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Open mike 13/07/2014

Written By: - Date published: 7:33 am, July 13th, 2014 - 86 comments
Categories: open mike - Tags:

openmike Open mike is your post.

For announcements, general discussion, whatever you choose.

The usual rules of good behaviour apply (see the Policy).

Step up to the mike …

86 comments on “Open mike 13/07/2014”

  1. Jenny 1

    Air Togo?

    As ever with David Shearer a confused and contradictory rambling delivery, but a reactionary message.

    As Chris Trotter has asked in the past is David Shearer really this incoherent, or is it just an act?


    “We support oil drilling [and] we have done in the past, there’s no major change there,” he said.

    “What we want to see is a regime very much like in Norway where there is good processes of approval, there’s tight regulations … a regime for making sure that money is used well, and at the same time making sure our transition to renewable [energy] goes [ahead].”

    Ultimately, fossil fuels were “out” and not sustainable for the future, but New Zealand could use them to transition to renewables, he said.

    Mr Shearer said a Labour Government would make improvements to safety measures and increase local involvement.

    “[Currently] we do not have New Zealanders overseeing the exploratory rigs doing the drilling. We should have our own people on the ground.”

    Equipment to respond to an oil spill had to be on site and ready to go in case of an accident, he said.

    However, Anadarko’s current oil clean-up plan would take at least a month to plug a leak, and 115 days for a rig to arrive.

    Asked whether drilling was acceptable under those circumstances, Mr Shearer dodged the question, instead drawing parallels with the airline industry.

    “It’s very very safe, but when it goes wrong, it goes very very wrong. And what we want to have is an Air New Zealand rather than an Air Togo.”

    Following a fruitless summer of oil exploration, Mr Shearer was asked whether the $12 billion oil drilling industry touted by National was “a mirage”.

    “It’s anybody’s guess,” he said.

    “Putting all our cards on the table and say ‘our economic development is going to depend on the discovery of oil’ is nonsense. It’s like walking into a casino and hoping the ball lands on number 36.”

    Royalties could be raised when more oil was discovered, but hiking them now would “kill the industry”, he said.

    Mr Shearer said the policy wouldn’t affect a potential coalition with the Green Party.

    As always, David Shearer just as he did all throughout his leadership of the Labour Party steadfastly ignores any mention of climate change. It’s a scandal that this climate change ignorer has been given the energy portfolio.

    “Mango skins”, “Beneficiaries on the roof”, and now, the “Air Togo” racist comparison with our current off shore oil industry. And yet, contradictory support for that industry????

    What David Shearer can’t hide with his incoherent confused and frankly embarrassing responses is that, as Bryan Walker at Hot Topic NZ says,

    Being hell-bent on further fossil fuel discovery and exploitation is hardly compatible with action to rein in climate change….”

    Hot Topic, “The collapse of Western Civilisation” JULY 3, 2014

    “…in full contradiction to what was known, a “fossil fuel frenzy” developed just when the urgency of a transition to renewable energy was becoming undeniable.”

    Undeniable, but not if you ignore it completely.

    • Te Reo Putake 1.1

      Where’s the racism, Jenny?

      • Jenny 1.1.1

        It is clear from the context that David Shearer is trying to cast a negative aspersion of our offshore oil industry by comparing it to “Togo Air” the inference that we (white New Zealanders) are expected to automatically take, is that anything run by black Africans is unsafe, incompetent, and slipshod.

        I have googled “Togo Air” and found no negative reports of Togo Air that would confirm David Shearer’s prejudice.

        • Te Reo Putake

          It’s hard to find much positive about Togo Air, Jenny. It collapsed after two years of operation, which is actually the comparison Shearer was making. If there is any racism, I suspect it might be fromsomeone who jumped to an unwarranted conclusion. Lazy thinking, indeed.

          • Jenny

            It’s hard to find much positive about Togo Air, Jenny. It collapsed after two years of operation, which is actually the comparison Shearer was making.

            Te Reo Putake

            So how does this compare unfavorably with Air New Zealand which went Bankrupt in 1989, and had to bailed out by the New Zealand taxpayers?

            Or responsible for sight seeing flight 901 which slammed into the side of Mt Erebus.

            Other than Air New Zealand is owned and operated by white people, and so can’t be used as a racist dog whistle for corruption and incompetence by lazy and ignorant politician trying to make a point.

            Does, “orchestrated litany of lies” ring any bells?

            I thought not.

            • Te Reo Putake

              I bet all the employees of Air NZ who aren’t “white people” would be thrilled to read your racist analysis, Jenny. You should be ashamed of yourself.

              • Jenny

                What? That doesn’t even make any sense.
                TRP your petty hair splitting and blamestorming in trying to divert attention away from David Shearer’s contradictory and confused justification for deep sea oil drilling is now getting ridiculous. Every time David Shearer opens his mouth, with some thoughtless fatuous comment like mango skins, or beneficiaries on the roof, or Air Togo, thousands of Left voters flock to the Greens. (or worse, stay at home).
                I suppose running a defensive back line for Shearer’s comments by attacking the messenger prevents you from having to admit that David Shearer’s confused fawning before the fossil fuel lobby is almost as cringeworthy and damaging to the Labour Party as previously Shane Jones’ were.

                • Jenny

                  I bet all the employees of Air NZ who aren’t “white people” would be thrilled to read your racist analysis, Jenny. You should be ashamed of yourself.

                  Te Reo Putake

                  You mean the Air New Zealand employees who have been at the sharp end of more than a decade of Air New Zealand’s outsourcing, contracting out and vicious deunionisation program?

                  My guess is most would say, Yeah, tell it like it is sister.

                • Te Reo Putake

                  Fuck off, racist.

                  • Jenny

                    Charming. Our readers will be assured that the defence of the our children’s future and the fate of the planet will be safe from the polluters in such hands.

      • Murray Olsen 1.1.2

        I also saw a little racism in Shearer’s lazy comment. Most listeners will know that Togo is in Africa, but nothing about Togo Air. They would then expect it to be run by Africans. At the very least, it shows that Shearer is intellectually lazy and doesn’t think through what he’s saying. From roof painting to Air Togo, there’s plenty of evidence of this. He shouldn’t be spokesperson for anything.

        • Ergo Robertina


        • Te Reo Putake

          Lazy thinking, yourself, Murray. Some viewers might be racist, therefore any mention of Africa makes the speaker a little racist? Really? Any other continents you want patronised?

          • Murray Olsen

            Funnily enough, I find it very hard to take anything you say seriously. Your eagerness to defend Shearer at all costs comes across as an obsession. You’re happy to call others racists, but tie yourself in knots to defend Shearer’s stupid statement.

            • Colonial Viper

              TRP is a long time Shearer supporter, usually saying just enough to paint Shearer in the best possible light without coming across as a fanboy.

              Keystone coups Mark 2

            • Te Reo Putake

              Sorry lads, but the problem here isn’t Shearer, but Murray’s patronising views on Africans and their businesses. I’ve got a better understanding of what concerns him about foreign control now.

    • Shearer is the spokesperson and the best labour have in this area. transition – what a joke and the roulette is a good analogy – betting everything without picking anything.

    • I quite like David Shearer – you have to admit that he’s got a knack for coming across as being genuine and reasonable.

      • Jenny 1.3.1

        ….he’s got a knack for coming across as being genuine and reasonable.

        Liam Hehir

        Only Liam to the people to the Right of the political spectrum.

        Which I think you would define yourself as. (Am I wrong?)

        I think an endorsement of David Shearer coming from you Liam would be more like a kiss of death. Unless of course you are being sarcastic but I don’t really think you are.

        • Liam Hehir

          No I mean it. I agree he’s got his shortcomings. Maybe he wouldn’t have been a great debater but if he was really that bad tend to think he could have avoided that by simply not agreeing to any direct debates. That would hardly be unprecedented.

          But you know the other day I was driving home and I turned the radio on and came midway into an interview about the Malaysian diplomat farrago. This guy was firmly criticising the government and demanding answers, but in a very measured way – like it was more in sorrow than anger. It turned out to be David Shearer.

          That’s just the impression of somebody who tends to the other side of things, of course. You can take it or leave it but there’s not much margin for me making it up.

          • Jenny

            Sounds like true love.

            • Liam Hehir


              • Jenny

                If David Shearer keeps this up, and with your endorsement Liam, he just might be able to follow Shane Jones into getting the National government to grant him a sinecure in reward for his loyal services to the fossil fuel industry.

                • Yeah, I mean the last thing you want in your political team is somebody with a bit of crossover appeal, right? Far better to have a smaller, purer political party.

                  • Jenny

                    A TV3 Brunton poll showed that 80% of the population are opposed to Deep Sea Oil Drilling. The only ones that David Shearer is appealing to are the members of a conservative minority, probably people such as yourself Liam, oh, and I almost forgot the oil companies.

                    It is no wonder you find his politics appealing.

                  • felix

                    “Yeah, I mean the last thing you want in your political team is somebody with a bit of crossover appeal, right? Far better to have a smaller, purer political party.”

                    What’s the value of picking up one from “the other side” if you drop two from your own? That way lies Peter Dunne.

                    Agree though about Shearer’s handling of the McCully coverup/debacle. I was pleasantly surprised when I realised who was on the radio.

  2. Jrobin 2

    To be fair he did briefly mention climate change when he spoke about transition from fossil fuels. But otherwise this was an infuriating display of business friendly conservatism. He has a peculiar ability to make you want to shake him awake. Thank goodness he is not debating Key in the final weeks of the election campaign. Moana Mackey however, does have great ideas on climate change and should have been interviewed instead or as well as Shearer. Labour need to release their environmental policy immediately. Shearer makes them unappealing to voters even if Phil O Reilly was delighted. The Greens can’t govern alone, come in Labour get your act together, we can’t afford three more years of National!!They have been tweaking crime stats for political purposes (Herald ths morning), what else are they lying about and manipulating?

    • Bearded Git 2.1

      It’s all good JR.

      Labour made the right decision to ditch Shearer. Meanwhile people can choose to vote Green and by this push Labour’s climate change buttons.

      The beauty of this election is that the Left has 3 viable choices and so will win.

  3. Ad 3

    If Shearer is prepared to say “transition” so clearly, then he should be consequential, hike the royalty rates substantially, and generate a Crown “transport transition” fund that might assist weaning off our oil addiction somewhat.

    The Crown’s excise tax is running down as vehicle efficiency and gradually increasing litre price bites.

    There is good common ground to be negotiated with the Greens here if Labour really have the will to negotiate it. It involves a common plan.

  4. Jenny 4

    While lazy thinkers like David Shearer simply chooses to just ignore climate change, avowedly open and proud traitors to the people and planet, the party of the polluters and plutocrats ACT make no bones about wanting do nothing.

    Introducing New Zealand’s own Lord Haw haw of climate change.

    Question: Are you worried about climate change?

    Jamie Whyte ACT Party Leader: “If we were to rank all the things that I am worried about I don’t think climate change would get into my top hundred.”

    Question: So what would you change?

    Jamie Whyte ACT Party Leader: “We should do absolutely nothing about this”

    ACT 2014

    ACT 1944

    Lord Hee Haw

    • Clemgeopin 4.1

      In the ACT party list, is the #17, Sean Fitzpatrick, the ex All Blacks or someone else?

      • Te Reo Putake 4.1.1

        Someone else. Probably hoping the confusion will help, though.

        • Clemgeopin

          Thanks Te Reo Putake.
          I did have my doubt as the real deal would have been a high profile candidate and higher up on their greedy gravy train list, the train that is getting ready to destroy and derail our world renowned fair public education system into privately profiting Charter school rort and other crap.

  5. North 5


    Madame Triple F – facile, fatuous flibbertigibbet, – semi-retired tippler McIvor nee Woodham speeds the race to the bottom via ordure ‘Opinion’.

    “I would rather my child be taught alongside 35 other kids by a brilliant, inspirational teacher than have her in a class of 15 with a boring dullard who is marking time until retirement.”
    Guard your strawman Madame. He may combust in the heat of friction between your truly ridiculous constructs.

    “Their parents have failed them, and so have their teachers”
    Mmmm…..fittingly no mention of poverty and inequality – it’s well known that inside the gates of school – wherein the cruel winds of society do not blow – these factors are inoperative.

    “Teachers have a powerful union and they can make a strong case for more teachers aides and specialist assistance for those children being let down by the system.”
    Like ‘militant’ teacher unions soooo have the accommodating ear of the minister…..never the dog-whistling sneer.

    “If teachers can ‘promise’ me that smaller class sizes will ensure no child is left behind, I’m all for it.” – Promise ? Promise ? Madame, how terribly high you set the bar…..diminutive dumpies will never get a drink.

    “But National is telling us that rewarding quality teachers and sharing them around schools will be more effective in lifting those children langushing at the bottom o the class.”
    What, no promises demanded ? Oh well, I guess one ‘rockstar’ Grey Lynn journo’ must take as gospel the untested word of the ‘rockstar’ minister.

    “Two different ideologies, two different ways of running schools. And our children are the lab rats.”
    Well done Madame ! Another fabulously false construct…..with the denouement enriched by some excellent fear framing. Reflecting empirical profundity. Nothing facile or shabby here Madame.

    Your super-view indebts us.

    • Rodel 5.1

      North.Yes an interesting article by McIvor but superficial and with little depth or data.
      The issue is I think, more chiefs (read CEOs) in the education waka ?…. or more people to row the boat?
      Many of the current chiefs agree with the former and the rowers agree with the latter.
      Fortunately the parents of the children have the decisive vote. I hope they use it.

      • North 5.1.1

        You mean all power, status and enrichment to a gratuitously decreed managerial ‘elite’ for whom, their unfitness for purpose compounding, personal accountabiliy is deflected by the licence to heap blame on arbitrarily decreed ‘incompetents’ down the chain ?

        HekYeah Parrota being the head of the fish where the rot commences.

    • dv 5.2

      I wonder how she feels about Nation Standards then?

    • Bearded Git 5.3

      North-I just never read her stuff.

    • Anne 5.4

      And what about the title. Labrats? Madam McIvor nee Woodham has hit the subliminal jackpot. The Labour Party is rats. She infers without saying so directly that Labour is using the kiddie-winkies as laboratory fodder in its desire to experiment with education. Yep. We’re the rats – unlike National with their Nat. Standards and Charter Schools. They’re the goodies here cos they don’t experiment.


  6. Morrissey 6

    Garth “The Knife” McVicar to appear on Radio NZ this morning
    Next week: Kyle Chapman?
    The week after: Clayton Weatherston?

    For whatever reason, Radio NZ National’s Sunday producers have seen fit to invite the S.S. Imperial Wizard Garth “The Knife” McVicar on to the programme to “debate” justice issues with Kim Workman.

    By any standards, this seems to be an indefensible decision. I dropped a line to the hapless Wallace Chapman, who has been obliged to sit in a studio with this moral imbecile….

    Please ask Garth McVicar to apologise for his brutal comments about a stabbing victim

    Dear Wallace,

    When 15-year-old Pihema Cameron was chased down on a Manurewa street and stabbed to death in 2008, McVicar and his selective vigilante organization led a public campaign of defamation of the dead boy and heaped abuse and scorn on his parents and his wider family.

    To compound this, he championed the man who had killed the boy as an “upstanding New Zealander.” Far from moderating these views, McVicar amplified them in his book, entitled with brazen cynicism Justice: Speaking up for Crime’s Silent Victims.

    McVicar has not yet seen fit to apologise to the mother of Pihema Cameron. Perhaps you could ask him to do so on your show this morning.

    Morrissey Breen
    Northcote Point

    • Colonial Viper 6.1

      That RNZ continues to put McVicar on demonstrates how venal it has become in the service of right wing lock’m up memes. Thanks for noting, Morrissey.

  7. Morrissey 7

    Garth “The Knife” McVicar to appear on Radio NZ this morning
    Next week: Kyle Chapman?
    The week after: Clayton Weatherston?

    For whatever reason, Radio NZ National’s Sunday producers have seen fit to invite the S.S. Imperial Wizard Garth “The Knife” McVicar on to the programme to “debate” justice issues with Kim Workman.

    By any standards, this seems to be an indefensible decision. I dropped a line to the hapless Wallace Chapman, who has been obliged to sit in a studio with this moral imbecile….

    Please ask Garth McVicar to apologise for his brutal comments about a stabbing victim

    Dear Wallace,

    When 15-year-old Pihema Cameron was chased down on a Manurewa street and stabbed to death in 2008, McVicar and his selective vigilante organization led a public campaign of defamation of the dead boy and heaped abuse and scorn on his parents and his wider family.

    To compound this, he championed the man who had killed the boy as an “upstanding New Zealander.” Far from moderating these views, McVicar amplified them in his book, entitled with brazen cynicism Justice: Speaking up for Crime’s Silent Victims.

    McVicar has not yet seen fit to apologise to the mother of Pihema Cameron. Perhaps you could ask him to do so on your show this morning.

    Morrissey Breen
    Northcote Point

    • dimebag russell 7.1

      Just listened to mcvicar and I must say the arrogant vocal delivery puts me off for starters but the real issue is that he believes that opinions count for more than facts.
      he is a man that cannot see causes only outcomes.
      if he had any real insight then he would understand why and how things happen in society and do something about that.

  8. Morrissey 8

    Noam Chomsky: Gaza’s Torment, Israel’s Crimes, Our Responsibilities

    At 3am Gaza time, July 9, in the midst of Israel’s latest exercise in savagery, I received a phone call from a young Palestinian journalist in Gaza. In the background, I could hear his infant child wailing, amidst the sounds of explosions and jet planes, targeting any civilian who moves, and homes as well. He just saw a friend of his in a car clearly marked “press” blown away. And he heard shrieks next door after an explosion but can’t go outside or he’ll be a likely target. This is a quiet neighborhood, no military targets – except Palestinians who are fair game for Israel’s high tech US-supplied military machine. He said that 70% of the ambulances have been destroyed, and that by then over 70 had been killed, and of the 300 or so wounded, about 2/3 women and children. Few Hamas activists have been hit – or rocket launching sites. Just the usual victims.

    It is important to understand what life is like in Gaza when Israel’s behavior is “restrained,” in between the regular manufactured crises like this one. A good sense is given in a report to UNRWA by Mads Gilbert, the courageous and expert Norwegian physician who has worked extensively in Gaza, also throughout the vicious and murderous Cast Lead operation. In every respect, the situation is disastrous. Just keeping to children, Gilbert reports: “Palestinian children in Gaza are suffering immensely. A large proportion are affected by the man-made malnourishment regime caused by the Israeli imposed blockage. Prevalence of anaemia in children <2yrs in Gaza is at 72.8%, while prevalence of wasting, stunting, underweight have been documented at 34.3%, 31.4%, 31.45% respectively.” And it gets worse as the report proceeds.

    When Israel is on “good behavior,” more than two Palestinian children are killed every week, a pattern that goes back over 14 years. The underlying cause is the criminal occupation and the programs to reduce Palestinian life to bare survival in Gaza, while Palestinians are restricted to unviable cantons in the West Bank and Israel takes over what it wants, all in gross violation of international law and explicit Security Council resolutions, not to speak of minimal decency. And it will continue as long as it is supported by Washington and tolerated by Europe – to our everlasting shame.


    • North 8.1

      But. But. But. It’s intolerable……these pre-pubescent terrorists……they throw stones !

      That’s it ! – bring on the F-16 Cavalry !

      Life in occupied Palestine.

  9. Interesting from The Internet Party

    The Internet Party wants a moratorium on fracking, the dumping of oil wastes, deep-sea and undersea extraction and other risky energy and mining industry practices.

    In its final environment policy released today – its first full, digitally-driven democratic policy – the Internet Party also vows to restore the absolute right of Kiwis to protest at sea against deep-sea oil exploration.


    Full https://docs.google.com/document/d/1hJ5pl4psPllKFfmBvpQDOdKBZWTJllemfHxWjmo-Thg/preview?pli=1&sle=true

    I like this bit

    The full Internet Party environment policy takes a strong line on all environmental issues in New Zealand. Its climate change position backs the Greens’ proposed carbon tax as the starting point for policy negotiations post-election. However, the Internet Party is not convinced that all revenue raised should be spread across all households.

    “Compensating low income households for the average $2 a week extra cost of a carbon tax should be the priority, but a tax bonus for high income households would be a much lower priority for us than investing in renewables and environmental enhancements.”

    • that’s good policy from the internet-party..

      ..i particularly like how their policy-formation is such a democratic-process..

      ..all other parties cd learn from that..

      • Tiger Mountain 9.1.1

        …yep, Labour’s passive aggressive blanking out of bennies children and me too ‘super at 67’ might be gone by lunchtime…but the Torys hang ’em high brigade could go full monty on death penalty and kid whacking…

        Internet Party style consultation from all political parties would be a good test of the enduring relatively even ratio of ‘dark’ to ‘light’ kiwis (aka reactionary conservative swine vs progressive, open to the new). And yes am aware of bright young entrepreneurs ‘open to the new’–while keeping a foot firmly on workers throats.

        Internet Party approach is refreshing, mere weeks from consultation to policy. There is a lot of material around these days to help make informed decisions too.

  10. the most interesting part of q & a..is the historical flashback..

    ..wood is beyond hopeless..

    ..just not equipped for the job…

    ..and franks continues to be a one-line joke..

    ..pull his string..he babbles act..

    ..and i was gagging for him to reprise his ‘what’s it got to do with bush?’ comedy-routine on iraq..

  11. Morrissey 11

    “You never grab a knife and stab someone.”
    Garth (The Knife) McVicar interviewed by Wallace Chapman

    Radio NZ National, Sunday 13 July 2014

    This was, as I feared it would be, almost entirely a softball interview, but one particularly interesting fact emerged—McVicar was once caned 36 times in one day by the headmaster at Napier Boys’ High School. Even by the prevailing standards of the 1950s, that was exceptionally brutal treatment of a child. It possibly was an important factor in turning McVicar into the kind of person he became.

    The following are a few snatches from a mostly intolerable listening experience. We join the Grand Dragon in the midst of his opening talk….

    GARTH McVICAR: ….politically correct nonsense…. I believe in ABCD—Accountability, Boundaries, Consequences and Discipline. … Sir Russell Pettigrew was one of our first supporters….

    WALLACE CHAPMAN: You formed the Sensible Trust in 2001, after Mark Middleton was prosecuted for threatening to kill Paul Dalley.

    GARTH McVICAR: I had this sense that something had gone wrong in society. … I’m a farmer…I’m just a dad who cares…. The values my parents taught me, you know, you never hurt other people. You know, YOU NEVER GRAB A KNIFE AND STAB SOMEONE, you never KICK someone….

    Now if ever there was a moment when a sharp interviewer would have jumped on this brutal hypocrite and held him to account, this was it. Unfortunately however, the interviewer was the lightweight Wallace Chapman, who chose to let it pass without even mentioning McVicar’s outspoken and merciless SUPPORT for the knife-killing of a 15 year old boy in 2008. It’s not that Chapman supported McVicar’s rabid and ignorant views, it’s just that he lacked the courage to confront him. Instead of challenging him, he continued with the schmoozing….

    CHAPMAN: You come across as a very caring person, with a huge heart. But a lot of people see you as a vigilante.
    GARTH McVICAR: Yes, I’m not a politically correct person. I’m a farmer.
    CHAPMAN: Rudy Giuliani is an influence, isn’t he.
    GARTH McVICAR: New York had deteriorated, then along came Rudy Giuliani and Bill Bratton and cleaned it up. I had dinner with Rudy when he came to New Zealand.
    CHAPMAN: It was the Zero Tolerance Policy he was famous for wasn’t he?
    GARTH McVICAR: Yep, the compulsory DNA tests for minor crimes.
    CHAPMAN: The “broken windows” theory.
    GARTH McVICAR: Yeah, I’ve spoken out a number of times on graffiti. It’s mainly just exuberant kids who are pushing the boundaries. But once they go to prison they become bolshie, and emerge as hardened criminals.
    CHAPMAN: Now you claimed that legalizing gay marriage could increase crime. Do you still believe that?
    GARTH McVICAR: More so. In that type of lifestyle….[a long, unhinged rant against homosexuals follows, during which he outs his own brother as gay, and claims he has many gay friends]….
    CHAPMAN: There were more than 20,000 submissions on that bill, and yours was the only one to link it to crime.
    GARTH McVICAR: I’m gathering research now. Twenty years down the track you’ll see that I’m right. I’m not a Christian.
    CHAPMAN: You’re not?
    GARTH McVICAR: No I’m not. I used to go to church when I was younger, but not now. I still believe in the basic moral teachings of Christianity, of course. I’m a good value man. I’m a big fan of Steve Jobs and technology. Some of the things we grew up with, we shouldn’t be tampering with. That’s all I’m saying. ….. [extended rambling thoughts about the dangers of the gay lifestyle]…. I think the Green Party has lost its way.
    CHAPMAN: Who do you support?
    GARTH McVICAR: Whoever’s supporting the Sensible Sentencing Trust.
    CHAPMAN: Rodney Hide wanted you to be an ACT candidate, didn’t he.
    GARTH McVICAR: Yes he did. …. And that’s when I met David Garrett.
    CHAPMAN: The fateful meeting!
    GARTH McVICAR: Yes. ACT, in their wisdom, failed to stand by him after his conviction, but we didn’t….[Launches into extended encomium of disgraced ACT MP and convicted grave-robber David Garrett….]
    CHAPMAN: What do you think of rehabilitation like they do in countries like Norway?
    GARTH McVICAR: From what I can see, it’s more of what I call the liberal lunacy. Norway’s got a totally different culture. I’m a big fan of what they are doing in Arizona and California….. [continues drearily raving about the exciting penal policies of his hero, the notorious Sheriff Joe Arpaio]…

    Eventually, mercifully, the blowjob masquerading as an interview comes to a halt. Encouragingly, listeners seem to have been appalled by his performance. Chapman reads out a text from Tim: “McVicar is clearly a homophobic old crank.” A little later, he reads one from another listener: “What a narrow-minded man.” He reads out several more, almost every one of which is contemptous of McVicar.

    • Paul 11.1

      Thanks Morrissey.
      Saved me listening to that rubbish.
      Sounds like RNZ is making some very poor editorial choices.

    • fender 11.2

      Good stuff Morrissey, only one thing needs correcting: Gaga McVicar said “my brother is a gay…”

  12. BLiP 12

    Great to hear Radio New Zealand’s “Media Watch” programme is keeping an eye on the increasingly obvious media bias. The New Zealand Fox News Herald gets a prod in the on-line only version from last week while today Mike Hoskins, Janet Wilson and the Dumbinion gets highlighted. The bias is discussed around about 20 minutes in, but, as always, the whole show is worth a listen.


    • Rodel 12.1

      Yes. Good to hear Media Watch and their somewhat too gentle rebuke of prejudiced media commentators.
      The following programme, Wayne Brittenden’s Counterpoint,on Indonesian elections was also as usual insightful and informative.

    • Rodel 12.2

      Yes. Good to hear Media Watch and their somewhat too gentle rebuke of prejudiced media commentators.
      The following programme, Wayne Brittenden’s Counterpoint,on Indonesian elections was also as usual insightful and informative.

      • North 12.2.1

        It’s not generally known that the Ralston/Wilson residence houses a magnificently garish flashing neon shrine at which daily is offered up obligatory worship in the nicely remunerative faith of TheGodKey. The excesses of which worship are putatively balanced by their moonlightings as senior and witheringly impartial political commentators. With that, he of studied mini-majesty and a preen gland to shame Hosking, she an engaging sort whom presents less ponderously serious than the other takes himself.

        Oh well, I guess in the sophistication and chic of the near-west he who pays the piper commands the prayer….

  13. dimebag russell 13

    and it is useful to regard mcvicar as a business man and it is not surprising that he is an advocate for private prisons.

  14. laila harre is interviewed on national radio..

    ..about the internet/mana roadshow around new zealand…

    ..which kicks off next tues. in the far nth..

    ..and which will hit auckland next sunday..

    ..with a public meeting in kelston..

    ..and will then wind down the country..

    ..visiting 30 centres in all..

    ..be there..!..


  15. Mana getting the team sorted

    Ex New Zealand Warrior hard man and Maori television media personality Wairangi Koopu has joined the MANA strategy team as the new MANA Youth Ambassador in another game changer move for the MANA party.

    “When we say we want more change for rangatahi, by rangatahi, we mean it”, says Hone Harawira, MANA Party Leader and MP for Te Tai Tokerau.

    “The great thing about Wairangi is he is known by almost everyone in Aotearoa because not only is he a former Warriors League player but as a presenter on one of the coolest shows on Maori TV, CODE, so his public appeal is really up there”, said Harawira.

    “He brings a fresh look for MANA which is supported by the pride he has in his culture and the accomplishments he’s had as a 10 year professional athlete. A fluent Maori speaker with Iwi affiliations to Te Whanau Apanui and Whakatohea, gives MANA the opportunity to reach out to more of our Rangatahi and their whanau across Aotearoa”.

    Wairangi will kick start off his official MANA youth ambassador role with Hone Harawira on the Road Trip starting on Tuesday in Kaitaia.


    Likely to bring more rangatahi in and current non-voters imo

  16. bad12 16

    Laugh out Loud moment as i slipped outta the door into the darkness of a Wellington winter this morning to do the weekly veg shop at the market,

    Tariana Turia quoted on my wireless saying the electoral problem the Maori Party has is that most of ‘their people’ just don’t know of the great gains the Party has made for them in six years of resting nga tiro on the heated leather of the Ministerial limo’s,

    i have to ask here if being part of the Parliamentary process for long periods results in a subject becoming delusional because ‘Auntie Tari’, if She really believes such rubbish must be, at the least, suffering delusions,

    After six years ‘in Government’ the Maori Party have presided over a gain for Maori being lifted from the negative statistics across all of the economic and societal indicators of exactly Zero,

    In fact, in one of its first attacks on it’s own voter base, the Maori Party without a thought for the income status of ‘their people’ vocally supported the ‘rack-raising’ of tobacco excise tax which along with the ‘tax switch’ directly attacked the income of all those in the lower income demographics where Maori are most like to feature in the statistics,

    No matter what anyone ‘thinks’ about tobacco, and, apart from ‘tobacco bad’, most don’t, a seriously depleted income leads to an extremely poor sugar and fat laden diet and i would suggest right now that such a diet will kill those restricted to it a damn sight faster than tobacco ever will,

    The tobacco industry itself agreed that tobacco is a health risk, so all that was needed from the Parliament was a declaration that tobacco would be a prescription only registered poison, only able to be accessed by doctors prescription and its use among the young would have been severely curtailed forever, a sunset clause in other words,

    The Maori Party has been in a position for six years to address what is killing ‘their people’ in droves year in year out, such things as ‘budget brands’ of mince laden with 20% FAT, (when the agreed industry standard is 6%), that the economically deprived have little choice except to buy,

    SUGAR, piled into ALL manufactured goods by the bucketful, leading to the current Diabetes epidemic, which isn’t an epidemic of people losing the ability to produce enough insulin, it is an epidemic of people overpowering the bodies insulin production, mostly unknowingly doing so unarmed with the knowledge of just how much sugar the body can tolerate and how much sugar is in the foods sold cheaply to us all,

    The Maori Party has abjectly failed by any measurement applied by ‘their people’, this election its time to drop this Party into histories footnotes of bad ideas…

  17. dimebag russell 17

    colin craig.
    smacker on the grass.
    thank you grant smithies.

  18. joe90 18

    14-18 NOW is a project commissioning contemporary artists to commemorate the centennial of the First World War and explore its resonance and effects today. For three summers (2014, 2016, and 2018), the organization is presenting a summer season of events. This summer’s

    Opening act, part of the 14-18 NOW project, curated by Billy Bragg .


  19. karol 19

    I’ve been finding TS a bit glitchy the last couple of days. Today I often need to load a post or comment more than once to access it. I’ve had a problem when trying to edit my post – the box with the visual text often shows up empty.

    • Weepu's beard 19.1

      What will it cost to migrate to new software? Where would the funds come from? I’m new to The Standard but I see it as an important for NZ’s sake. Seems a bit creaky at the moment.

      • karol 19.1.1

        The glitchiness is a pretty recent thing. Probably after Lynn made some necessary changes. He sorts such things out pretty quickly, but also has a full time job.

  20. Weepu's beard 20

    Ministers ‘very angry’ over handling of Malaysian diplomat

    Justice Minister Judith Collins told TV One’s Q+A programme that Prime Minister John Key and Foreign Minister Murray McCully are ‘very angry’ over the handling of the Malaysian diplomat and allegations of sexual assault.

    “I don’t think there’s a New Zealander who is proud of the way in which this matter was handled, and certainly the Minister and the Prime Minister are ropeable about what has occurred to the victim and they are also extremely concerned that this has not been dealt with in the way that it should have been.”

    Ms Collins says an inquiry will include Mr McCully’s actions as well.

    “Of course it’s going to, he’ll be interviewed, he’s expecting to be interviewed, and also any communications through to his office will be obviously shown.”

    When asked by Rachel Smalley if the penalties for domestic violence are tough enough, Minister Collins says she is looking at another law around ‘attempted strangulation.’

    “So when we’ve got people who are being strangled, and partly strangled in their home that is an indicator that the person who’s doing it is actually going to go on and kill them, and we need to treat that much more seriously than we do.”

    Classic #TeamKey. Lump McCully and Key in with “all New Zealanders” as if they too were just innocent bystanders to the evils of MFAT middle management, rather than the architects of MFAT protocol itself. Also, neatly Making McCully, Key, you, me, the cleaner at parliament all equally responsible for what happened. Nice deflection from the trout.

    So who is going to interview McCully? Allen, the head of his own ministry? His subordinate? That’s going to tell us an awful lot, isn’t it?

    I momentarily saw the trout on Q+A this morning but couldn’t watch. Just as well – a question is asked of a minister about the penalty framework of domestic violence and she dives for a very graphic specific answering with a short piece about strangulation. Must have been an awkward pause after that one.

  21. Philj 21

    I noted that Wallace Chapman pre framed his interview with Laila Harre as the Internet party for the ‘young non voter’. The cheek of Wallace to be so dismissive and presumptuous. He is beginning to confirm my fears about falling standards of RNZ.

  22. karol 22

    Winston Peters launched NZ First’s RONI policy today: Railways of National Importance. Going Green? Seems opposition parties are all wanting to follow the Green Party!

    A $300 million cash swap from roads to railways is at the heart of New Zealand First’s transport policy for the election, including restoring the Gisborne-Napier line, and looking at extending the Wellington line to Levin and into Wairarapa.

    Auckland would also be a priority, with electrification of the rail network south to Pukekohe, and supporting the construction of the City Rail Link, starting at the earliest appropriate time – but no later than 2016.

    • Draco T Bastard 22.1

      It’s good but I think that proper charging of trucks is needed to help to show the benefits of rail and sea transportation. At the moment trucks are massively subsidised by private vehicles.

      • Colonial Viper 22.1.1

        You get the rail infrastructure and capacity in place first. Then you hit the trucks by taking away their subsidies. In the mean time you make it clear that any truck driver using their vehicle to cause a public nuisance blocking the roads will get a major fine with major demerit points.

        On the carrot side you create demand for a whole lot of well paid short haul vehicle based freight work, which complements the rail network.

        • Murray Olsen

          If they block the roads, crush their trucks. Why should they get better treatment than young guys who do the odd burnout?

          If they had to pay proper road user charges, we would almost never see trucks outside the cities. If a small car has to pay around $400 per year, the fee for trucks should start at around $400k. It’s obscene how much they’re subsidised.

      • marty mars 22.1.2

        I think it is time to go back to sea transport especially around our isles. Sure it is not perfect and the weather and storms are issues but it works and wind power is awesome. This country was built via the sea – from tangata whenua to early settlers and onwards – let’s go back long before we are forced to.

        • Colonial Viper

          Yes, Labour has got some good coastal shipping policy in its membership-developed policy platform.

      • joe90 22.1.3

        At the moment trucks are massively subsidised by private vehicles

        Rate payers are subsidising more than just roads.

        But it may mean that sealed roads are left to go back to gravel and not be reinstated until the forestry harvesting has finished,” Mr Hughes said.

        The impact of the heavy traffic is expected to peak in three years’ time but the problem facing council is funding.

        “We just don’t have the money,” he said.

        According to the latest estimates there are almost 30,000ha of forest in the Wanganui region due for harvest by 2040. A council study into the effects of forestry on the district’s rural roads showed it would cost an extra $20 million over 30 years to provide the present level of roading “service”.


    • Te Reo Putake 22.2

      Looks like the next coalition Government just got a little easier to put together. Policies like this can be at the heart of a post election deal. Good work NZF!

    • felix 22.3

      Lovely to see NZ First getting along with the Greens.

  23. Weepu's beard 23

    Has The Conservative Party signal the death of ACT? If so, should we be worried about a shift even further to the kooky right?

    Leader “Dr” Jamie Whyte signalled that the party’s future rest upon David Seymour’s result in Epsom. Duh, if it was that important, why didn’t “Dr” Whyte run in Epsom himself instead of leaving it to spotty 20 something?

  24. Draco T Bastard 24

    The allegations of the VIP paedophile plot further shred respect for key institutions

    What is often called the decline of trust is really an evaporation of deference. Where once there was a reflexive respect for authority and a willingness to give it the benefit of the doubt, there is now a default to distrust.

    Which is why the Oravida Affair was so damaging to parliamentary system – people now see politicians as in it only for themselves. This started a long time ago in NZ when the 4th Labour government first started cutting taxes on the rich and loading them on the poor.

    • Ergo Robertina 24.1

      Interesting read thanks Draco.
      I think it is a wee bit more nuanced than what Rawnsley acknowledges. There was reason to trust some institutions once, notably banks, whereas trust in the church, medical profession, and various celebrities was illusory.
      Re the 4th Labour Govt, I agree, although tax is an abstract for most people. It is why I’m tempted to vote for the Civilian Party, as one of its policies is to tax the poor for being poor. Since that is what we do now, it might open up some debate on this with a bit of humour.

  25. Penny Bright 25

    What is happening in Gaza is a bloody disgrace!

    Urgent call from Gaza civil society: act now!

    in Action Alerts, Gaza July 13, 2014

    13th July 2014 | Gaza Civil Society, originally published here | Gaza, Occupied Palestine

    We, Palestinians trapped inside the bloodied and besieged Gaza Strip, call on conscientious people all over the world, to act, protest, and intensify the boycotts, divestments and sanctions against Israel until it ends this murderous attack on our people and is held to account.

    With the world turning their backs on us once again, for the last four days we have in Gaza been left to face massacre after massacre.

    As you read these words over 120 Palestinians are dead now, including 25 children.

    Over 1000 have been injured including countless horrifying injuries that will limit lives forever – more than two thirds of the injured are women and children.

    We know for a fact that many more will not make it through the next day. Which of us will be next, as we lie awake from the sound of the carnage in our beds tonight?

    Will we be the next photo left in an unrecognizable state from Israel’s state of the art flesh tearing, limb stripping machinery of destruction?

    We call for a final end to the crimes and oppression against us. We call for:

    • Arms embargos on Israel, sanctions that would cut off the supply of weapons and military aid from Europe and the United States on which Israel depends to commit such war crimes;
    • Suspension of all free trade and bilateral agreements with Israel such as the EU-Israel Association agreement;
    • Boycott, divestment and sanctions, as called for by the overwhelming majority of Palestinian Civil Society in 2005
      Without pressure and isolation, the Israeli regime has proven time and time again that it will continue such massacres as we see around us now, and continue the decades of systematic ethnic cleansing, military occupation and apartheid policies.

    We are writing this on Saturday night, again paralyzed in our homes as the bombs fall on us in Gaza. Who knows when the current attacks will end? For anyone over seven years old, permanently etched on our minds are the rivers of blood that ran through the Gaza streets when for over 3 weeks in 2009 over 1400 Palestinians were killed including over 330 children. White phosphorous and other chemical weapons were used in civilian areas and contaminating our land with a rise in cancers as a result. More recently 180 more were killed in the week-long attacks in late November 2012.

    This time what? 200, 500, 5000? We ask: how many of our lives are dispensable enough until the world takes action?

    How much of our blood is sufficient?

    Before the Israeli bombings, a member of the Israeli Knesset Ayelet Shaked of the far-right Jewish Home party called for genocide of the Palestinian people.

    “They should go, as should the physical homes in which they raised the snakes.” she said.

    “Otherwise, more little snakes will be raised there.”

    Right now nothing is beyond the murderous nature of the Israeli State, for we, a population that is mostly children, are all mere snakes to them

    As said Omar Ghraib in Gaza, “It was heart shattering to see the pictures of little boys and girls viciously killed.

    Also how an elderly woman was killed while she was having her iftar at Maghreb prayer by bombing her house. She died holding the spoon in her hand, an image that will need a lot of time to leave my head.”

    Entire houses are being targeted and entire families are being murdered.

    Early Thursday morning the entire Al-Hajj family was wiped out – the father Mahmoud, mother Bassema and five children.
    No warning, a family targeted and removed from life. Thursday night, the same again, no warning, 5 more dead including four from the Ghannam family, a woman and a seven year old child amongst them.

    On Tuesday morning the Kaware family did get a phone call telling them their 3 storey house would be bombed.

    The family began to leave when a water tank was struck, but then returned with members of the community, who all came to the house to stand with them, people from all over the neighbourhood.

    The Israeli jets bombed the building with a roof full of people, knowing full well it was full of civilians. 7 people died immediately including 5 children under 13 years old. 25 more were injured, and 8 year old Seraj Abed al-Aal, succumbed to his injuries later that evening.

    Perhaps the family was trying to appeal to the Israeli regime’s humanity, surely they wouldn’t bomb the roof full of people.

    But as we watch families being torn apart around us, it’s clear that Israel’s actions have nothing to do with humanity.

    Other places hit include a clearly marked media vehicle killing the independent journalist Hamed Shehab, injuring 8 others, a hit on a Red Crescent rescue vehicle and attacks on hospitals which caused evacuations and more injuries.

    This latest session of Israeli barbarity is placed firmly in the context of Israel’s inhuman seven-year blockade that has cut off the main life-line of goods and people coming in and out of Gaza, resulting in the severe medical and food shortages being reported by all our hospitals and clinics right now.

    Cement to rebuild the thousands of homes destroyed by Israeli attacks had been banned and many injured and ill people are still not being allowed to travel abroad to receive urgent medical treatment which has caused the deaths of over 600 sick patients.

    As more news comes in, as Israeli leaders’ give promises of moving onto a next stage in brutality, we know there are more horrors yet to come. For this we call on you to not turn your backs on us.

    We call on you to stand up for justice and humanity and demonstrate and support the courageous men, women and children rooted in the Gaza Strip facing the darkest of times ahead.

    We insist on international action:

    • Severance of diplomatic ties with Israel
    • Trials for war crimes
    • Immediate International protection of the civilians of Gaza

    We call on you to join the growing international boycott, divestment and sanction campaign to hold this rogue state to account that is proving once again to be so violent and yet so unchallenged. Join the growing critical mass around the world with a commitment to the day when Palestinians do not have to grow up amidst this relentless murder and destruction by the Israeli regime. When we can move freely, when the siege is lifted, the occupation is over and the world’s Palestinian refugees are finally granted justice.

    ACT NOW, before it is too late!

    Signed by

    Palestinian General Federation of Trade Unions
    University Teachers’ Association in Palestine
    Palestinian Non-Governmental Organizations Network (Umbrella for 133 orgs)
    General Union of Palestinian Women
    Medical Democratic Assembly
    General Union of Palestine Workers
    General Union for Health Services Workers
    General Union for Public Services Workers
    General Union for Petrochemical and Gas Workers
    General Union for Agricultural Workers
    Union of Women’s Work Committees
    Pal-Cinema (Palestine Cinema Forum)
    Youth Herak Movement
    Union of Women’s Struggle Committees
    Union of Synergies—Women Unit
    Union of Palestinian Women Committees
    Women’s Studies Society
    Working Woman’s Society
    Press House
    Palestinian Students’ Campaign for the Academic Boycott of Israel
    Gaza BDS Working Group
    One Democratic State Group

    Forwarded in the public interest.
    Penny Bright

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    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • Banning foreign money from our elections
    The government has said it will ban foreign donations to political parties and candidates, and will be introducing legislation to be passed under all-stages urgency this afternoon. While I agree with the goal, I don't see a particular case for urgency, unless the government is concerned about a flood of ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • Reforming the Education Acts
    The government introduced the Education and Training Bill to Parliament yesterday. Its a massive bill, which replaces both existing Education Acts, as well as various other bits of legislation (including some which are still proceeding through the House). I'll leave the serious analysis to teachers and people who actually know ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • Bite-sized learning
    Amelia SharmanThere’s no one-size-fits-all when it comes to micro-credentials, those bits of bite-sized learning that can help workers stay on top of technological change.  What’s a micro-credential? While definitions vary, micro-credentials can be understood as short courses that allow people to learn new skills or have an existing competency recognised. ...
    SciBlogsBy Guest Author
    1 week ago
  • “Not The Labour Party We Once Knew.”
    All Smiles Now: Claire Szabo is taking up her presidential role after serving as the CEO of Habitat For Humanity. Which is absolutely perfect! After KiwiBuild was so comprehensively mismanaged by Phil Twyford, the party has not only elected a new president from a thoroughly respectable not-for-profit, but one who ...
    1 week ago
  • Marxist versus liberal methodology on transgender ideology/identity politics
    While much of the NZ left has transitioned to postmodern and identity politics in relation to transgender ideology, there are some very good articles about that deploy Marxist methodology in relation to this subject.  The one below is from the British marxist group Counterfire and appeared on their site here ...
    RedlineBy Admin
    1 week ago
  • Book review: The Farm by Joanne Ramos
    by Daphna Whitmore At Golden Oaks, a luxurious country retreat in the Hudson Valley, pregnant women have the best care money can buy. From the organic food, personalised exercise programmes, private yoga instruction and daily massages Golden Oaks looks like a country lodge for the upper class. Set some time ...
    RedlineBy Daphna
    1 week ago
  • Loosening the purse strings
    When Labour was running for election in 2017, it felt it needed to demonstrate "fiscal responsibility" and signed itself up to masochistic "budget responsibility rules". It was a fool's errand: the sorts of voters who demand fiscal responsibility are also the sorts of voters who believe that labour can never ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • Climate Change: How to get there
    Writing in Stuff, Joel MacManus looks at what we need to do to meet the Zero Carbon Act's targets. The core of it:1. Convert 85 per cent of vehicles on the road to electric. 2. Eliminate fossil fuels from all industrial heating up to 300 degrees Celsius. 3. Double our ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • anti-vaxxers in a measles epidemic: so many ways to be untruthful
    “Anti-vaxers are a pro-death movement,” those comments from Dr Helen Petousis-Harris speaking about six more Measles related deaths in Samoa over the past twenty-four hours. “Anti-vaxers are a pro-death movement,” those comments from Dr Helen Petousis-Harris speaking about six more Measles related deaths in Samoa ...
    SciBlogsBy Alison Campbell
    1 week ago
  • Is Youth Vaping a Problem in New Zealand?
    Professors Janet Hoek and Richard Edwards, Emeritus Professor Phil Gendall, Jude Ball, Dr Judith McCool, Anaru Waa, Dr Becky Freeman Recent media reports have presented conflicting evidence on youth vaping in NZ. While some NZ school principals report concerns about increasing vaping on school grounds and confiscating vapes, ASH Year ...
    SciBlogsBy Public Health Expert
    1 week ago
  • In pursuit of “Freedom and Democracy”: Forever Wars in “America’s backyard”.
    “America the Beautiful!”, staunch defender of democracy, freedom and… a whole lot of despotic tyrants that play nice with what is called “the Washington Consensus.” America is indeed capable of immense good, but like any Nation, and most assuredly any aspirant to the mantle of Empire, great, immense evil. All ...
    exhALANtBy exhalantblog
    1 week ago
  • November ’19 – NZ blogs sitemeter ranking
    Image credit: The beginner’s guide to blogging 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 ...
    1 week ago
  • Whodunnit? Finding the mystery 1080 testing lab
    1080 is used to control pests in NZ. Its use is contested by a noisy few. A new report claims high levels of 1080 in rats washed up on a beach. Flora and Fauna of Aotearoa (F&F) won’t name the laboratory that did their testing. It has sparked a hunt ...
    SciBlogsBy Grant Jacobs
    1 week ago
  • Authoritarian Friends, Democratic Enemies.
    What Kind Of Empire? The thing for Kiwis to decide is what kind of empire they want to belong to. The kind that, while offering its own citizens democratic rights, demands absolute obedience from its “friends”? Or, the kind that, while authoritarian at home, takes a relaxed attitude to the ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Boris Johnson Goes Down
    It hasn't been a good week for the Conservatives, pollwise.  All major recent polls are showing their lead shrinking.Comparing each pollster's current (between 29/11 and 22/11) and previous most recent poll.Com Res - Conservative lead down 3 points.You Gov - Conservative lead down 1 point.Kantar - Conservative lead down 4 ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Interesting
    Within quick succession, Countdown maths wizard and twitterer Rachel Riley, alleged comedian David Baddiel and prominent lawyer Andrew Julius have all expressed very similar opinions / ideas:
    These #3billboards are going round London today, organised by ex-Labour people, horrified by what their party has become. Their principles haven’t changed, they’re ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Damn the Polls
    So, there have been a bunch of bad polls out for Labour, and even the Leftie's friend, Survation, have recently given the Conservatives a rip-snorting 11% lead.  You Gov's much vaunted MRP poll - which pretty much nailed the result in 2015 - is currently predicting a comfortable majority for ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Climate Change: Europe declares an emergency
    The European Parliament has voted overwhelmingly to declare a climate emergency:The European parliament has declared a global “climate and environmental emergency” as it urged all EU countries to commit to net zero greenhouse gas emissions by 2050. The vote came as scientists warned that the world may have already crossed ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • A Bi-Partisan Commitment To X-ing “P”.
    Pure Fear: Worse than Heroin, this drug’s addictive power was terrifying. People under its influence didn’t drift off to Elysium. Nor did it persuade inadequate individuals that they could conquer the world. No, this drug – pure crystal methamphetamine, “P” for short – unlocked the gates of Hell itself. It ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Advice about measles: when ignorance is definitely not a virtue
    As the rate of measles infection, and of deaths, continues to climb in Samoa, antivaccination activists infectious disease proponents seem intent on doubling down on their claims about vaccination. (Check pretty much any news-media FB post about measles & you’ll see exactly what I mean.) Unfortunately, some of them have ...
    SciBlogsBy Alison Campbell
    2 weeks ago
  • Samoa’s devastating measles epidemic – why and how bad?
    Samoa are experiencing a devastating measles epidemic. It is possible that 2-3% of the population will ultimately be infected by the time it is over. Hopefully the mass immunisation campaign currently under way can mitigate some of this, for many it is too late. The first question many people ask ...
    SciBlogsBy Helen Petousis Harris
    2 weeks ago
  • “It’s basic rights we are defending”: the Meghan Murphy interview
    Meghan Murphy is a Canadian writer and journalist She runs the Feminist Current website which she founded in 2012.  She was a keynote speaker for the Feminism2020 conference in Wellington this month. When Massey University cancelled the original venue booking Feminism2020 was hosted in Parliament by MP David Seymour. Meghan ...
    RedlineBy Admin
    2 weeks ago
  • A week of protests in Colombia
    Text and photos by Gearóid Ó Loingsigh Colombia has lived through one week of protests against the economic measures taken by president Duque. What looked like a protest that would fizzle out after its first day on November 21st is still going strong. Part of the reason for the continuance ...
    RedlineBy Admin
    2 weeks ago
  • Anti-neutrinos–When you are your own opposite
    Around a million billion pass through you each second, almost all originating from our sun, but few of them are likely to interact with you enroute. I was reading in a physics magazine earlier in the week about the nature of neutrinos. These are extremely numerous elementary particles, but only ...
    SciBlogsBy Marcus Wilson
    2 weeks ago
  • Exoplanets, life, and the danger of a single study
    By Pallab Ghosh There’s value in covering new research advances, even when the underlying science is unsettled. But there are also risks. The recent announcement that scientists discovered water on the planet K2-18b, 110 light years away, prompted a media swoon. News stories, including a piece written by me, billed ...
    SciBlogsBy Guest Author
    2 weeks ago
  • The Intersex Continuum
    I wrote this review a couple of years ago when I was still in the process of getting my head around the politics of transgenderism, and specifically the claim that intersex conditions lend support to the notion that sex is ‘socially constructed’. Since writing this review I have come across ...
    RedlineBy Admin
    2 weeks ago
  • Leaving us with the bill
    Two weeks ago, Malaysian-owned oil company Tamarind declared it was insolvent and went into administration after a failed offshore drilling campaign. Tamarind apparently specialises in buying oil fields at the end of their life and trying to squeeze out the last few drops of pollution. But part of their scam ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • How much does flying contribute to climate change?
    Climate Explained is a collaboration between The Conversation, Stuff and the New Zealand Science Media Centre to answer your questions about climate change. If you have a question you’d like an expert to answer, please send it to climate.change@stuff.co.nz How much does our use of air travel contribute to the ...
    SciBlogsBy Shaun Hendy
    2 weeks ago
  • Climate Change: The task before us
    Two weeks ago, the Zero Carbon Act became law. Right this moment, the Climate Change Commisison will be working on its initial budgets for 2022-25 and 2026-2030, and the UN has just given them a very clear steer:Countries must make an unprecedented effort to cut their levels of greenhouse gases ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • Among my favourite asteroids: (2309) Mr. Spock
    Minor planet/asteroid (2309) Mr. Spock is named not for the character in Star Trek, but for a cat that was itself imperturbable, logical, intelligent and had pointed ears In a preceding blog post I introduced one of my favourite asteroids, (2472) Bradman, and also mentioned (6581) Sobers amongst a few ...
    SciBlogsBy Duncan Steel
    2 weeks ago
  • Measles deaths and antivax misinformation
    Today the death toll from measles in Samoa rose to 32. All but four of the dead were less than 5 years old. Absolutely terrible, heartbreaking, news. That statistic alone should be enough to give the lie to the common claim by antivaccination activists plague enthusiasts that “measles is a ...
    SciBlogsBy Alison Campbell
    2 weeks ago
  • Colombia: the state murder of Dilan Cruz
    by Gearóid Ó Loingsigh It is late here in Bogotá, almost 11.30pm on Monday the 25th of November as I write this. The day began full of hope with yet more massive marches throughout the country, a mix of the International Day of Non-Violence Against Women and the National Strike. ...
    RedlineBy Admin
    2 weeks ago
  • Anti-fluoride propagandists appear not to read the articles they promote
    Anti-fluoride activists are rubbing their hands in glee over what they claim is “yet another study” showing fluoride harms the brains of children. But their promotion relies on IQ relationships which the paper’s authors acknowledge disappearing when outliers or other factors are considered. And they completely ignore other relationships ...
    2 weeks ago
  • The rise and collapse of classical political economy
    The feature below is the conclusion of A History of Economic Thought, whose author was a leading Marxist economist in Russia in the early 20th century, Isaac Ilyich Rubin.  The book arose from a course he ran at Moscow University following the Russian Revolution.  First published in Russian in 1929, ...
    RedlineBy Admin
    2 weeks ago
  • Among my favourite asteroids: (2472) Bradman
    There are many thousands of asteroids with formal names, some humdrum but other more noteworthy (depending on your predilections). One of my favourites, the name of which I was involved in suggesting, is (2472) Bradman, named for the Australian cricketing great.  As a minor planet (synonym: asteroid) spotter, I have ...
    SciBlogsBy Duncan Steel
    2 weeks ago
  • Some cheap soundbites i thought up while reading about the underwhelming Conservative manifesto
    Tory manifesto: big on austerity, low on promise, non-existent on delivery. The Tories: the party so big on ambition they couldn't be arsed writing a manifesto. MLK: "I have a dream!"BJ: "I'll just have a nap." Labour: Broadband!Tories: Narrow minds! Labour have hope, dreams and ambition. The Tories will save ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Measles vaccination required to travel to islands and Phillipines
    The Ministry of Health has announced that “people under the age of 50 travelling from New Zealand to Samoa, Tonga, Philippines and Fiji” are now on the list of national priorities for MMR vaccination. Given the outbreaks of measles in Samoa, Tonga, Philippines and Fiji, the Ministry of Health is ...
    SciBlogsBy Grant Jacobs
    2 weeks ago
  • Giving the finger to Beijing
    Hong Kong has been protesting for six months for, demanding democracy, human rights, and an end to police violence. Today, they went to the polls in district council elections - a low-level of government with virtually no power, similar to community boards in New Zealand. But while the positions themselves ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago

  • Chief Victims Advisor reappointed for a further two years
    The Chief Victims Advisor to Government Dr Kim McGregor, QSO, has been reappointed in her role for a further two years. Dr McGregor has held the role since it was established in November 2015. She provides independent advice to government on how to improve the criminal justice system for victims. ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 hour ago
  • New Zealand tsunami monitoring and detection system to be established
    Foreign Affairs Minister Winston Peters and Civil Defence Minister Peeni Henare have today announced the deployment of a network of DART (Deep-ocean Assessment and Reporting of Tsunami) buoys. “New Zealand and the Pacific region are particularly vulnerable to natural disasters. It is vital we have adequate warning systems in place,” ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 hour ago
  • DART Buoys Announcement
    DART Buoys Announcement Aotea Wharf, 9.30am 11 December 2019   Acknowledgements Acknowledgements to Minister for Civil Defence Hon Peeni Henare also here today. White Island It is with regret that this event shadows the tragic natural disaster two days ago. The volcanic eruptions on White Island have claimed 5 lives, ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 hours ago
  • Final steps for racing industry reform
    Racing Minister Winston Peters has welcomed the first reading of the Racing Industry Bill in parliament today. This is the second of two Bills that have been introduced this year to revitalise New Zealand’s racing industry. “Our domestic racing industry has been in serious decline.  The Government is committed to ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    19 hours ago
  • Funding to promote New Zealand Sign Language initiatives
    Minister for Disability Issues, Carmel Sepuloni, is pleased to announce that $291,321 is to be awarded to national and local community initiatives to maintain and promote the use of New Zealand Sign Language (NZSL). “New Zealand is one of the few countries  in the world where Sign Language is an ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    20 hours ago
  • How New Zealand defines and recognises veterans
    Minister for Veterans Ron Mark has announced today the Coalition Government’s initial response to work completed by the independent statutory body, the Veterans’ Advisory Board. “When Professor Ron Paterson completed his review of the Veterans’ Support Act in 2018, he made a number of recommendations, including one which I referred ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    21 hours ago
  • Government to fund lion’s share of Ohakea water scheme
    The Government will fund the bulk of the cost of a rural water supply for the Ohakea community affected by PFAS contamination, Environment Minister David Parker announced today at a meeting of local residents. This new water scheme will provide a reliable and clean source of drinking water to the ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • Prime Minister statement on White Island eruption
    I have had the opportunity to be briefed on the details of the volcanic eruption of Whakaari/White Island, off the coast of Whakatane in the Bay of Plenty.  The eruption happened at 2.11pm today.  It continues to be an evolving situation.  We know that there were a number of tourists ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • Govt funds $100k for weather-hit communities
    Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern and Minister of Civil Defence Peeni Henare have today confirmed initial Government support of $100,000 for communities affected by the severe weather that swept across the South Island and lower North Island over the weekend. The contribution will be made to Mayoral relief funds across the ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • Death of NZ High Commissioner to Cook Islands
    New Zealand's High Commissioner to the Cook Islands, Tessa Temata, died in Palmerston North over the weekend, Foreign Minister Winston Peters said today. Ms Temata, 52, had recently returned to New Zealand for medical treatment. "On behalf of the Government and the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade, we extend ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • Wellington rail upgrade full steam ahead
    Transport Minister Phil Twyford today announced construction is underway on Wellington commuter rail upgrades which will mean more frequent services and fewer breakdowns. The upgrades include converting the Trentham to Upper Hutt single track section to a double track, with a new signalling system, upgraded stations and level crossings, and ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • Defence Climate Change Implementation Plan released
    Minister of Defence Ron Mark and Minister for Climate Change James Shaw have announced the release of a Defence Climate Change Implementation Work Plan, titled Responding to the Climate Crisis: An Implementation Plan.  The plan sets out a series of recommendations based on the 2018 New Zealand Defence Assessment, The ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • Govt releases funding to support South Canterbury
    A medium-scale adverse event has been declared for the South Canterbury district, which will see up to $50,000 in funding made available to support farming communities which have been significantly affected by recent heavy rain and flooding in the area, says Agriculture Minister Damien O’Connor. “Two weeks of solid rain ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • Speech at launch of Rethinking Plastics Report
    Thank you Professor Juliet Gerrard and your team for the comprehensive and extremely helpful report and recommendations. Thank you too to all the stakeholders and interested parties who have contributed ideas and thinking to it. “Making best practice, standard practice” is a great framework for change and the action plan ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • Govt pledges next steps on plastic waste
    The Government will phase out more single-use plastics following the success of its single-use plastic bag ban earlier this year and the release today of a pivotal report for dealing with waste. Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern has welcomed the Rethinking Plastics in Aotearoa New Zealandreport, released by her Chief Science Advisor ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • International student enrolments grow in universities and the regions
    International education continues to thrive as the Government focuses on quality over quantity, Education Minister Chris Hipkins said. The tuition revenue from international education increased to $1.16 billion last year with the average tuition fee per student increasing by $960. The total number of international students enrolled in New Zealand ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • Speech to Government Economics Network 2019 Conference
    I want to talk about one of the most pressing issues in our national life: the housing crisis and the poor performance of our cities. The argument I want to make to you is that generations of urban land use policy have lacked a decent grounding in economics. The consequences ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • DHB leadership renewed and strengthened
    Health Minister Dr David Clark says new appointments to DHBs represent a significant changing of the guard, with 13 new chairs including four Māori chairs. Today 76 appointments have been announced to complement elected board members, as well as eight elected members appointed as either chair or deputy chair.  Four ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • Tabuteau to advance New Zealand’s trade and political interests with European partners
    Parliamentary Under-Secretary for Foreign Affairs, Fletcher Tabuteau, is travelling to Germany, Poland, Austria, and Spain next week to bolster New Zealand’s political and trade relationships in Europe. While in Spain, Mr Tabuteau will represent New Zealand at the 14th Asia-Europe (ASEM) Foreign Ministers’ Meeting in Madrid. “New Zealand strongly supports ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • Statement from the Prime Minister on Kris Faafoi
    “I’ve spoken to Minister Faafoi, who has apologised for his poor handling of this issue,” Jacinda Ardern said. “I have confidence in Kris as a hardworking and effective Minister, but this should have been dealt with in a much clearer manner, and I’ve made my views on that very clear ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • Tonga-New Zealand Joint Ministerial Forum
    Deputy Prime Minister Winston Peters met with Tongan Prime Minister and Foreign Minister Pohiva Tu'i'onetoa in Wellington today. The pair signed a Statement of Partnership setting out joint priorities for cooperation out to 2023.  “We welcomed Prime Minister Tu'i'onetoa on his first visit to New Zealand as Prime Minister. Tonga ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • Shooting in Kurow
    The Minister of Police Stuart Nash says his sympathies are with the family of a man who died after being shot by Police in Kurow. “Initial reports are that Police were called by a family member to help the man who was threatening to harm himself,” Mr Nash says. “However ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • Government delivers funding boost for ethnic communities
    Ethnic communities will be able to plan and deliver more community initiatives thanks to an increase in Government funding, Minister for Ethnic Communities Hon Jenny Salesa said today. “Ensuring Aotearoa New Zealand is a place we can all be proud to call home has been a key priority of our ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • Govt supports Southland farmers in sustainability
    Healthier waterways, better productivity and farmer wellbeing are front and centre in a new project involving more than 1000 Southland farmers and growers. Minister of Agriculture Damien O’Connor today announced that the Thriving Southland Change and Innovation Project is the first region-wide extension programme supported by the $229 million Sustainable ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • Flood of support for Top of the South catchment
    Work to look after nature and restore freshwater quality in Te Hoiere/Pelorus River catchment is getting a significant boost, thanks to new Government funding support Minister for Conservation Eugenie Sage announced in Canvastown today. “Every New Zealander should be able to swim in their local river without getting sick, and ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • Eight Queen’s Counsel appointed under new criterion
    Eight Queen’s Counsel have been appointed under a process that includes the new criterion of a commitment to improving access to justice, Attorney-General David Parker announced today. “The new criterion was included this year. It emphasises that excellence and leadership in the profession can be seen through a wider, community ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • Major expansion for Wellington’s Onslow College
    Onslow College in Wellington will get 20 new classrooms for more than 400 students, Education Minister Chris Hipkins announced today. The much-needed investment will relieve growth pressure the school has been experiencing for some time. Seven existing classrooms which have deteriorated over time will also be replaced, bringing the total ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • Talented young Kiwis awarded PM’s Scholarships to Asia and Latin America
    More than 250 young New Zealanders will add international experience to their education, thanks to the latest Prime Minister’s Scholarships for Asia (PMSA) and Latin America (PMSLA), Education Minister Chris Hipkins announced today. This round of scholarships supports 252 recent graduates or current students to undertake study, research or internships ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • Government to improve competitiveness and transparency in the retail fuel market
    Consumers will benefit from a more competitive, transparent retail fuel market as a result of changes the Government will be making in response to the findings of the Commerce Commission’s study of the fuel sector. “We accept the Commission’s findings and, as the Prime Minister has said, we’re ready to ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • More cancer medicines for more people
    Five new cancer medicines have now been funded this year, meaning thousands of people have more treatment options PHARMAC has today announced that it has approved two new medicines for funding – fulvestrant for breast cancer and olaparib for ovarian cancer. This follows earlier decisions on advanced lung cancer treatment alectinib, ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • Government acts to sort out electoral ‘coin toss’ problem
    The Minister of Local Government, Hon Nanaia Mahuta says the Government will consider making changes to local electoral legislation before the 2022 elections to fix the problems that have arisen where elections are settled by a coin toss.  The Minister says the recount process in the Murupara- Galatea ward at ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • NZ to Join IMO Convention to Reduce Ship Emissions
    New Zealand will sign up to new international maritime regulations to reduce ship emissions and lift air quality around ports and harbours, Associate Transport Minister Julie Anne Genter announced today. Subject to completion of the Parliamentary treaty examination process, New Zealand will sign up to Annex VI of MARPOL, an ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    7 days ago
  • Bill to empower urban development projects
    New legislation to transform our urban areas and create sustainable, inclusive and thriving communities will tomorrow be introduced to Parliament, Urban Development Minister Phil Twyford said. “The Urban Development Bill gives Kāinga Ora-Homes and Communities the tools it needs to partner with councils, communities, mana whenua and private developers to ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    7 days ago
  • Early Learning Action Plan to kickstart long term change
    Today’s launch of He taonga te Tamaiti: Every child a taonga: The Early Learning Action Plan 2019-2029 provides the foundation for long-lasting changes to early learning, Education Minister Chris Hipkins says.   “Early learning will be one of the Government’s top education priorities going into 2020,” Chris Hipkins said.   ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    7 days ago
  • Climate change lens on major Government decisions
    Major decisions made by the Government will now be considered under a climate change lens, Minister for Climate Change James Shaw announced today. “Cabinet routinely considers the effects of its decisions on human rights, the Treaty of Waitangi, rural communities, the disability community, and gender – now climate change will ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • New Tertiary Education Commission Board announced
    Education Minister Chris Hipkins today announced the appointment of Māori education specialist Dr Wayne Ngata and Business NZ head Kirk Hope to the Board of the Tertiary Education Commission (TEC). Dr Alastair MacCormick has been reappointed for another term. “Wayne Ngata, Kirk Hope and Alastair MacCormick bring a great deal ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Next phase of Pike River recovery underway in time for Christmas
    The next phase of the Pike River Re-entry project is underway, Minister Responsible for Pike River Re-entry Andrew Little says. “Fresh air will be pumped into the Pike River Mine drift this week, following acceptance of the plan for re-entry beyond the 170m barrier by New Zealand’s independent health and ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Insurance contracts to become easier to understand and fairer for consumers
    New Zealand consumers will have greater certainty about their insurance cover when they need to make claims as a result of proposed government changes. “Insurance is vitally important in supporting consumers and businesses to be financially resilient when unexpected events happen,” Minister of Commerce and Consumer Affairs Kris Faafoi said. ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • A new opportunity for Ngāpuhi collective and regional negotiations
    The Crown is providing an opportunity for the hapu of Ngāpuhi to rebuild its framework from the ground up for collective negotiations to deal with its historical Treaty claims, Minister for Treaty of Waitangi Negotiations Andrew Little and Minister for Māori Development Nanaia Mahuta announced today. The Crown is also ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Referendums Framework Bill passes third reading
    A Bill enabling referendums to be held with the 2020 General Election has passed its third reading. Justice Minister Andrew Little says the Act is important for upholding the integrity of New Zealand’s electoral process. “The Government has committed to holding a referendum on legalising recreational cannabis at the next ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago