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Open mike 13/07/2011

Written By: - Date published: 6:00 am, July 13th, 2011 - 70 comments
Categories: open mike - Tags:

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

The usual rules of good behaviour apply (see the link to Policy in the banner).

Step right up to the mike…

70 comments on “Open mike 13/07/2011”

  1. Bored 1

    Whilst all the usual suspects were debating how many saints could dance on the head of a pin (and how the market will always save us…another arcane faith) yesterday some real world observers were saying…

    Goldman-Sachs, Morgan Stanley, and Barron’s issued reports last week forecasting that oil prices will be much higher next year because of a stagnant supply situation. Goldman is saying the Saudis do not have nearly as much reserve capacity as Riyadh and the IEA claim and forecast oil at $140 a barrel next year. Barron’s is talking about oil reaching $150 next spring with spikes to $160 and $170 a barrel. Gasoline will be in the vicinity of $4.50 a gallon.

    Recession or depression coming? Just semantics, Chinas growing GDP at 8% per annum so yeah, we will all get electric cars courtesy of the market……at the Warehouse.

    If you are a strong believer in the green economy and electric vehicles, then [lithium] demand is going to exceed supply by 2015-2016."
    — Peter Secker, CEO – Canada Lithium Corp.

    Smell the coffee…..have a good day.

    • Bored 1.1

      Another PS to the above, Greece and now Italy….(not forgetting the other PIGS). Over at the Automaticearth the following commentary on the current European financial crisis, the spotlight turns to Italy..

      European banks’ holdings of Italian debt is 7-8 times bigger than that of Greece. Where it’s taken European leaders forever to accept, as they did today, that there will have to be haircuts for private investors. When time comes to address Italy’s debt, “haircut” won’t be an appropriate metaphor. It’ll be more like putting their heads through a lawnmower, and without anaesthetics.

      It appears Greece despite the “bail outs” (with attendant imposed austerity and consequent riots) will default, which may in turn lead to contagion in Italy, Portugal, Ireland etc, who may in turn default.

      We are here on two little islands in the South Pacific, Shonkey is busy borrowing money to pay for tax cuts for the rich…and the supply may well dry up. Will this clobber him before the election? How will we respond to IMF bail out austerity schemes??

      • travellerev 1.1.1

        PIIGS (Portugal,Ireland, Italy, Greece and Spain. I hate the way they are portrayed as the porcine greed symbol, As you point out; their not)
        What is so interesting is the fact that one of the Banks most vulnerable to this collapse is the bank of America in which John Key holds a huge amount of shares. I don ‘t know the exact amount but I would bet you bottom dollar that it could easily be 50% of his wealth in shares in that bank, that is a whopping $ 25 million. People have been killed for less!
        If these countries default The French and German banks will cash in on the hedges they made with American banks causing their default too. In fact according to this article they hold 96% of the risk. No wonder they are pushing for bailouts and want to buy the real assets of those countries with their toilet paper money!
         

        • Bored 1.1.1.1

          Spot on, thats what the asset sale frenzy from those who have is all about, seizing future income against flaky worthless paper.

        • Draco T Bastard 1.1.1.2

          If these countries default The French and German banks will cash in on the hedges they made with American banks causing their default too.

          Cascading failure.

          There have been bank bailouts by governments before and this is the reason why.

          All the banks lend to each other so when one defaults the whole lot suddenly find themselves without the expected amount of money. On a small scale, say that of a single home mortgage default, this isn’t actually a problem but when there’s a major default such as a country not paying out then it will echo around the world bringing down the entire financial system.

          This time though, if the PIIGS (Yeah, I hate that acronym as well) default there’s no way that the governments of the world could bailout the banking system. When, not if, the PIIGS default the entire corrupt system will collapse and we’ll drop into a depression that will make the Great Depression look like a summer holiday. But at least we’ll get to see all the corruption that the present socio-economic system has bred and be able to do something about it.

  2. Wow, coming from safe and well protected Holland were storms were plenty full and snow weights heavily on power and telephone lines if they are at all above the ground and it never interfered with those services I have to really get used to the fragility of the power and telephone infrastructure over here. Lightening zapped out telephone and internet connection and it took a full day to get it back up and running again. 
    Anyway here is a video narrated by Kevin Ryan. Kevin Ryan is a 911 wistleblower. He worked for Underwriters laboratory and was fired for pointing out that this lab had conducted the initial testing of the steel used for the WTC and that the official story was impossible. Here he analyses the NIST rapport on building 7.

  3. Bring on the girls… Brash acts to fight white blokes image (Herald)
    Act leader Don Brash says the party needs more young women and brown faces as candidates to more broadly represent New Zealand society at the election.

    He just needs to get John Ansell to run an advert and do a bit of blogging. Act – chick magnet and brown brothers?

    • Lanthanide 3.1

      “Act leader Don Brash says the party needs more young women and brown faces as candidates to more broadly represent New Zealand society at the election.”

      Lets see some beneficiary and disabled candidates too, to more broadly represent New Zealand society.

      Brash is already a pensioner so they’ve got that angle covered.

  4. How is this for cynical politics.

    The Nats were rightfully castigated for only giving soldiers attending a Crete ceremony $2,000 to get there while Wayne Mapp on the taxpayer credit card enjoyed a $26k luxury flight and stay over.  Australia paid the full cost of transport and hotels for their soldiers.

    The Nats were made to face up to how appalling it was by a recent newspaper article.  Key was apparently disturbed.  Mapp has come out and said it was wrong and that they will now pay for the soldiers in the future BUT it will not be backdated.  The next trip will be in 5 years time and the soldiers are already into their 90s.

    This presents an unusual achievement.  National is made to look utterly cynical and cheap at the same time.

    • freedom 4.1

      If Mr Key is so disturbed by this pitiful resourcing of the event for our veterans, why did he not say anything back during the ANZAC memorial events earllier this year when the $2000 per veteran announcement was made public.

      His snake-oil comments are too little too late to have any credibility.

      • Colonial Viper 4.1.1

        Mapp is still a creep.

        Apparently his frak-up over mistreating war veterans is now something that the WHOLE NATION needs to apologise for on his lame selfish behalf.

        “We need to do better for the future,” Dr Mapp told Radio New Zealand. “I am concerned about this and I guess as a nation we do owe them an apology.

        When asked directly to apologise, he did not.

        http://www.nzherald.co.nz/nz/news/article.cfm?c_id=1&objectid=10738155

  5. burt 5

    I’m so looking forward to Labour apologists defending Labour for their latest breach of the electoral laws. I wonder what it will be this time.

    We have had the following excuses;

    The rules were confusing – Complete fail for MPs who by convention don’t have the defense that the laws they wrote and enacted are confusing.

    The ref changed the rules – impossible claim given that written warnings have been given for this very same thing and they were ignored.

    Others were doing it too – the kind of excuse a kid uses.

    It’s the way we have always done it – Right so if I’ve always exceeded the speed limit can I claim that I’ve always been breaking the law and therefore I can’t be prosecuted for it….

    The defenders of the indefensible will be busy with this one.

    • Draco T Bastard 5.1

      The ref changed the rules

      Did you ever get around to producing that letter? I don’t recall seeing it.

      It’s the way we have always done it – Right so if I’ve always exceeded the speed limit can I claim that I’ve always been breaking the law and therefore I can’t be prosecuted for it….

      No, you imbecile. There had been 14 previous years where the AG could have pulled up that spending and didn’t which tends to indicate that that spending was OK.

      • burt 5.1.1

        I had been driving for 20 years before I got my first speeding ticket – the fact I’d never been caught before then didn’t make any difference.

        But hey, you defend the indefensible, keep busy like like I predicted.

        I can’t find an online copy of the letter issued by David Henry prior to the 2005 election warning Labour that the pledge card would be considered as electioneering – but your constant apologist stance has motivated me. Watch this space.

        • Draco T Bastard 5.1.1.1

          I had been driving for 20 years before I got my first speeding ticket – the fact I’d never been caught before then didn’t make any difference.

          Think of it this way.

          The law bans excessive smoke from cars. You have a car and it smokes but you drive it anyway as it’s not a lot. Every time you drive it you go past a police officer and nothing happens for the first 14 times then, on the 15th time, you get pulled up and given a ticket.

          The only thing that’s changed is that it’s not the same police officer any more so why has the small amount of smoke suddenly broken the law after so many times when it didn’t? The law needs consistency and the sudden change in enforcement was an effective change in the rules.

          If you’re going to use metaphor at least use one that’s comparable. You didn’t get caught speeding for those 20 years because you weren’t seen not because the police weren’t enforcing the law.

          • burt 5.1.1.1.1

            If you’re going to use metaphor at least use one that’s comparable. You didn’t get caught speeding for those 20 years because you weren’t seen not because the police weren’t enforcing the law.

            I can tell you one thing Draco, the time I was caught was certainly not the first time I had been speeding. And hey guess what – Like the Labour party in the 2005 election I knew when I was caught that;

            a) It was my good luck I had never been caught before.
            b) Being caught was my own fault for willfully ignoring the speed limit.
            c) The Law had been applied fairly and there was no need to blame the cop ( aka the ref ) for the fact I was caught.

            I guess the difference between me and the Labour party was that I didn’t think it was unfair that I got caught when I had driven the same stretch of road hundreds of times at a similar speed before – but not been caught.

            No rules were changed… The only bad call that was made was me thinking I wouldn’t get caught simply because I hadn’t been in the past.

          • burt 5.1.1.1.2

            The only thing that’s changed is that it’s not the same police officer any more so why has the small amount of smoke suddenly broken the law after so many times when it didn’t? The law needs consistency and the sudden change in enforcement was an effective change in the rules.

            Right so the written warning for excessive smoke that you are rushing to hide under the floor mat when you have been stopped and the current police officer is scribbling a ticket – you forgot to mention that in your metaphor..

      • burt 5.1.2

        Draco

        Please visit this link to find out just how dishonest your beloved Labour party are.

        http://web.archive.org/web/20060627174518im_/http://www.kiwiblog.co.nz/archives/lab2.JPG

        Here you will see that the The Chief Electoral Office (David Henry – prior to the 2005 election) clearly pointed out that the Labour party were deemed to have broken the law. He even requests an explanation as to why this matter should not be referered to the Police.

        Suckers like you bought the “ref changed the rules” line – how foolish you must feel repeating the lies of a corrupt self serving political party who deliberately ignored a written warning then claimed the ref changed the rules.

        • Draco T Bastard 5.1.2.1

          That doesn’t tell me anything as all the relevant information has been cut from it you moron.

          • burt 5.1.2.1.1

            You stay in denial Draco…. It’s probably the only way you can have any faith in the current Labour party.

    • chris73 5.2

      No no no you don’t understand, parliamentary services said it was ok so we didn’t/couldn’t be bothered to do any further work on the matter

      There all sorted now lets move on shall we

  6. Just overheard this being read out on Radio New Zealand.

    “Sri Lankan asylum seekers should think about seeking to stand for the ACT party, they let anyone in …”

  7. Colonial Viper 7

    Think that being in a professional job is going to mean a big employer is going to treat you better?

    Maybe. Maybe not.

    http://www.nzherald.co.nz/nz/news/article.cfm?c_id=1&objectid=10738106

    • Vicky32 7.1

      My experience has been that employers will seize every opportunity to treat people like rubbish… 🙁

  8. Colonial Viper 8

    Finally, the private sector proves that it understands National’s vision for the future of NZ McJobs.

    Notice the implied hostage taking threat at the end around wage rates.

    “We’re paying $13 an hour and in the throes of settling with Unite Union soon,” Watson said. “But it will be nowhere near $15 an hour and let me tell you, if we went up to that number the viability of our future development programme would be jeopardised.”

    Ironic for a company which makes most of its money internationally from working class customers.

    http://www.nzherald.co.nz/business/news/article.cfm?c_id=3&objectid=10738079

  9. Here is a presentation from Nuclear engineers Arnie Gundersen and David Lochbaum about why Fukushima can happen anywhere where there are Nuclear power plants. It’s about an hour long and devoid of histrionics making it all the more scary in it’s implications.

    • Colonial Viper 9.1

      US nuclear regulatory authorities have no procedures covering spent fuel pool emergencies. None.

      Nor do they have procedures covering what to do if station blackouts exceed battery time. None.

      And typical US nuclear powerplants have only half the emergency backup battery time of Fukushima (4hrs compared to 8hrs).

      wtf 😯

      thanks for the link travellerev, was great

      (great as in DDT, Challenger O rings, asbestos and paraquat are also ‘great’)

  10. Hi folks!

    The struggle to defend our lawful rights to ‘freedom of expression’ continues………..

    If you don’t know your rights – you don’t have any.
    If you don’t defend the rights you are SUPPOSED to have – you lose them.

    So – here we go………………….

    FYI

    Today, Wednesday 13 July 2011, before 5pm, I, Penny Bright, will apply at the Auckland High Court for orders:

    “1.1 Revoking, lifting or ruling as legally invalid, the alleged suppression order of Winkelmann J, which purports to prevent the New Zealand public, and the world at large, from knowing about her Honour’s Judgment granted that same day in 18 criminal prosecutions (CRI2007-085-7842, CRI2007-085-7843, CRI2007-085-7840, CRI2008-004-9108, CRI2008-004-20747, CRI2007-004-23065, CRI2008-004-20022, CRI2007-004-23068, CRI2007-004-23069, CRI2008-004-20748, CRI2007-004-23066, CRI2008-004-20045, CRI2007-063-4445, CRI2007-063-4441, CRI2007-054-4999, CRI2007-063-4472, CRI2008-070-1415, CRI2008-404-342), known collectively as “the Operation 8 prosecutions”.

    1.2 Revoking, lifting or ruling as legally invalid, the Minute of Winkelmann J dated 21 December 2010; to the extent that “Minute” intends to – or results in- the New Zealand public or world at large from knowing relevant facts in the prosecution or reasons for suppressing all of Her Honour’s 9 December 2010 Judgment in the Operation 8 prosecution, including such basic and important information as the fact of their indictment on charges.1

    (1 Refer to paragraph [1] of the Judgment of Winkelmann J dated 9 December 2010, “Operation 9 prosecutions”) ”

    The ‘legislative basis’ upon which I am relying, in order to file this application, lies in CIV 2010 – 404 – 8559 Solicitor-General of New Zealand v Vincent Ross Siemer , Judgment of MacKenzie and Simon France JJ, 4 July 2011.

    VINCE SIEMER Solicitor General v Siemer judgment(3) CIV 2010 404 8559 HC Ak 4 July 2011 MacKenzie & Simon France JJ 12 July 2011

    [41] ……..
    It is open to persons including Mr Siemer to apply to the Court for a variation of the order, or for its removal, but until that is successfully done the order is binding.”

    ________________________________________________________________________________

    I have been advised by email by the Manager of the Criminal jurisdiction of the Auckland High Court, that :

    “Having discussed the jurisdiction issue with my colleagues, I can confirm that the view is that the application should be with the Civil jurisdiction.”

    What is arguably patently ridiculous in this situation is that this latest judgment, which is not ‘suppressed’, contains details of the judgment of Winkelmann J which was suppressed.

    Vince Siemer is now facing imprisonment for ‘contempt’ for ‘disseminating details of Judge Winkelmann’s decision – which I too have disseminated. I too, am upholding the public’s lawful right to know Judge’s decisions and their reasons for those decisions.

    Am I too going to face imprisonment for ‘contempt’ of court?

    What ‘LAW’ have I, or Vince Siemer (www.kiwisfirst.co.nz) ever broken?

    http://www.legislation.govt.nz/act/public/1985/0120/latest/DLM78862.html?search=ts_act_Criminal+Justice+Act+1985_resel&p=1#DLM78862

    KEY GROUNDS UPON WHICH THIS APPLICATION IS BASED:

    “[4] There is no basis in law to suppress a court judgment resulting from a criminal prosecution. Such judicial powers are limited to the evidence adduced, the submissions made, publication of the name of any witness or witnesses, or any name or particulars likely to lead to the identification of the witness or witnesses under s 138 of the Criminal Justice Act 1985.

    4. s 138 of the Criminal Justice Act 1985 states:

    138 Power to clear court and forbid report of proceedings

    …….

    (5) The powers conferred by this section to make orders of any kind described in
    subsection (2) are in substitution for any such powers that a court may have
    had under any inherent jurisdiction or any rule of law; and no court shall have power to
    make any order of any such kind except in accordance with this section or any other
    enactment.

    5. It is a violation of natural justice to attempt to enforce a suppression order, with criminal penalties, against the public at large (i.e. not parties to the proceeding) for commenting on, or disseminating, a judgment, without the right to be heard, in a free and democratic society.

    6. Similarly, it is an unreasonable restriction on the statutory right of freedom of expression guaranteed under the New Zealand Bill of Rights Act 1990 for New Zealand citizens to face prosecution and be threatened with loss of their liberty simply for disseminating or commenting on any court judgment – particularly cases pertaining to the ongoing “Operation 8 prosecutions”, which have already been the subject of significant public interest.

    7. The order is in direct conflict with the principles of open and transparent justice which have been the hallmark of an honourable and just court system in every egalitarian society, because it effectively makes the judgment secret and unavailable to public scrutiny.

    8. The subject suppression order violates a broader interest – that of significant public interest – and the conflict of Justice Winkelmann’s alleged suppression order against this broader public interest has been confirmed in correspondence between the Crown Prosecutor, Mr Burns, in the Operation 8 prosecutions and the High Court in which the alleged suppression order originates.

    9. It is relevant to the grounds of this application that Justice Winkelmann gave no reasons for the alleged suppression order, if indeed it was Her Honour’s order, for concealing the public court judgment from the New Zealand public and the world at large. Justice cannot ‘be done or be seen to be done’, if the judgment of ‘what was done’, and ‘why it was done’ is deliberately hidden from the public.

    11. The risk to personal liberty against citizens of New Zealand is unacceptable, if the alleged suppression order is allowed to stand. The threat to personal liberty is evident by the recent prosecution of the legal news website publisher Vince Siemer, who is currently facing imprisonment as a sole and direct result of publishing this public court judgment. 2

    12. As the applicant has disseminated details regarding this 9 December 2010 judgment to the public, as well as engaged in commentary regarding it, she faces potential prosecution by the State unless the court suppression order – if it is determined by this Honourable Court to be an actual order – is allowed to stand.

    13. If Justice Winkelmann’s court ‘order’ has not been based upon the ‘rule of law’, then the public cannot be expected to respect it. If Judges don’t themselves follow the ‘rule of law,’ by basing their decisions upon the ‘rule of law’ – then they are not ‘setting an example’ to citizens which either safeguards the administration of justice, or enhances public confidence in the New Zealand judiciary.

    14. The Applicant holds that the real risk to the administration of justice stems from this court ‘order’ which has not been based on the ‘rule of law’ – but has been ‘made up’ by Justice Winkelmann, then enforced by the Solicitor-General David Collins QC, in such an discriminatory and arbitrary way as to constitute an abuse of power which cannot be justified in a free and democratic society.”

    ________________________________________________________________________________

    Full copies of correspondence, including the wording of the ‘Application for Order’ is available on http://waterpressure.wordpress.com

    Cheers!
    Penny Bright

  11. vto 11

    Unexpected Earthquake Observation #23;

    Walking around with a constant subconcious eye tilted to what is above your head.

  12. joe90 12

    Witnessing the Tar Sands Dead Zone: Asserting the need to heal.

    In the face of the enormous devastation that is destroying forests across northern Alberta, a peaceful group of people are steadfastly asserting the need to heal the land and waters. On June 25, 2011, the second annual Healing Walk for the Tar Sands brought together Indigenous people, Keepers of the Athabasca, elders, children and supporters, who walked 13 kilometres through the heart of where Syncrude and Suncor extract bitumen on a massive scale.

  13. joe90 13

    Overwhelming evidence of torture by the Bush administration obliges President Barack Obama to order a criminal investigation into allegations of detainee abuse authorized by former President George W. Bush and other senior officials.

    Overwhelming evidence of torture by the Bush administration obliges President Barack Obama to order a criminal investigation into allegations of detainee abuse authorized by former President George W. Bush and other senior officials, Human Rights Watch said in a report released today. The Obama administration has failed to meet US obligations under the Convention against Torture to investigate acts of torture and other ill-treatment of detainees, Human Rights Watch said.

    Report: Getting Away with Torture

  14. Deadly_NZ 14

    And to keep us beneficiaries on our toes they are going to have a robot ring us up….

    http://www.stuff.co.nz/national/politics/5278302/Benefit-debtors-to-get-call-from-machine

    I HATE robots and there are too many of them, it’s bad enough when you bump into them when calling winz, telstraclear, etc etc But to have one ringing you. Telstra has one that does and I just hang up on it. AS I will for every robot that rings me. Wow 3rd day in a row for Thunderstorms here in Levin..

    • freedom 14.1

      that one about an hour ago was a doozy, sounded like Thor did a belly flop on the roofing iron

      • joe90 14.1.1

        Now that the retired heading dog is as deaf as a post I thought she’d be over her thunder phobia but the lightning is scaring her half to death now.

        http://www.weatherwatch.co.nz/content/lightning-radar

        • Deadly_NZ 14.1.1.1

          Yep Animals hate the lightning for some reason, something to do with their senses like birds . It looks like that could be it for a while. handy site tho’ thanks

      • Deadly_NZ 14.1.2

        Yes has now blown over, but has flooded the section. Oh so you around Sunny Levin too freedom ?

        • freedom 14.1.2.1

          I have been here a few years now, I like the pace. They work hard and play hard. Have fundraisers and fights, have political tensions and insane parties and generally keep things ticking over while doing their best to smile and help another person when its needed.
          All in all a fair microcosm of New Zealand really.

        • freedom 14.1.2.2

          i’m not sure it has blown over looks like round three is just beginning and added hail to the mix.
          this is some serious weather. (i have Rage against the Machine on and i cannot hear it)

          • Deadly_NZ 14.1.2.2.1

            It was round 3 I just got in after a drive to countdown and had trouble seeing the road it was so hard. We been here about 2 1/2 years and it’s a great place for us. And with my 2 mth old son its nice to be able to walk any where in town. In Summer that is lol today was car day, Yep it drowned out all thoughts of chatter in the car..

    • Vicky32 14.2

      It’s your fault for living in Levin! 😀 When I worked for ANZ, I noted that the ANZ branch number for Levin was 666, which a friend of mine who hates that town, said was appropriate..
      I too, hang up on robots. Too bad for them!

  15. Lanthanide 15

    This site gets 93/100 on Google Page Speed, with *higher* scores being better.

    http://pagespeed.googlelabs.com/#url=http_3A_2F_2FWww.thestandard.org.nz&mobile=false

    Edit: originally thought high score was bad, edited to correct. Guess this isn’t a big deal after all.

  16. jackal 16

    Reefer Madness

    A few MP’s spoke on the Misuse of Drugs Amendment Bill in Parliament yesterday. While most showed a good grasp on what they were talking about, Peter Dunne dropped a couple of clangers in his uninspiring and droll speech. Although the bill is in the most part well thought out, it has a number of items that raise concern. The bill proposes to deregulate Thalidomide, which is a terrible drug that has caused more harm than marijuana ever could.

  17. Just heard in Parliament that Blinglish banked the sale proceeds from the sell down of power company shares in the budget but did not allow in future years for the loss of dividend income, on the basis that it was up to the election to confirm the sale would happen.
     
    How dishonest is that?

    • Draco T Bastard 17.1

      Very but fairly typical of National.

    • Lanthanide 17.2

      I’d say it’s fraud.

      • Deadly_NZ 17.2.1

        And corruption and lying but the NACTS don’t care, with Smith as Speaker of the house the lying can continue unabated.

    • vto 17.3

      What? Is he serious?

      Imagine if that was taken by a small business (or indeed a large business) to a bank or investor as part of a loan or investment application ………….

      You would get laughed straight back out the door and your credibility would be shot.

      Bill English clearly does not even know the basics of business and here is in Minister of Finance.

      Shocking. Deceptive. Fraudulent. And with our money. Rod Petricevich eat your heart out.

      • mickysavage 17.3.1

        Agreed vto.
         
        Here is the proof
         
        Blinglish has the nerve to suggest that since the dividends were already in the Budget Labour cannot take them into account when working out the benefit of retaining the power company shares in state ownership! 
         

    • Colonial Viper 17.4

      So you sold the business you own but still expect to receive all the pay and profits from it after that?

      Fraking Bill English.

      Every RWNJ believes he can outsmart gravity with a bit of clever talking.

  18. Draco T Bastard 18

    Well, it is a step change, probably not the one people were expecting when National promised it but it is still a step change.

    • Colonial Viper 19.1

      Iran and Pakistan have been managing nuttiness in Afghanistan for decades, I think they will keep pretty cool heads.

    • Pascal's bookie 19.2

      There are lots of things to be concerned about in AfPak Ian, but that guy doesn’t seem to have too good a handle on them. Maybe he does and is writing to a purpose, but that piece is way, way, too simplistic, and heavily loaded with lines that make me think it is more aimed at shaping western opinion than describing events on the ground.

      Few points I look for in any analysis.

      Most importantly, do they explain things in terms of interests. ie when they say the ISI has links to the Taliban or other militanst, do they say what pakistan’s interests are, or do they just leave it as a shadow, allowing the reader to think that it’s all just ideological scary muslims determined to slaughter us all in our sleep. First rule is that nations act in the best perceived interest. That is why Pakistan was and is doing what is doing. That is why the Taliban made deals with AQ. That is why Iran nearly invaded in 2000. etc. Interests, not ideology, most often.

      Do they talk nearly as much about Iran, India, China and Russia as they do about Pakistan. All these countries have interests, all will act on them. Pakistan is far from being the strongest player in the region.

      Do they describe what effect they think the last ten years of western fighting in the region will have on the calculations of the various players; or do they try and paint a picture of everyone just going back to how it was with, for example, the Afghan govt thinking making deals with AQ will not have any consequences, ditto ISI, etc.

  19. jackal 20

    The Price of Cheese in the Wild West

    There was some ludicrous debate going on in Parliament today. Amongst the rhetoric were a number of gaff’s and outright lies by National MP’s. Most were reasonably inconsequential, but a couple I found rather amusing. After saying that farmers were wrongly singled out for their tax avoidance, National MP David Carter said, and I quote “sheep thieves and dairy farmers.” Talk about foot in mouth disease…

  20. grumpy 21

    Who is Calvin Fisher????

    Is the Managing Director of a demolition company also his employee’s Union official?

    Is this company sending in dodgy invoices and is Calvin using his Union hat to try to pressure EQC through the media to get paid?

    Did he take over the company recently from a woman who defrauded his own union??

    What implications for the Unions and Labour here for their attacks in EQC, CERA, Brownlee etc?

    • Colonial Viper 21.1

      Ah, good old Company Unions! Banned for good reasons. Chinese picking them up now in their slow evolution towards improved workers rights.

      • grumpy 21.1.1

        Hi CV, understand he’s the big cheese at the Amalgamated Worker’s Union and his staff haven’t been paid.

      • grumpy 21.1.2

        Wierd eh????

        He’s complaining (as Union Sec) that guys have not been paid because he (as Company Director) has been sending in dodgy invoices so his company don’t get paid and his worker’s don’t get paid………..

        Who do they go to now???? Unite???? Local Labour MP????

  21. jackal 22

    Deregulating for Disaster

    Former chief inspector of coal mines Robin Hughes, with over 40 years of coal mining experience gave evidence yesterday at the Royal Commission of Inquiry concerning the Pike River mine disaster. He said mine safety changes made by the National Government in the 1990’s was the underlying cause for the disaster that occurred 19 November 2010 and claimed 29 lives.

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  • Life in Lock Down: Day 9
    . . April 3: Day 9 of living in lock-down… Another late-start to my work day. Everything is temporarily upended as clients are shuffled around so we can minimise our “bubble” by reducing the number of people we help. One of my colleagues has been removed from his clients; his ...
    Frankly SpeakingBy Frank Macskasy
    3 hours ago
  • Death to our lockdown enemies!
    We must root out the traitors among us! ...
    Imperator FishBy Scott Yorke
    18 hours ago
  • Climate Change: The benefits of electrification
    In order to meet our 2050 carbon target and do our bit to avoid making the Earth uninhabitable, New Zealand needs to decarbonise our economy, replacing fossil fuels with electricity in the energy, industrial and transport sectors. The good news is that it will mean cheaper power for all of ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 day ago
  • Life in Lock Down: Day 8 (sanitised version)
    For those folk who find my other Lock-Down Diary versions too “negative” or otherwise unpalatable… Here’s a photo of a pretty flower, .   . Better? Tomorrow’s Sanitised Version: a cute animal video. . . . =fs= ...
    Frankly SpeakingBy Frank Macskasy
    1 day ago
  • Life in Lock Down: Day 8
    . . April 2: Day eight of living in lock-down… Today, my work day starts late. Our rosters and clients have been dramatically changed, lessening (theoretically) the number of people in our work “bubble”.  If just one of us catches covid19 the impact could be considerable as Grey Base Hospital ...
    Frankly SpeakingBy Frank Macskasy
    1 day ago
  • A note on apartments and bubbles
    As Aotearoa enters week two of lockdown, it’s clear we’re all still working out what our “bubbles” look like and how to stay in them to stop the spread of Covid-19. New to the government’s Covid-19 website is some good guidance for people living in apartment blocks. Recent decades have ...
    SciBlogsBy Siouxsie Wiles
    1 day ago
  • Getting in futures shape 
    “There are decades where nothing happens; and there are weeks where decades happen.” Lenin Don’t we all know that feeling now.

    Prospect Magazine alerted me to this particularly apt quote. It is a much more evocative quote than Hemingway’s “gradually then suddenly” which is also doing ...

    SciBlogsBy Robert Hickson
    1 day ago
  • Maybe axing Clark would be unfair. But what about any of this is fair?
    Yesterday was the day the consequences of the lockdown suddenly got very real for many. Firms have been closing and laying people off since the outset of the quarantine but this has mostly been happening out of the public eye. The mass closure of a number of iconic New Zealand ...
    PunditBy Liam Hehir
    1 day ago
  • Might a ‘Coasean’ social contract mitigate overall societal harm from COVID-19?
    Brian Williamson1, Prof Nick Wilson2 (1Economic consultant, UK; 2University of Otago Wellington) In this blog, we outline how a win-win social contract could be forged to address the major dimensions of response to the COVID-19 pandemic when using a mitigation strategy: the particular need to protect older people from high ...
    SciBlogsBy Public Health Expert
    1 day ago
  • Returning To “Normalcy”.
    Resuming Normal Service: The Republican Party's nominee for in 1920, Warren Harding, promised the American people: “not heroics, but healing; not nostrums, but normalcy; not revolution, but restoration”. If she wishes to remain our prime minister, then Jacinda Ardern will offer New Zealanders the same.HOW EDUCATED AMERICA snickered when the ...
    1 day ago
  • New Zealand’s Government Must Save New Zealand’s Media.
    No Free Society Without A Free And Functioning News Media: If we are to surrender our civil rights to the broader cause of defeating Covid-19, then foreign corporations must, likewise, surrender their right to inflict immense economic and cultural harm on New Zealanders simply because it improves their bottom line.I’M ...
    1 day ago
  • Corona fevers and the madness of models
    by Daphna Whitmore A third of the world is under lockdown and a clear assessment of this measure to curb the spread of COVID-19 is urgently needed.  With any high-stakes decisions it has to be asked what are we dealing with here? Are the measures warranted? Will they achieve their ...
    RedlineBy Daphna
    2 days ago
  • Lockdown day 8
    I haven’t done a huge amount in the last few days. I’m reading The Poppy War and I’ve sort of poked at a couple of games – I started SOMA but I’m a wimp and I quit while in the first room after the brain scan. I might try it ...
    The little pakehaBy chrismiller
    2 days ago
  • Backstage and Theatre
    The swan politicians may be gliding on the water, occasionally snapping at one another. Meanwhile, as the Covid19 crisis illustrates, the officials are desperately paddling below providing the real locomotion. One of the most fatuous recent grandstanding comments (of about a week ago), adding to the public’s anxieties, was ...
    PunditBy Brian Easton
    2 days ago
  • Legal Beagle: Waiver, the singular Crown and the conduct of Crown legal business
    Much has been written about the importance of discretion in an emergency situation, and the concerns raised by the potential for it to be exercised arbitrarily. Given the quality of the discussion, there seemed little point in adding to it at any length. In particular, I point to the evidence ...
    2 days ago
  • Highlights from Bauer Media’s science-related reporting
    Today has felt surreal. I was all set to touch base online with my science communication students when a colleague shared the news that Bauer Media would be shutting down its publications immediately. The first link I saw implied it was Woman’s Weekly affected, and even that shocked me. But ...
    SciBlogsBy Sarah-Jane O'Connor
    2 days ago
  • Outsiders.
    Bogeymen, Real And Imagined: Is the number of psychopathic and sociopathic individuals in any given society truly as vanishingly small as we like to tell ourselves? Isn’t it more likely that the mass-shooters and serial-killers filling the headlines represent only the tip of a much, much larger iceberg of frightfulness? ...
    2 days ago
  • We have a right to know the rules we are expected to obey
    Outgoing Police Commissioner Mike Bush appeared before the Epidemic Response Committee today, who asked him for the rules police are using to enforce the lockdown. He refused:Police Commissioner Mike Bush has admitted the advice given to Kiwis about what they're able to do during the lockdown hasn't been clear enough. ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 days ago
  • Life in Lock Down: Day 7 (sanitised version)
    For those folk who find my other Lock-Down Diary versions too “negative” or otherwise unpalatable… Here’s a photo of my cat, . . Better? Tomorrow’s Sanitised Version: a pretty flower. . . . =fs= ...
    Frankly SpeakingBy Frank Macskasy
    2 days ago
  • Life in Lock Down: Day 7
    . . April 1: Day seven of living in lock-down… This morning I had a brief chat with one of my neighbours, “D” (social distance between us, a good three or four metres). I learned he had resigned from his previous job and had been hired by another company – ...
    Frankly SpeakingBy Frank Macskasy
    2 days ago
  • RIP The Listener, New Zealand’s pioneering voice
    Funnily enough, my thought as I start this post is whether it will be well written enough. Or should that be well enough written? Because so much of what I know about good writing came from my two stints at The Listener, which this morning was shut down due to ...
    PunditBy Tim Watkin
    2 days ago
  • OK, Britney: stop sniping at National for doing its job
    With normal democratic procedures in abeyance, there were two ways to go. First, it was open for the government to dissolve itself and invite the National Party to join a ministry of national salvation. That would have lessened the democratic deficit of the times by having a team of rivals without ...
    PunditBy Liam Hehir
    2 days ago
  • Helpful tips for parents during lockdown
    Dr Kirsty Ross Children and young people can respond differently in times of distress. This also varies by age and developmental stage, with younger children having more magical and imaginative thinking, and older children having more awareness and knowledge of the issues our communities are facing (which brings up ...
    SciBlogsBy Guest Author
    2 days ago
  • Skeptical Science New Research for Week #13, 2020
    3 days ago
  • Hungary is now a dictatorship
    Hungary has been a virtual dictatorship for a decade now, as Prime Minister Viktor Orbán has gradually eroded its democracy. But now, its official, with the passage of an indefinite emergency law allowing rule by decree:Hungary’s parliament has passed a new set of coronavirus measures that includes jail terms for ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    3 days ago
  • A new Ministry of Works
    While the economy is on pause under lockdown, the government is beginning to plan how to cope with the post-lockdown, post-tourism, post-export education world we will eventually find ourselves in. They're planning a lot of infrastructure spending as economic stimulus, and have asked for proposals which can start the moment ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    3 days ago
  • Capture: Well spaced out
    It's my distraction,  setting up tiny scenes to photograph.  I've got stuck on the Babushka dolls for now.  Something about their bubble shape.  Something about their never changing, smiling features, suggesting persistent equanimity.  Can we get through everything that is being thrown at us and keep at least a tiny ...
    3 days ago
  • Life in Lock Down: Day 6
    . . March 31: Day six of living in lock-down… This time I managed to sleep a little longer and the alarm woke me at the pre-set time: 6.55am. Then remembered I was working a later shift and could’ve slept in. Oh well, there are things to do at home. ...
    Frankly SpeakingBy Frank Macskasy
    3 days ago
  • March ’20 – NZ blogs sitemeter ranking
    Image credit: Diamond Harbour School Blogs I notice a few regulars no longer allow public access to the site counters. This may happen accidentally when the blog format is altered. If your blog is unexpectedly missing or ...
    3 days ago
  • Hard News: Poll Pot and the partisans
    Yesterday's Horizon poll showing support for a "Yes" vote in this year's cannabis referendum sliding into the majority for the first time in a year looked like good news for reformers – and it probably is. But the result warrants some scrutiny.The poll is the fifth in a series commissioned ...
    3 days ago
  • Why those bubbles are so important
    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
    3 days 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
    3 days 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
    4 days 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
    4 days 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
    4 days 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
    4 days 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
    4 days 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
    4 days 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 ...
    4 days 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
    5 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
    5 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 ...
    5 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
    5 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
    5 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
    5 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 ...
    5 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 ...
    5 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
    6 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
    6 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
    6 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, ...
    6 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
    7 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
    7 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
    1 week 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 ...
    1 week 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 ...
    1 week 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
    1 week 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
    1 week 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
    1 week 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
    1 week 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
    1 week 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
    1 week 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 ...
    1 week 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
    1 week 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 ...
    1 week 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
    1 week 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
    1 week 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
    1 week 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 ...
    1 week 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 ...
    1 week 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
    1 week 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

  • Further measures to support businesses
    The Government will be introducing legislation to make changes to the Companies Act to help companies facing insolvency due to COVID-19 to remain viable and keep New Zealanders in jobs. The temporary changes include: Giving directors of companies facing significant liquidity problems because of COVID-19 a ‘safe harbour’ from insolvency ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    24 hours ago
  • Govt’s COVID plan, economic strength recognised
    The Government’s plan to cushion the blow of COVID-19 by supporting incomes, jobs and businesses, and position the economy to recover has been backed by another international report. International credit rating agency Moody’s today reaffirmed its highest Aaa credit rating on New Zealand, saying the economy is expected to remain ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 day ago
  • Funding certainty for sports through COVID-19
    National sports organisations have been given certainty of funding to ensure they can remain viable through the COVID-19 pandemic, Sport and Recreation Minister Grant Robertson announced today. “The global spread of COVID-19 has had a significant impact on sport and recreation in New Zealand, including the cancellation or postponement of ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 day ago
  • Butchers now allowed to process pork
    Changes have been made to allow butchers to process pork, only for supply to supermarkets or other processors or retailers that are open, Agriculture Minister Damien O’Connor has announced. “We carefully weighed the risk of allowing butchers to open their shops for retail customers, but the risk of spreading COVID-19 ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • Essential workers leave scheme established
    Essential workers who take leave from work to comply with public health guidance are being supported with a leave scheme to ensure they will continue to receive income, say the Minister of Workplace Relations and Safety Iain Lees-Galloway and Minister for Social Development, Carmel Sepuloni. A number of essential businesses ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • Govt WhatsApp helps share COVID-19 information
    A Government WhatsApp channel has been launched to help make information more easily accessible and shareable in the fight against COVID-19. Govt.NZ, which is free to use on any mobile device, will carry information and news for the public, businesses, healthcare providers, not for profits and local government. It can ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • Managed departure plan for stranded foreign nationals enables safe, orderly exit
    The Government has announced a plan to enable the safe, orderly exit of tens of thousands of stranded foreign nationals from New Zealand during the current COVID-19 Alert Level 4 restrictions, Deputy Prime Minister and Foreign Minister Winston Peters has said. “When we moved into lockdown a week ago, the ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • Government delivers COVID-19 support to GPs and Pharmacies
    Health Minister Dr David Clark says the Government is delivering on its commitment to support general practice doctors and nurses, and pharmacies on the front-line of our fight against COVID-19. "For us to overcome COVID-19, we need community health services such as general practice and community pharmacy to step up ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • Susan Thomas the new Chief High Court Judge
    Justice Susan Thomas has been appointed Chief High Court Judge, Attorney-General David Parker announced today.  She replaces Justice Geoffrey Venning who has resigned from the position.   David Parker paid tribute to Justice Venning, who he said had stewarded the High Court very capably over the last five years.   “On behalf ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • Business Finance Guarantee – applications open
    Businesses can start applying to their banks for loans under the Business Finance Guarantee Scheme set up to support the New Zealand economy during the COVID-19 pandemic. “We’re moving quickly to protect New Zealand businesses, jobs and the economy during this unprecedented global economic shock,” Finance Minister Grant Robertson said. ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • Work starts on ways to fast-track consents to boost recovery from Covid-19 downturn
    Work is underway looking at measures to speed up consents for development and infrastructure projects during the recovery from COVID 19, to provide jobs and stimulate our economy.  Environment Minister David Parker said the COVID-19 pandemic is a serious global crisis that will have a wide ranging and lasting impact ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days 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 ...
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    3 days 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 ...
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    4 days 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 ...
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    4 days 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 ...
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    4 days ago
  • Supermarkets able to open on Easter Sunday
    The Government is ensuring supermarkets can open on Easter Sunday so we can buy groceries, but stay closed on Good Friday allowing workers to take a break. This provides a balanced approach and ensures we avoid large queues that two days closure may cause. “Supermarkets will be able to open ...
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    4 days 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 ...
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    4 days 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 ...
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    4 days 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 ...
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    4 days 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, ...
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    5 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 ...
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    5 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 ...
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    1 week 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 ...
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    1 week 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 ...
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    1 week 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. ...
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    1 week 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 ...
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    1 week 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 ...
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    1 week 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, ...
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    1 week 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 ...
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    1 week 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. ...
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    1 week 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 ...
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    1 week 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 ...
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    1 week 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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    1 week 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 ...
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    1 week 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 ...
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    1 week 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 ...
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    1 week 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 ...
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    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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    2 weeks 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 ...
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    2 weeks ago