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Open mike 17/11/2014

Written By: - Date published: 6:47 am, November 17th, 2014 - 133 comments
Categories: open mike - Tags:

Open mike is your post.

The Standard is not a conspiracy – just a welcome outlet for the expression of views. Leaders that command respect will not be undermined by this.

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

Step up to the mike …

133 comments on “Open mike 17/11/2014”

  1. Paul 1

    A really interesting article. You’ll learn more from this than reading The Herald for a year. Lots of stuff here that’s interesting. The TPPA is mentioned, as is the Ukraine and secret deals we don’t hear about.

    “What really happened in Beijing: Putin, Obama, Xi — and the back story the media won’t tell you.”


    • Anne 1.1

      Courtis had a curious exchange with Putin during some of the economic forum sessions in Beijing. He asked if Russia would provide North Korea security guarantees if it agreed to renounce nuclear weapons.

      Putin replied in part: “Your question is too clever. This is not the moment yet even to raise that question, let alone answer it. Often, the problem in the world is not that small countries, who feel they are under siege, are unwilling to change. Rather, it is that the bigger countries are all piling on like bullies in the school yard – and they don’t know when to stop.”

      Now there’s a very interesting response from your illuminating link Paul.

      • greywarshark 1.1.1

        @Paul This is very interesting.
        Just off the subject, but if Russia and China can co-operate and advantage themselves, perhaps Labour and the Greens can copy here, recognising the advantages each brings to the table.

        I heard Brent Oil well down from $100 a barrel which I imagined I’d heard some time back. I wondered why. Nor perhaps I know.

    • Rosie 1.2

      Paul, I honestly have no idea why folks would even read the Herald, unless they are keeping a propaganda tally, as an exercise in monitoring the media.

      It’s nothing more than a trashy rag. I haven’t looked at a copy since I shot through from Auckland in ’06. The only time I’ve glanced at an article from the Herald since then is when it pops up in a google search.

    • nadis 1.3

      Interesting article. He doesn’t mention though the fact that the US is now pumping 2.5 milllion barrels a day more oil now than it was 18 months ago. That’s a big impact on the oil price and the effect on high grade crude exports from West Africa has been devestating.

      Poilitics aside – and there is no doubt the west is happy to punish the Russian economy – the world is awash with oil. According to the US DOE there are about 1.5 trillion barrels of recoverable oil which is a low ball estimate now given fracking technology.

      The US is trying to manage a transition from sole global superpower to sharing that with China. Russia will become less and less important as power shifts from the US to China, all Russia has is commodity oil, rampant official corruption, shitty demographics, a fully evolved police state, a decayed military, a Chinese customer and the ability to poke sticks into nests. The more it tries to prove its strength the weaker (but more dangerous) it looks. China is still decades away from military parity with the US (10 aircraft carrier groups) but the economic interdependence of China and US means (each suffers without the other) their relationship will be more positive than US/Russia.

      Imagine what Russia would look like if trillions of dollars hadn’t been plundered by the kleptocracy. Putin alone allegedly has $50 billion stashed away in Switzerland.

      • Colonial Rawshark 1.3.1

        According to the US DOE there are about 1.5 trillion barrels of recoverable oil which is a low ball estimate now given fracking technology.

        Utter BS. For starters, most of this oil while technically recoverable, will never be economically recoverable, especially from a EROEI standpoint.

        Secondly, where exactly does the US DOE think these oil fields are?

        • nadis

          no – not utter BS. The definition is actually “proven reserves” which is estimated to be recoverable under current economic and technical constraints with a 90% probability. I can’t link to the report as it is a hardcopy but a cursory glance at wikipedia gives you this:


          Point I was making is that right now the world is flush with oil, demand is weak, so it is no surprise the price is $80 bbl.

          Wishing oil to be a near term constrained supply doesn’t actually make it so.

          • Colonial Rawshark

            You say oil today is cheap, and compared to the $100/bb oil of last year yes it is cheap. But even at this “cheap” level it’s still too expensive for countries and citizens to afford.

            I put “cheap” in quotation marks because as recently as the late 1990s, $20/bb was standard. Since then oil which is 4x as expensive is regarded as “cheap” and it shows how much things have actually changed.

            The definition is actually “proven reserves” which is estimated to be recoverable under current economic and technical constraints with a 90% probability.

            1.5T barrels of oil in proven global reserves. RLY?

            So where are all these magnificent 50B to 100B barrel Ghawar-style megafields just waiting to be exploited? Which country controls them?

            • nadis

              Oil as a share of global GDP has been remarkably stable since the 1970s at between 4 and 6% share of GDP.

              I don’t know why you are arguing with me – all I’ve stated is that there is a particular confluence of factors at the moment which is making oil relatively cheap – right now. And that various national and supra-national organisations publish oil reserve estimates that are broadly in agreement.

              I agree that oil intensive industrial economies are ultimately unsustainable as the marginal production cost of oil creeps ever higher. Governments (everywhere) won’t transition away from oil until they are given a serious price signal to do so. Until then lip service is all you’ll get, probably for 3 or 4 more decades. Its not until the mideast (cheapest marginal production cost) runs out that the price signals will start getting serious. You completely misunderstand my comment “We will never run out of oil”. It’s an expression an old economics lecturer of mine used to use when lecturing to non-economics students to illustrate the difference between marginal cost and average cost.

              • Colonial Rawshark

                The reason I am arguing with you is that you are mixing up price signals and other market mechanisms with the physical reality of energy and the real economy.

                For instance it is quite possible for oil to become scarce AND for its price to decline, because at the end of the day it is affordability which matters, not the nominal price.

                You completely misunderstand my comment “We will never run out of oil”. It’s an expression an old economics lecturer of mine used to use when lecturing to non-economics students to illustrate the difference between marginal cost and average cost.

                Well OK, and I can accept this as well, but lets not beat about the bush what the implications actually are. What it really means is that the bottom 3/4 of the world is going to end up unable to afford the energy they need, while the top 1/4 of the world keeps getting supplied. And you cannot keep a global civilisation running under circumstances like this.

        • KJS0ne

          Energy return on investment is one of the most important points most casual observers fail to grasp when assessing the oil situation.

          Peak oil is not dead, the can has just been kicked down the road by a decade or so.

          • nadis

            The world will never run out of oil. It will however run out of cheap oil.

            • Colonial Rawshark

              Price is one factor. But we’re now also down to using up one barrel of oil to power the extraction of 3 to 5 barrels of oil. That’s an EROEI as low as 3:1.

              When it gets closer to using up one barrel of oil to extract another barrel of oil, it will makes no energy or financial sense to continue, even if the price of a barrel of oil is $1000.

              • Draco T Bastard

                It’s amazing how the RWNJs ignore reality to suit their purposes.

                • Colonial Rawshark

                  This chart shows very clearly how anything with an EROEI of less than say 4:1 to 5:1 means you are on the very wrong end of a very steep decline. Western global civilisation was built on an EROEI higher than 10:1. We can barely hold it together at a 5:1 EROEI ratio. Anything lower than that and I suggest stagnation, retrenchment and redundancy will be the order of the day. Whoops – that’s exactly what we have.


                  • Draco T Bastard

                    Western global civilisation was built on an EROEI higher than 10:1.

                    Typo? Western civilisation was built on an EROEI of better than 100:1

                  • weka

                    CV, do you know if the EROEI in that chart for corn and soy diesel takes into account that current infrastructure has been built with fossil fuels with a much higher EROEI? I’m assuming it’s not counting replacing the infrastructure using corn/soy.

                    • Colonial Rawshark

                      Good question, and I think it probably does not. To frame your comment in another way: no one is taking into account the embedded energy already invested in the common economic infrastructure and social systems that this energy production relies upon.

                    • weka

                      yep, and then there is time, and the AGW context. If we have to replace infrastructure fast because of AGW (think replacing the car fleet world wide with electric cars), what does that do to EROEI calculations? But even having to replace and repair the infrastructure needed to make biodiesel on an ongoing basis looks to me like it’s going to skew the picture, because then we are talking about all the mining, manufacturing and recycling infrastructure as well.

                      It’s the interrelationship of those things that makes it difficult for many people to understand. Even if PO is slower than expected, AGW and the need for a post-carbon system is now more urgent. Yet everything we do is completely supported by fossil fuels.

    • Murray Rawshark 1.4

      Good article. Obama is still carrying on about American exceptionalism and their manifest destiny to run the world. It’s as if the American establishment is a bunch of nuclear armed hicks with a messianic derangement. They’re like the Mad Monk Abbott, but with nuclear weapons. Without defending Putin in the least, I really can’t see Russia as the danger.

      • Colonial Rawshark 1.4.1

        If you live in the developing world or are in an oil rich non-aligned nation, then the major threat to your people and your sovereignty certainly comes from places other than Russia/Putin.

  2. Sanctuary 2

    Would these people meet Chris Finlayson’s definition of being domestic terrorists?


    • greywarshark 2.1

      @ Sanctuary
      Wow I had discovered some years ago that the suffragettes were much more ‘hands-on’ than I had thought, but I hadn’t read of all that is detailed in this article. (Interesting to know that there was another group the Suffragists who were more circumspect.)

      Women only got the vote, and the right to be regarded as a legal person after a lot of sacrifice and time raising everyone’s consciousness. They had to be activists, became warrior women – definitely not mimsy conformists or fickle followers of frocks and fashion.
      Domestic terrorism then and the same treatment now as then for transgressors? Force feeding could be more than unpleasant I understand, there could be damage to the delicate internal breathing and digestive organs.

      • Sirenia 2.1.1

        Suffragette was a derogatory term used by the opponents of the UK suffrage movement. Like many such negative terms it was claimed by the movement as a proud label. Suffragists are people (in this case women) who fight for the right to vote. NZ feminist activists on the 1890s are known as suffragists as the later word had not then been invented. If the movement to lower the vote here gains momentum those activists could be called youth suffragists.

        • Sanctuary

          Are you seriously telling me the most important thing you took out my post was the need to criticise the use of the term suffragette?

          Good grief. No wonder NZ feminists hold their meetings in a phone box and need a mirror for a quorum.

        • Rosie

          Thanks. Didn’t know the difference in the terms.

      • Sanctuary 2.1.2

        It got me thinking.

        Under the new anti-terror laws being proposed by John Key, would we have had an anti-nuclear movement? Or would we have seen the criminalisation of democratic protest and direct action – the Peace Squadron being subjected to warrantless spying and intercepts, preemptive raids to disrupt on the water protests, and SIS planting listening devices into Nuclear-Free organisations offices and the GCSB interceting all their call to ensure John Key would know what to provide to Slater and picked journalists and when to privide it to cause maximum damage to it as a movement? Would we have had a HART to oppose racism in South Africa? Or would they now be subject to ceaseless surveillance and destabilisation by electroic surveillance and infiltrated by swarms of informants, spies and agent-provocateurs to get key leaders framed, vilified, areested and jailed? Although I am pretty sure the police infiltrated informants into the anti-tour movement in 1982….

        • Rosie

          Can’t help but wonder if the new “anti terror laws” are a handy foil for dissenters of all colours. 48 hour non warrant surveillance of folks that look at a ISIS website………..

          OR those

          trade unionists,
          animal rights supporters
          anti TPP demonstrators
          peace promoters
          critics of the government,

          checking out websites, social media, getting on the phone and arranging meetings and actions………….you know, normal democratic participation type things.

        • Murray Rawshark

          I am pretty sure the squirrels have been doing most of the stuff you mention since at least 1951. They do not, and never have obeyed the rules. 48 hours warrantless spying will become permanent spying, with a 5 minute break every 48 hours. One of the high up anti-tour guys in Wellington was a police informant. I’m quite sure he wasn’t the only one. What laws did they use to pay the creep who infiltrated the animal protection groups?

          When they push for an increase in power, it’s usually just to legalise what they’re already doing. Then they do much more.

          • Colonial Rawshark

            Good points.

          • Rosie

            To be sure Murray. Having associated with some very active and vocal activists and listening to their stories I’m under no illusion of the state powers that have been abused for decades. This latest piece of legislation just gives the authorities a longer lead and even less accountability I’m guessing, while legitimising previous oppressive government behaviour.

  3. Clemgeopin 3

    Labour contest down to the wire

    Little has more than little chance!


  4. fisiani 4

    It seems unlikely with four candidates that someone will win on the first ballot. I assume that Mahuta will have the lowest vote and thus her voters second choice will be distributed first. I suspect that will be enough to put Andrew Little over the line. Even if he falls just short the third place redistribution should confirm his ascendency.
    Robertson’s ambition will not however abate and he will calmly smile and just wait for the polls to drop before starting the whispering campaign.

  5. wyndham 5

    Is it not time for Philip Ure to be forgiven and allowed to return from his lonely wanderings in the wildernesses of the internet ?

    I miss his contributions.

    • andrew murray 5.1

      here here!!!

    • Rosie 5.2

      I wasn’t around for that banning. Was it the dope and vegan themed show that did it?

      Another banned one I thought of the other day was Bad12 – I was wondering if a removal of the banning would apply to him at some stage. This isn’t to suggest that he deserves it – I heard his personal abuse of an author was off the scale and was at the sharp end of unforgivable.

      While people come and go, I got the feeling that his ability to contribute on TS was important socially and intellectually for him. I got the feeling he was slightly marginalised IRL and being able to communicate here helped him feel connected. He came up with some really useful political observations and was entertaining when he didn’t wander into the dark area of his psyche. He was an excellent gatekeeper for the t****s, he really kept them on their toes when logic and reason offered by other commenters failed (as it frequently does),

      Just my two cents.

      • greywarshark 5.2.1

        @ Rosie
        If bad12 didn’t feel connected it probably was because he deliberately disconnects. He seems to have tourettes attacks of hostility that break out unreasonably and rudely. Perhaps that was why he was good with the trills – not being as kind, understanding, reasonable and patient and prepared to waste precious time on them as others here have been.

        • Rosie

          He sure did have outbreaks of hostility, and he did get personal with it.

          He was quite honest about his upbringing and psychiatric illnesses – and how he was treated when he was forcibly removed from society and “treated” at hospital. This surely affected him – he was aware of how he behaved here and sometimes said the “bold black writing is coming soon”, ie, mod’s warnings.

          I guessed he lacked respect because it he never had it shown to him in his life and his experiences made him hostile and distrusting. If you’re unloved by society you’re not going to show love in return. Probably not quite the right frame of mind to enter into debate with people on line but I usually read what he had to say and withheld entering into a conversation with him when he was behaving in a particularly prickly manner.

          • greywarshark

            Yeah but as an adult when you get to the stage of reviewing your life the great Everest challenge is to change yourself. And there are numerous treatises written about how to do it. There are self-help books galore. It’s hard to reroute the habits and the synapses.

            Too much sympathy doesn’t give the spur to change. Let people grow don’t keep wiping their noses for them. A person is unlikely to develop to the wonderful being they have the potential for, wise, witty, kind and strong if not encouraged to try themselves, with the promise of a hand, sharing a beer or an ear sometimes, when needed.

      • Chooky 5.2.2

        +100 Rosie….Bad12 was an excellent foil for the tr..ls and for phillip ure…if phillip ure comes back i think Bad12 should come back …both are obviously intelligent, entertaining and have very good points to make ….although obviously excessive at times and abusive…it is really up to the moderators /owners of the site

        …..some people, myself included, have found a rest from them to be good ….but lets face it we all get up people’s noses on occasion….

        • Rosie

          Yes Chooky a cooling off period is surely welcomed by many 🙂

          Despite having conflicting personalities both Bad and Phillip were more politically close in their views than either of them seemed to realise – they just had different ways of approaching things.

          Wouldn’t want to go back to the Phil N’ Bad breakfast show though, if they came back, while really entertaining it consumed Open Mike and got predictable.

      • Tracey 5.2.3

        He took his vegan show on the road, outside open mike and derailed one or two threads

      • Murray Rawshark 5.2.4

        If I were running a blog, I wouldn’t let someone back who’d abused and threatened myself and authors. They would have to find some other outlet. Phil doesn’t do that, but he can be annoying.

        On the other hand, I wouldn’t let RWNJs in at all. And I don’t have the time to run one anyway.

    • greywarshark 5.3

      Yes phillip U is so keen and thinking all the time and though transgressed is still far better value than the RW others we put up with who often closely resemble boils and excrescences.

    • Didn’t know he was banned. WHY????

      • minarch 5.4.1

        because we couldn’t handle the truth !!!

        ( well about eating animals at least ? )

        • greywarshark

          @ minarch lol
          After some of the craziness here it could be a good idea to go over to one flew over the cuckoos nest – I want my cigarettes. Especially if trying to purge the effect of phil u and bad after a long drawn-out slanging match over……

          And Sanctuary, TS should not be a drop-in place for the homeless.We are trying to think and discuss important matters (with a little levity now and then.) So take your kind hearts to another site. Just give each other a little respect and that is the basic oil that keeps the site thriving.
          I like phil u because he’s keen and he has something worthwhile to say.

      • Sanctuary 5.4.2

        Yeah, he was harmless poster, even if his strange grammar cluttered up threads. The dude has to have a place to go, you know. The Standard probably serves as a metaphorical intellectual park bench for Phil U to lay his homeless head.

        And none of us would support the police moving on a homeless person jst cos he was cluttering up the city scape.

        • weka

          FFS, phil broke the standard’s rules (which he was aware of), got a warning, ignored it, and then abused the moderator when they’d finally had enough (he was spamming threads other than OM with his vegan comments).

          He isn’t a harmless poster. His ‘cluttering’ of threads’ influences culture here and how conversations go. Irrespective of the value of the content of his comments, he creates a mess on OM every day and basically doesn’t give a shit about how that affects other people. Lots of people don’t read his comments, which means that a big chunk of OM every day is reserved for his fan club. He is grossly self-centred and I fully expect him to learn nothing from his ban except perhaps how to be a bit more circumspect in avoiding ban. Whoopee.

          None of that would matter particularly if ts were a social club. It’s not. It holds an important place in what is happening with left wing politics in this country, so it matters that OM is affected in this way.

          “The dude has to have a place to go, you know.”

          The internet is a big place. All the people that are missing him, have you been commenting on his blog?

          • Rosie

            Hi weka.

            “The internet is a big place. All the people that are missing him, have you been commenting on his blog?”

            I was only wondering why he was banned, which Tracey has explained to me. I was unsurprisingly close to the reason why. I’m not arguing for or against his presence here – just to clarify.

            As for social club Vs left wing politics. I think it would be a GOOD thing if socialising was part of the discussion around politics. It would a good way to include a wider variety of voices, and take the heat out of some of the aggro that sometimes occurs and form something solid and cohesive.

            I’m talking about off line socialising btw and growing connections/bonds and a political strength in the area you live in. Social gatherings have the potential to be solidarity builders. We could do with that if we want to get our you know what together within the next 3 years.

          • greywarshark

            That sounds like most of the RW trills that come here to The Standard. I think pu is better than them. Still he can be back that’s good. And we can get annoyed with him all over again.

            • weka

              “That sounds like most of the RW trills that come here to The Standard. I think pu is better than them”

              Yeah but how interesting people feel the need to make that particular comparison.

              “And we can get annoyed with him all over again.”

              It’s not about whether he is annoying or not. It’s about the impact that his presence has on political debate here, including the potential for us to do something useful beyond the banter. In this sense, he’s very similar to the troles.

              • andrew murray

                What bull shit!! he displayed more clarity of ethics and purpose than many on this site

                • weka

                  and yet his ethics don’t extend to the culture of OM or ts in general.

                  • Tracey

                    and when you call him out for a prediction he makes which later turns out to be false he becomes a kind of stalker. he is incredibly ego centric and will be loving this thread… except for weka and who will get our special dose of pu when he returns.

              • The Al1en

                “It’s not about whether he is annoying or not. It’s about the impact that his presence has on political debate here, including the potential for us to do something useful beyond the banter. In this sense, he’s very similar to the troles.”

                I’m not going to back stab, being more an aim for the face sort of man, and even though it’s no secret what I think of pu’s judgemental, repetitive, sloganeering, cliche ridden angst, I’ll wait and see if he has no shame and starts ‘commenting’ again after his idiocy ban expires.

                • weka

                  I’m not backstabbing. I’m taking the only opportunity to have a clean conversation that doesn’t degenerate into nasty shit and end up using lots of space for no good reason. I think it’s patently obvious to most people that we couldn’t have this conversation if phil was able to post here today.

                  I appreciate you prefer to deal with the man directly 🙂 As you know, I think that it’s easy for some to get caught up in the game with him and for that to create a distraction and add to the general mess esp in OM.

                  • The Al1en

                    Didn’t mean to imply you or anybody else is back stabbing, just emphasising the point in my way – Nothing I write I won’t give the right to reply to etc… Not that means I’m gonna agree, but can’t reach consensus without listening.

                    “it’s easy for some to get caught up in the game with him and for that to create a distraction”

                    I guess to some he’s a pete george to a bullock 🙂

          • Chooky

            @weka..+100…..i agree with you too… while I found him entertaining at times…and decidedly NOT at other times … the diversions I felt were either becoming obsessive or were decidedly sus…certainly a distraction and sometimes a very personally directed one

            • weka

              Sorry Chooky, but as you know I experience you as part of the problem. Like phil, you choose to communicate in ways that are difficult for some people to understand. I don’t expect better from phil, but it’s been a complete surprise to see this from you.

              I’m glad you see the content as a problem too, let’s see what happens when he comes back and whether people can put their energies into something more constructive.

              • Chooky

                well thanks a lot weka…re “you are part of the problem”!

                …well i almost got banned myself…and …i almost wish I had because I waste a hell of a lot of time here when i should be doing other more productive things.

                re…”Like phil, you choose to communicate in ways that are difficult for some people to understand. I don’t expect better from phil, but it’s been a complete surprise to see this from you.”.

                ( are you sure the “some people” is not just you?…you are rather literal…i can understand you …so why cant you understand me?…do i fool around too much for you tastes?)

                Question :..how do you know who i am?…to be so surprised at how I communicate? ( you are not a spy are you?…lol…i would expect this from the GCSB…but not you , because i do not know who the f..ck u r…and I would be very surprised if you knew who I was)

                • weka

                  Sorry, but I’m not even going to try and read that. You know why. As with phil, I don’t read 95% or more of your comments. Which is a shame because you have much to say that is interesting.

                  Edit, btw, if you want to repost that without the dots and using more conventional punctuation etc, I’ll read it.

                  • Chooky

                    weka…cant you read dots? …do you have an eye problems?…or do you hate poetry?…or dont you have much contact with teenagers?

                    btw …if you dont read 95% of my comments …how do you know that I have “much to say that is interesting” ?…( and I will take that as a compliment from the headmistress).

                    • weka

                      As I’ve said a few times now, I have a disability that makes reading your and phil’s posts difficult. You’ve chosen to ignore that. There are other people here who don’t like the dots thing, but for me it’s not dislike, it’s actualy an impediment to communication (although if other people don’t read comments because of the dots, that’s impediment too). Go read up on social theories of disability, and consider why you would want to put barriers in the way of people.

                      Your disrespect is interesting, but just reinforces what I said about phil above. You think this is about you or me. I think it’s about the online left’s ability or inability to do something constructive. People who intentionally use communication methods that make their ideas harder to understand are just egotistical IMO. And part of the problem.

                      I remember your posts from before you started in with the dots. Maybe the content of your comments had deteriorated along with the communication :shrug:

                    • adam

                      Weka silly question I use (dash) – a lot. Does that make what I write hard to read for you?

                      And I agree with you, if we put spacing and writing styles aside. The ability to see and read what people write becomes difficult when they use symbols.

                      The overuse of dots, exclamations and other symbols make reading bloody difficult. It is the medium, reading some people on here can be a bloody nightmare. The medium has limitations, people should accept that – and work within them.

                    • weka

                      Thanks adam. I’ve not noticed the dashes being a problem, nor that your posts are hard to read. I think it’s often the ratio in a comment, alongside other things like big blocks of text or lack of capitals.

                  • greywarshark

                    I am thinking of the obssessive attacks by many here when attempting to have a discussion on the treatment and behaviour of women. With the attribute of behaving in a way that has been labelled rape culture.
                    That became as obssessive as any of phil u and was oppressive and attacking of every comment that transgressed against ‘the right’ line of thinking. Yet others are soundly criticised for similar.

          • RedBaronCV

            Perhaps Lprent could give Phil his own vegan thread that comes up each day with previous days comments

    • Tracey 5.5

      Its only two weeks. You can visit him at his blog til he returns.

    • Rodel 5.6

      I don’t. Never read them.

  6. Chooky 6

    Michael Buckley ( veteran author of ‘Lonely Planet’ guides for backpacking travellers, (series founded by Maureen and Tony Wheeler which dates back to the 1970s http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lonely_Planet ) has written a book about the ecological and environmental trashing of Tibet by the Chinese. He is well placed to observe changes to Tibet , especially since the China’s Golmud- Lhasa railway completed about a decade ago. The book is:

    ‘Meltdown in Tibet: China’s reckless destruction of ecosystems from the highlands of Tibet to the deltas of Asia'( Palgrave-MacMillan)

    …..In a book review by Adrian Barnett in ‘New Scientist ‘ (8 Nov, 2014) the book is described as the equivalent of a Stephen King horror-writing for environmental journalism.

    ….exploitation of Tibet’s mineral wealth, mass killing of antelopes and wild yaks, deforestation, resettlement of tribal herders, huge dams 80- stories high…the depleting rivers not only in Tibet but used to feed lowland Asia (..amongst other rivers are the Brahmaputra, Ganges and Mekong providing water for agriculture and freshwater fisheries in lower Asian countries )…these rivers in the words of one hydrologist ,are regarded by mainstream China as “an awful waste of water leaving China”.

    ” ‘Meltdown in Tibet’ is full of evidence of ethnocide and ecocide, brutal repression, human rights violations, wide corruption and profiteering at he highest levels. It is also highly readable, a travelogue of despoiling, with contrasting views of how the environment should be treated, and interwoven personal narratives providing a sense of place and loss.”

  7. Draco T Bastard 7

    Yesterday I asked: How do you get people to socialise?

    Today I got this:

    More adult New Zealanders would like to trial a new pay-for internet TV service proposed by SKY TV than other similar services.

    A Horizon Research survey finds 20.7% of adults, equivalent to around 662,000 people, would like to trial the Sky service, expected to be made available late this year.

    TV apps from Google are next most favoured for trial (17.8% of those aged 18+), followed by Netflix (14.2%) and the Lightbox service (11.5%) launched by Spark (formerly Telecom).

    Now, IMO, a lot of those people are actually the same people which means that only around 20% of the population will pay for TV.

    There’s also been some talk on here about public service TV so as to try and counter the RWNJ MSM.

    Well, here’s another idea.

    1. We ban advertising. Considering its manipulative core raison d’etre and sociopathic overtones this should have been done years ago.
    2. We drop public service TV and radio altogether.

    This should leave only pay to view TV and radio and one or two free channels with an obvious political cant which would seriously impinge upon the RWNJs ability to get their message in front of everyone. People would be forced to look for their news and entertainment and would, IMO, become more critical of it.

    • Sanctuary 7.1

      To my mind, the retreat of physical government to a few sites in a few main centres and the increasing substitution of physical with e-government means digital access is now a basic human and democratic right.

      So I think a good plan would be for the government to provide a guaranteed 30GB ADSL speed free broadband connection to every household that wants it. This “government web” would only allow access to websites that use a set of NZ government owned domain names – say websites that end in .kiwinet.nz via a fixed portal site. This portal could also offer commercial-free access to news and current affairs sourced from non-commercial internet TV and radio stations that negotiate for access to a .kiwinet.nz web address. Since the internet TV stations and radio could cover all sorts of minority groups for little cost and with no competition from commercial offerings on the government web, a powerful new media channel not dominated by corporate or rightwing media would be available to get across news and information to anyone with a computer.

      • nadis 7.1.1

        So to summarise, the plan is to provide free internet to people but restrict access to a handful of official sites that meet the criteria of an unspecified government bureaucrat..

        Sure to be popular, after all that’s exactly how the internet is designed to be used.

      • greywarshark 7.1.2

        To my mind, the retreat of physical government to a few sites in a few main centres and the increasing substitution of physical with e-government means digital access is now a basic human and democratic right.

        To my mind people have a democratic right to be able to access government by other than e-centres, and there should be a broad number of ways to replace these physical centres.

        Telephones, cellphones, telegrams, post, pigeon post (for remote areas), instant answer and access status, answerphone lines when caller can’t get through, special personalised system where information can be given by a number code that go automatically to the person’s file and would be for reporting, wellness.

        Or perhaps there should be a return to government presence fronting-up to the citizens and also booths in all malls, etc. Then reduce the amount of reporting to once a month for most people.

      • Draco T Bastard 7.1.3

        I’m of the opinion that having access to the internet is a right and that every household should have a high-speed fibre connection provided by a state monopoly and paid for through taxes. But this would be an internet connection and not a government web.

        • Sanctuary

          I do understand the principles of net neutrality, my dear nadis. And as Draco T Bastard says, it should be an internet connection free of restriction. But let’s get real about the politics here – if you gave a free internet connection to people, the obvious attack is “why are taxpayers paying for beneficaries to stay home all day and surf porn on the internet”?

          We gotta walk before we can run.

          • Colonial Rawshark

            You’re right to consider the politics of course. But there are ways of playing the politics. Limit it to a 10GB plan and a 256K connection. Make standard a default browser home page where approved sites are featured first. Problem solved. And anyone who wants better broadband can pay $20/month.

    • TheContrarian 7.2

      Ban people from advertising their goods and services while taking steps to restrict the ability of those you disagree with from presenting their POV.

      What could possibly go wrong…

      • Sanctuary 7.2.1

        “…Ban people from advertising their goods and services…” We do that now, it is called “public radio” and we used to do it on TV.

        “…taking steps to restrict the ability of those you disagree with from presenting their POV…”

        The .kiwinet.nz domain names would be available to anyone who signed up to a set of rules around content (as in, no porn, torrents etc).

    • McFlock 7.3

      But getting to a position to be able to implement 1 & 2 requires people to vote for a government willing to implement 1 & 2. The problem is solved before the solution is implemented (even if your plan worked – I just think a whole bunch of folks would end up paying to watch a faux news channel).

      I think more obvious coordination between parties, rather than being coy about coalitions, and firm party policies will end up being more successful at bringing about change. Hell, agree on the bulk of a “100 days” agenda prior to the election. My logic is that the Third Way doesn’t work, wishy-washy doesn’t work, so the Left might as well fly its banner and see who salutes. It might not work, but I reckon it would get votes for honesty.

  8. adam 8

    Gotta love the Greeks – Today is the day.

    Opps for them tomorrow, the 17th of November. The start of the tear gas, the street battles and the chance to overthrow a failed government.

    It has already started.


    And it will only get more heated. Authorities, are running with a news ban, which seems to be holding. Time will tell.

    Just remember, the thing those in power fear the most – people on the streets thinking for themselves.

  9. greywarshark 9

    The government wants to double primary exports by 2015? Misheard by me on Radionz? Sounds a lot too quickly. To bring in $40 billion extra?. We will be well off then and able to enjoy a lifestyle commensurate with such a successful country. No probs. Won’t be long and we’ll be on the up and up and not have to borrow to match our purchases overseas. But yet, that’s the one thing we are really good at, spending.

    Year to
    (dollar amounts in millions)
    …….. Exports- Imports- Balance of Trade -Exports as % of Imports
    2009 41,588 43,257 (1,669) 96.1
    2010 41,785 40,810 975 102.4
    2011 46,798 46,104 694 101.5
    2012 46,748 47,640 (891) 98.1
    2013 46,019 47,556 (1,536) 96.8

    Yet we have been having good returns haven’t we – over 2012 and 2013. And we have still come out of the stats overspent on our export earnings in 2012 (891 million in the red) with exports as % of imports (e%i) at 98.1 and 2013 (1536 million in the red) with (e%i) at 96.8, less exports than purchases.

    No surpluses in our export-led rock star economy there. Won’t that be a surprise to all those who have stuck their hand to the golden goose as in the folk tale from Wikipedia http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Golden_Goose.
    Just replace the name Simpleton with Key and you will have a clear picture of our dilemma in NZ – too many people attracted to golden feathers hoping it will turn them into Midases (from a different story, but the same one that goes on down the Ages.)

  10. Richies McClaw 10

    I see that Mr. Farrar has not cleaned up his blog despite his expression of intent earlier this year. The pattern is that there will be a “innocent” post that acts as a dog whistle to bring out the usual suspects, led by one Mr. Garrett, to attack whoever the xenophobes deem to be fair game for that day. I note that they have embraced diversity in the sense that they have been more inclusive of Muslims in their pool of targets (with Mr. Garrett comparing them to possums, and another poster advocating for their extermination), granting some temporary relief to beneficiaries and the Maori people.

  11. Tautoko Mango Mata 11

    Why is Dotcom being harassed about bail? What exactly did Tony Ryall’s position with Simpson-Grierson (Former National minister Tony Ryall is joining law firm Simpson Grierson as head of its public policy practice.) have to do with Dotcom requiring new NZ lawyers? Are any of the new terrorism laws applicable to Dotcom? (Actually I think that John Key has a chip on his shoulder about Dotcom so therefore John Key could be on Chris Finlayson’s Ministry of Love watch list.)
    The impression is being given that Dotcom might do a runner. Dotcom is charged with crimes related to online piracy, including racketeering, conspiring to commit copyright infringement, and conspiring to commit money laundering- all violent crimes (sarc). While the hatchet job that the Ministry of Truth machine did on Dotcom just before the election was very successful, this type of harassment of Dotcom, (together with the reminder of the unjustified Hager raid, and the declassification and release of SIS papers for party political purposes) will further highlight the hypocrisy of this Government. As Orwell wrote “If there is hope, it lies in the proles.”

    • chris73 11.1

      Probably because hes been known to move countries to avoid prosecution

      I like this one from Orwell: “People sleep peaceably in their beds at night only because rough men stand ready to do violence on their behalf.”

      • joe90 11.1.1


        Quote Investigator:There is no substantive evidence that George Orwell who died in 1950 made this remark. The earliest known matching statement appeared in a column in the Washington Times newspaper written by the film critic and essayist Richard Grenier in 1993: 1 2

        As George Orwell pointed out, people sleep peacefully in their beds at night only because rough men stand ready to do violence on their behalf.

        It is important to note that Grenier did not use quotation marks around the statement of the view that he ascribed to Orwell. QI believes that Grenier was using his own words to present a summary of Orwell’s viewpoint. Later commentators placed the statement between quotation marks and introduced various modifications to the passage.


  12. Draco T Bastard 12

    Back in the thread about automation I said back that people would stop going to the doctors and that the diagnosis would be done by machines with a lot more information. Well, it appears that that may be closer than I anticipated at the time:

    The rHEALTH (Reusable Handheld Electrolyte and Lab Technology for Humans) device operates using nano sensors that can measure everything from the presence of HIV or other viruses in the bloodstream, to the level of vitamins or calcium or cholesterol, with the results arriving within minutes.

    It also comes with a small patch that monitors heart rate, body temperature, and other indicators, with the information all being pooled in a central unit, which comes in three sizes – one resembling a flask, to be used on the move, a walkie-talkie-sized unit for home testers, and a home-blender-like contraption for labs.

    After submitting the data – at any time, within the comfort of a person’s own house – the screen simply flashes up with suggestions for what is potentially wrong with the patient, which means they immediately know whether they need to call a doctor.

    Now, if we had a viable and rational economic system this is the type of device that the government would be planning to get out to every household ASAP.

    Also note that that device was partially funded by NASA – you, know, a space program.

  13. Morrissey 13

    The siege of Julian Assange is a farce.
    Silencing and criminalising was the aim, smear the method

    by JOHN PILGER, Global Research, 16 November 2014

    The siege of Knightsbridge is a farce. For two years, an exaggerated, costly police presence around the Ecuadorean embassy in London has served no purpose other than to flaunt the power of the state. Their quarry is an Australian charged with no crime, a refugee from gross injustice whose only security is the room given him by a brave South American country. His true crime is to have initiated a wave of truth-telling in an era of lies, cynicism and war.

    The persecution of Julian Assange must end. Even the British government clearly believes it must end. On 28 October, the deputy foreign minister, Hugo Swire, told Parliament he would “actively welcome” the Swedish prosecutor in London and “we would do absolutely everything to facilitate that.” The tone was impatient. The Swedish prosecutor, Marianne Ny, has refused to come to London to question Assange about allegations of sexual misconduct in Stockholm in 2010 – even thoughSwedish law allows for it and the procedure is routine for Sweden and the UK. The documentary evidence of a threat to Assange’s life and freedom from the United States – should he leave the embassy – is overwhelming. On May 14 this year, US court files revealed that a “multi subject investigation” against Assange was “active and ongoing.

    Ny has never properly explained why she will not come to London, just as the Swedish authorities have never explained why they refuse to give Assange a guarantee that they will not extradite him on to the US under a secret arrangement agreed between Stockholm and Washington. In December 2010, the Independent revealed that the two governments had discussed his onward extradition to the US before the European Arrest Warrant was issued.

    Perhaps an explanation is that, contrary to its reputation as a liberal bastion, Sweden has drawn so close to Washington that it has allowed secret CIA “renditions” – including the illegal deportation of refugees. The rendition and subsequent torture of two Egyptian political refugees in 2001 was condemned by the UN Committee against Torture, Amnesty International and Human Rights Watch; the complicity and duplicity of the Swedish state are documented in successful civil litigation and WikiLeaks cables. In the summer of 2010, Assange had been in Sweden to talk about WikiLeaks revelations of the war in Afghanistan – in which Sweden had forces under US command.

    The Americans are pursuing Assange because WikiLeaks exposed their epic crimes in Afghanistan and Iraq: the wholesale killing of tens of thousands of civilians, which they covered up; and their contempt for sovereignty and international law, as demonstrated vividly in their leaked diplomatic cables.

    For his part in disclosing how US soldiers murdered Afghan and Iraqi civilians, the heroic soldier Bradley (now Chelsea) Manning received a sentence of 35 years, having been held for more than a thousand days in conditions which, according to the UN Special Rapporteur, amounted to torture.

    Few doubt that should the US get their hands on Assange, a similar fate awaits him. Threats of capture and assassination became the currency of the political extremes in the US following Vice-President Joe Biden’s preposterous slur that Assange was a “cyber-terrorist”. Anyone doubting the kind of US ruthlessness he can expect should remember the forcing down of the Bolivian president’s plane last year – wrongly believed to be carrying Edward Snowden.

    According to documents released by Snowden, Assange is on a “Manhunt target list”. Washington’s bid to get him, say Australian diplomatic cables, is “unprecedented in scale and nature”. In Alexandria, Virginia, a secret grand jury has spent four years attempting to contrive a crime for which Assange can be prosecuted. This is not easy. The First Amendment to the US Constitution protects publishers, journalists and whistleblowers. As a presidential candidate in 2008, Barack Obama lauded whistleblowers as “part of a healthy democracy [and they] must be protected from reprisal”. Under President Obama, more whistleblowers have been prosecuted than under all other US presidents combined. Even before the verdict was announced in the trial of Chelsea Manning, Obama had pronounced the whisletblower guilty.

    “Documents released by WikiLeaks since Assange moved to England,” wrote Al Burke, editor of the online Nordic News Network, an authority on the multiple twists and dangers facing Assange, “clearly indicate that Sweden has consistently submitted to pressure from the United States in matters relating to civil rights. There is every reason for concern that if Assange were to be taken into custody by Swedish authorities, he could be turned over to the United States without due consideration of his legal rights.”

    There are signs that the Swedish public and legal community do not support prosecutor’s Marianne Ny’s intransigence. Once implacably hostile to Assange, the Swedish press has published headlines such as: “Go to London, for God’s sake.”

    Why won’t she? More to the point, why won’t she allow the Swedish court access to hundreds of SMS messages that the police extracted from the phone of one of the two women involved in the misconduct allegations? Why won’t she hand them over to Assange’s Swedish lawyers?….

    Read more……

    • Tracey 13.1

      ” Under President Obama, more whistleblowers have been prosecuted than under all other US presidents combined. Even before the verdict was announced in the trial of Chelsea Manning, Obama had pronounced the whisletblower guilty.”

      more drone attacks under obama than gwb

      this govt has a similar attitude toward open democracy…. can see why key and obama get on so well.

  14. Murray Rawshark 14

    I doubt if Assange raped anyone. This is one of the charges that is extremely hard to defend for a political person. The other would be pedophilia. I believe the Swedish prosecutor has colluded with the US and A. Australia’s stand on this treatment of a citizen has been disgusting. Both Julia Gillard and the Swedish prosecutor have shown the cravenness of social democratic politics.


    • weka 14.1

      It’s a pity that the commentariat has largely been unable to make that argument without getting into rape apology. I don’t have an opinion on Assange’s guilt or innocence, and haven’t read the Pilger article yet. Mostly I saw big chunks of the left undermine women’s rights and the rights of survivors of sexual assault in their attempt to support Assange. I really hope that can change.

      Having a quick look through the Pilger article now, I notice he doesn’t link to cite. Is that normal for him?

      • Colonial Rawshark 14.1.1

        Pilger is widely regarded as having unassailable integrity in his journalism, but yes it would be helpful for him to include those citations.

        I have always wanted Assange to stand trial in Sweden so that the alleged victims could have their day in a court of justice, but not if the whole procedure is merely a rouse designed to render Assange to Guantanamo Bay with zero sincere Swedish interest in giving those women any justice.

        Usually at this point, McFlock would chime in saying – Assange is the criminal suspect and he doesn’t get to choose the manner of his questioning, arrest or charging. Which is of course correct while also totally sidestepping all the issues of justice and civil rights.

        • McFlock


          You mean the issues that were raised before three courts in the UK?

          Or do you mean issues of justice and civil rights that would completely demonstrate that the interests of justice would and can only be served if he were questioned, arrested and/or charged on his terms, but that his high profile legal team accidentally forgot to raise in court?

          • Draco T Bastard

            How about these points?

            Ny has never properly explained why she will not come to London, just as the Swedish authorities have never explained why they refuse to give Assange a guarantee that they will not extradite him on to the US under a secret arrangement agreed between Stockholm and Washington. In December 2010, the Independent revealed that the two governments had discussed his onward extradition to the US before the European Arrest Warrant was issued.

            Neither woman claimed she had been raped. Indeed, both have denied they were raped and one of them has since tweeted, “I have not been raped.” That they were manipulated by police and their wishes ignored is evident – whatever their lawyers might say now. Certainly, they are victims of a saga worthy of Kafka.

            If the women themselves are saying that they weren’t raped and the extradition was agreed before the charges laid then we obviously have a case of a serious charge being leveled solely for political purposes.

            • weka

              Unfortunately when Pilger was writing on this a couple of years ago he talked about sex instead of rape. That’s undermined his credibility on this particular aspect, so when he says this week that one of the women tweeted that she has not been raped, I’m not inclined to take that at face value without seeing the context.

              He doesn’t need to put rape allegations in quotation marks to make his points. These kinds of things mean for me I need to see a citation before I believe him. This is a shame, because it undermines his integrity. The first paragraph you quoted I can take at face value, but not the second.

              (as an aside, I thought at least one of the women had given a statement that clearly demonstrated rape. Not really wanting to rehash this or do a whole bunch of research, but the operative word in your comment would be ‘if’ from my pov).

            • McFlock

              then we obviously have a case of a serious charge being leveled solely for political purposes.

              then I suggest his legal team raise those points with the UK courts. Sounds like grounds for appeal. Especially as they’d have actual evidence, rather than internet hearsay.

              • Colonial Rawshark

                And in the mean time, is Assange to remain cooped up in the embassy surrounded by a million pound police detail?

                • McFlock

                  Well, he’s an obvious flight risk so I suspect that the embassy is a mite more comfortable than the likely alternative accommodation he’ll get while the appeal goes ahead.

                  • Colonial Rawshark

                    “An obvious flight risk”

                    Huh? What do you mean? He complied with Swedish authorities instructions about staying in Sweden, then he complied with house arrest in the UK, he’s got nowhere else to go now as he is recognised everywhere, and I doubt Putin wants another asylum headache in Russia right this moment.

                    • McFlock

                      Ecuador seem keen to keep him out of UK jurisdiction, in case you hadn’t noticed. And he’s more than willing to accept their assistance.

                      I wonder if they’re the only state that might want to keep an international bargaining chip under their thumb?

                    • Colonial Rawshark

                      Ecuador was quite correct from both a civil rights and international law perspective in accepting Assange’s request for political asylum. If there was no more need for political asylum, Ecuador would happily eject Assange from its Embassy instead of putting him up with indefinite board and lodgings.

                      The UK, Sweden and USA all seem very keen to keep Assange as a bargaining chip under the thumb (or example of what they will do to wreck the lives of people who fuck with their intelligence interests).

                    • McFlock

                      Nice dodge from the fact that Assange is a flight risk while his lawyers present the UK courts with the clear evidence that shows how it is a gross offence against “justice and civil rights” that he cannot dictate the terms under which he is questioned, arrested and/or charged by the Swedes.

                      For the simple reason that he’s at flight right now.

      • Murray Rawshark 14.1.2

        He doesn’t write his columns as academic articles, so no citing.

    • Chooky 14.2

      +100 MR…i believe he was set up…a least one of the women accusers was CIA…and I don’t think either of them pressed rape charges against him

  15. weka 15

    The UK still leading the way on the surveillance state,

    “Say I don’t like the look of you. If I’ve scanned in your ID, I could ban you not only from my club but, by sharing that data, from every nightclub in London. How the fuck is that not illegal? How are there not data protection issues with that?”

    Alex Proud, owner of Proud Camden, has a reputation for being a bit opinionated and gobby, but this issue – the harvesting of personal data from clubbers, which is increasingly becoming mandatory for late night venues – has him firing words out with furious, spitfire precision.

    “There are moments when everyone likes to have a bit of power,” he says. “But I’m not here to police society. I run a nightclub. It’s ludicrous that I’d be given that sort of power, and society doesn’t want me to have it.”

    The UK’s biggest provider of ID scanning equipment for clubs and bars, IDScan Biometrics Limited, claims to have the largest private ID library in the world, and its database includes passports, visas, ID cards, driving licenses, utility bills and work permits. The system can check NHS numbers, the electoral role, telephone numbers, National Insurance numbers, sanction lists and “politically exposed persons” lists.

    They’re also using fingerprinting, and data sharing with the police.


  16. Michael 16

    Policies I’d like to see from the next Labour government:

    – Universal child benefit to replace the confusing and discriminatory WFF system (say, $50 pw)
    – Paid parental leave of 13 months as recommended by the families commission with higher rates of wage replacement
    – Minimum wage of $16.50 an hour, and the living wage of $18.80 for all those employed by the Crown and it’s contractors. Over time, the living wage could become the minimum wage.
    – Immediate increase in benefit rates to about (net): $280pw unemployment benefit, and $400pw for some parents
    – Universal 25 hours ECE/childcare for those aged 1, 2, 3, and 4. Another 25 hours could be available at a subsidised rate dependent on income. That way, there’s a right to ece/childcare from the time the 13 months paid parental leave ends.
    – Some sort of redundancy package similar to what the greens proposed.
    – First $15k tax free, with higher progressive tax. (Maybe 45% on income above $150k?)
    – Free tertiary education and a universal student allowance
    – Complete restoration of all state houses and more should be built.
    – Employment Insurance could be established. This would be in addition to winz benefits. People would receive, say, 75% of their previouswages in the event of unemployment or short term sickness leave. This would provide more security for people and make for a more active and secure labour market.

    I think that with a programme like that, Labour would be able to appeal to the disadvantaged, poor, and working class — while also appealing to “middle New zealand”. For example, things like universal child benefits appeal to everyone.

    Labour should look to create a Scandinavian-style welfare state in New Zealand. Breaking away from the typical “Anglo Saxon welfare state” would be a good thing. Universalism can create solidarity and unite people. Heavy means testing creates an “us versus them” society.

  17. Clemgeopin 17

    Just received this email from Mahuta, sent to all members:

    Teenaa Koe Clem

    The Labour Leadership Campaign has been an important opportunity to set out the vision I have to lead Labour. In two years’ time we will be celebrating our great Party’s Centenary anniversary. We have a proud legacy and our challenge is to determine, as a progressive movement for change what the future can look like.

    I believe that we need to change the style of politics in order to attract more people to the cause of a more equal, fair and just society. We can have a New Zealand that works for all of us!

    If successful, my immediate priority will be to thank members for their confidence, to regroup caucus and shape the leaders office in a manner that will help to support our team. I am mindful that New Zealand Council will be holding its last meeting for the year and it will be the first opportunity to discuss an integrated plan that aligns the parliamentary and party wings for the next three years. We must be of one accord in seeking to change the Government.

    It is important that prior to xmas, our Party reflects on the election review so that we can make the necessary changes to get our Party organisation and fundraising capability campaign ready.

    I have said in husting meetings that necessary changes may not always be popular but the clear message from the membership has been to stop internal bickering, the negative behaviour, and get on with representing the values and issues that are important to ordinary New Zealanders.

    We have work to do and it will be a three year campaign to earn the confidence and trust of people who want to see the kind of country that puts people first and the heart back into a fair, decent and caring society.

    My approach builds on what I know to be the most effective motivation for change and that is a country and opportunities where the next generation can lead a better life!

    We are stronger when we work together!

    Pai Marire


    Nanaia Mahuta

  18. Dont worry. Be happy 18

    NZ First has had the good sense and strategic nous to pull out of the pick a flag fiasco. Now Green Party and Labour should pull out too. Leave the Nats, and the phone box parties United Future, ACT and the Maori Party to wear the charges of folly, waste and distraction.

    • McFlock 18.1


      When NZ1 refuse to push arbitrary nationalism buttons, you know it’s gonna be more divisive than votewinning.

      Especially as dunnokeyo’s current favourite looks like a corporate logo. So a bunch of tories will go for that because he likes it, traditionalists will get pissed that the union jack gets removed, a chunk of folk will want the silver fern with a passion, and most will want any politician with an opinion on the flag to stfu and do some real work.

      I wonder if pepsi will sue for royalties using the TPPA?

      • joe90 18.1.1

        Todays DomPost.

        Our prime minister has decided to initiate two binding referendums, costing up to $26 million, for a new flag.

        If the current flag is rejected then there will also need to be an update to the New Zealand coat of arms, which includes the current flag. To save more money being spent on design, I would like to suggest how a new coat of arms might look.

        The central coronation crown would have to be replaced by a rugby ball featuring the fern.

        Then I can visualise a smiling male figure resembling John Key holding the ”new” flag replacing the woman holding the ”old” one; an Air New Zealand plane featuring the koru replacing the three sailing ships; a dairy cow and a log of wood replacing the golden fleece and the wheat sheaf; and an Auckland house with a dollar sign over it and a surveillance camera replacing the four stars and the two hammers.


        Paparangi [abridged]


        • Kiwiri - Raided of the Last Shark

          There are better uses of those millions, as well as many other questions that can be asked by way of referenda for difficult decision-making that truly matter to people struggling to make ends meet or get ahead.

        • Zolan

          .. and the maari in a McDonalds uniform holding a spatula.

          I think there is opportunity for some clever people to use the publicity focus against the system.

          Design flags that raise questions or mock superficiality etc. The committee will prevent them being distributed on the ballot, but they could be produced and displayed in other ways.

          Get something out there that gets people talking, and maybe they will start thinking for themselves.

          • greywarshark

            @ zolan 9.04am
            There could be a place on the net to send flag designs that get put up for viewing, sort of like our caption threads, and count likes. A small prize for top 10? As a bit of encouragement and appreciation.

      • RedBaronCV 18.1.2

        Nact are arrogant tossers aren’t they. Not enough money for women’s refuges or rape crisis but hey $26m for a flag referendum. I think I’ll spoil my paper.

        • b waghorn

          The best way to get at key and save half the money is to convince people to leave it as it is.

          • RedBaronCV

            Will the “leave er as it is” option get onto the ballot?

            • b waghorn

              Would have or there’s no point for the 1st referendum . as much as I dislike the union jack I’d live with it to see key loose one.

          • Zolan

            The waste is hardwired.
            First, you must choose your favourite wine.
            And only afterwards can you say you don’t want any wine.

    • Chooky 18.2

      +100 …. the flag issue is a disgraceful waste of money and a John Key ego trip

      …John Key is NOT the founding father of New Zealand….and the majority of New Zealanders do not want to change the flag…especially young New Zealanders


  19. greywarshark 19

    Sad, sad. You might have to face abuse yourself if reporting animal abuse. License owners? With free animal care and psychology workshop for owners plus cheaper licence fees for those who attend. These were in Whangarei.

    Ms Shields, who has 23 years of experience, says SPCA inspectors rescued a record six emaciated dogs last month, some of them chained up, nearly all of them close to death, and one so unwell it had to be put down.

    She said to highlight the problem, she had pledged to consume nothing but water until midnight on Wednesday.
    Ms Shields said the SPCA needed good people in the community to report cases of animal neglect and abuse.
    She said that could take courage, because people who abused pets were likely to abuse people too, but the alternative could be letting an animal die.


    These below around Karaka in South Auckland
    A fox terrier was skinned and had a paw and ears removed and rabbits were decapitated and maimed in other ways.
    He says because there is a strong link between animal abuse and human abuse, he’s worried the person or people involved could go on the hurt an adult, or children.


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

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

    SciBlogsBy Robert Hickson
    2 days ago
  • Maybe axing Clark would be unfair. But what about any of this is fair?
    Yesterday was the day the consequences of the lockdown suddenly got very real for many. Firms have been closing and laying people off since the outset of the quarantine but this has mostly been happening out of the public eye. The mass closure of a number of iconic New Zealand ...
    PunditBy Liam Hehir
    2 days ago
  • Might a ‘Coasean’ social contract mitigate overall societal harm from COVID-19?
    Brian Williamson1, Prof Nick Wilson2 (1Economic consultant, UK; 2University of Otago Wellington) In this blog, we outline how a win-win social contract could be forged to address the major dimensions of response to the COVID-19 pandemic when using a mitigation strategy: the particular need to protect older people from high ...
    SciBlogsBy Public Health Expert
    2 days ago
  • Returning To “Normalcy”.
    Resuming Normal Service: The Republican Party's nominee for in 1920, Warren Harding, promised the American people: “not heroics, but healing; not nostrums, but normalcy; not revolution, but restoration”. If she wishes to remain our prime minister, then Jacinda Ardern will offer New Zealanders the same.HOW EDUCATED AMERICA snickered when the ...
    2 days ago
  • New Zealand’s Government Must Save New Zealand’s Media.
    No Free Society Without A Free And Functioning News Media: If we are to surrender our civil rights to the broader cause of defeating Covid-19, then foreign corporations must, likewise, surrender their right to inflict immense economic and cultural harm on New Zealanders simply because it improves their bottom line.I’M ...
    2 days ago
  • Corona fevers and the madness of models
    by Daphna Whitmore A third of the world is under lockdown and a clear assessment of this measure to curb the spread of COVID-19 is urgently needed.  With any high-stakes decisions it has to be asked what are we dealing with here? Are the measures warranted? Will they achieve their ...
    RedlineBy Daphna
    2 days ago
  • Lockdown day 8
    I haven’t done a huge amount in the last few days. I’m reading The Poppy War and I’ve sort of poked at a couple of games – I started SOMA but I’m a wimp and I quit while in the first room after the brain scan. I might try it ...
    The little pakehaBy chrismiller
    2 days ago
  • Backstage and Theatre
    The swan politicians may be gliding on the water, occasionally snapping at one another. Meanwhile, as the Covid19 crisis illustrates, the officials are desperately paddling below providing the real locomotion. One of the most fatuous recent grandstanding comments (of about a week ago), adding to the public’s anxieties, was ...
    PunditBy Brian Easton
    2 days ago
  • Legal Beagle: Waiver, the singular Crown and the conduct of Crown legal business
    Much has been written about the importance of discretion in an emergency situation, and the concerns raised by the potential for it to be exercised arbitrarily. Given the quality of the discussion, there seemed little point in adding to it at any length. In particular, I point to the evidence ...
    2 days ago
  • Highlights from Bauer Media’s science-related reporting
    Today has felt surreal. I was all set to touch base online with my science communication students when a colleague shared the news that Bauer Media would be shutting down its publications immediately. The first link I saw implied it was Woman’s Weekly affected, and even that shocked me. But ...
    SciBlogsBy Sarah-Jane O'Connor
    2 days ago
  • Outsiders.
    Bogeymen, Real And Imagined: Is the number of psychopathic and sociopathic individuals in any given society truly as vanishingly small as we like to tell ourselves? Isn’t it more likely that the mass-shooters and serial-killers filling the headlines represent only the tip of a much, much larger iceberg of frightfulness? ...
    3 days ago
  • We have a right to know the rules we are expected to obey
    Outgoing Police Commissioner Mike Bush appeared before the Epidemic Response Committee today, who asked him for the rules police are using to enforce the lockdown. He refused:Police Commissioner Mike Bush has admitted the advice given to Kiwis about what they're able to do during the lockdown hasn't been clear enough. ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    3 days ago
  • Life in Lock Down: Day 7 (sanitised version)
    For those folk who find my other Lock-Down Diary versions too “negative” or otherwise unpalatable… Here’s a photo of my cat, . . Better? Tomorrow’s Sanitised Version: a pretty flower. . . . =fs= ...
    Frankly SpeakingBy Frank Macskasy
    3 days ago
  • Life in Lock Down: Day 7
    . . April 1: Day seven of living in lock-down… This morning I had a brief chat with one of my neighbours, “D” (social distance between us, a good three or four metres). I learned he had resigned from his previous job and had been hired by another company – ...
    Frankly SpeakingBy Frank Macskasy
    3 days ago
  • RIP The Listener, New Zealand’s pioneering voice
    Funnily enough, my thought as I start this post is whether it will be well written enough. Or should that be well enough written? Because so much of what I know about good writing came from my two stints at The Listener, which this morning was shut down due to ...
    PunditBy Tim Watkin
    3 days ago
  • OK, Britney: stop sniping at National for doing its job
    With normal democratic procedures in abeyance, there were two ways to go. First, it was open for the government to dissolve itself and invite the National Party to join a ministry of national salvation. That would have lessened the democratic deficit of the times by having a team of rivals without ...
    PunditBy Liam Hehir
    3 days ago
  • Helpful tips for parents during lockdown
    Dr Kirsty Ross Children and young people can respond differently in times of distress. This also varies by age and developmental stage, with younger children having more magical and imaginative thinking, and older children having more awareness and knowledge of the issues our communities are facing (which brings up ...
    SciBlogsBy Guest Author
    3 days ago
  • Skeptical Science New Research for Week #13, 2020
    3 days ago
  • Hungary is now a dictatorship
    Hungary has been a virtual dictatorship for a decade now, as Prime Minister Viktor Orbán has gradually eroded its democracy. But now, its official, with the passage of an indefinite emergency law allowing rule by decree:Hungary’s parliament has passed a new set of coronavirus measures that includes jail terms for ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    3 days ago
  • A new Ministry of Works
    While the economy is on pause under lockdown, the government is beginning to plan how to cope with the post-lockdown, post-tourism, post-export education world we will eventually find ourselves in. They're planning a lot of infrastructure spending as economic stimulus, and have asked for proposals which can start the moment ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    4 days ago
  • Capture: Well spaced out
    It's my distraction,  setting up tiny scenes to photograph.  I've got stuck on the Babushka dolls for now.  Something about their bubble shape.  Something about their never changing, smiling features, suggesting persistent equanimity.  Can we get through everything that is being thrown at us and keep at least a tiny ...
    4 days ago
  • Life in Lock Down: Day 6
    . . March 31: Day six of living in lock-down… This time I managed to sleep a little longer and the alarm woke me at the pre-set time: 6.55am. Then remembered I was working a later shift and could’ve slept in. Oh well, there are things to do at home. ...
    Frankly SpeakingBy Frank Macskasy
    4 days ago
  • March ’20 – NZ blogs sitemeter ranking
    Image credit: Diamond Harbour School Blogs I notice a few regulars no longer allow public access to the site counters. This may happen accidentally when the blog format is altered. If your blog is unexpectedly missing or ...
    4 days ago
  • Hard News: Poll Pot and the partisans
    Yesterday's Horizon poll showing support for a "Yes" vote in this year's cannabis referendum sliding into the majority for the first time in a year looked like good news for reformers – and it probably is. But the result warrants some scrutiny.The poll is the fifth in a series commissioned ...
    4 days ago
  • Why those bubbles are so important
    For almost a week now, every one of us who isn’t an essential worker has been confined to their bubble. We are allowed to go shopping for groceries, to visit the doctor, and to get a bit of exercise if we stay local. The reason we are doing this is ...
    SciBlogsBy Siouxsie Wiles
    4 days ago
  • A Government System That Works
    The Covid-19 saga will no doubt produce many twists and turns for us before it is finally brought to an end. But one thing it has shown us – and what comfort it should bring us – is that our country’s government is in good hands. I am not thinking ...
    Bryan GouldBy Bryan Gould
    4 days ago
  • Smashing down the barriers: Where are we at with COVID vaccines?
    In the absence of a vaccine or a cure for a deadly disease, staying home in your bubble is what you do, the concept is not new.  To the best of my knowledge last time we did this in NZ was for polio, in the years before a vaccine came ...
    SciBlogsBy Helen Petousis Harris
    4 days ago
  • National Network on Cuba (USA): “Cuban medical solidarity is a pillar of its society and is founde...
    The following statement was released on March 28 by the National Network on Cuba, a coalition of 40 groups, based in the United States. In recent weeks, Cuba has deployed hundreds of medical providers to over a dozen countries in Europe, Asia, as well as to their neighbors in Latin ...
    RedlineBy Admin
    4 days ago
  • Alarming decrease in calves increases fears for endangered Hector’s dolphin
    This has been a terrible summer for Hector’s dolphins. The first indication was very low numbers of dolphin sightings during late spring and early summer. The Otago University Marine Mammal Research Team has carried out routine dolphin surveys at Banks Peninsula for more than 30 years. In all that time, ...
    SciBlogsBy Otago Marine Science
    4 days ago
  • Time for Grant Robertson to reveal package #2?
    On March 17, Finance Minister Grant Robertson was quick out of the blocks with an economic rescue package to help businesses through the inevitable recession resulting from the coronavirus pandemic. Robertson had pulled together a scheme in short order that so far seems to have saved many jobs. In his ...
    PunditBy Tim Watkin
    4 days ago
  • Saving lives
    The purpose of the lockdown is to save lives, by reducing the spread of covid-19. We won't know if its really working for another week, but given the devastation that will result if it doesn't - 14,000 dead is the optimistic scenario - its definitely worth trying. But pausing the ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    5 days ago
  • Life in Lock Down: Day 5
    . . March 30: Day five of living in lock-down… Woke up still in darkness. Alarm hadn’t gone off. Turn to radio clock; it’s a few minutes after 6am… I lie there in the dark, waiting to drift off to sleep… but it ain’t happening. Clock ticks over to 6.55 ...
    Frankly SpeakingBy Frank Macskasy
    5 days ago
  • Speaker: Les Gray: the man who told the truth
    The story of Les Gray, the public sector psychologist who told the truth about his use of cannabis and set off a storm, has a special place in the lore of cannabis reform in New Zealand.When Paul Shannon interviewed Gray for the 'Dope and Hope' issue of Planet magazine in ...
    5 days ago
  • Why now? Historical specificity and the perfect storm that has created trans identity politics
    by Phil Duncan For Marxists, a key concern about social trends is their context – not just their causes, but why they happen when they do.  Events and phenomena have causes, but they also are time or period-specific. While much of the left have capitulated recently to postmodernism, most notably ...
    RedlineBy Admin
    5 days ago
  • Time for a living wage for supermarket workers
    Since the lockdown began, we've all suddenly been reminded who the actually essential workers in our society are: not the people at the top who pay themselves the big bucks and rort the perks, but the people at the bottom they screw over and squeeze: cleaners, warehouse staff, truck drivers ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    5 days ago
  • Hard News: MUSIC: Lockdown Grooves
    Kia ora! As I've watched nearly all my remaining work vanish over the past couple of days, it has occured to me that one good way to keep me away from arguing with fools on Twitter all the time (in the knowledge that all we're really doing is processing our ...
    6 days ago
  • A place of greater safety?
    Aotearoa New Zealand has committed to trying to extirpate the virus that causes COVID-19 from its shores. To do that, as a society we’ve moved to “Level 4”. That means adapting to unprecedented restrictions on our personal freedoms, particularly to our rights to move freely and associate with friends and ...
    PunditBy Andrew Geddis
    6 days ago
  • The police and public trust
    When the Prime Minister declared a state of emergency last week, she handed the police powers to enforce it. And almost immediately, we started hearing about heavy-handed, arbitrary "enforcement" by police who (at best) cared more about order than law, or (more likely) had no idea what the rules were ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    6 days ago
  • Life in Lock Down: Day 4
    . . Lock Down: Day 4 – A photo essay with observations . March 29: Usual wake up routine as RNZ snaps on my radio-clock. Jim Mora’s voice slowly enters my conciousness; there’s talk of a second wave of covid19 taking hold in South Korea; the week in Parliament – ...
    Frankly SpeakingBy Frank Macskasy
    6 days ago
  • COVID-19 vs New Zealand
    Yesterday, New Zealand recorded its first Covid-19 related death on the West Coast. Unfortunately this is unlikely to be the only fatality, with the virus now being found in every region of the country.However despite the significant danger, people are still unfortunately breaching lockdown rules.There’s really only one main very ...
    6 days ago
  • 2020 SkS Weekly Climate Change & Global Warming Digest #13
    Story of the Week... Toon of the Week... Coming Soon on SkS... Climate Feedback Claim Review... SkS Week in Review... Poster of the Week... Story of the Week... ‘Misinformation kills’: The link between coronavirus conspiracies and climate denial   Grist / Rob Kim / Stringer / CSA Images  Scientific ...
    6 days ago
  • Rāhui day 4
    The kids did surprisingly well today – meltdown count was about 3, and mostly fairly short ones. (And a fourth while I was writing.) Game-wise I had a go at Fell Seal: Arbiter’s Mark. It’s a fairly standard RPG with turn-based combat and what they call a “mature storyline” (it ...
    The little pakehaBy chrismiller
    6 days ago
  • Letter to a friend
    by Don Franks Hi David, Nice hearing from you, I’m glad to hear you’re getting by okay in these grim times. You asked how’s it going for us back here in New Zealand. You would have heard that the whole country is locked down and with breaks for exercise and ...
    RedlineBy Daphna
    6 days ago
  • Life in Lock Down: Day 3
    . . Lock Down: Day 3 – A photo essay with observations . March 28: First day of the first weekend in Lock Down. It feels like it’s been weeks since only Level 3 was declared last Tuesday, only four days ago. Woke up this morning to RNZ; coffee; toast, ...
    Frankly SpeakingBy Frank Macskasy
    7 days ago
  • 2020 SkS Weekly Climate Change & Global Warming News Roundup #13
    A chronological listing of news articles linked to on the Skeptical Science Facebook Page during the past week, i.e., Sun, Mar 22, 2020 through Sat, Mar 28, 2020 Articles Linked to on Facebook Sun, Mar 22, 2020 In Just 10 Years, Warming Has Increased the Odds of Disasters by Chelsea Harvey, ...
    7 days ago
  • Rāhui day 3
    I’m here in lockdown with my flatmate and her two girls (6 and 2) and it. is. a time. They’re usually really active so to start with the only boardgame in the house is the copy of Guess Who that the 6 year old got for her birthday. Flatmate commented ...
    The little pakehaBy chrismiller
    1 week ago
  • A test of civil society.
    The CV-19 (COVID) pandemic has seen the imposition of a government ordered national quarantine and the promulgation of a series of measures designed to spread the burden of pain and soften the economic blow on the most strategically important and most vulnerable sectors of society. The national narrative is framed ...
    KiwipoliticoBy Pablo
    1 week ago
  • Life in Lock Down: Day 2
    . . Lock Down: Day 2 – A photo essay with observations . March 27 – Day 2 of our Strange New World. The Park and Ride near my suburb, usually filled with hundreds of vehicles, had just… four; . . Another drive into Wellington City on a highway nearly ...
    Frankly SpeakingBy Frank Macskasy
    1 week ago
  • How Do You Feel? What Do You Think?
    Fortune's Children: Under extraordinary pressure, the leader of the Government and the leader of the Opposition will each show us what they are made of. Have they been blessed with intelligence, grace, wit, poise, toughness, empathy and humour – and in what measure? More importantly, to what extent have they ...
    1 week ago
  • Landlords are NOT an essential service
    If you’ve ever had the misfortune of having to rent a property on the open market in New Zealand, which is one of the most expensive in the entire world, you’ll likely be keenly aware of just how arrogant and entitled landlords and their real estate agents can be.Unfortunately for ...
    1 week ago
  • A “new Society” post-COVID19 will definitely emerge. The question is: on what path?
    Society-wise, aside from the specific morbidity shall we say of the medically-oriented aspects of this COVID-19 crisis, what is unfolding before the world is in more than one way an instructive study of humanity and reactions to a high intensity, high stress environment in real time. Friends, we are at ...
    exhALANtBy exhalantblog
    1 week ago
  • Raise the Bar: Everything you need to know about the wage subsidy
    Right now low waged and insecure workers are feeling the economic brunt of the looming #Covid19 Recession. In response legal advocate Toby Cooper* and hospitality and worker’s rights advocate Chloe Ann-King, are putting together a series of legal blogs about your employment rights: In this legal blog we outline some ...
    PosseBy chloeanneking
    1 week ago
  • The massacre of prisoners in Modelo jail, Bogota, March 21
    by Equipo Jurídico Pueblos and Gearóid Ó Loingsigh (25/03/2020) An escape plan in question On the night of March 21st and the early morning of the 22nd, the forces of the Colombian state stormed into the Modelo prison in Bogotá, murdering 23 prisoners and injuring 83, in response to the ...
    RedlineBy Admin
    1 week ago
  • We are not America
    When the government banned semi-automatic weapons in response to a terrorist atrocity, gun-nuts were outraged. Mired in toxic American gun culture, they thought owning weapons whose sole purpose was killing people was some sort of "constitutional right", a necessity for "defending themselves" against the government. Now, the Court of Appeal ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • When will we know the lockdown is working?
    Just before midnight on Wednesday March 25, Aotearoa New Zealand entered a countrywide alert level four lockdown. For at least the next four weeks, everyone who isn’t an essential worker is confined to their bubble. We are doing this to stop the explosive growth in people contracting and dying from ...
    SciBlogsBy Siouxsie Wiles
    1 week ago
  • Lock Down: Day 1
    . . Lock Down: Day 1 – A photo essay with observations . Day one of the Level 4 nationwide lock-down (or, DefCon 4 as I sometimes cheekily call it) started at 11.59PM on 25 March. For a moment, most of the nation held it’s collective breath. In that brief ...
    Frankly SpeakingBy Frank Macskasy
    1 week ago
  • A Compelling Recollection.
    Broad, Sunlit Uplands: How those words fired my young imagination! Or, perhaps, it is more accurate to say: how those words fused, in my young mind, with the image printed on every packet of Fielder’s Cornflour. Always fascinated by history, especially modern history, I cannot hear Churchill’s wonderfully evocative words, even ...
    1 week ago
  • The Warehouse – where everyone gets a virus
    . . 24 March 2020 9.46AM Number of covid19 cases in Aotearoa New Zealand: 102 . As of 11.59 on Thursday, most of New Zealand will go into “lock down”. People will be expected not to travel to work; not to socialise; and to stay home. I will not be ...
    Frankly SpeakingBy Frank Macskasy
    1 week ago
  • Aggressive action to address climate change could save the world $145 trillion
    This is a re-post from Yale Climate Connections A respected research group, Project Drawdown, finds that deploying solutions consistent with meeting the Paris climate targets would cost tens of trillions of dollars globally. But crucially, those outlays would also yield long-term savings many times larger than the up-front costs. The new 2020 Drawdown ...
    1 week ago
  • After the Pandemic
    It will pass. What happens next? Not immediately, but longer term. There are many opinions, fewer certainties. Will it “change everything!” as many confidently, and contradictorily predict? In this post I look at how foresight can help bound some of the uncertainties so you can more objectively consider the future. ...
    SciBlogsBy Robert Hickson
    1 week ago
  • Coronavirus – Cuba shows the way
    We’ve been meaning t write something on Cuba and the coronavirus but have just discovered a very good article on the subject in the US left publication Jacobin.  The article looks at how Cuba, a poor country but one where capitalism has been done away with, is leading the way ...
    RedlineBy Admin
    1 week ago
  • Using privacy law to prevent the death penalty
    In 2018, El Shafee Elsheikh and Alexanda Kotey - two British citizens who had purportedly been stripped of their citizenship by the British government - were captured while fighting for Isis in Syria. The British government then conspired to hand them over to the US, and agreed to provide evidence ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • It’s Time For Disaster Socialism.
    Transformers: The disaster of the Great Depression was transformed into a new and fairer society by the democratic socialism of the First Labour Government. The disaster of the Covid-19 Pandemic offers a similar transformative possibility to the Labour-NZ First-Green Government. Seize the time, Jacinda! You will never have a better ...
    1 week ago
  • Skeptical Science New Research for Week #12, 2020
    Tamper with The System? Well, we already are. But there's a difference between accidentally trickling sand into a precision gearbox versus formulating a plan to alter it on the fly with improvements in mind. One action is more or less innocently unscrupulous, the other amenable to earning an easy ...
    1 week ago
  • Avoidable hospitalisations: Helping our health system get through COVID-19
    Associate Prof George Thomson, Louise Delany, Prof Nick Wilson While it is possible that New Zealand can use intense public health controls to eradicate COVID-19 from the country – we must also plan for other scenarios where thousands of New Zealanders are sick – including many urgently hospitalised.1 Better resilience ...
    SciBlogsBy Public Health Expert
    2 weeks ago
  • Raise the Bar: 10 questions to ask your employer proposing redundancy
    Kia ora my name is Chloe Ann-King* and I am the founder of Raise the Bar, a campaign and non-profit that gives free legal aid, advocacy and tautoko to hospitality workers in Aotearoa. Right now all over our country hospo workers are being fired at will, having shifts cut or being ...
    PosseBy chloeanneking
    2 weeks ago

  • Further measures to support businesses
    The Government will be introducing legislation to make changes to the Companies Act to help companies facing insolvency due to COVID-19 to remain viable and keep New Zealanders in jobs. The temporary changes include: Giving directors of companies facing significant liquidity problems because of COVID-19 a ‘safe harbour’ from insolvency ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • Govt’s COVID plan, economic strength recognised
    The Government’s plan to cushion the blow of COVID-19 by supporting incomes, jobs and businesses, and position the economy to recover has been backed by another international report. International credit rating agency Moody’s today reaffirmed its highest Aaa credit rating on New Zealand, saying the economy is expected to remain ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • Funding certainty for sports through COVID-19
    National sports organisations have been given certainty of funding to ensure they can remain viable through the COVID-19 pandemic, Sport and Recreation Minister Grant Robertson announced today. “The global spread of COVID-19 has had a significant impact on sport and recreation in New Zealand, including the cancellation or postponement of ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • Butchers now allowed to process pork
    Changes have been made to allow butchers to process pork, only for supply to supermarkets or other processors or retailers that are open, Agriculture Minister Damien O’Connor has announced. “We carefully weighed the risk of allowing butchers to open their shops for retail customers, but the risk of spreading COVID-19 ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • Essential workers leave scheme established
    Essential workers who take leave from work to comply with public health guidance are being supported with a leave scheme to ensure they will continue to receive income, say the Minister of Workplace Relations and Safety Iain Lees-Galloway and Minister for Social Development, Carmel Sepuloni. A number of essential businesses ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • Govt WhatsApp helps share COVID-19 information
    A Government WhatsApp channel has been launched to help make information more easily accessible and shareable in the fight against COVID-19. Govt.NZ, which is free to use on any mobile device, will carry information and news for the public, businesses, healthcare providers, not for profits and local government. It can ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • Managed departure plan for stranded foreign nationals enables safe, orderly exit
    The Government has announced a plan to enable the safe, orderly exit of tens of thousands of stranded foreign nationals from New Zealand during the current COVID-19 Alert Level 4 restrictions, Deputy Prime Minister and Foreign Minister Winston Peters has said. “When we moved into lockdown a week ago, the ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • Government delivers COVID-19 support to GPs and Pharmacies
    Health Minister Dr David Clark says the Government is delivering on its commitment to support general practice doctors and nurses, and pharmacies on the front-line of our fight against COVID-19. "For us to overcome COVID-19, we need community health services such as general practice and community pharmacy to step up ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • Susan Thomas the new Chief High Court Judge
    Justice Susan Thomas has been appointed Chief High Court Judge, Attorney-General David Parker announced today.  She replaces Justice Geoffrey Venning who has resigned from the position.   David Parker paid tribute to Justice Venning, who he said had stewarded the High Court very capably over the last five years.   “On behalf ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • Business Finance Guarantee – applications open
    Businesses can start applying to their banks for loans under the Business Finance Guarantee Scheme set up to support the New Zealand economy during the COVID-19 pandemic. “We’re moving quickly to protect New Zealand businesses, jobs and the economy during this unprecedented global economic shock,” Finance Minister Grant Robertson said. ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • Work starts on ways to fast-track consents to boost recovery from Covid-19 downturn
    Work is underway looking at measures to speed up consents for development and infrastructure projects during the recovery from COVID 19, to provide jobs and stimulate our economy.  Environment Minister David Parker said the COVID-19 pandemic is a serious global crisis that will have a wide ranging and lasting impact ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • Advance payments to support contractors
    Advance payments will be made to transport construction industry contractors to retain the workforce and ensure it is ready to quickly gear up to build projects which will be vital to New Zealand’s COVID-19 economic recovery, Transport Minister Phil Twyford announced today. He said keeping the workforce required to build ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • Government seeks infrastructure projects
    The Government has tasked a group of industry leaders to seek out infrastructure projects that are ready to start as soon as the construction industry returns to normal to reduce the economic impact of the COVID-19 pandemic, Economic Development Minister Phil Twyford and Infrastructure Minister Shane Jones say. The Infrastructure ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • Health system scaled up to prepare for COVID-19
    Work to scale up the health system in preparation for COVID-19 was today outlined by Health Minister David Clark, as he reported back to the new Epidemic Response Committee. “We are well placed to contain the spread of COVID-19. We have taken early and decisive action at our borders, and ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • Essential media COVID-19 guidelines refined
    The Government is refining its COVID-19 essential business guidance to include the distribution of news publications for communities which are hard to reach. The Minister of Broadcasting, Communications and Digital Media, Kris Faafoi, said the move was in recognition of the importance for New Zealanders who might be harder to ...
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    4 days ago
  • Supermarkets able to open on Easter Sunday
    The Government is ensuring supermarkets can open on Easter Sunday so we can buy groceries, but stay closed on Good Friday allowing workers to take a break. This provides a balanced approach and ensures we avoid large queues that two days closure may cause. “Supermarkets will be able to open ...
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    4 days ago
  • New Zealand defence personnel conclude mission at Taji
    Following the successful conclusion of the Building Partner Capacity (BPC) mission at Taji, New Zealand defence personnel are returning to New Zealand from Iraq, in accordance with the Cabinet decision made in June 2019, Foreign Affairs Minister Winston Peters and Defence Minister Ron Mark announced today. “New Zealand is very ...
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    5 days ago
  • State of National Emergency extended
    The State of National Emergency to help stop the spread of COVID-19 has been extended for a further seven days, Minister of Civil Defence Peeni Henare said. The initial declaration on March 25 lasted seven days and can be extended as many times as necessary. “Since we went into isolation ...
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    5 days ago
  • Strong Govt books support ‘go hard, go early’ response
    New Zealand’s ability to go hard and go early in the fight against COVID-19 has been underpinned by strong Government finances and the growing economy heading into this global pandemic, Finance Minister Grant Robertson says. The Treasury today released the Crown financial statements for the eight months to the end ...
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    5 days ago
  • Christchurch Hospital Hagley ICU to open to support COVID-19 response
    Health Minister Dr David Clark says 36 new intensive care beds at Christchurch Hospital’s new Hagley building are being fast tracked so they are available for treatment of COVID-19 patients.   The Ministry of Health is working with contractor CPB and Canterbury DHB to enable access to the hospital’s ICU, ...
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    5 days ago
  • Government supports Air NZ freight flights
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    6 days ago
  • Tariff concessions on COVID-19 related products
    New Zealand will temporarily remove tariffs on all medical and hygiene imports needed for the COVID-19 response. Trade and Export Growth Minister David Parker and Commerce and Consumer Affairs Minister Kris Faafoi said today that the New Zealand Customs Service will apply tariff concessions to all diagnostic reagents and testing ...
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    1 week ago
  • Clarification of modification to wage subsidy scheme
    Minister of Finance Grant Robertson has clarified that the changes to the wage subsidy scheme announced yesterday mean that employers should be passing on the full subsidy to workers, except in the case where the person’s normal income is less than the level of the subsidy. “We still want employers ...
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    1 week ago
  • Face masks flowing to DHBs
    Medical face masks from the national reserve supply are now being distributed to District Health Boards, while at the same time local production is being ramped up. Yesterday more than 640,000 masks were sent to DHBS – that is an immediate two week supply, with more to follow in coming ...
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    1 week ago
  • COVID-19: Further steps to protect New Zealanders’ jobs
    The Government has made modifications to the wage subsidy scheme to ensure people don’t lose their jobs during the national lockdown. These changes will soften the impact of COVID-19 on workers, families and businesses, and position them to exit the lockdown and look to recovery, Finance Minister Grant Robertson says. ...
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    1 week ago
  • Tax relief for Mycoplasma Bovis farmers
    Farmers whose herds were culled in response to the outbreak of Mycoplasma bovis will be able to minimise the tax treatment of their income in some circumstances. Revenue Minister Stuart Nash says Cabinet has agreed to change the law. It means farmers may be eligible to spread their income over ...
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    1 week ago
  • $27 million for NGOs and community groups to continue providing essential services
    A $27 million dollar package, effective immediately, is being provided to social sector services and community groups to ensure they can continue to provide essential support to communities as we stay at home as a nation to stop the spread of COVID-19, Minister for Social Development Carmel Sepuloni announced. “At ...
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    1 week ago
  • Statement on guilty plea of March 15 terrorist
    “The guilty plea today will provide some relief to the many people whose lives were shattered by what happened on March 15,” Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern said. “These guilty pleas and conviction bring accountability for what happened and also save the families who lost loved ones, those who were injured, ...
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    1 week ago
  • COVID-19 updates
    The Prime Minister is holding daily press conferences to update New Zealanders on the Government's response to COVID-19. Links to videos and transcripts of these updates below. These transcripts also include All of Government press conferences led by Director Ministry of Health's Director-General of Health Dr Ashley Bloomfield. 25 March: Live update from the Prime ...
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    1 week ago
  • Police numbers break through 10,000 mark
    Frontline Police numbers have broken through the 10,000 mark for the first time in history as officers step forward to keep the community safe during the COVID19 lockdown. “Two Police graduations in Auckland and Wellington in the past week have been conducted in unprecedented circumstances,” Police Minister Stuart Nash said. ...
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    1 week ago
  • Urgent tax measures for economic recovery
    Urgent legislation has been passed to support the package of economic and social measures needed to recover from the impact of the coronavirus outbreak. “The COVID-19 Response (Taxation and Social Assistance Urgent Measures) Bill will cushion New Zealanders from the worst economic impacts of the COVID-19 outbreak,” said Revenue Minister ...
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    1 week ago
  • Further support for farmers and growers as drought persists
    From tomorrow, Government support for farmers and growers affected by drought will be expanded and extended across the country, with access to Rural Assistance Payments (RAPS) available throughout the North Island, parts of the South Island and the Chatham Islands, Social Development Minister Carmel Sepuloni announced. “These challenging conditions have ...
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    1 week ago
  • COVID-19: Temporary changes to Education Act
    Parliament has passed amendments to legislation that give the Secretary of Education stronger powers to act in the fight to limit the spread of COVID-19, Education Minister Chris Hipkins said today. “They are part of a suite of changes passed under the COVID-19 Response (Urgent Management Measures) Legislation Bill,” Chris ...
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    1 week ago
  • Canada, Australia, Chile, Brunei and Myanmar join NZ and Singapore in committing to keeping supply a...
    Canada, Australia, Chile, Brunei and Myanmar have joined forces with New Zealand and Singapore by committing to keep supply chains open and remove any existing trade restrictive measures on essential goods, especially medical supplies, in the face of the Covid-19 crisis.  Trade and Export Growth Minister David Parker today welcomed ...
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    1 week ago
  • COVID-19: Rent increase freeze and more protection for tenants
    Immediate freeze on rent increases Tenancies will not be terminated during the lock-down period, unless the parties agree, or in limited circumstances Tenants who had previously given notice can stay in their if they need to stay in the tenancy during the lock-down period Tenants will still be able to ...
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    1 week ago
  • Working together to protect businesses and workers
    As New Zealand unites to lock-down in the fight against COVID-19, the Finance Minister is urging all businesses and workers to stay connected over the next four weeks. “We understand the extreme pressure many businesses are under right now. I know most business owners think of their workers as family ...
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    2 weeks ago
  • State of National Emergency declared to fight COVID-19
    A State of National Emergency has been declared across the country as the Government pulls out all the stops to curtail the spread of COVID-19. “Today we put in place our country’s second ever State of National Emergency as we fight a global pandemic, save New Zealanders’ lives and prevent ...
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    2 weeks ago
  • Prime Minister’s statement on State of National Emergency and Epidemic Notice
    Mr Speaker I wish to make a Ministerial Statement under Standing Order 347 in relation to the recent declaration of a State of National Emergency. Having considered the advice of the Director Civil Defence Emergency Management, the Minister of Civil Defence declared a State of National Emergency for the whole of ...
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    2 weeks ago
  • Deadline for domestic travel extended
    People needing to travel on domestic flights, trains and Cook Strait ferries to get home before the country moves into level 4 lock-down tomorrow night will be able to continue using the passenger services until midnight on Friday, Transport Minister Phil Twyford said today. Domestic passenger services, particularly ferries, have ...
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    2 weeks ago
  • Mortgage holiday and business finance support schemes to cushion COVID impacts
    The Government, retail banks and the Reserve Bank are today announcing a major financial support package for home owners and businesses affected by the economic impacts of COVID-19. The package will include a six month principal and interest payment holiday for mortgage holders and SME customers whose incomes have been ...
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    2 weeks ago