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Open mike 12/05/2015

Written By: - Date published: 6:00 am, May 12th, 2015 - 130 comments
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openmikeOpen mike is your post.

For announcements, general discussion, whatever you choose. The usual rules of good behaviour apply (see the Policy).

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130 comments on “Open mike 12/05/2015”

    • (takeaway from that one:..)

      “..People who pay a large part of their household income for rent or a mortgage, or who save assiduously for a huge down payment, don’t have much cash left to contribute to the overall economy.

      Most of their income simply gets confiscated by inflated home prices, or the resulting high rents and associated expenses.

      It’s channeled to landlords, PE firms, and REITs that own the homes; banks and investment funds that own the mortgages or the mortgage-backed securities; and a million other entities.

      Most of it becomes part of the grease that keeps Wall Street from squealing.

      But nothing happens with that money to move the real economy forward..”

      (embrace the teaser-paragraph there – a.w.w…)

      • AsleepWhileWalking 1.1.1

        😀
        This housing thing has got me thinking….are the costs lower to the government to support a social housing provider, or to pay accommodation supplement?

        The answer will depend on whether or not social housing providers can charge market rent or at least enough for their tenants to qualify for AS. Could be a story here…

        • greywarshark 1.1.1.1

          This housing frenzy to divest by government. It seems to me like a Richard Prebble moment as with our rail system. I think he said he would be prepared to give it away, because of the usual hperbole – gummint can’t be efficient, no good as managers, can’t being the proper commercial controls on running, and finally it would be better if some private organisation could lick into shape.

          Which usually means run cheaper and better and be profitable. Which is an oxymoron I think? Can’t be done in a public service, which by their nature are costly and to be affordable and reasonably priced, can at best just meet costs. To give their best value they need thorough examination for viability and usefulness when started, and regular review and monitoring for successful performance along the way. That’s how gummint should be running housing, and providing what is needed in an appropriate way.

      • Draco T Bastard 1.1.2

        A flaw in the money system

        Of course the rich, who benefit from it, don’t see it as a flaw.

      • tracey 1.1.3

        Which is important when our banks (mostly) export their profits so it doesnt get re-introduced…. ANZ NZ made a 500m half yearly profit to go with its Aussie heads 3bn…

        taken from oyur economy and put into Aussie’s.

        • Colonial Rawshark 1.1.3.1

          And Labour is worried about a measly ACC levy cut being important for jobs. Talk about focussing on the molehills.

    • Charles 1.2

      I tried to live in an impossible city, once. It was impossible. Nothing was possible. So I moved to a possible city, which is marginally better, because while not everything works, there is the hope that something might work if approached in the right way. I pity the fool that saves for 37 years to go live in an impossible city. My dream is to build a plausible city, and if successful, move forward onto building highly likely communities.

    • hoom 1.3

      Notice that the Banks are now making public statements ‘there is no Auckland property bubble’
      http://www.nzherald.co.nz/business/news/article.cfm?c_id=3&objectid=11446922
      AKA ‘we are in deep shit if it bursts’ -> PR campaign.

  1. Tautoko Mangō Mata 2

    TPPA: This from an interview with Elizabeth Warren in which she explains how the Investor-State Dispute Settlement system (ISDS) works.

    PLUM LINE: Is it theoretically possible to write ISDS in a way that precludes it from overriding regulation?

    WARREN: It doesn’t directly tell countries to repeal regulations. It imposes a financial penalty, which has caused countries to change their regulations…[ISDS mechanisms] never had the authority to override regulations. What they had was the authority to impose a monetary penalty directly against the government and its taxpayers. That’s the point at which governments have backed up and said, “we can’t afford this, we’ll just change the law.”
    http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/plum-line/wp/2015/05/11/elizabeth-warren-fires-back-at-obama-heres-what-theyre-really-fighting-about/

    We need our journalists to drill Tim Groser and John Key about this. $6million for the Saudi businessman over the live sheep ban will be very small beer compared to the figures in the ISDS cases. It will be so costly to preserve the environment and our citizens rights.
    How can our Nat politicians not see that? Come on, Labour, Greens, NZ First, start making more noise about this!

    • Draco T Bastard 2.1

      How can our Nat politicians not see that?

      They can see that – they don’t care. In fact, I’d say that that’s the entire point. Taking governments to the cleaners will be a nice profit making scheme.

      • tracey 2.1.1

        YUP

        ““we can’t afford this, we’ll just change the law.””

        So they can claim the TPP wasn’t the problem, but the Govts BUT the threat of law suits makes the govt change the law to “save” the taxpayer money from the lawsuit…

        More insidious to me is that the decision-making process of the dispute is closed and the adjudicators are former corporate lawyers…

    • Sabine 2.2

      but they see it.
      it is just you pretending to believe that they don’t see it.
      IF we all would admit that they see it, know it, talk about and take it into account, than we would be really really scared, as we realise that we are nothing but cattle or chattel, utterle expendable and of no value to them what so ever.

      The national party that supports the TPPA and the labour party and any other polititian in nz that supports this abomination should be charged with treason.

      red pill or blue pill?

    • Rosemary McDonald 2.3

      Come on, Labour, Greens, NZ First, start making more noise about this!

      Ya Hear???

      START MAKING MORE NOISE ABOUT THIS.

      Or some of us will start to believe you either …
      a) don’t care

      b) have, as elected MPs, some ‘inside knowledge’ that precludes/prevents any serious questioning of the Government on this issue.

      Signing of this nefarious ‘agreement’ is months away.

      Where the bloody hell are you?

    • greywarshark 2.4

      Yes drill Tim Groser and John Key till all the small beer leaks out. Makes no sense?
      Neither does anything they say when studied closely. Let’s all talk politic (otherwise known as gobblegook while they treat us as turkeys to be roasted.)

    • vto 2.5

      And of course to balance the ISDS provisions, when regulations are changed that result in increased profits for corporates those corporates are required to pass that profit over to the government….

  2. Draco T Bastard 3

    My puzzlement this morning comes from the fact that nobody seems to want to tell me where the bulk of the 2010 Liberal Democratic voters went. Did they go to the Conservative Party? And did the Conservative pParty lose a quarter of its 2010 votes to UKIP? Or is it that the Liberal Democratic voters see their identity as being neither Labour nor Conservative, and so jumped to UKIP when Nick Clegg turned the Liberal Democrats into Conservatives-not-so-light?

    The rest of the rather short article also asks some interesting questions about the UK election.

    • swordfish 3.1

      Over the last few days, I’ve read many sweeping assertions about the swings and counter-swings that supposedly took place between the various parties in the UK Election. Almost always based on hunches or anecdotal evidence. But presented as cold, hard fact.

      The vast body of data from pre-Election Opinion Polls remains the only reliable source in my opinion (although anecdotal evidence via discussions with an array of locals – including party activists – in specific electorates is useful as supplementary evidence). Probably most useful of all, though, will be the British Election Study data (from post-Election interviews) when it comes out.

      All the polling evidence I’ve seen – both since 2010 in general and, more specifically, over the last few months – suggests Lib Dem deserters were disproportionately heading Labour’s way. How that dovetails with Labour’s woeful inability to win that vast array of Tory Marginals is another matter. Did an unusually large proportion of Lib Dem deserters have a last minute change of heart ?

      Or was the Lib Dem swing to Labour nullified by an even greater swing from Labour-to-UKIP or Labour-to-the-Conservatives ?

      And what role did non-voting play ?

      • tracey 3.1.1

        Where did LibDem voters come from originally?

        That might help analysis.

        My National voting brother told me a week out he was voting Green Party. ON the day he “couldn’t bring myself to do it” and voted National.

        No wonder the tories fought hard against a change to the electoral system…. Why Labour fought hard too is beyond me.

        • Colonial Rawshark 3.1.1.1

          No wonder the tories fought hard against a change to the electoral system…. Why Labour fought hard too is beyond me.

          Labour very much likes two party privilege. Also, Labour Parties throughout the world see all minor left wing political parties as political enemies to be suppressed and sidelined where at all possible, lest they metastasize into left wing nightmares for them like the SNP.

          Also remember that in NZ, the National Party were the ones who introduced MMP.

      • Colonial Rawshark 3.1.2

        And what role did non-voting play ?

        Did you see this about the “Apathy Party.” Looks to me that even in Labour strongholds, most people could not be bothered to vote for them.

        In Scotland, it seems clear that most Lib Dems voters went straight to the SNP.

        http://www.independent.co.uk/news/uk/politics/generalelection/the-one-map-that-shows-how-nonvoting-would-have-won-the-general-election-if-it-were-a-party-10238290.html

        • swordfish 3.1.2.1

          Cheers for that, CV.

          Yep, it’s clear the Non-Vote won in the vast majority of Labour-held seats (Merseyside and parts of Greater London being the key exceptions).

          And despite the impressive turnout in Scotland overall, I see the Apathy Party also came first in Greater Glasgow (home of the “Yes” vote) and in poor old Orkney and Shetland (possibly allowing the Lib Dems to hang on by their fingertips in the latter constituency).

  3. Draco T Bastard 4

    John Pilger, Noam Chomsky, and Others on the Shameful History of U.S. Interference in Latin America

    What the United States is in fact worried about is independence, what’s called the “threat of a good example,” or a rotten apple which might spoil the barrel, or some formulation of “the domino theory”: The idea that if one country decides to develop crazy ideas about democracy and popular control, other countries might do the same, leading to a widespread revolution.

    This is directly antithetical U.S. business interests, so it must be rooted out, brutally and quickly, so that others get the message.

    Noam Chomsky writes in Interventions that,

    The United States has long reacted harshly to the “successful defiance” of Third World countries like Cuba that sought a path to independent development, assigning priority to domestic needs rather than those of foreign investors and Washington planners.

    After the “virus” is removed, “stability” must be established, often through a nasty, corrupt dictator or a national security state which will not give in to such petty concerns as human rights and living conditions.

    We can see these types of interventions of the US into other nations around the world. Iran and Iraq are the two most well known interventions but other countries have also fallen under US hegemony.

  4. swordfish 6

    In a wee discussion the other day on The Standard, I suggested the Greens were nowhere near as toxic to voters as some pundits (both Left and Right-leaning) seem to assume.

    Here’s some data to back-up my argument:

    UMR November 2013

    Potential Coalition Partners
    “How good a job do you think the following parties would do if they were part of a coalition government with one of the major parties”

    Good = Will do Good Job
    Bad = Will do Bad Job
    G+N = Good+Neutral combined score
    G/B Diff = Good/Bad Difference

    Table One: Entire Sample
    Party…….Good…..Neutral….Bad….UnsureG+N……..G/B Diff
    (In order of Highest to Lowest Good+Neutral)
    Greens………26………31………..36………….7………..57………. – 10
    Maori………..12………39…………41…………8………..51………. – 29
    NZF…………..12……….31…………47……….10……….43………. – 35
    ACT……………4………..25…………59……….12……….29………. – 55
    Cons………….4………..24…………48……….24……….28………. – 44

    Clearly, NZ voters are not particularly enamoured of any of the minor parties when it comes to coalition politics. But, taking a Glass Half Full approach, you can see that 57% of voters can live with the Greens as a coalition partner (64% if you include those Unsure). That makes them more popular than the Maori and NZF parties and vastly more acceptable to the voting public than ACT and the Conservatives.

    The Greens are even acceptable to a significant minority of National voters:

    Table Two: Views of National Party Voters Only
    Maori………….8………..36………..52………….4………..44………. – 44
    Greens……….9…………31………..56………….4………..40………. – 47
    ACT…………….6…………31………..56………….7………..37………. – 50
    Cons…………..6…………29………..45…………20……….35………. – 39
    NZF…………….6…………29………..59………….6………..35………. – 53

    • Puckish Rogue 6.1

      The Greens could pick up more then a few National votes but only if they’re prepared to compromise

      • Pasupial 6.1.1

        The Māori Party was willing to compromise their principles for a place at the table – even if it was sitting on the floor begging for crumbs. Now all but one of the Māori seats have returned to Labour, and the MP face total obliteration at the next election.

        • Puckish Rogue 6.1.1.1

          If they hadn’t compromised they wouldn’t have got Whanau Ora up and running

          • Grant 6.1.1.1.1

            If they hadn’t compromised they might not have vanished up their own gunga’s.

      • b waghorn 6.1.2

        400 ppm and rising

      • Paul 6.1.3

        You can’t compromise with nature.
        400 ppm… there’s nothing negotiable there, pr

        • Puckish Rogue 6.1.3.1

          You’ll also find it hard to achieve much outside of parliament as well so whats more important your principles or a difference?

          • felix 6.1.3.1.1

            Parliament will seem a very abstract idea on an unliveable planet with no food.

            • Colonial Rawshark 6.1.3.1.1.1

              Parliament will ensure that they have plenty of food while the rest of us get half sized frozen rations from Compass.

          • tracey 6.1.3.1.2

            No true, a whole lot of fastfood chains just dumped zero hour contracts, and the dumping had NOTHING to do with the current government

            • tracey 6.1.3.1.2.1

              noT true

            • Lanthanide 6.1.3.1.2.2

              PR actually said “outside of Parliament”, not “outside of government”.

              Labour are in Parliament and they, and the Greens, played a part in the zero-hours contract debate. Labour got Parliamentary Services to ditch them for the catering staff.

              • Puckish Rogue

                I think its fair to say that the Greens could accomplish more in power rather then being outside

                They need to ask themselves whats more important, their pride or making changes

                • Or they could look at what happens to left/liberal parties who prop up Tory governments (cf LibDems last week). The Greens would accomplish nothing inside a NACT government. Or at least, nothing of substance; for example, can anyone tell me wtf ‘whanau ora’ is or what it has achieved?

                  • adam

                    Sure can tell you what Whanau Ora is – go here – last two paragraphs are the charm

                    http://bowalleyroad.blogspot.co.nz/2015/05/power-to-right-people-how-neoliberalism.html

                    As for achievements – I know of quite a few really good outcomes for families and individuals both in Auckland and around the country. I think it is a wonderful approach to accessing services. Holism seems to be a good approach, and contrary to many misguided comments here – I’ve only ever dealt with true professionals within the Whanau Ora framework.

      • tracey 6.1.4

        examples?

    • Pasupial 6.2

      That’s a heartening bit of number crunching there Swordfish. However, I do note that the data comes from November 2013. Now that Mana no longer have a parliamentary presence, the Overton window has moved rightwards and GP can once more be attacked as the Devil-Beast of leftward extremism.

      One depressing tidbit from the weekend; I was talking to a GP member who had been at the; male coleader candidate speeches in Dunedin. They seemed to be leaning towards supporting Shaw at the delegate meeting next week, mainly due to him looking good in a suit. They were particularly scathing about Hughes rocking up to speak in more casual dress, especially his wearing scuffed shoes. However, while they were clear about what Hughes and Hague stood for (though unimpressed by Hague’s body language), they were unable to say much about Shaw’s or Tava’s accomplishments or principles.

      It says something when even the Green Party is embracing style over substance.

      • Colonial Rawshark 6.2.1

        Shaw represents the professional middle class aspiration that the Green Party is turning towards.

  5. felix 7

    How come Gwynn Compton (the new Dirty Politics guy in John Key’s office) went to such effort yesterday to bleach his online profiles of any mention of the fact that he works in the PM’s Office?

    • weka 7.1

      Isn’t that shutting the stable door after the horse has bolted?

      • rawshark-yeshe 7.1.1

        I think it’s a case of the bolting pony’s tail being caught in the door ??

    • tracey 7.2

      If he was wrong, and he doesn’t work for the PM’s office, I think we would have heard something from Johnny Four Hats

      It is reasonable to assume therefore, that he does work for the PM’s office, and the public needed that fact “sanitised”.

      Do we REALLY have to do an OIA to find our if this clown does work for Johnny Four Hats??

      • Draco T Bastard 7.2.1

        It’s been confirmed in one of the articles that he does work in the PMs office but as National Party staff.

  6. ianmac 8

    A new word is being used around the world: “Quaxing.” It means: “to shop, in the western world, by means of walking, cycling or public transit.”
    Dick Quax wrote “no one in the entire Western world uses the train for their shopping trips…the very idea that people lug home their supermarket shopping on the train is fanciful”.
    And now around the world people are sending examples of Quaxing. Dopey Dick eh?
    http://www.nzherald.co.nz/nz/news/article.cfm?c_id=1&objectid=11447071

    • Charles 8.1

      Well, it’s normal exasperated politician hyperbole. If we give him the benefit of the doubt (and why would we, really. He’s paid to be articulate, and he worked for ACT), what he might mean is, “Not many people carry eight bags of a weekly grocery shop onto the train or bus by themselves, regularly, because it’s too heavy, the silly plastic bag handles cut into your hands or break and there’s nowhere safe to put it so the bags don’t split or get trampled, or so you can move fast enough to get off the train before the doors close for the next station.”

      And he’d be right. What people do is make multiple trips with smaller loads over several days. If you don’t own a car, you do what you have to do. This method requires specific knowledge to identify, but not the same kind you need to run for parliament with ACT Party.

      He might also mean, “In the entire Western World, it is becoming less likely that a person could afford to buy eight bags of shopping in a weekly supermarket shop, therefore relying on local suppliers, which require no special transport or equipment to carry the food, and in living in cheaper accomodation far from what is now solely commuter transport, never see or use a train during the span of their lives.” However this would require thoughts and abilities that ACT supporters don’t have.

      I prefer the interpretation that, “In the entire Western World, there weren’t any supermarkets, and trains ran off into the desert, often following telegraph lines and were ultimately attacked by bandits. This discouraged the problems of suburban living. There were no taxes and everyone considered the natives a nuisance. I dream of a NZ like this. Please vote ACT.”

      • tracey 8.1.1

        Yes, people shop several times a week instead of once on Saturday as Dickey does… or his wife.

      • Lanthanide 8.1.2

        Using re-usable shopping bags largely resolves the ‘cutting into your hands’ problem, and each bag can individually hold more weight so you won’t need as many of them, so it’s less cumbersome. Doesn’t help with the total weight of course.

    • greywarshark 8.2

      @ ianmac
      LOL

    • Hateatea 8.3

      Have we contact details for Dick Quax so I can enlighten him on how I, a 64 year old non-driver transport my groceries when I don’t have an obliging niece or foster son to drive me?

      I can also describe how I managed in earthquake riven Christchurch should he need more examples.

      Sometime soon I hope to find a calm place within myself that helps me to feel empathy for the over-privileged pontificators who seem to be inhabiting Planet Key. Alternatively, perhaps I could find a way to live and experience life as the out of work, unwell and elderly ‘enjoy’ it as a consequence of NACTdom.

  7. logie97 9

    Jack of all trades and master of none.

    How’s this for a leadership comment on the current issue of road safety.
    Prime minister John Key, “We have to balance what the police advise with wider public opinion on road speeds.”

    Which expert is advising him?

    • felix 9.1

      David Farrar.

    • tracey 9.2

      but it is funnier when having said that he vehemently denies that he is at all swayed by wider public opinion, possibly against lower limits, and backlash as a result.

      • rawshark-yeshe 9.2.1

        must be awful not to know what you think until a prettypollyparrot like Farrar lets you in on the secret echoes.

        • Colonial Rawshark 9.2.1.1

          You can take the piss out of Key’s approach all you want, but it is far more effective and popular than say, Labour talking about getting trucks out of fast lanes so that holiday makers have it easier.

          • logie97 9.2.1.1.1

            C.R.
            Labour might have been better advised to have suggested getting most trucks off most lanes period and putting freight on trains to strategic rail-heads for distribution by smaller vehicles.

            Explain the logic of this one – last week travelling north from Tauranga to Paeroa I was following a fully laden logging truck-and-trailer carrying large Radiata logs. As we passed through the narrow Karangahake gorge, we encountered a fully laden logging truck-and-trailer carrying large Radiata logs heading south.

            Locals advise that this a regular occurrence. Perhaps you could remind us why the Kaimai tunnel was created?

          • rawshark-yeshe 9.2.1.1.2

            My comment was not about roads. It was about Pry Minister Key being glib and expert on absolutely nothing until poll-guided, and then he fails. You missed it CR.

            • Colonial Rawshark 9.2.1.1.2.1

              My comment was not about roads.

              And mine was?

              Is everyone having a reading comprehension difficulty day? I mentioned roads primarily in the context of Key’s “glib and expert on absolutely nothing until poll guided” approach, which I commented on as being quite an effective tactic despite peoples inclinations to ridicule it; and certainly more effective than some of Labour’s attempts.

  8. rawshark-yeshe 10

    I have opposed the TPPA for always, but reading this today, a couple of extra jigsaw pieces fell into place about why Goldman Sachs Merrill Lynch BOA sock puppet John Key wants this signed at any cost.

    The brilliant Elizabeth Warren points out TPPA fastrack could be used in the USA to weaken, prevent or overcome any Wall St or banking reforms. WOW.

    This is the nub of it that I had not understood until now. Worth a look.

    “WASHINGTON, May 11 (Reuters) – U.S. Senator Elizabeth Warren hit back at President Barack Obama in their tussle over “fast track” authorization to negotiate a Pacific Rim trade treaty, a power she says could be used in the future to weaken Wall Street reforms.

    Warren, a Massachusetts Democrat and prominent liberal voice, stuck to her argument in an interview published on Monday with a left-leaning Washington Post blog, saying Obama should release details of the Pacific trade talks so legal experts can determine if a pact could be used to weaken U.S. bank rules.”

    http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2015/05/11/elizabeth-warren-obama-trade_n_7257802.html

    • RedBaronCV 10.1

      I’m begging to wonder if some of the more enlightened US millionaires are bank rolling these candidates to get an alternative narrative out there. Revolutions are costly

  9. alwyn 11

    I see that Andrew Little, according to this morning’s Dom/Post is wandering of the reservation.
    Labour Party claims are that a large increase in the minimum wage won’t cause any job losses don’t they? Say go to $16.00/hour and no jobs will be lost.
    Now he is quoted as saying in the paper, and I can’t find it on-line, that the Government must immediately cut the ACC worker levy by 20c per $100 of earnings because not to do so is costing jobs!
    How can it be that a 10% increase in the minimum wage won’t cost any jobs but a 0.2% step in the ACC rates costs jobs?

    • rawshark-yeshe 11.1

      you seem to have lost an ‘f’. wonder what you have done with it ?

      • alwyn 11.1.1

        You’re right.
        I needed it for my first reaction to his opinion when I had to put it in front of the comment that came to mind.
        My thought was “uck! He’s a total idiot.”

        • rawshark-yeshe 11.1.1.1

          no need to lose an ‘f’. that’s just your normal default position 😀

          • alwyn 11.1.1.1.1

            No doubt there is something incredibly witty about your remarks.
            For the life of me I don’t see what it is or what you are trying to say.
            Still if it makes you happy ………

    • Colonial Rawshark 11.2

      Good point Alwyn.

      • Nic the NZer 11.2.1

        No, its a terrible argument. Funding ACC just funds the government, its the equivalent of taking that spending and locking it in a safe. The government can always fund ACC, even if it doesn’t receive full funding up front anyway. Meanwhile the governments marginal propensity to spend (especially ACC levies) is clearly not influenced by the higher take. Raising the minimum wage the extra business expenditure contributes back to spending, because of who receives it.

    • Michael 11.3

      Minimum wage increases give more spending power to low-income people, which then gets spent in the local economy and ends up being neutral on job losses (or even gains some jobs.)

      ACC levies by comparison are just going to the government to pad a surplus. That money isn’t being spent by workers or invested by businesses. So it costs jobs because it is a deadweight loss that is just money being taken out of the economy when it could be going to consumer spending or investment.

      • Molly 11.3.1

        … or ACC could actually use it to provide the service it was set up to do.

        • Michael 11.3.1.1

          Exactly. It either needs to go to ACC to provide better services, or needs to be returned to the economy. Otherwise it’s just a deadweight loss that is padding National’s budget

    • RedBaronCV 11.4

      Wages tend to be sticky in the upwards direction but really both of these $ are in the same direction.
      Increasing wages puts more money in the pockets of the low paid which as it is spent increases jobs and certainly doesn’t cut them. Cutting the ACC levy by 2% also increases money in the pocket, spend among the working and increases jobs.
      Quite clear

  10. greywarshark 12

    I heard on Radionz that David Milliband is badmouthing Ed. A good headline for Brit news would be Ed is sinister says David. But in fact they both are, and not, and the word dexter doesn’t apply either. I’ve been looking up etymology. I think,now that Humpty Dumpty has fallen and cracked open. they are inventing new terms of language, so that left doesn’t mean what we thought.

  11. nzsage 13

    Dear old Bob Jones is making his usual fool of himself again. If you can say anything about him there’s no shades of grey with him.http://m.nzherald.co.nz/nz/news/article.cfm?c_id=1&objectid=11446869

    • Lloyd 13.1

      The interesting thing that Bob Jones didn’t mention is the fact that neo-liberalism has been shown by the present world economic situation to be as least as bad a failure as Marxist-Leninism under the USSR.

      Once this fact is accepted – and it needs to be repeated over and over again until even people who only read/watch MSM get it – then Bob Jones comments become more about how you can become more selfish as you grow old, than why John Campbell is dangerous

  12. greywarbler 14

    If you are a Whangarei resident you will have heard about the Hundertwasser project. It will be a huge tourist attraction in your city that will attract money-spending people from all over NZ and indeed the world and increased employment. In two days the Referendum about the Hundertwasser-Wairau Maori Art Centre is being sent out.

    Information below. See here http://yeswhangarei.co.nz/

    If you are not local and eligible to vote, and like the idea and have progressive contacts in the city, you could phone them and point out what a good idea it is. People who are too small thinking and provincial often find it difficult to consider the benefits that will result and get stuck on whatever the cost is.

    Donate: https://givealittle.co.nz/org/hacnorth
    (We’ve raised $4million! We only need $1m more to build the fantastic Whangarei Hundertwasser Art Centre, the last Hundertwasser-designed bu Givealittle is …)

    Info on Referendum
    Not sure how to vote?
    0800 922 822
    Election Services

    Voting Period
    Thursday 14 May until 12 noon Friday 5 June
    Result
    9th June 2015

    News
    YES! Blog
    Contact us
    On Facebook
    On Twitter
    By Email

    Hundertwasser HQ
    has posters, caps, t-shirts, bumper stickers at their pop-up shop in Whangarei’s CBD.
    Everything purchased raises funds for Prosper Northland Trust to spread more information about the project.

    • u shd warn people u r linking to that toxic old toad…and his libertarian/neoliberal rants..

    • vto 15.2

      Bob Jones in his last line … “But as ever, these deadbeats make lots of noise in lieu of substance,”

      ha ha ha – talk about self-description

  13. lprent 16

    Interesting seeing the lurkers from Whaleoil piling in on this question of Cactus Kate’s Cheshire cat act.

    • adam 16.1

      It is worrying – how much effort is going in to cover up something, which is supposed to be nothing.

      Even jumping on here to defended her position and the Tory maggots who have jumped in as well. Is at best odd. At worst…

      I believe Cactus Kate is a post-fascist. Which is essentially calling someone Ideologically dishonest and a unprincipled opportunist. But hey, you play in the dirt – you get dirty.

  14. adam 17

    Now this is fascinating – A New super PAC – which is taking a different approach.

    Well worth the read.

    http://www.publicintegrity.org/2015/05/05/17304/new-super-pac-takes-moon-shot

  15. Colonial Rawshark 18

    Seymour Hersh: official account of Bin Laden’s killing a complete lie

    Osama had been captured by the Pakistanis and held since 2006. Seems like the US then sent in a SEAL team to execute the sick old, crippled, man after all. There was no firefight, Osama had no guards (the Pakistani security services had been ordered to leave the compound the moment they heard the US helis closing in), he did not pick up an AK47. He was just shredded on the spot by the SEALs. Stories about Osama’s burial at sea were a fiction improvised by the White House after Barack Obama decided to use the killing to boost his own electability. Also the story that Osama had been tracked down via an elaborate spy game following Al Qaeda couriers who were carrying orders from Osama was utterly false. Bin Laden appears to have been isolated and out of control of Al Qaeda; the compound where he was found was not an operations centre; it was a home detention centre.

    http://www.zerohedge.com/news/2015-05-10/seymour-hersh-obamas-entire-account-bin-ladens-death-one-big-lie-what-really-happene

  16. Draco T Bastard 19

    Just got an email from Julie Anne Genter and it had this bit of info in it:

    He [KiwiRail Chief Executive Peter Reidy] also gave me some numbers. By KiwiRail’s estimate, it would cost just $2 billion to electrify the entire North Island, and get 60 new electric locomotive engines up and running. That’s the same amount as it cost to finish building the Western Ring Route, just one of the National Government’s motorway extensions.

    There you go, friggen cheap really and the savings, both monetary and environmental, over time from not having to burn diesel would be immense. And it’d be an excellent incentive to get more solar power feeding into the grid out to homes as well.

    • Colonial Rawshark 19.1

      add 10% to that bill and you could do most of the engineering work in NZ

      • Lloyd 19.1.1

        Now there’s a plank for any progressive left-wing electoral campaign.

        Think how many contractors would be kept in business and how many New Zealanders would be employed creating the lines and locomotives…

        It is also a plank for a green electoral campaign. Think how much road and rail diesel fuel would be saved…

  17. SHG 20

    Looks like Cactus Kate isn’t the only one – Ben Rachinger’s blog and twitter account just got deleted.

  18. Clemgeopin 21

    I just saw this flag petition on Change.org and signed it, Here is the link if you would like to support the petition against changing the flag at this time:

    https://www.change.org/p/john-key-don-t-change-the-new-zealand-flag?tk=8mqxhZQ_DDQMRO7X9Xa3ndRxeRegQlIwFrfuyY8Z2-Y&utm_source=petition_update&utm_medium=email

  19. Morrissey 22

    Leading Kiwi thinkers guffaw at “conspiracy theorist” Seymour Hersh
    The Panel, Radio NZ National, Tuesday 12 May 2015
    Jim Mora, David Pagani, Josie Pagani, Noelle McCarthy

    This afternoon, Seymour Hersh joined a long list of journalists and intellectuals—including Robert Fisk, Noam Chomsky, Julian Assange, Glenn Greenwald, Edward Snowden—to be scorned by the intellectual luminaries on the Panel. I’ll try to put up a transcript of this depressing episode, but I did manage to send the constantly laughing host the following email….

    Quelle surprise! Your Panelists are having a go at Seymour Hersh.

    Dear Jim,

    Seymour Hersh is one of the world’s most respected journalists. His reporting is renowned for being thorough, rigorous and scholarly.

    I was not amused at all to hear your panelists scoffing, dismissing him as a conspiracy theorist, and guffawing that “This is all turning into a Game of Thrones.”

    I am concerned at the lack of standards on your show,

    Morrissey Breen
    Northcote Point

    • The lost sheep 22.1

      The panelists are not the only one’s referring to the story as a conspiracy Morrissey. This one does put up a strong argument for that being the case….

      http://www.vox.com/2015/5/11/8584473/seymour-hersh-osama-bin-laden

      • felix 22.1.1

        They’re all conspiracy theories, sheepie. Unless you’ve got some kooky lone-assassin theory of your own…

      • Morrissey 22.1.2

        Thanks very much for that, sheep. Maybe Max Fisher is correct, and Hersh is indeed wrong on this one.

        I am just concerned when I hear know-nothings like the four people this afternoon calling Hersh a “conspiracy theorist”, as if he is some 9/11 Truther. I’m quite prepared to read the views of serious writers like Fisher; Noelle McCarthy, Josie Pagani and David Farrar on the other hand have a track record of trivialising serious issues.

        I was not necessarily endorsing Sy Hersh, I was contesting the competence and the seriousness of those four chattering, vapid numbskulls.

        • The lost sheep 22.1.2.1

          Morrissey / Felix.
          I come from a small town where a favourite saying is..
          “Believe nothing of what you hear, and only half of what you see”.

          And then I always apply Trotsky’s immortal dictum that ‘You can deduce the truth by a comparison of the lies’.

          But by any standard, I think Hersh, like Pilger, may have lost a bit of perspective with age…

          With Bin Laden though, does it really matter how he died? If I can deduce anything from the lies, it would be a sense that he was fully aware and accepted the ‘live by the sword, die by the sword’ ethos.

          But that might just be a fiction…

          • Colonial Rawshark 22.1.2.1.1

            But by any standard, I think Hersh, like Pilger, may have lost a bit of perspective with age…

            Hersh’s piece, for the most part, was not editorialising. Did the US learn about Osama’s location through spying on Al Qaeda’s courier network or did that information walk in the door seeking the CIA reward? Did the US SEAL team kill a crippled, unarmed, elderly man for the sake of imperial vengeance, or was there really a firefight with Osama trying to kill the SEAL team members with an AK47.

            Like 9/11, the official narrative on Osama’s death, and even his burial at sea, stinks to high heaven. Hersh goes some way to explaining why.

        • Paul 22.1.2.2

          The expression ‘conspiracy theorist’ is used by the establishment to shut down dissent.
          Sad to see you’ve fallen for their lines over 9/11, Morrissey.
          It was lie that allowed the US to take over Central Asia and suppress civil rights in their homeland.

          • Colonial Rawshark 22.1.2.2.1

            The US were already planning to implement mass surveillance over their own citizens pre 9/11. Their pre-9/11 approach to Quest for unhindered access to their telecoms network shows that. 9/11 gave the developing security and surveillance state the best PR in the world for going ahead with what they were going to do any way.

    • SHG 22.2

      Saying “this must be true because it’s Seymour Hersh” is just an appeal to authority.

      • Morrissey 22.2.1

        Fair comment—but I wasn’t saying that. I was criticizing Noelle McCarthy, Jim Mora and those two cackling, sneering guests.

        • Anne 22.2.1.1

          What amused me was Josie Pagani talking about how she had a friend who was a fellow student of Prince Edward’s (youngest son of Queen) and how she went to have tea with the prince several times but romance apparently never blossomed because Josie decided he wasn’t her type. Incredible!

          • Morrissey 22.2.1.1.1

            What really appalled me about her behaviour this afternoon was the way she repeatedly tried to ingratiate herself with Farrar. Their “banter” was cringe-inducing.

            • Anne 22.2.1.1.1.1

              Didn’t Farrar refer to Josie at one stage as the charming Josie which prompted her to effusively giggle or was it Mora?

            • Paul 22.2.1.1.1.2

              Is Farrar still invited after his involvement in Dirty Politics?
              Unbelievable.

  20. Draco T Bastard 23

    Home ownership now for privileged few – ACT

    He pointed to the way his circle of friends had made it into their own homes.

    “I look at most of my friends, lawyers, doctors or engineers. All of them went to Auckland Grammar, or St Cuthberts. All of them have done it with parental help.”

    With house prices rising up to a reported $1000 a day “houses in Auckland are earning more than people”, he said.

    I suppose ACT has to act surprised despite being told that this is the inevitable result of their policies over the last few decades.

    • Lanthanide 23.1

      The funny thing about this is that Seymour doesn’t think that lawyers, doctors, engineers and others that went to Auckland Grammar aren’t among the privileged.

      If these ‘friends’ of his had all bought houses without parental help, then I’m sure this idea that only the privileged can buy houses wouldn’t have even occurred to him…

  21. Anne 24

    Breaking News: 7.1 earthquake in Nepal at a depth of 10km.

  22. Halcyon 25

    I am amazed the Labour are suggesting penalising working class people by making Working for Families subject to enrolment to vote. I would have expected such a policy from National and not the Party who claims to support workers.

    Will this proposed policy also relate to those on benefits and National Super?

    Is this a sign that Labour is starting to panic about their poor showing last election?

    • Colonial Rawshark 25.1

      Labour lost its compass a long time ago.

    • Chooky 25.2

      won’t do Labour much good if they do….people will just vote Green, NZF or Mana/Int…Labour Party will never get these voters back ….so they are stuck on about 30% imo

      ….Labour Party has taken no opposition leadership stand on opposing the the TPPA or the mass surveillance Spy Bill

      ….for many who have abandoned Labour …..they are just a watered down Nact Party

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    1 week ago
  • Participation rates
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    1 week ago
  • Climate Change: Thank Winston
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    1 week ago
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    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • Spain’s failed electoral gamble
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    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • The astroturf party
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    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • How to cheat at university
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    2 weeks ago
  • How NZ was put on world maps using a transit of Mercury
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    2 weeks ago
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    2 weeks ago
  • Chosen To Rule? What Sort Of Christian Is Chris Luxon?
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  • War of the worms
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    2 weeks ago
  • Marvelly shows us how to be a feminist without feminism
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    RedlineBy Daphna
    2 weeks ago
  • Out of the past – Tories to revive racist laws from the 16th century
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    2 weeks ago
  • 1000 of these now
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  • Has Shane Jones Just Saved NZ First?
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    2 weeks ago
  • Climate Change: As predicted
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    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago

  • New high tech traps will reduce the need for 1080 poison
    New Zealand First are celebrating the announcement of an investment of $3.5 million into five new trapping devices. These are a range of bait and trap devices, all designed to be left unattended for long periods of time. NZ First conservation spokesperson Jenny Marcroft says that this latest development will ...
    11 hours ago
  • Cowboy clampers will be stymied
    Clayton Mitchell, Spokesperson for Consumer Affairs The ‘wheel clamping’ Bill that will cap clamper fees to $100 passed its third reading in Parliament today. New Zealand First welcomes The Land Transport (Wheel Clamping) Amendment Bill to combat predatory wheel clamping behaviour in what is currently a largely unregulated business. Cowboy clampers are: gouging ...
    2 days ago
  • Mental Health Commission back on track
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    2 days ago
  • New Zealand’s key assets are not for sale: national interest test delivered
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    2 days ago
  • National interest test added to protect New Zealanders’ interests
    The Coalition Government is delivering on its promise to protect New Zealanders’ interests by applying a new national interest test to the sales of our most sensitive and high-risk assets to overseas buyers. Under current Overseas Investment Act (OIA) rules, assets such as ports and airports, telecommunications infrastructure, electricity and ...
    2 days ago
  • Electoral law breach allegations
    Rt Winston Peters, Leader of New Zealand First Allegations raised this morning by Stuff Limited / Fairfax concern a party matter but I am confident that New Zealand First has operated within electoral laws, now and for the last 27 years. Declarable donations were declared to the Electoral Commission. Our ...
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  • Wayne Brown hits back at critics: Ports of Auckland has to move
    The chairman of the Upper North Island Supply Chain Strategy (UNISCS) working group, Wayne Brown, has hit back at critics of his group’s recommendations to relocate the Ports of Auckland cargo operations to Whangarei’s deepwater port of Northport. The working group's recommendation to close Auckland waterfront to all but cruise ...
    3 days ago
  • Week That Was: Supporting our schools
    We're setting our young people up for success, investing in education around the country.  ...
    4 days ago
  • Kiwis to have their say on End of Life Choice
    Jenny Marcroft MP, Spokesperson for Health New Zealand First backs the public to decide on the End of Life Choice Bill via a referendum at the 2020 General Election. The Bill, with New Zealand First’s referendum provision incorporated, passed its final reading in Parliament this evening. New Zealand First Spokesperson for ...
    1 week ago
  • Addressing miscarriages of justice
    Darroch Ball, Spokesperson for Justice New Zealand First is proud that a key Coalition Agreement commitment which will provide for a more transparent and effective criminal justice system has been realised. Legislation to establish the Criminal Cases Review Commission, an independent body focused on identifying and responding to possible miscarriages of ...
    1 week ago
  • Week That Was: Historic action on climate change
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    2 weeks ago
  • Tax-free deployments for Kiwi troops
    Darroch Ball, New Zealand First List MP A Member’s bill has been proposed that would provide income tax exemptions for all New Zealand Defence Force (NZDF) personnel while on operational deployment overseas. The Income Tax (Exemption for Salary or Wages of NZDF Members on Active Deployment) Amendment Bill proposed by New Zealand First ...
    2 weeks ago
  • A balanced Zero Carbon Bill passed
    Rt Hon Winston Peters, New Zealand First Leader New Zealand First is proud to have brought common sense to the Climate Change Response (Zero Carbon) Amendment Bill, which passed its final reading in Parliament today. Party Leader Rt Hon Winston Peters says months of hard work went into negotiating a balanced ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Paramedics’ status to be recognised
    Jenny Marcroft MP, Spokesperson for Health New Zealand First has listened to calls to recognise paramedics as registered health professionals under the Health Practitioners’ Competence Assurance Act (the Act). Today, the Coalition Government announced plans for paramedics to be registered as health practitioners under the Act, and the establishment of a ...
    2 weeks ago

  • Milestone of 1800 new Police officers
    The Coalition commitment to add 1800 new Police officers to frontline policing has been achieved with the graduation of 59 constables from the Royal New Zealand Police College today. Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern and Deputy Prime Minister Winston Peters say today’s graduation means 1825 new Police have been deployed all ...
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    6 hours ago
  • PM appoints business leaders to APEC Business Advisory Council
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    9 hours ago
  • PM speech notes for Trans-Tasman Business Circle
    Nau mai, haere mai. Tēnā koutou, tēnā koutou, tēnā tatou katoa. Thank you for having me to speak today. To start, I’d like to acknowledge Sharron Lloyd, the General Manager of the Trans–Tasman Business Circle, the partners for this event Westpac’s  David McLean, and Derek McCormack from  AUT, and, of course ...
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  • Otago Regional Council given deadline for freshwater management plan
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  • LGNZ Rural and Provincial Sector Speech
      Introduction Thank you for the invitation to speak to you today. This is the first opportunity I’ve had to speak to an LGNZ meeting since the local elections, and I’m delighted to see the fresh faces of newly elected mayors. To returning mayors here today, as well as chief ...
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  • New Zealand to attend G20 Foreign Ministers’ Meeting in Japan
    Foreign Affairs Minister Winston Peters departs New Zealand today to attend the G20 Foreign Ministers’ Meeting in Nagoya at the invitation of this year’s G20 President, Japan. “This is the first time New Zealand will attend a G20 Foreign Ministers’ Meeting and we are deeply honoured that it is at ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    13 hours ago
  • Ambassador to the European Union announced
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  • New inventions boost Predator Free 2050 effort
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    14 hours ago
  • APEC 2021 Bill passes first reading
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    1 day ago
  • Making progress for our kids
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    2 days ago
  • Māori women in business contribute to our economy, whānau and communities
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    2 days ago
  • Two schools on the way for Omokoroa
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    2 days ago
  • Families Package helps over 1 million New Zealanders in first year
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  • Clamp down on wheel clamping passes third reading
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    2 days ago
  • Mental Health and Wellbeing Commission Bill passes first hurdle
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  • Boosting border security with electronic travel authority – now over 500,000 issued
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    2 days ago
  • Plan of action to protect seabirds
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    2 days ago
  • National interest test added to overseas investment rules
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    2 days ago
  • New housing part of support for Kaumātua
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    3 days ago
  • Forestry helps prisoners into jobs
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    3 days ago
  • Reform of public service a step closer
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    3 days ago
  • Donations scheme to relieve pressure on families
    The families of more than 416,000 students will be better off next year as their schools have signed up to the Government’s donations scheme, Education Minister Chris Hipkins said today. The scheme will see almost $62.5 million in additional Government funding go to schools nationwide next year. “I’m really pleased ...
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  • Further support for Samoan measles outbreak
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  • Speech to the Child Poverty Action Group 2019 Summit
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    3 days ago
  • Speech to the New Zealand Thoroughbred Racing Annual Conference
    ***Please check against delivery*** Good morning everyone. It is a pleasure to be with you this morning to open this year’s New Zealand Thoroughbred Racing Conference and AGM. Firstly, thank you Dr Alan Jackson, NZTR Chair for your introduction. And let us acknowledge also: The NZTR Board; Dean McKenzie, Chair ...
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    4 days ago
  • Fairer rules for tenants and landlords
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    4 days ago
  • Two decades of marine protection celebrated at Te Tapuwae o Rongokako in Tairawhiti
    A marine conservation milestone - the 20th anniversary of the establishment of Te Tapuwae o Rongokako Marine Reserve - is being celebrated today at a community event in Tairāwhiti/East Coast attended by the Minister of Conservation, Eugenie Sage. “The creation of this marine reserve in November 1999 was a game ...
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    5 days ago
  • Food industry asked to step up fight against obesity
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    6 days ago
  • Modern emergency care for Queenstown area
    ew, modern emergency department and outpatient facilities at Queenstown’s Lakes District Hospital mean better emergency care for the growing tourist mecca’s visitors and locals, says Health Minister David Clark. Today Dr Clark officially opened the hospital’s redeveloped Emergency Department and Outpatient facilities. The new facilities include: •    An extended Emergency Department ...
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  • Contraception important for New Zealanders
    Associate Health Minister Julie Anne Genter says today’s release of sexual and reproductive health data reinforces the significance of the Government’s commitment to providing free or very low-cost contraception. The Ministry of Health today published statistics from the Ministry of Health’s 2014/15 Health Survey. “It is important people can make ...
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    7 days ago
  • NZ medical staff and measles vaccines going to Samoa
    Foreign Minister Winston Peters has announced that at the request of the Samoan Government, New Zealand will be providing further support to Samoa as it faces a worsening measles outbreak. “In response to a request from the people of Samoa, New Zealand is providing 3000 measles, mumps and rubella (MMR) ...
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    7 days ago
  • Disability Action Plan 2019 – 2023
    “The new Disability Action Plan 2019–2023 moves us towards the inclusive and accessible New Zealand that this government has committed to,” Minister for Disability Issues Carmel Sepuloni announced today.  “The Action Plan was designed by disabled people, their family and supporters, the disability sector and government agencies. It will ensure ...
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    1 week ago
  • Joint Statement – Third Singapore-New Zealand Defence Ministers’ Meeting
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  • Sexual Violence Legislation Bill has its first reading
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    1 week ago
  • Streamlined business invoicing a step closer
    Streamlined payment practices are a step closer for Kiwi businesses with the formal launch of New Zealand’s e-Invoicing framework. Small Business Minister Stuart Nash says the government has now established the structure to enable automated and direct data exchange between the accounting systems of buyers and sellers. “The move to ...
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    1 week ago
  • More frontline biosecurity officers protecting NZ
    Another 51 quarantine officers and four new biosecurity detector dog teams will help protect New Zealand from invasive pests and diseases this summer, says Biosecurity Minister Damien O’Connor. “The Government is delivering on its commitment to strengthen New Zealand’s biosecurity system and support our valuable primary sector “New Zealand’s flora, fauna ...
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    1 week ago
  • NZ space economy worth $1.69 billion
    A new report has found New Zealand’s space sector contributed $1.69 billion to the economy in the last financial year and employs 12,000 people, Minister for Economic Development Phil Twyford announced today. The report by Deloitte was commissioned by the Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment and shows New Zealand ...
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    1 week ago
  • New Chair for Royal Commission into Abuse
    Judge Coral Shaw has been appointed as the new Chair of the Royal Commission into Historical Abuse in State Care and in the Care of Faith-based Institutions, Internal Affairs Minister Tracey Martin announced today. "Judge Shaw, who is currently one of the inquiry commissioners, is extremely well qualified for the ...
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    1 week ago
  • Better mental health facilities for Palmerston North
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  • Bowel Screening hits halfway point
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