So go Penny!

        In terms of you, Renderer – who are you and what do you stand for?

      • Jum 13.1.3

        Renderer,

        You twit; that woman has and is doing more than most New Zealanders in safeguarding our precious resources.

        Penny – Monsanto, 10 years ago, was aiming to control the global water supply through the same lobbying that got it so much power over the seeds futures. Any updates on them?

    • seeker 13.2

      Well discovered Penny. The women of Greenham Common were remarkable. In those days there were many ignorant and childish chauvinistic insults hurled at the women. It is amazing to find a left over remnant from that time in Renderer, who would be termed in those days, as I am doing now, a male chauvinist pig and told to return to his sty.

  14. felix 14

    Hey the maori Party have three votes and ACT has one, right?

    So the maori Party would be expecting to get three times as much as ACT got out of National, right?

    • Carol 14.1

      Well, they have an agreement on confidence and supply, with no need to support any government laws.

      http://www.stuff.co.nz/national/politics/6122505/Key-to-announce-Maori-Party-deal

      They get a committee on poverty…. chaired by Blinglish? And some baubles of office.

      • Blue 14.1.1

        I thought Sharples was getting rolled by Te Ururoa Flavell?

      • felix 14.1.2

        C & S but no requirement to vote for other govt bills – isn’t that exactly what ACT gave too?

        • Carol 14.1.2.1

          I dunno. But they give a superficially softer face to a government, that already has the coalition deal to pass asset sales and other anti-worker, anti-poor nasties.

          And it gives the government certainty of office if one of their NactUFnumbers falls by the wayside for some reason. Not worth the ability for the Maori Party to oppose stuff, and to have nice committees, which will be held in check by Blinglish.

          • felix 14.1.2.1.1

            Yeah, but seeing as they’re providing three times as many C&S votes as ACT, I’d expect them to get significantly more than ACT in terms of policy concessions.

            If not, they’re suckers and doormats.

            Shit, with the mP on board Key could tell Banks to feck off if he wanted to, then he wouldn’t have to put up with all that nasty right-wing MMP-enabled policy that he really, really doesn’t want to enact.

      • mik e 14.1.3

        Every body should get $900 a week to pay of their mortgage so they can use their own income to convert their farm to a dairy farm.

  15. ianmac 15

    Maori Party has signed up to pander to the John Key Party.
    http://www.nzherald.co.nz/nz/news/article.cfm?c_id=1&objectid=10772529
    “Developing Whanau Ora, a Ministerial Committee on Poverty and a new focus for Te Puni Kokiri are the centre-pieces of the National Party-Maori Party confidence and supply agreement.

    It also allows the Maori Party to vote for legislation on a policy-by-policy basis, meaning it is free to oppose National’s policy to partially sell state assets.”

    Well. Be interesting to see the degree of support for the MP continuing.

  16. David 16

    Funny and interesting how both left and right fear Cunliffe. Matt McCarten this morning did the odd thing of continuing to support a Labour right candidate, even though most of that candidate’s credibility as an upfront leader has been undermined by anyone who has seen him in action this week. McCarten of course wants to push Labour to the right to give his party breathing space. What is interesting about Cunliffe is how, he as a genuine left candidate, appeals to people who are looking for business sense and a bit of the mongrel when it comes to the attack. No wonder the Nats and the Left Left are pulling the kitchen sink off the wall!

    • just saying 16.1

      “McCarten of course wants to push Labour to the right to give his party breathing space”

      Yeah, that’s what he wants, more space on the left – cos it’s soooo crowded over here.

      • David 16.1.1

        Dont quite get your point Just saying: sorry: explain??

        • Colonial Viper 16.1.1.1

          Labour’s not left enough to count as left.

          • David 16.1.1.1.1

            Both Cunliffe and Robertson look to me like centre left to just plain left candidates with a good reach to the further left in a serious number of policy areas (which makes it odd Robertson is lined up with Shearer, who is by my estimation centre, or Labour right faction). Does any of this count, just saying? Stretch, it’s worth it!! 🙂

  17. Vicky32 17

    Here it is, the bad news…
    http://www.nzherald.co.nz/nz/news/article.cfm?c_id=1&objectid=10772529
    (I suspect I am not the first to post this, but I haven’t finished reading the thread yet).
     

  18. Jackal 18

    Karl Du Fresne – Asshole of the Week Award

    It appears that the right wingers didn’t like the documentary Inside Child Poverty all that much. There has even been a formal complaint to the Electoral Commission about the program. They’re obviously a bit ticked off that the excellent doco told the truth so close to an election…

    • Afewknowthetruth 18.1

      Jackal

      Karl Du Fresne is small fry compared to Arshole of the Decade, Chris De Freitas, who when at the University of Auckland School of Environment was promoting the digging up and burning of coal.

      When I challenged the Vice Chancellors Office over insanity of what de Freitas was teaching there was the expected closing of the ranks.

      http://www.desmogblog.com/chris-de-freitas

      Gotta keep looting and polluting to pay the salaries climate change denialist academics.

      http://sourcewatch.org/index.php?title=International_Climate_Science_Coalition

      NZ society is riddled with corruption and lies.

      • Jasper 18.1.1

        You should take a look here and learn with facts

        • Afewknowthetruth 18.1.1.1

          Jasper

          A fairly typical response from someone who is scientifically illiterate and dosn’t understand the first thing about any of it. We go over this same ground, week after week and month after month and still the same old nonsense about the Earth entering an ice age gets promulgated. (Of course the global coporations that sponsor this gartbage are laughing their heads off at the gullibility of the average climate change denier.)

          More snow is an indication of warming not of cooling. Warmer oceans increase the rate of evaporation and therefore of precipitation -higher vapour pressure and all that- which is exactly whet we have witnessed over recent years.

          The warmer the Earth becomes the greater the energy in the system and the more energy there is to be disipated via high winds and storms etc. (as I wrote over a decade ago).

          The thing about misinformation is that is posesses the character of the mythological Hydra. It make no difference how many times it’s ‘head’ is chopped off, it sprouts another one very quickly.

          People believe what they want to believe and disregard the facts, as I wrote a few days ago (Simon and Garfunkel).

          • Jasper 18.1.1.1.1

            So you say..

            The world will never cool. Instead it’ll just keep getting warmer and warmer and flood us all. Nek minnut Kevin Costner will be pushing Waterworld on us again saying ‘told you so’

            Right.

            Next.

  19. Afewknowthetruth 19

    McFlock

    What a pity you cannot distinguish between ‘collapse of current economic arrangements’ (over the period 2011-2014) and ‘absolute catastrophe for coming generations’ (commencing around 2015).

    Just think, if you could undertand basic English we could have an intelligent discussion.

    • McFlock 19.1

      so the catastrophe doesn’t start with a collapse, and the collapse isn’t a catastrophe?
       
      Maybe if you were a bit more specific about your scaremongering, you wouldn’t need to index your prophecies by synonym.

      • Afewknowthetruth 19.1.1

        McFlock

        No, collapse and catastrophe are not necessarilty synonymous. In fact the collapse of present economic arrangements could well be very liberating for most people on this planet. However, the collapse of the environment will be catastrophic.

        As I said, if you understood basic English we could have an intelligent discussion.

        Unfortunately, you have a great tendency to include emotive catchphrases in your comments. I suppose, if you had been around in the late 1930s you would have decribed Winston Churchill’s timely warnings about the coming war as ‘scaremongering’.

        People who understand what underway and what is on the horizon realise that really is little hope for uniformed fuckwits.

        It has always been that way throughout history.

        I guess you understand what you mean by the latter portion of your comment: ‘wouldn’t need to index your prophecies by synonym.’

        It makes no sense to me.

        • McFlock 19.1.1.1

          Here’s a thought – be specific when you talk about a “collapse”, or a “catatrophe”, or any of the other predictions you make, given that they are all apparently seperate events with different due dates. 
           
          Assuming the catastrophe you refer to is environmental collapse and it’s due to start in 2015, what do you mean by “environmental collapse”? Zero crop yields in some local regions, or a new ice age? Or something in between?
          Stop talking about a nebulous big bad. Without specifics you’re just wasting electrons – which is not the sustainable, idyllic lifestyle that the noble savage lived in 10,000BC.

          • Afewknowthetruth 19.1.1.1.1

            McFlock

            First you need to understand the exponenetial function. If you don’t understand that you will never fully understand our present predicament.

            Al Bartlett’s lecture, Arithmentic Population and Energy, (which I have referenced a dozen times on TS) is the best place to start, followed by Chris Martenson’s Crash Course.

            Economic collapse of the US commenced around 1970, when US oil extraction peaked. Decoupling the dollar from gold, deregulation of ‘the markets’ (repeal of Glass-Steagal etc) and exploitation of oil in Alaska and the Gulf of Mexicao, plus overseas oil reserves via ‘petrodollars’ allowed the printing of US dollars to stave off collapse for around 40 years. The oil game is now coming to a climax, witha huge fight over the last reamining reserves in the Middle East on the cards. US debt has now ‘gone exponential’. Europe is in a similar boat. Nobody can predict exactly when the debt bomb will implode because the elites will do whatever they can to defer the day of reckoning for as long as possible. Few informed analysts see the ‘kicking of the can down the road’ continuing for more than another 12 months.

            The financial unravelling which has commenced will accelerate over the period 2011 to 2013 and will almost certainly be complete around 2015.

            Peak oil was around 2005-6. The system is increasingly dependent on unconventional oil of poor EROEI. The best analysis indicates a severe crisis in liquid fuels will occur between the end of 2011 and 2015. Geopolitical factors (such as an attack on Iran) would precipitate a fairly immediate panic in the oil markets, which I why I believe there will not be an attack on Iran in the immdiate future. However, I could be wring on that point.

            Environmental degradation has been occuring since around 8,000 BC, but went into ‘overdrive’ during the Industrial Revolution. The use of oil to chop down forests, engage in factory farming, strip the oceas of fish, and mine minerals etc. has put environmental degradation into ‘hyper-drive’ in recent decades. Add to the mix runaway CO2 emissions which are causing increassing climate instability and ocean acidification. The point at which global collapse will occur is open to debate simce it is an incremental condition: for people living in many regions of the world, e.g. Haiti, collapse is here now. NZ will be less impacted than many other places in the short erm because of accidents of geography.

            If you genuinely wnat to know the specifics I suggest you read this:

            http://www.publishme.co.nz/shop/theeasyway-p-684.html

            or some other book which covers it all.

            If you are too ‘tight’ to buy a book you can get up to speed by reading

            Energy Bulletin

            http://www.energybulletin.net/

            and Nature Bats Last

            http://guymcpherson.com/

            regularly.

            It will make little difference to me what you do but it will make a huge difference for you if you become informed.

            • McFlock 19.1.1.1.1.1

              No specifics on your linked pages – a bit like saying “Key promised to dowhateverit takes” and using thestandard.org as your source.
              Though you get points for poetic language, e.g. “financial unravelling”.
              Doesn’t say a damned thing. Are you predicting NZ or US inflation at, say, more than 300% by 2015? Reduction in international goods exchange by 30% in the same period? Will we no longer be using money? What?
                
              You’ve been saying the same stuff here for a couple of years or so and the dates keep changing. Be a bit more specific so your predictions are testable.

    • Colonial Viper 19.2

      The collapse of current economic arrangements has been going on full speed for a year or two now so it seems to be a safe bet…

  20. Jilly Bee 20

    What about the report on TV3 News this evening about Peter Dunne’s blocking of the report on alcohol abuse being made public. This is absolutely disgusting – the footage shown with the news clip was spot on, though hard to watch. I’m no wowser and enjoy a glass or two or two of wine with dinner in the evenings, but. . . . . . . . . And this guy’s been sucked back into John Key’s bosom with all his baubles of office [along with the Maori Party – didn’t Pita Sharples look ragged]. Oh happy days.

  21. Draco T Bastard 21

    Dunne must answer questions over supressed alcohol report

    The Ministry of Health requested the Health Sponsorship Council launch a major survey on New Zealanders attitudes to alcohol. This survey could have assisted MPs during the Select Committee consideration of the Alcohol Reform Bill. However the Health Sponsorship Council report and its findings were never made public.

    “Minister Dunne’s explanations for burying the report – that publishing the report would cost too much and the results didn’t add value – are simply not credible,” said Mr Hague.

    So much for integrity from the Hairdo.

    • Hilary 21.1

      That young TV3 reporter is doing some good investigative journalism and clearly knows his way around the Official Information Act.

      • seeker 21.1.1

        The young reporter is Brooke Sabin Hilary. And yes he is doing some excellent investigative work, long may he do so. I hope he doesn’t end up in the gallery with all the other glazed over ‘gone to the dark side’ Right Winged Stepford Wives of the journalist fraternity, or should that be sorority?

    • Afewknowthetruth 21.2

      DTB

      Give him marks for consistency. At least ‘the Hairdo’ is consistent in his sabotaging of NZ society. I cannot think of one positive contribution he has made since entering parliament.

      • Colonial Viper 21.2.1

        Pete George will forward you a long list shortly.

        • Afewknowthetruth 21.2.1.1

          Oh good. I’m feeling peckisk and need something for supper.

          My memory fails me at times. Wasn’t Dunne in favour of lowering the drinking age and opposed to smoke-free legislation?

        • Jilly Bee 21.2.1.2

          Come on Pete G – let’s have a comment – at least.

        • deuto 21.2.1.3

          Yes – Peter George, I am also waiting.

          Damm – just broke my promise to myself to never respond to or acknowledge PG.

    • Jim Nald 21.3

      Where does Dunne get his political donations from?

      • felix 21.3.1

        Dunno, but Pete George has assured us it’s definitely not the alcohol and tobacco lobbies.

        • Tigger 21.3.1.1

          Poor Pete, how are you going to feel when we start targeting Dunne over asset sales? Him and any National MPs with slim majorities. You see, Key needs every vote to sell our assets so we’re going to make it as hard as possible for him.

  22. Jum 22

    Mike Moore – helped bring down Labour – a few choice articles.
    Mike Moore – revenged himself upon Helen Clark – helped by NAct advisers
    Really weird Honours and Awards – with NAct’s reward still to come – priceless.

    ‘Mike Moore, New Zealand Ambassador to The United States and former Director General of the World Trade Organisation and New Zealand Prime Minister said he was appreciative that he has been honoured by the Australian Government. It has been announced he has been awarded the Order of Australia. Mr Moore has been recognised by a number of Governments. Details listed.

    Honours and Awards
    • The Order of New Zealand
    • Commemoration Medal 1990
    • Commander of the Order of the Equatorial Star (Commandeur de l’Ordre de Laetrile Equatoriale) – Government of Gabon
    • National Order of Cote d’Ivoire (Ivory Coast) (l’Ordre National de Cote d’Ivoire en Qualite de Commandeur)
    • Order of the Golden Heart of Kenya
    • Order of Duke Branimir with Ribbon – Republic of Croatia
    • National Honour of Georgia – Government of Georgia
    • The Medal of the Oriental Republic of Uruguay – Government of Uruguay – highest national honour
    • Pope John Paul II Annual Medal – The Holy See’

    (Still waiting for the NAct rewards to roll in for Chris Trotter).

    Two more scalps for John Key and his friends.

  23. Afewknowthetruth 23

    Jum

    Well we do know that as a general rule, the more damage to society and the environment a person does, the more the system awards and rewards them.

    Promoting globalisation, the money-lender system, corporate control of society and enslavement of the general populace usually attracts the highest honours.

  24. drongo 24

    Someone needs to start up a page on facebook called “The let’s ditch the filthy sell-out Maori Party who’ve done nothing but flushed their own people down Key’s bog-pit”. We need to put the pressure on the Maori Party to leave asset sales alone. They mightn’t have to support asset sales, and they’ve even said they’re not really into them, but Sharples is so fickle he’d probably change his mind with an offer from Key to reduce loans of Maori students by 0.5%, because “that’s a real gain for Maori”, eh Pita? Or perhaps Key might agree to using a Maori greeting at the Waitangi Day celebrations in exchange for asset sales and agreeing to Aaron Gilmore’s suggestion of settling all land clams…by 1999 – another big hit for Maori, Pita. Shit man, you’re such a heavyweight for your people.

    • mik e 24.1

      The maori Nationals lapdogparty we delivered higher unemployment 18% +up from 8% higher poverty rates and you suckers voted for us ! wolf in sheeps clothing.

      • drongo 24.1.1

        Sharples just wants to hang around till 2014 to claim the pension. He says going with National will mean “small gains” for Maori. The only Maori who’ll make a “small gain” is him – the extra he’ll be getting for playing poodle in Maori Affairs. In fact, I think he’s too dumb to understand he doesn’t need to go with Key to claim his pension, and probably thinks he’d lose his MP’s salary, too. Dumb-arse. Aren’t your people important to you any more, Mr Richprick Sell-out Sharples?

  25. drongo 25

    And in any case, Whanau Ora is precisely what the nats want and fits in nicely with their desire to shift all welfare provision over to community organisations. The Maori Party would get Whanau Ora if they asked for it or not so isn’t really something Tariana can rightly claim credit for, and in fact is again selling her people down Key’s dunny becuase it’ll mean more poverty as more groups taking control also means the gradual demise of our hardship extra add-on system of assistance designed for the really really poor, many of whom are Maori.

  26. heha 26

    2011-2014 The Maori Party retirement tour. Lapping it up for someone else to clean up.

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

  • Advance payments to support contractors
    Advance payments will be made to transport construction industry contractors to retain the workforce and ensure it is ready to quickly gear up to build projects which will be vital to New Zealand’s COVID-19 economic recovery, Transport Minister Phil Twyford announced today. He said keeping the workforce required to build ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    9 hours ago
  • Government seeks infrastructure projects
    The Government has tasked a group of industry leaders to seek out infrastructure projects that are ready to start as soon as the construction industry returns to normal to reduce the economic impact of the COVID-19 pandemic, Economic Development Minister Phil Twyford and Infrastructure Minister Shane Jones say. The Infrastructure ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    20 hours ago
  • Health system scaled up to prepare for COVID-19
    Work to scale up the health system in preparation for COVID-19 was today outlined by Health Minister David Clark, as he reported back to the new Epidemic Response Committee. “We are well placed to contain the spread of COVID-19. We have taken early and decisive action at our borders, and ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    20 hours ago
  • Essential media COVID-19 guidelines refined
    The Government is refining its COVID-19 essential business guidance to include the distribution of news publications for communities which are hard to reach. The Minister of Broadcasting, Communications and Digital Media, Kris Faafoi, said the move was in recognition of the importance for New Zealanders who might be harder to ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    22 hours ago
  • New Zealand defence personnel conclude mission at Taji
    Following the successful conclusion of the Building Partner Capacity (BPC) mission at Taji, New Zealand defence personnel are returning to New Zealand from Iraq, in accordance with the Cabinet decision made in June 2019, Foreign Affairs Minister Winston Peters and Defence Minister Ron Mark announced today. “New Zealand is very ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 day ago
  • State of National Emergency extended
    The State of National Emergency to help stop the spread of COVID-19 has been extended for a further seven days, Minister of Civil Defence Peeni Henare said. The initial declaration on March 25 lasted seven days and can be extended as many times as necessary. “Since we went into isolation ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 day ago
  • Strong Govt books support ‘go hard, go early’ response
    New Zealand’s ability to go hard and go early in the fight against COVID-19 has been underpinned by strong Government finances and the growing economy heading into this global pandemic, Finance Minister Grant Robertson says. The Treasury today released the Crown financial statements for the eight months to the end ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 day ago
  • Christchurch Hospital Hagley ICU to open to support COVID-19 response
    Health Minister Dr David Clark says 36 new intensive care beds at Christchurch Hospital’s new Hagley building are being fast tracked so they are available for treatment of COVID-19 patients.   The Ministry of Health is working with contractor CPB and Canterbury DHB to enable access to the hospital’s ICU, ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • Government supports Air NZ freight flights
    The Government has fast-tracked up to $1 million to help Air New Zealand move urgent freight to and from New Zealand, with the first flight to Shanghai leaving tonight, Transport Minister Phil Twyford announced today. Phil Twyford says it’s crucial that trade in vital goods such as medical supplies and ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • Tariff concessions on COVID-19 related products
    New Zealand will temporarily remove tariffs on all medical and hygiene imports needed for the COVID-19 response. Trade and Export Growth Minister David Parker and Commerce and Consumer Affairs Minister Kris Faafoi said today that the New Zealand Customs Service will apply tariff concessions to all diagnostic reagents and testing ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • Clarification of modification to wage subsidy scheme
    Minister of Finance Grant Robertson has clarified that the changes to the wage subsidy scheme announced yesterday mean that employers should be passing on the full subsidy to workers, except in the case where the person’s normal income is less than the level of the subsidy. “We still want employers ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • Face masks flowing to DHBs
    Medical face masks from the national reserve supply are now being distributed to District Health Boards, while at the same time local production is being ramped up. Yesterday more than 640,000 masks were sent to DHBS – that is an immediate two week supply, with more to follow in coming ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • COVID-19: Further steps to protect New Zealanders’ jobs
    The Government has made modifications to the wage subsidy scheme to ensure people don’t lose their jobs during the national lockdown. These changes will soften the impact of COVID-19 on workers, families and businesses, and position them to exit the lockdown and look to recovery, Finance Minister Grant Robertson says. ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • Tax relief for Mycoplasma Bovis farmers
    Farmers whose herds were culled in response to the outbreak of Mycoplasma bovis will be able to minimise the tax treatment of their income in some circumstances. Revenue Minister Stuart Nash says Cabinet has agreed to change the law. It means farmers may be eligible to spread their income over ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • $27 million for NGOs and community groups to continue providing essential services
    A $27 million dollar package, effective immediately, is being provided to social sector services and community groups to ensure they can continue to provide essential support to communities as we stay at home as a nation to stop the spread of COVID-19, Minister for Social Development Carmel Sepuloni announced. “At ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • Statement on guilty plea of March 15 terrorist
    “The guilty plea today will provide some relief to the many people whose lives were shattered by what happened on March 15,” Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern said. “These guilty pleas and conviction bring accountability for what happened and also save the families who lost loved ones, those who were injured, ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • COVID-19 updates
    The Prime Minister is holding daily press conferences to update New Zealanders on the Government's response to COVID-19. Links to videos and transcripts of these updates below. These transcripts also include All of Government press conferences led by Director Ministry of Health's Director-General of Health Dr Ashley Bloomfield. 25 March: Live update from the Prime ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • Police numbers break through 10,000 mark
    Frontline Police numbers have broken through the 10,000 mark for the first time in history as officers step forward to keep the community safe during the COVID19 lockdown. “Two Police graduations in Auckland and Wellington in the past week have been conducted in unprecedented circumstances,” Police Minister Stuart Nash said. ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • Urgent tax measures for economic recovery
    Urgent legislation has been passed to support the package of economic and social measures needed to recover from the impact of the coronavirus outbreak. “The COVID-19 Response (Taxation and Social Assistance Urgent Measures) Bill will cushion New Zealanders from the worst economic impacts of the COVID-19 outbreak,” said Revenue Minister ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    7 days ago
  • Further support for farmers and growers as drought persists
    From tomorrow, Government support for farmers and growers affected by drought will be expanded and extended across the country, with access to Rural Assistance Payments (RAPS) available throughout the North Island, parts of the South Island and the Chatham Islands, Social Development Minister Carmel Sepuloni announced. “These challenging conditions have ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    7 days ago
  • COVID-19: Temporary changes to Education Act
    Parliament has passed amendments to legislation that give the Secretary of Education stronger powers to act in the fight to limit the spread of COVID-19, Education Minister Chris Hipkins said today. “They are part of a suite of changes passed under the COVID-19 Response (Urgent Management Measures) Legislation Bill,” Chris ...
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    7 days ago
  • Canada, Australia, Chile, Brunei and Myanmar join NZ and Singapore in committing to keeping supply a...
    Canada, Australia, Chile, Brunei and Myanmar have joined forces with New Zealand and Singapore by committing to keep supply chains open and remove any existing trade restrictive measures on essential goods, especially medical supplies, in the face of the Covid-19 crisis.  Trade and Export Growth Minister David Parker today welcomed ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    7 days ago
  • COVID-19: Rent increase freeze and more protection for tenants
    Immediate freeze on rent increases Tenancies will not be terminated during the lock-down period, unless the parties agree, or in limited circumstances Tenants who had previously given notice can stay in their if they need to stay in the tenancy during the lock-down period Tenants will still be able to ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    7 days ago
  • Working together to protect businesses and workers
    As New Zealand unites to lock-down in the fight against COVID-19, the Finance Minister is urging all businesses and workers to stay connected over the next four weeks. “We understand the extreme pressure many businesses are under right now. I know most business owners think of their workers as family ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    7 days ago
  • State of National Emergency declared to fight COVID-19
    A State of National Emergency has been declared across the country as the Government pulls out all the stops to curtail the spread of COVID-19. “Today we put in place our country’s second ever State of National Emergency as we fight a global pandemic, save New Zealanders’ lives and prevent ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Prime Minister’s statement on State of National Emergency and Epidemic Notice
    Mr Speaker I wish to make a Ministerial Statement under Standing Order 347 in relation to the recent declaration of a State of National Emergency. Having considered the advice of the Director Civil Defence Emergency Management, the Minister of Civil Defence declared a State of National Emergency for the whole of ...
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    1 week ago
  • Deadline for domestic travel extended
    People needing to travel on domestic flights, trains and Cook Strait ferries to get home before the country moves into level 4 lock-down tomorrow night will be able to continue using the passenger services until midnight on Friday, Transport Minister Phil Twyford said today. Domestic passenger services, particularly ferries, have ...
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    1 week ago
  • Mortgage holiday and business finance support schemes to cushion COVID impacts
    The Government, retail banks and the Reserve Bank are today announcing a major financial support package for home owners and businesses affected by the economic impacts of COVID-19. The package will include a six month principal and interest payment holiday for mortgage holders and SME customers whose incomes have been ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Government working to keep air freight moving
    Minister of Transport Phil Twyford has today announced details of the Government’s support package to keep key air freight moving and ensure New Zealanders retain access to essential goods during the four-week level 4 lockdown. “The Government is working with airlines and air freight operators to ensure New Zealand’s key ...
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    1 week ago
  • New Zealand moves to COVID-19 Alert Level 3, then Level 4 in 48 hours
    New Zealand moved up to COVID-19 Alert Level 3 – Restrict New Zealand to move up to COVID-19 Alert Level 4 – Eliminate, in 48 hours Two-staged approach to give people and businesses time to prepare  Level 3, from tomorrow Non-essential businesses must close All events and gatherings must be ...
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    1 week ago
  • Prime Minister: COVID-19 Alert Level increased
    Good afternoon  The Cabinet met this morning to discuss our next actions in the fight against COVID-19.  Like the rest of the world, we are facing the potential for devastating impacts from this virus. But, through decisive action, and through working together, do we have a small window to get ...
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    1 week ago
  • Govt takes significant economic decisions as NZ readies for Alert Level 4 in COVID-19 fight
    The Government is announcing significant further support for the economy, workers and businesses as the country unites to prepare for Alert Level 4 in the fight against COVID-19. Cabinet today agreed to remove the cap on the Government’s wage subsidy scheme, which will inject a further $4 billion into the ...
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    1 week ago
  • Govt backs RBNZ move to support economy with lower interest rates
    The Government is backing the Reserve Bank’s latest action to support the economy by reducing longer-term interest rates, meaning lower costs for businesses and mortgage holders, and a lower currency to help our exporters. The Minister of Finance has signed a memorandum of understanding and a letter of indemnity with ...
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    1 week ago
  • Government statement on commercial cooperation during COVID-19
    The Government has asked the Commerce Commission to take account of the exceptional circumstances created by COVID-19 when monitoring business behaviour in coming weeks.   “The purpose of my request to the Commerce Commission is to make sure businesses can work together in ways that will allow them to provide ...
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    1 week ago
  • New Zealand temporarily closes diplomatic posts in Barbados and Myanmar due to COVID-19
    The New Zealand Government has temporarily closed its High Commission in Bridgetown, Barbados and its Embassy in Yangon, Myanmar due to the COVID-19 pandemic, Foreign Minister Winston Peters says.   “Due to the increasing scarcity of air links in and out of Bridgetown and Yangon, and the pressure COVID-19 is placing ...
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    1 week ago
  • Supporting Māori communities and businesses through
    Associate Health and Whānau Ora Minister Peeni Henare has today announced the Government’s plan to support Māori communities and businesses in the face of COVID-19. “Our Government’s $12.1 billion economic package will help many Māori whānau, workers and businesses, whether it’s through wage subsidies, income support and worker redeployment, or ...
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    1 week ago
  • Guidelines for hospitality establishments released
    The Government and the hospitality industry have worked together to produce guidelines to assist with managing and reducing transmission of COVID-19, Health Minister David Clark announced today.  The guidelines developed between the Government, Hospitality New Zealand and SkyCity Entertainment Group, set out how the new restrictions on physical distancing and ...
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    2 weeks ago
  • Nation steps up to COVID-19 Alert Level 2
    Four stage Alert System for COVID-19 announced New Zealand moved up to COVID-19 Alert Level 2 – Reduce Contact New Zealanders over 70 and those with certain medical conditions told to stay at home as much as they can to reduce risk of contact with the virus Workplaces to implement ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 weeks ago
  • PM Address – Covid-19 Update
    Kia ora koutou katoa I’m speaking directly to all New Zealanders today to give you as much certainty and clarity as we can as we fight Covid-19. Over the past few weeks, the world has changed. And it has changed very quickly. In February it would have seemed unimaginable to ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 weeks ago
  • NZ and Singapore commit to keeping supply and trade links open, including on essential goods and med...
    New Zealand and Singapore have jointly committed to keep supply chains open and to remove any existing trade restrictive measures on essential goods, especially medical supplies, in the face of the Covid-19 crisis. Trade and Export Growth Minister David Parker welcomed the commitment. “This is an important collective response, and ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 weeks ago