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Open mike 15/05/2011

Written By: - Date published: 6:00 am, May 15th, 2011 - 60 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…

60 comments on “Open mike 15/05/2011”

  1. chris73 1

    http://www.stuff.co.nz/technology/digital-living/5003521/Illegal-downloading-a-favourite-NZ-pastime

    How badly does illegal downloading actually effect these companies?

    I mean the music business still keeps churning out artists, movies are breaking records etc etc

    Personally I think CDs (yes yes I’m a dinosaur) are way over-priced, movie tickets (and the food they sell) are exorbitant and video rental store prices used to be way over the top

    • Lanthanide 1.1

      The Warehouse (NZ’s biggest music retailer) has posted double-digit declines in the sales of CDs and DVDs, apparently for the 2nd or 3rd year in a row.

      CD and DVD prices will probably eventually decline, or be replaced out-right by digital distribution which will probably be cheaper.

      • chris73 1.1.1

        I think thats because prices for CDs and DVDs are still too high plus downloading is just so convienent (or so I’ve heard of course)

        • Pascal's bookie 1.1.1.1

          Why I prefer cd’s:

          Liner notes
          Albums
          Cover art
          Sound quality
          You can loan/borrow them. (goes triple for dead tree books)

          On the cost, they are expensive in comparison to mp3s, but when I get a cd the chances are I’m going to listen to it certainly dozens of times, probably hundreds, possibly thousands. Books, video games, movies? Not so much.

          • NickS 1.1.1.1.1

            Unless you’ve got a high end sound system 320kb mp3’s are the same quality as CD’s in a blind test 😛

            And yeah, while you can’t lend them out the price difference on ebooks makes them really attractive, on top of the fact it takes months sometimes for a new book (hard sci-fi in my case) to turn up in NZ whereas I can get an ebook in less than a minute. Though it’s somewhat dependent on the publishers not being douchebags and putting regional restrictions in.

            • Pascal's bookie 1.1.1.1.1.1

              I tend to find that given the number of really good books I have not yet read, the time pressure to buy any given new one? Not high. 🙂

              • Carol

                For me this goes for music, TV and films. The view that newest is best and/or that it’s really important to be up with the latest shiny thing, is a hyper-capitalist con, largely being promoted by US corporates. And the Internet has helped spread this mythology.

              • NickS

                Welp, I do have an abundance of free time at present due to being on the sickness benefit + I can eat a 400-500 pg book in one day 😛

                So cheap and easy to get is better for me.

            • Deadly_NZ 1.1.1.1.1.2

              And not to say anything about the car sound system. Mine don’t even take cds’ no disc at all hence no skip no dirt, and gunk on CD that makes it weird. it takes Memory sticks., Sdram cards and anything with an 8mm jack out put and all for 70 bucks. I put it in my self and I have a 4 GIG memory stick that’s on Random play and I still haven’t heard a repeat yet. And I can plug my Laptop in as well for even more music. All on MP3 at 320 (CD quality)

          • chris73 1.1.1.1.2

            It is true that the decision to buy a CD and the time and effort to actually purchase it means IMHO that the music on a CD is valued more then that which is downloaded (but the cost…)

        • Deadly_NZ 1.1.1.2

          And it’s easier to get to see all of the episodes of your favourite show right up to date and not 2 years behind NZ and no ads. (Or so I have heard)

  2. PeteG 2

    How many here are happy with the adversarial dominant parliament we currently have, where bringing down the government or other parties is a major focus of attention?

    Too negative? Ok? Not enough conflict?

    • r0b 2.1

      I’m not happy with it at all.

      We need an opposition, and examination of the behaviour of the government. That’s “adversarial” I guess. But we don’t need all the petty personality stuff. We don’t need the continual war.

      Trouble is, I don’t see how you can draw the line, or prevent valid examination from turning in to continual petty warfare. And I don’t have a better system to propose (well, not within the bounds of a Westminster system anyway).

    • Silly question and it ignores the fact that there are significant differences between the parties.  One is a bunch of rich intent on looking after themselves and their mates to the detriment of the poor.  The other is committed to managing New Zealand for all Kiwis and making the country socially, financially and environmentally sustainable.

      Of course it is adversarial.  The differences of opinion guarantee that this happens.

      • chris73 2.2.1

        The problem is its hard to tell which party is which (I mean Phil Goff was/is a Roger Douglas disciple) at times

    • PeteG, it’s not so much that there would be not enough conflict but, rather, that your perspective seems to be overestimating (or just over-assuming) the degree of consensus there actually is. Your position probably stems from the false consensus effect.

  3. Wow

    Sunday Star Times has a full page advertisement with Brash’s letter to Key being reproduced.

    Any idea how much it would have cost?

    • Jim Nald 3.2

      For donkey’s chums, that’s chump change.

      These are seen now as their investment opportunities,
      i.e. to get their hands on the seat of power
      to raid the people’s coffers and assets.

      They get in to carry on their unfinished business
      and we’re finished.
      Australia will be welcoming another wave of Kiwi economic refugees.

    • Zetetic 3.3

      it’s heaps.

      There’s a rates card for the SST but I don’t know what the pricing signifies – cost per column centimetre? http://www.fairfaxmedia.co.nz/dotAsset/9017.pdf

      If it’s column cm, there are 540 column/cms on a full page, $42 each at casual rate in Section A = $22K

      • Jim Nald 3.3.1

        Who has paid for the ad?
        Don will be very honest about who has been putting the stuffing in his hollowness this time.

    • Draco T Bastard 3.4

      Well, it seems that electioneering is now in full swing. How many months before the regulated period starts?

    • Zetetic 4.1

      for a few percent of Kiwis, it is. That’s all they’re aiming for.

      It’s called diversity. Not everyone’s like you but they have just as much right to a voice in Parliament.

    • weka 4.2

      Anyone else feeling conflicted about voting Green or Mana? I guess for me it will come down to strategic voting and that won’t be apparent until closer to the election and we can see what Mana are standing where. I’m wondering how much of the Green vote will move to Mana. Not that that’s a bad thing, the Greens need to get their shit together anyway and this may prompt them, but I hope the Greens and Mana can look at accomodations.

      • Draco T Bastard 4.2.1

        Anyone else feeling conflicted about voting Green or Mana?

        Yep, I am. I’d like to vote for Mana but they have a serious lack of policy to vote for ATM. They’re making most of the right noises but those noises need to backed up with policy.

        • Carol 4.2.1.1

          I will vote Green. Mana already has a strong core constituency& will have 1 MP at least. The left needs a strong Green Party list vote. They also will work with Mana, and Greens have some really good political expertise & systems.

  4. todd 5

    59% of NZ Houses Not Maintained Properly

    http://thejackalman.blogspot.com/2011/05/59-of-nz-houses-not-maintained-properly.html

    A recent BRANZ study has found that 59% of New Zealand houses are not maintained properly. It found many common defects in the houses studied, such as poor under-floor ventilation, inadequate clearance of wall cladding from the ground, missing or corroding sub-floor fasteners and poor maintenance of timber windows. 25% of the houses surveyed were in particular poor condition.

    • happynz 5.1

      How many of those 59% of homes that are not maintained properly are rental units?

      • Colonial Viper 5.1.1

        One would guess a larger proportion than in the good 31% of houses.

      • todd 5.1.2

        You can download the full report here.

        Households participating in the study fall into two categories; those that participated in the phone survey as well as an on sight physical survey (assessed), and secondly households that participated in the phone survey but did not have a physical survey (non-assessed).

        It appears that 23% of the assessed dwellings and 39.7% of non-assessed houses surveyed are rented.

  5. gobsmacked 6

    Horizon opinion poll out:

    http://www.horizonpoll.co.nz/page/122/act-breaks-t

    As previously discussed on here, Horizon’s methodology has some “issues”. So it’s probably better to look at the trend over time within their own polling, rather than the party vote numbers in isolation (I doubt that the two main parties are as low as Horizon says).

    The trend is … good for ACT and Labour, and also for Mana (from a starting point of zero, so they could hardly go down!).

    • ianmac 6.1

      But is supposed to be a walkover for Key and his governing alone. (Maybe he might need a few Ministers to help but his ego and sense of entitlement means he couls do it alone.) 🙂

  6. Aotearoean 7

    So Don Brash has finally left home.

  7. Campbell Larsen 8

    Operation ‘Unite’

    The latest instalment in the effort by Government and the MSM to soften us up to the idea of being policed by an international police force was published in the Sunday Star times today:

    http://www.stuff.co.nz/national/5005498/Minors-get-alcohol-in-police-sting

    This is the fourth time NZ and Aussie cops have run a coordinated operation described as a ‘crackdown on drunken-ness and violence’ and while the media has been very accommodating in trumpeting the success of the ‘operation’ the glaring omission in the articles has been a lack of rationale for an international operation.

    Drunken-ness and violence is not suddenly going to spill over the ditch from Australia in one weekend unless, in an inspired moment of lawlessness the offenders happen to highjack airplanes and fly here.

    In addition, given the difference in time zones between the two countries any ‘operation’ is going to be staggered in terms of implementation and essentially disconnected in any real physical sense – so why bother?
    There is only one scenario in which this kind of coordinated policing across international borders would be required – mass civilian unrest, the kind that is not limited to just one country.

    Since there will be some that say ‘what about the RWC? wont we need make sure that all those rugby fans don’t cause bother with their celebrations/ commiserations’ – I will respond in advance simply by referring to my earlier point ie that the physical and temporal disconnect between our two countries renders coordinated policing redundant.

    Quite clearly practicing civilian control measures simultaneously across international borders is preparation for a specific occurrence – and I am not talking about a rugby game.

    I mentioned softening up, and that’s because this is just the beginning – wait as Aussie police are welcomed back to NZ to help us deal with the crowds at the RWC (no doubt with carefully orchestrated airport applause, or – gag – standing ovation)

    I may sound anti-authoritarian – and that would be a fair assessment – but all that I am asking for in this instance is some honesty and transparency in regard to these ‘operations’ – if the cops want to practice simultaneous civilian control with their Australian counterparts so be it – but they should front up about the reasons why and not try and pretend that arresting drunks across the ditch on the same weekend as us has any effect whatsoever on our ability to deal with our own.

    • Colonial Viper 8.1

      You’re describing a disturbing loss of sovereignty here.

      Next thing we know, we’ll be combining aspects of our criminal justice system with Australia.

    • Jum 8.2

      “There is only one scenario in which this kind of coordinated policing across international borders would be required – mass civilian unrest, the kind that is not limited to just one country.”

      Your are so right Campbell Larsen. The TPPA needs to have enforcers because when people finally begin to understand just how badly their darling John Key has betrayed them for his knighthood/30 pieces of silver/governor general/shares in SOEs… they will take to the streets. It will be too late of course because by the end of the year this government will have sold the rights to New Zealand and passed to the pondscum elite the Treasury key.

      If ever there was a time to scream out a “VOTE OF NO CONFIDENCE IN THIS GOVERNMENT OF NACTMU”, it must be before the TPPA is signed off.

    • Draco T Bastard 8.3

      Yep, agreed, there was and is no justification for coordination of these types of policing except as practice for more nefarious purposes. Think check points and travel papers.

  8. Lazy Susan 9

    The Sunday Star Times editorial today (only in print version) indicates part of the MSM are waking up to what many of us have known for a long time:

    Key’s pleasantness will one day look like blandness and lack of vision. His smiley face will eventually symbolise vapidity and self-satisfaction. His pragmatism will in due course strike many voters as lack of policy and an absence of ideas. And one day his natural conservatism will come to seem like hollowness. The flipside of all his virtues can be seen even now, although the shadow hasn’t fallen across the polls.

    Can’t argue so far but then comes the bullshit:

    Some time in the second term the perceptions will change.

    This is the second time in a week that I have read an editorial which just asssumes that National & Key will win a second term. This alongside the “Goff can’t win” mantra seems to be the way the game’s being played by the MSM – repeat something enough and the people will believe it.

    What I am sure of is there will be a point at which there is a collective realisation that Key is just the vacuous frontman for a nasty right wing agenda that aims to destroy what is left to feel proud of in this country. At that point the backlash will be severe. The big question is whether this occurs before or after the up coming election. If Key does lead the next government I predict he will make a hasty exit in the hope that he can get out before the moment of realisation arrives. The most important thing to Key right now is protecting his legacy.

    • ianmac 9.1

      Yes Susan and “The most important thing to Key right now is protecting his legacy.” So true. But that knighthood? How can he serve office for one term or one and a bit, and still get his “Sir John Key, Right Honorable Prime Minister, Minister of Tourism, Money Dealer Extrordinaire, Governor Designate 2014, Celebrity 2008-2011.”

  9. Aotearoean 10

    Did anyone see Winston on QA this morning when he said the Nats were looking at the pensioners Gold Card.

  10. gobsmacked 11

    More on the Horizon poll …

    What matters, of course, is not the details (of interest to 0.01% of voters) but the headline. The Horizon poll is already attracting media attention (Radio NZ, Radio Live, Stuff). And Don Brash is talking it up, as you’d expect.

    In fact, the Horizon poll has always been out of line with the others. Contrast with the latest Morgan poll, which showed little change. But here’s the thing … Change is news. No change is not news.

    So there was no media coverage at all of the last Morgan poll (literally none at all – try and find it mentioned anywhere!). It may have been more accurate, but it wasn’t news.

    But the Spinner’s job is to ignore the details and cash in on the headline. The Horizon poll shows a 3% jump for Labour. Therefore Phil Goff should be appearing in all media NOW trumpeting Labour’s leap (you can write the lines in five minutes, scary Brash is back, National falling, voters coming home to Labour, etc, etc). Repeat: All media. NOW.

    Sadly, on past performance, Labour’s lethargic losers will respond to this poll in a forgettable media release some time on Tuesday.

    Prove me wrong, guys. Please.

    • Pascal's bookie 11.1

      Therefore Phil Goff should be appearing in all media NOW trumpeting Labour’s leap (you can write the lines in five minutes, scary Brash is back, National falling, voters coming home to Labour, etc, etc). Repeat: All media. NOW.

      Exactly. I’d add; Brash is back, National falling as voters switch to Labour, Key has to make a choice for once, will he rule out Brash?

  11. Jum 13

    “Carol
    19 November 2010 at 11:09 am

    Thanks for this, Bunji. I also notice that the ACT women MPs are particularly strong on cutting back on the Women’sAffairs Ministry. It seems to rankle with their fantasy of individualism, and their anti-”collectivist” principles.

    But, given that the ACT male MPs have a record of sexual/gender harrassment and bullying, the ACT women seem to me to be colluding with, and/or accepting of the way they are demeaned and kept in a secondary positon in the party. This all exposes the neoliberal fantasy of a society of equally “free” & sovereign individuals, with equal amounts of, or access to power.”

    I hope Carol will not mind me quoting her but it needs to be highlighted that if Act gets high votes in this election the rights of women will be reduced further. We’ve seen how Brash has behaved towards the women in his caucus.

    The sad thing is that the Act women actually believe the men of Act actually see them as equal.

    In the French revolution the men saw the women as equal until the revolution was sewn up and then the women were sent back to reality and to inequality.

    • ianmac 13.1

      Do you think that the Act List will see current MPs dropped down to below 30th, and Brash no 1 Banks no 2. and perhaps the first woman about no 25?

      • Jum 13.1.1

        Ianmac,

        Act list 30+? Now you are scaring me.

        Act which is at present controlling National would pretend to see women as being equal, but espouse the same beliefs as National – women will be made redundant as much as possible and forced to work in aged care, the men encouraged to believe women are taking their jobs.

        Act cabinet members will be sidelined increasingly as Brash has done in the past, as Key has done in the past, unless they are in positions where women cabinet ministers destroy the futures of other women.

    • Rodel 13.2

      Mark Sainsury should ask Shagger Brash…”Do you think women have a special place in New Zealand?’
      I wonder what his answer would be.

      • Jum 13.2.1

        Rodel,

        I’m glad Brash isn’t being called a ‘gentleman’ anymore; he never was.

        As for how he would see the place of women in this society and the value they are held in – at a MOTU meeting, Jenny Gibbs, who has openly campaigned against the Suffragist Memorial Tiles in Lower Khartoum Place being retained, was asking the speaker Don Brash patsy questions, so gives you a good idea about that! If you are rich he will use you. If you are poor he will abuse you.

  12. Pascal's bookie 14

    Stay Classy TV3.

    http://www.3news.co.nz/Schools-accused-of-ignorance-in-abortion-debate/tabid/423/articleID/211216/Default.aspx

    Steve Taylor

    http://fundypost.blogspot.com/2008/07/chien-andalusia.html

    http://publicaddress.net/hardnews/moral-thugs/

    Not really a go-to guy for commentary, but if you do, you should point out his affiliations and history.

    • NickS 14.1

      I love it how they give Family First so much space, instead of say noting the legal and human rights issues that lead to parental notification being optional, along with legitimising what was likely a flawed poll.

  13. Draco T Bastard 15

    The People vs. Goldman Sachs

    They weren’t murderers or anything; they had merely stolen more money than most people can rationally conceive of, from their own customers, in a few blinks of an eye. But then they went one step further. They came to Washington, took an oath before Congress, and lied about it.

    Thanks to an extraordinary investigative effort by a Senate subcommittee that unilaterally decided to take up the burden the criminal justice system has repeatedly refused to shoulder, we now know exactly what Goldman Sachs executives like Lloyd Blankfein and Daniel Sparks lied about. We know exactly how they and other top Goldman executives, including David Viniar and Thomas Montag, defrauded their clients. America has been waiting for a case to bring against Wall Street. Here it is, and the evidence has been gift-wrapped and left at the doorstep of federal prosecutors, evidence that doesn’t leave much doubt: Goldman Sachs should stand trial.

    And wasn’t someone saying that we should listen to these people about some financial deals going through the other day?

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    How much homelessness is caused by house hoarding? We're about to find out. The pandemic has destroyed tourism, which means that house hoarders who put their hoarded properties up as short-term tourist rentals are now offering them on the ordinary rental market:Property investors are pulling properties from Airbnb to offer ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    5 days ago
  • The pros and cons of planting trees to address global warming
    This is a re-post from Yale Climate Connections by Bruce Lieberman It seems like such a simple, straightforward, empowering idea: plant trees – a lot of trees – all over the world, and watch the planet’s temperature fall. Who doesn’t love a tree or two, even far more – the right ...
    5 days ago
  • Not a grand coalition, but a government of national salvation
    According to Newshub, Simon Bridges is open to joining a “grand coalition” with Labour as we hunker down to go into a month long lockdown. The idea is sound. Before now, the role of the opposition was to scrutinise and oppose. In the context of what almost amounts to a ...
    PunditBy Liam Hehir
    5 days ago
  • Raise the Bar: hospitality workers & wage subsidy entitlements
    Kia ora my name is Chloe Ann-King* and I am the founder of Raise the Bar, a campaign and non-profit that gives free legal aid, advocacy and tautoko to hospitality workers in Aotearoa. Right now all over our country hospo workers are being fired at will, having shifts cut or ...
    PosseBy chloeanneking
    6 days ago
  • Lifting our game against COVID-19
    We need to be lifting our game against COVID-19. You and I need to help those working to prevent the spread of COVID-19 while they’re trying to lift the testing and treatment efforts. We don’t want to be playing this game running backwards. Best to play it solidly forward, from ...
    SciBlogsBy Grant Jacobs
    6 days ago
  • The maths and ethics of minimising COVID-19 deaths in NZ
    Prof Tony Blakely, Prof Michael Baker, and Prof Nick Wilson The NZ Government must do more to clearly articulate its COVID-19 strategy: eradication or ‘flattening the curve’ mitigation. But to do so means understanding the maths and ethics of both these strategies. In this blog, we adapt our work for ...
    SciBlogsBy Public Health Expert
    6 days ago
  • All aboard the Covid Train
    A few days ago I was starting to write something about the pandemic, which now seems unconscionable. It took the form of a letter to an agony aunt:“Dear Deidre, I have an ugly confession. I am quite excited by Covid-19.”This is how the piece went:“I’m not a psychopath, honest. Although the ...
    PunditBy Phil Vine
    6 days ago
  • 2020 SkS Weekly Climate Change & Global Warming Digest #12
    Story of the Week... Toon of the Week... Climate Feedback Article Review... Coming Soon on SkS... Climate Feedback Claim Reviews... SkS Week in Review... Poster of the Week... Story of the Week... In Just 10 Years, Warming Has Increased the Odds of Disasters The likelihood of extreme events ...
    6 days ago
  • We are all socialists now
    Last week, the government announced a $12 billion initial package to support people during the pandemic. Today, the Reserve Bank is buying government bonds - effectively printing money - to keep up the money supply during the crisis. Normally such moves would have the right apoplectic. Instead, the National Party ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    6 days ago
  • A plea to experts: safeguard your role in public life
    I am a pundit, somebody who opines and comments on the news. There are no real qualifications to punditry though having a rudimentary way with words and good general knowledge helps. That is one reason there is a constant oversupply of would-be pundits and why it is quite hard to ...
    PunditBy Liam Hehir
    7 days ago
  • Enlightenment when?
    I recently encountered the following prescription from a Faculty of Education at a leading New Zealand University. At first I wondered if it was another product of the postmodern generator (http://www.elsewhere.org/journal/pomo/), designed to create gibberish in the postmodern form, but I’m told it is real: The “schooled” society: Towards the ...
    SciBlogsBy Michael Corballis
    7 days ago
  • What the Crisis Can teach Us
    The coronavirus pandemic has of course had a major impact on individual lives and on societies as a whole. But, long after the crisis has passed (assuming it does), we will begin to realise that its real and lasting significance lies in the lessons it has taught us, if only ...
    Bryan GouldBy Bryan Gould
    7 days ago
  • Hammering home measures to stop COVID-19
    COVID-19 has plunged Aotearoa New Zealand (indeed, the world) into territory that, while maybe not totally unprecedented, certainly hasn’t been seen during the lifetimes of most of us here today. Our borders are closed to non-citizens, we’re being told not to gather in groups of more than 500 outside/100 inside, ...
    PunditBy Andrew Geddis
    7 days ago
  • What does ‘level two’ mean – and why does it matter?
    For the last few weeks, I’ve been urging you to prepare yourself, your family, business, and community for Covid-19. Now it’s time for real action.  Yesterday the director-general of health Dr Ashley Bloomfield announced another 13 confirmed cases of Covid-19 in New Zealand, bringing our total to date to 52. ...
    SciBlogsBy Siouxsie Wiles
    7 days ago
  • 2020 SkS Weekly Climate Change & Global Warming News Roundup #12
    A chronological listing of news articles linked to on the Skeptical Science Facebook Page during the past week, i.e., Sun, Mar 15, 2020 through Sat, Mar 21, 2020 Editor's Pick Now Isn’t the Time to Forget About Our Climate Change Efforts   Tasha Tilberg, Lindsey Wixson, and Liu Wen photographed ...
    7 days ago
  • Is the Guardian becoming  a real newspaper again?
    by Jan Rivers The article has been corrected to show that it was Ewen MacAskill, former Guardian journalist and not Luke Harding who travelled to meet Edward Snowden with journalist Glenn Greenwald and filmmaker Laura Poitras.  Some of the Guardian’s well-known journalists who did not sign the protest letter are ...
    RedlineBy Daphna
    1 week ago
  • Life asserts itself regardless
    by Cultural Worker Late March 2020 amidst the virus. With gigs crashing and burning all around it was without much hope that I called a long standing rest home booking: “ Hi, I’m supposed to be entertaining at your place this afternoon – is it still on?” “”If you don’t ...
    RedlineBy Daphna
    1 week ago
  • Politics, the possible, and the pandemic
    Whenever people demand real change from their politicians, we're told that "politics is the art of the possible". The implication is that change isn't possible, so we'd better just get used to the sucky status quo. But now that there's a pandemic, a lot of things we were previously told ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • The Only Way Through This Crisis Is Together.
    Together: In leading New Zealand through the Covid-19 Pandemic, the Prime Minister could do a lot worse than allow herself to be guided by the spirit of collective sacrifice and co-operation that animated the New Zealanders of 80 years ago. Most Kiwis alive today have had no opportunity to prove their ...
    1 week ago
  • GFC vs Covid-19
    It is said that generals fight the last war. In the case of the early stages of the Global Financial Crisis (GFC) they had learned from the Great Depression of the 1930s and they fought intelligently and successfully. Later their advice would be ignored in favour of the Austerians who ...
    PunditBy Brian Easton
    1 week ago
  • Nobody Left Behind.
    Solidarity Forever: All over the world, the arrival of the Covid-19 virus has exposed the fragility of the walls we erect around ourselves and our loved ones. It has shattered our illusions of autonomy and revealed to us how utterly dependent we all are on other human-beings. Finally, we see ...
    1 week ago
  • Rebuilding a truly “Democratic” counter, or a “moderate Republican” bolt-hol...
    Looking across the various arguments for/against the leading candidates to take the Democratic Nomination, you might honestly be very hard pressed to tell. There are a number of things that have now started happening since Amy Klobuchar and “Mayor Pete” Buttigieg both threw the towel in and immediately (and ...
    exhALANtBy exhalantblog
    1 week ago
  • Abortion law reform a win for women
    by Daphna Whitmore Abortion is no longer in the Crimes Act in New Zealand. The law reform passed yesterday and now abortion is a medical matter between a woman and her doctor. Many women’s groups and progressive people have campaigned for reform for decades. The women’s liberation movement and some ...
    RedlineBy Daphna
    1 week ago
  • How to spot bogus science stories and read the news like a scientist
    Doug Specht, University of Westminster and Julio Gimenez, University of Westminster When fake news, misreporting and alternative facts are everywhere, reading the news can be a challenge. Not only is there plenty of misinformation about the coronavirus pandemic, climate change and other scientific topics floating around social media, you also ...
    SciBlogsBy Guest Author
    1 week ago
  • Why New Zealand needs to continue decisive action to contain coronavirus
    Michael Baker, University of Otago and Nick Wilson, University of Otago With some of the toughest border restrictions and a newly-announced NZ$500 million boost to health services, New Zealand is among a small number of countries with a strategy to contain the COVID-19 pandemic. New Zealand is also fortunate in ...
    SciBlogsBy Public Health Expert
    1 week ago
  • Parliament and the pandemic II
    As expected, the government has introduced a sessional order to allow Parliament to operate during the pandemic. You can read it on the Order Paper here, but the short version is that questions and motions can be filed electronicly, select committees can work remotely, and the the Business Committee can ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • When a virus goes viral: pros and cons to the coronavirus spread on social media
    Axel Bruns, Queensland University of Technology; Daniel Angus, Queensland University of Technology; Timothy Graham, Queensland University of Technology, and Tobias R. Keller, Queensland University of Technology News and views about coronavirus has spread via social media in a way that no health emergency has done before. Platforms like Twitter, Facebook, ...
    SciBlogsBy Guest Author
    1 week ago
  • How to survive 14 days of self-isolation
    So you’ve recently returned from overseas, come into contact with someone who tested positive, got a bit of a dry cough yourself or perhaps just want to self isolate for 14 days to avoid other people who might have COVID-19. Here are a few tips and tricks to help get ...
    1 week ago
  • Abortion Legislation Bill passes third reading
    Some fave speeches:     ...
    Boots TheoryBy Stephanie Rodgers
    1 week ago
  • Why Leadership Matters – More Than Anything.
    Our Good Fortune: Precisely because she has never been an ideologue (she calls herself a “pragmatic idealist”) Jacinda Ardern has a political nimbleness and spontaneity which, when infused with her exceptional emotional intelligence, produces spectacular demonstrations of leadership. Jacinda's empathic political personality contrasts sharply with the less-than-sunny ways of her ...
    1 week ago
  • Skeptical Science New Research for Week #11, 2020
    1 week ago
  • 68-51
    The Abortion Legislation Bill has just passed its third reading, 68-51. NZ First MPs bailed because their referendum amendment didn't pass, but there were plenty of MPs to provide a majority without them. The bill is a long way from perfect - most significantly, it subjects pregnant people who need ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • The ‘herd immunity’ route to fighting coronavirus is unethical and potentially dangerous
    As most of the world tries to suppress the coronavirus spread, some countries are going it alone – trying to manage the pandemic through so-called “herd immunity”. Herd immunity means letting a large number of people catch a disease, and hence develop immunity to it, to stop the virus spreading. ...
    SciBlogsBy Guest Author
    2 weeks ago
  • Eight new COVID-19 cases today. It’s no surprise when you look at some numbers
    So, as I sit at home with a very, very slight headache (i.e. not at work when I would otherwise be so), the now familiar figure of Ashley Bloomfield reports eight new confirmed cases of COVID-19  including two in Waikato. A surprise, given that we had just twelve yesterday? No. ...
    SciBlogsBy Marcus Wilson
    2 weeks ago
  • The WINZ Paradox versus the new COVID-19 Reality: Get real people, seriously…
    Many who advocated for, and voted for, the current Coalition – particularly those who voted Labour and the Green Party – expected to see a sea change in the reality of social services. A real, deep change of attitude, approach of process through which the system negotiates the difficult and ...
    exhALANtBy exhalantblog
    2 weeks ago
  • The Air New Zealand bailout
    Stuff reports that the government is going to have to throw $2 - 3 billion at Air new Zealand to get it through the pandemic. Good. While international routes are basicly closed, Air New Zealand is a strategic asset which is vital to our tourism industry, not to mentioning airfreight. ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • Why NZ’s tough coronavirus travel rules are crucial to protecting lives at home and across the Pac...
    New Zealand’s border restrictions will come with significant job and business losses in the tourism sector, both at home and in the Pacific. But the new travel rules are absolutely necessary to protect the health of New Zealanders and people right across Pacific Islands, because New Zealand is a gateway ...
    SciBlogsBy Guest Author
    2 weeks ago
  • The tiniest of teeth
    Back in early 2018, as a shoddy legal tactic to try and avoid the prisoner voting ban being formally declared inconsistent with the BORA by the Supreme Court, Justice Minister Andrew Little floated the idea of greater legal protection for human rights. When the Supreme Court case didn't go the ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • One simple, common factor to success against COVID-19
    Professor Philip Hill and Associate Professor James Ussher Most infectious diseases have an Achilles heel, the secret is to find it. The question is if we don’t have a drug or a vaccine for COVID-19, is there something else we can do to beat it? Some people estimate that, without ...
    SciBlogsBy Guest Author
    2 weeks ago
  • National should isolate Simon Bridges
    The Coalition Governments $12.1 billion economic package to help combat the financial effects of COVID-19 was generally well received across the board, even amongst many business leaders who would normally be critical of a Labour led Government.However there was one glaringly obvious exception, Simon Bridges. The so-called leader of the ...
    2 weeks ago
  • How testing for Covid-19 works
    With confirmed cases of Covid-19 in New Zealand up to 12, many influential people are writing open letters and opinion pieces and doing press conferences asking why we aren’t pulling out all the stops and testing thousands of people a day like they are in South Korea. The thing is, ...
    SciBlogsBy Siouxsie Wiles
    2 weeks ago
  • The COVID-19 package and the limits of capitalism
    by Daphna Whitmore The willingness to put human life before business shows that sometimes capitalism is capable of suspending its relentless drive for profit. For a short time it can behave differently. Flatten the curve is the public health message since COVID-19 suddenly overwhelmed the hospital system in northern Italy. ...
    RedlineBy Daphna
    2 weeks ago
  • Black April, May and June?
    Worldwide, the 1918 influenza epidemic – wrongly called ‘Spanish’ flu – lasted about two years. However, it lasted about six weeks in New Zealand (remembered as ‘Black November’, because the dead turned a purplish-black). It is thought about 7000 Pakeha died and 2,500 Maori. The population mortality rate was about ...
    PunditBy Brian Easton
    2 weeks ago
  • COVID 19 has struck… as has a lot of terrible ineptitude from far too many
    In a world and a time when the worst off and most vulnerable have been asked, time and again, to foot the bill for the complete subjugating to the will of the 1% thanks to the GFC, at a point where the world as a whole is now seeing quite ...
    exhALANtBy exhalantblog
    2 weeks ago
  • What’s in the Coronavirus Package?
    With the economy already reeling from a crisis that’s barely begun, the Government today sought to provide reassurance to workers and businesses in the form of a massive phallic pun to insert much-needed cash into the private sector and help fight the looming pandemic. Here are the key components: $5.1 ...
    The CivilianBy admin
    2 weeks ago
  • I just had my benefit suspended during a fucking pandemic
    I am a member of the working poor and so still need state welfare to make rent. So I had booked an appointment for yesterday with my caseworker at Work and Income New Zealand (WINZ) to apply for a transition to work grant. However the current health advice in New ...
    PosseBy chloeanneking
    2 weeks ago
  • A good first step
    Today the government announced a financial package to deal with the effects of the pandemic. So far, it looks good: an initial $500 million for health to deal with immediate priorities, wage subsidies for affected businesses, $585 a week from WINZ for people self-isolating who can't work from home, and ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago

  • Week That Was: COVID-19 Alert Level 4
    The COVID-19 situation in New Zealand is moving fast - and to avoid what we've seen overseas - the Government's response must be to move fast too. We're committed to keeping New Zealanders safe and well-informed every step of the way. ...
    17 hours ago
  • SPEECH: Green Party Co-leader James Shaw – Ministerial statement on State of National Emergency an...
    Thank you, Mr. Speaker.  The scale of what we face right now is unlike anything we have ever seen before. Overcoming it is our common purpose. ...
    4 days ago
  • Winston Peters urging New Zealanders overseas to stay put
    Foreign Minister Winston Peters is encouraging New Zealanders overseas to stay where they are amid the COVID-19 pandemic. "We are reaching a point where the best option for most New Zealanders offshore is to shelter in place, by preparing to safely stay where they are.” "This includes following the instructions ...
    5 days ago
  • New Zealanders overseas encouraged to shelter in place
    Rt. Hon. Winston Peters, Deputy Prime Minister, Minister of Foreign Affairs Foreign Minister Winston Peters is encouraging the tens of thousands of New Zealanders travelling overseas to consider sheltering in place, in light of COVID-19.  “Since 18 March, we have been warning New Zealanders offshore that the window for flying ...
    5 days ago
  • Ground-breaking abortion law passes, giving NZers compassionate healthcare
    Ground-breaking law has passed that will decriminalise abortion and ensure women and pregnant people seeking abortions have compassionate healthcare. ...
    1 week ago
  • Package supports Kiwis to put collective health first
    The Green Party says that the measures announced by the Government today will help families and businesses to prioritise our collective health and wellbeing in the response to COVID-19. ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Winston Peters: COVID-19 rescue package ‘more significant’ than any worldwide
    As New Zealanders brace for a global downturn due to Covid-19, Deputy Prime Minister Winston Peters says his Coalition Government’s rescue package "more significant" than any other he's seen around the world. The Coalition is to reveal a multi-billion-dollar stimulus plan on Tuesday afternoon designed to cushion the economic blow ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Our response to COVID-19
    We know some people are feeling anxious about COVID-19. While the situation is serious, New Zealand has a world-class health system and we’re well-prepared to keep New Zealanders safe. ...
    2 weeks ago
  • ‘Demerit Points System’ will address youth crime
    Darroch Ball MP, Spokesperson for Law and Order A New Zealand First member’s bill drawn from the ballot today seeks to overhaul the youth justice system by instigating a system of demerit points for offences committed by young offenders. “The ‘Youth Justice Demerit Point System’ will put an end to ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Investment in kingfish farming
    Hon. Shane Jones, Minister for Regional Economic Development The Provincial Growth Fund is investing $6 million in a land-based aquaculture pilot to see whether yellowtail kingfish can be commercially farmed in Northland, Regional Economic Development Minister Shane Jones announced today. A recirculating land-based aquaculture system will be built and operated ...
    2 weeks ago
  • 1BT grants for Northland planting
    Hon. Shane Jones, Minister for Forestry Forestry Minister Shane Jones has announced two One Billion Trees programme grants of more than $1.18 million to help hapu and iwi in Northland restore whenua and moana. “Many communities around Aotearoa have benefited from One Billion Trees funding since the programme was launched ...
    2 weeks ago
  • New Zealand reaffirms support for Flight MH17 judicial process
    Rt. Hon. Winston Peters, Deputy Prime Minister, Minister of Foreign Affairs Ahead of the start of the criminal trial in the Netherlands on 9 March, Foreign Minister Winston Peters has reaffirmed the need to establish truth, accountability and justice for the downing of Flight MH17 ...
    2 weeks ago
  • PGF investment in green hydrogen
    Rt. Hon. Winston Peters, Deputy Prime Minister The Government is investing $19.9 million through the Provincial Growth Fund in a game-changing hydrogen energy facility in South Taranaki, Deputy Prime Minister Winston Peters announced today. “The development of alternative energy initiatives like this one is vital for the Taranaki region’s economy. ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Coronavirus support for Pacific
    Rt. Hon. Winston Peters, Minister for Foreign Affairs Foreign Affairs Minister Winston Peters says New Zealand is partnering with countries in the Pacific to ensure they are prepared for, and able to respond to the global threat of Coronavirus (COVID-19). “There are currently no confirmed cases of COVID-19 in the ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Green Party passes landmark law to ensure deaf and disabled voices heard equally in democracy
    Chlöe Swarbrick's Members Bill to support disabled general election candidates has passed into law. ...
    3 weeks ago

  • Tariff concessions on COVID-19 related products
    New Zealand will temporarily remove tariffs on all medical and hygiene imports needed for the COVID-19 response. Trade and Export Growth Minister David Parker and Commerce and Consumer Affairs Minister Kris Faafoi said today that the New Zealand Customs Service will apply tariff concessions to all diagnostic reagents and testing ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    17 hours ago
  • Clarification of modification to wage subsidy scheme
    Minister of Finance Grant Robertson has clarified that the changes to the wage subsidy scheme announced yesterday mean that employers should be passing on the full subsidy to workers, except in the case where the person’s normal income is less than the level of the subsidy. “We still want employers ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    18 hours ago
  • Face masks flowing to DHBs
    Medical face masks from the national reserve supply are now being distributed to District Health Boards, while at the same time local production is being ramped up. Yesterday more than 640,000 masks were sent to DHBS – that is an immediate two week supply, with more to follow in coming ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • COVID-19: Further steps to protect New Zealanders’ jobs
    The Government has made modifications to the wage subsidy scheme to ensure people don’t lose their jobs during the national lockdown. These changes will soften the impact of COVID-19 on workers, families and businesses, and position them to exit the lockdown and look to recovery, Finance Minister Grant Robertson says. ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • Tax relief for Mycoplasma Bovis farmers
    Farmers whose herds were culled in response to the outbreak of Mycoplasma bovis will be able to minimise the tax treatment of their income in some circumstances. Revenue Minister Stuart Nash says Cabinet has agreed to change the law. It means farmers may be eligible to spread their income over ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • $27 million for NGOs and community groups to continue providing essential services
    A $27 million dollar package, effective immediately, is being provided to social sector services and community groups to ensure they can continue to provide essential support to communities as we stay at home as a nation to stop the spread of COVID-19, Minister for Social Development Carmel Sepuloni announced. “At ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • Statement on guilty plea of March 15 terrorist
    “The guilty plea today will provide some relief to the many people whose lives were shattered by what happened on March 15,” Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern said. “These guilty pleas and conviction bring accountability for what happened and also save the families who lost loved ones, those who were injured, ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • COVID-19 updates
    The Prime Minister is holding daily press conferences to update New Zealanders on the Government's response to COVID-19. Links to videos and transcripts of these updates below. These transcripts also include All of Government press conferences led by Director Ministry of Health's Director-General of Health Dr Ashley Bloomfield. 25 March: Live update from the Prime ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • Police numbers break through 10,000 mark
    Frontline Police numbers have broken through the 10,000 mark for the first time in history as officers step forward to keep the community safe during the COVID19 lockdown. “Two Police graduations in Auckland and Wellington in the past week have been conducted in unprecedented circumstances,” Police Minister Stuart Nash said. ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • Urgent tax measures for economic recovery
    Urgent legislation has been passed to support the package of economic and social measures needed to recover from the impact of the coronavirus outbreak. “The COVID-19 Response (Taxation and Social Assistance Urgent Measures) Bill will cushion New Zealanders from the worst economic impacts of the COVID-19 outbreak,” said Revenue Minister ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • Further support for farmers and growers as drought persists
    From tomorrow, Government support for farmers and growers affected by drought will be expanded and extended across the country, with access to Rural Assistance Payments (RAPS) available throughout the North Island, parts of the South Island and the Chatham Islands, Social Development Minister Carmel Sepuloni announced. “These challenging conditions have ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • COVID-19: Temporary changes to Education Act
    Parliament has passed amendments to legislation that give the Secretary of Education stronger powers to act in the fight to limit the spread of COVID-19, Education Minister Chris Hipkins said today. “They are part of a suite of changes passed under the COVID-19 Response (Urgent Management Measures) Legislation Bill,” Chris ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • Canada, Australia, Chile, Brunei and Myanmar join NZ and Singapore in committing to keeping supply a...
    Canada, Australia, Chile, Brunei and Myanmar have joined forces with New Zealand and Singapore by committing to keep supply chains open and remove any existing trade restrictive measures on essential goods, especially medical supplies, in the face of the Covid-19 crisis.  Trade and Export Growth Minister David Parker today welcomed ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • COVID-19: Rent increase freeze and more protection for tenants
    Immediate freeze on rent increases Tenancies will not be terminated during the lock-down period, unless the parties agree, or in limited circumstances Tenants who had previously given notice can stay in their if they need to stay in the tenancy during the lock-down period Tenants will still be able to ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • Working together to protect businesses and workers
    As New Zealand unites to lock-down in the fight against COVID-19, the Finance Minister is urging all businesses and workers to stay connected over the next four weeks. “We understand the extreme pressure many businesses are under right now. I know most business owners think of their workers as family ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • State of National Emergency declared to fight COVID-19
    A State of National Emergency has been declared across the country as the Government pulls out all the stops to curtail the spread of COVID-19. “Today we put in place our country’s second ever State of National Emergency as we fight a global pandemic, save New Zealanders’ lives and prevent ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days 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 ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days 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 ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • Mortgage holiday and business finance support schemes to cushion COVID impacts
    The Government, retail banks and the Reserve Bank are today announcing a major financial support package for home owners and businesses affected by the economic impacts of COVID-19. The package will include a six month principal and interest payment holiday for mortgage holders and SME customers whose incomes have been ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • Government working to keep air freight moving
    Minister of Transport Phil Twyford has today announced details of the Government’s support package to keep key air freight moving and ensure New Zealanders retain access to essential goods during the four-week level 4 lockdown. “The Government is working with airlines and air freight operators to ensure New Zealand’s key ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • New Zealand moves to COVID-19 Alert Level 3, then Level 4 in 48 hours
    New Zealand moved up to COVID-19 Alert Level 3 – Restrict New Zealand to move up to COVID-19 Alert Level 4 – Eliminate, in 48 hours Two-staged approach to give people and businesses time to prepare  Level 3, from tomorrow Non-essential businesses must close All events and gatherings must be ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • Prime Minister: COVID-19 Alert Level increased
    Good afternoon  The Cabinet met this morning to discuss our next actions in the fight against COVID-19.  Like the rest of the world, we are facing the potential for devastating impacts from this virus. But, through decisive action, and through working together, do we have a small window to get ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • Govt takes significant economic decisions as NZ readies for Alert Level 4 in COVID-19 fight
    The Government is announcing significant further support for the economy, workers and businesses as the country unites to prepare for Alert Level 4 in the fight against COVID-19. Cabinet today agreed to remove the cap on the Government’s wage subsidy scheme, which will inject a further $4 billion into the ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • Govt backs RBNZ move to support economy with lower interest rates
    The Government is backing the Reserve Bank’s latest action to support the economy by reducing longer-term interest rates, meaning lower costs for businesses and mortgage holders, and a lower currency to help our exporters. The Minister of Finance has signed a memorandum of understanding and a letter of indemnity with ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • Government statement on commercial cooperation during COVID-19
    The Government has asked the Commerce Commission to take account of the exceptional circumstances created by COVID-19 when monitoring business behaviour in coming weeks.   “The purpose of my request to the Commerce Commission is to make sure businesses can work together in ways that will allow them to provide ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
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  • New Zealand temporarily closes diplomatic posts in Barbados and Myanmar due to COVID-19
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