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Open mike 18/10/2015

Written By: - Date published: 6:00 am, October 18th, 2015 - 48 comments
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48 comments on “Open mike 18/10/2015”

  1. Manuka AOR 1

    Why is Kelvin the only MP taking significant action on this?
    http://www.skynews.com.au/news/world/asiapacific/2015/10/17/nz-labour-mp-to-visit-christmas-island.html

    (Missing Campbell Live acutely – They would have been there and back by now.)

    • DoublePlusGood 1.1

      And where are the MPs condeming the mess in our own prisons? Sam Lotu-Iiga still has his job, and that just simply should not be the case.

      • aerobubble 1.1.1

        You invite a family to come say with you, your kids grow up like brothers, knowing nothing different, having signed up to nothing, discover that though paying the same taxes, wholely differing punishments lay in wait should you be for guilty of offense. Any civilized society regards its justice system as a product of humanity, concerned that innocents wrongly convicted as happens aren’t harmed irrevocable. What could harm a child more than finding out that not only are they taxed higher but should they fall, or worse become targeted, their whole lives will depend upon the uprightness of their parents. Australia is a shameless nation, its treatment of its first peoples, its voting system that criminalizes, or removed the right to vote, as it effective binds your consent for the most mediocre of candidates, is it no wonder Australian parliaments have no principled backbones, bunch of sponges with thought of being greater than all. I hang my head in shame that I carry a Aussie passport, I won’t live there until the voting system elects fair representatives and representation.

  2. Manuka AOR 2

    One of the so-called “criminals” dumped at the airport:
    http://www.nzherald.co.nz/nz/news/article.cfm?c_id=1&objectid=11530899

    Tetraplegic who had been jailed for self-medicating with painkillers. After 36 years living in Aus and no family or friends over here, was dumped at Auckland airport with $200.

    • Manuka AOR 2.1

      “Paul, who broke his neck in a 2010 accident, said the deportation policy didn’t take into account the severity of someone’s crime.

      “I’m not making excuses for what I did, but I didn’t hurt anyone and I wasn’t dealing anything,” he said.

      “He was told his visa was being withdrawn by the Australian Government two days before his second jail term was up. He said he then spent an additional four months in a detention centre while his deportation was organised.”

    • AsleepWhileWalking 2.2

      Good grief.

    • vto 2.3

      Why aren’t we reacting to this?

      Is it because John Key is a useless pussy and bends over too easily?

      • Kiwiri 2.3.1

        Merrill Lynch gives in to Goldman Sachs

      • alwyn 2.3.2

        Just what action do you think we should take that would have any effect?
        Declare war, perhaps?
        I have commented elsewhere on this site recently that we have precisely zero influence on Australian politicians and people, and it has been like that for at least 50 years.
        To repeat. What do you think we can do? Complaining about it isn’t going to get us anywhere is it? After all, no Australian politician has ever lost popularity by bashing New Zealanders.

    • millsy 2.4

      I am more worried out the fact that he was put in jail simply for putting the wrong (probably in the eyes of the Catholic Church) chemicals into his own body.

      WTF?

  3. Sirenia 3

    This is really disgraceful, and the disabled person is just the latest. Interesting that for all John Key’s supposed international charm and schmoozing he doesn’t appear to care about this issue and isn’t doing anything. If he did he could. Or is he waiting for the focus groups? Will they need to remind him that these deported people are also humans.

    • alwyn 3.1

      ” and isn’t doing anything. If he did he could”
      Come, enlighten us. Just what do you think he could do that would have any useful effect at all?

  4. Tautoko Mangō Mata 5

    Here is an excellent article by Dr Vandana Shiva for World Food Day..
    “For all the destruction it causes, the industrial food system produces only 30% of the food eaten by people. If we continue, we will soon have a dead planet and no food. There is, however, another road to food security. The road that was abandoned by research institutes and governments under the influence of giant chemical corporations (now seed and Biotechnology Corporations). This is the road of agroecology and small scale farming, which still produce 70% of the food.”
    ……
    Currently 1500 patents on Climate Resilient crops have been taken by corporations like Monsanto. Navdanya Research Foundation for Science, Technology and Ecology, has published the list in the report “Biopiracy of Climate Resilient Crops: Gene Giants Steal Farmers Innovation. With these very broad patents, corporations like Monsanto can prevent access to climate resilient seeds in the aftermath of climate disasters through patents. But we must know that climate resilient traits are not created through genetic engineering, but are pirated from seeds farmers who have evolved them. Women farmers have had a key role in seed evolution and breeding.”
    http://www.commondreams.org/views/2015/10/16/big-ag-doesnt-serve-us-reflections-world-food-day

    Also read about patenting warning from 2009

    ““This is a form of biopiracy since the traits that the corporations are patenting have been evolved through centuries of farmers’ breeding. On the basis of this biopiracy, the biotech industry is positioning itself as the “climate saviour,” making governments and the public believe that without them there will be no seeds of climate resilience. By making broad claims on all crops and all traits, the industry is in fact closing future options for adaptation in climate change,” she told journalists.”
    http://www.thehindu.com/todays-paper/tp-national/ngo-warns-against-biopiracy-of-climateresilient-crops/article259600.ece

    TPPA- the DEAD RAT TREATY, has been influenced by these big AGCHEM firms who financially support US politicians- another reason why the TPPA should not be ratified!

    • aerobubble 5.1

      Your elected leaders hold to the economic ideological faith that to regulate is a sin and all the while they regulate TTPs or acts etc. They lie to us, and keep getting voted in, its been happening for the last thirty years. they justify it saying that tax cuts increase revenue, sure when year on year energy prices drop, I.e not the tax cut just basic energy inputs. We live in a worked where media lies, take Arab tv news, the newsreaders are enslaved by the nation, unless they can pay to buy their way out they are screwed. Global malaise of the mediocre.

    • She seems to define “industrial food system” as non-organic farming, so it’s a partisan piece from the start. Organic farming has lower productivity than non-organic, this despite also using pesticides – just less-effective pesticides, because organic is basically magic-woo farming that equates “natural” with “morally superior.” In fact, what’s “natural” is living a short life as food for other creatures and having as many offspring as you can so that some of them survive to reproductive age. There’s nothing warm and cuddly about “natural.” It’s worth keeping in mind that back when western countries used organic farming on small holdings, any year could be a famine year and for most people the big question was always “Can we survive the next winter?” Fuck that and anyone who wants us to go back there.

      • Paul 5.2.1

        You should watch this film.

        “Cowspiracy: The Sustainability Secret” is a groundbreaking feature-length environmental documentary following an intrepid filmmaker as he uncovers the most destructive industry facing the planet today, and investigates why the world’s leading environmental organizations are too afraid to talk about it.”

        • Psycho Milt 5.2.1.1

          I should? Is there some reason I should watch it, or were you just recommending it as a good movie?

          • Paul 5.2.1.1.1

            It’s a good movie and it shows how we need to change how we eat for the sake of the planet.

            • Psycho Milt 5.2.1.1.1.1

              Who’s “we” in this? Most of the propaganda against farming for meat and milk is about countries where they feed human-edible crops to cows. By all means those countries should stop doing that, but it says nothing about whether organic farming is better than the non-woo kind.

              • Paul

                Did you watch the film?
                Or just come to a prejudged opinion. Emotive language like ‘propaganda’ suggests not.
                The film looks at the environmental footprint of eating meat.

                • Didn’t watch the film, because emotive language like “propaganda” is appropriate for anything involving vegetarian evangelism. They point out that a meat-based diet is bad for the planet, while ignoring the relevant question of what impact on the planet 7 billion people following a soy-based diet would have. Hint: the problem is the number of people, not the type of agriculture – with those numbers, the planet gets a hiding no matter what.

                  Judging by the trailer, it’s a film made by Americans – their annoyance at the practice of using human-edible crops to feed livestock is understandable, but if they’re trying to spin it into a “meat is bad for the planet” propaganda exercise they can fuck right off.

              • maui

                Our current form of farming is the most inefficient we’ve ever had. 10 units of oil to produce 1 unit of food is good how?

                Then there’s the by-products, like the destruction of the island of Nauru from New Zealand mining it to oblivion for fertiliser. Then on home soil there’s the rivers we’ve ruined, the millions of hectares of native vegetation we’ve removed, the soil we’ve degraded. Pretty much any other kind of farming could beat industrial agriculture blindfolded.

                • I’m not sure what kind of farming you’re imagining that doesn’t involve land cleared of whatever was growing on it before farmers turned up. The fantasy that this planet can feed 7 billion people without fertiliser or cutting down trees is just that. It would be nice if more people over the last hundred years had used a bit of contraception instead of bullshitting themselves that children are a blessing from God, but it’s a bit late for regrets.

                  When you say “our” current form of farming uses 10 units of oil to produce 1 unit of food, are you referring to NZ farming? Because the word “our” is misleading if you aren’t. “Our” as in NZ farming is doing a lot of damage via over-intensification lately, but that’s an issue of over-intensification, not farming in general. Organic farming also uses oil, and fertiliser, and pesticides, and is overall less productive than regular farming, so it’s not clear why we’d want to go down that path. Do you picture us returning to Third-World-style subsistence agriculture?

                  • weka

                    it’s also a fantasy that there’s no such thing as peak phosphate or peak soil. It’s a fantasy that you can cut down all the trees and still maintain land over many generations and increasing population. Oil has created a bulge of food production that can’t be sustained, and we’re now coming to the end. Plain old physics, bummer it doesn’t fit the rhetoric.

                    btw, your description of organics upthread marks you as someone who has no idea what they are talking about. You’ve just trotted out some pretty superficial tropes that have very little to do with sustainable agriculture. They’re also memes used by people with vested interests against sustainable agriculture.

                  • maui

                    If we really tried 1/4 acre food gardens at home could support most of the food needs for every town/city household. Ok that wouldn’t work for those in a skyscraper, but I think it’s possible otherwise. A little hard to keep cattle in the city, but if people changed their meat diet to chicken then we’re living off urban land and freeing up a lot of rural land for restoration/regeneration. I’m not saying we should retire most rural farmland but it illustrates how much land we could save if we tried other methods like food forests.

                    My version of organics is no pesticides/herbicides and artificial fertiliser, and minimal fuel use. That means growing food at your home locally. I’m sure organic companies do use all those industrial inputs you listed but I don’t call that organic farming.

                    The 10:1 ratio relates to industrial agriculture and that’s the practice commonly used in New Zealand. Yes we could well return to a 3rd world lifestyle because the oil and fertiliser taps will turn off eventually, we’re already looking for oil in far flung places and barely viable places. We should be concerned about that.

            • weka 5.2.1.1.1.2

              “It’s a good movie and it shows how we need to change how we eat for the sake of the planet.”

              From the reviews I’ve read, it’s a propaganda movie and it tells people how we need to eat from vegan ideology dressed up as the good of the planet, but it doesn’t stack up. References are very poorly done.

        • Ad 5.2.1.2

          The Utilitarian philosopher Peter Singer is excellent on this area.

          I made the regrettable decision to forego red meat recently.
          I mourn bacon.

      • Rosemary McDonald 5.2.2

        Now, on the one hand we have the GE and Pesticide Peddlars claiming to want to feed a starving world.

        And on the other hand we have a rampant obesity epidemic in the ‘western’ world.

        Doh?

      • millsy 5.2.3

        I would imagine that farming techniques and agricultural science have moved on since the the times when failed harvests would lead to impoverished and starving communities.

        I dont think peasant farmers in 1400’s Somerset would have been able to pop down to the local research station for a seminar.

        Im not opposed to GE as such, however it looks to be more about handing our food supply networks over to the likes of Monsanto than anything else.

        • Psycho Milt 5.2.3.1

          It will be about handing our food supply networks over to the likes of Monsanto if we continue preventing public-sector researchers’ involvement in it. Leaving GE up to the Americans and Chinese is one of the biggest strategic mistakes we’re making right now. And once the Nats have driven all our scientists overseas and the population consists largely of people who think “natural” is a synonym of “good,” we’ll end up looking more like than those 1400s Somerset peasants than we’d want to.

  5. Paul 6

    This is worthy of a post in its own rights.

    Insight in Iraq.
    Radio New Zealand’s political editor Jane Patterson travels to Taji Camp for a first-hand view of the training operations being undertaken by New Zealand troops.

    ‘Primarily, the trip was for the Prime Minister to visit the 100 or so New Zealanders serving in a training mission in Taji Camp, north west of Baghdad, to show his personal support.

    Taking nothing away from the significance of that visit to the New Zealand defence force personnel, the trip at its core was a PR exercise, designed to show John Key suited and booted in military apparel, travelling to one of the most dangerous countries in the world.’

    http://www.radionz.co.nz/national/programmes/insight/audio/201774742/insight-for-18-october-nz's-mission-to-iraq

  6. Chooky 7

    The joys of the uncensored internet:

    While I was innocently searching the internet for the title of an arthouse British film about two bus loads of geriatrics …(one bus load of old IRA and the other bus load of old Orangemen)…double booked for their Xmas bash at a lonely country Irish pub and the ensuing hilarious brawl that resulted ( I thought the title of the film was ‘Double Booked’….but it wasnt ) ….I discovered an April 2006 article in ‘The Atlantic’ by Matthew Teague called:

    ‘Double Blind-The untold story of how British intelligence infiltrated and undermined the IRA’

    http://www.theatlantic.com/magazine/archive/2006/04/double-blind/304710/

    This is a chilling story needless to say…and one which everyone should read because it has implications for political parties and political movements today ..(whether they be bad or good political parties and/or movements..and I hasten to add I have never been a sympathiser with the IRA. I find it morally repellent)

    The crux of the matter is:

    “British spies subverted the IRA from within, leaving it in military ruin, and Irish Republicans—who want to end British rule in Northern Ireland and reunite the island—have largely shifted their weight to Sinn Féin and its peaceable, political efforts. And so the Dirty War provides a model for how to dismantle a terrorist organization. The trick is to not mind killing, and to expect dying….

    “Kitson rolled into Northern Ireland in the early 1970s with considerable experience battling insurgencies in Kenya, Malaya, and elsewhere. …Kitson’s methods proved so effective that he wrote a now-classic counterinsurgency book, ‘Low Intensity Operations: Subversion, Insurgency, Peacekeeping’, which laid out principles now being followed by American forces in Iraq. By the time Kitson arrived in Northern Ireland, Low Intensity Operations had become his instruction manual for war there…

    Question is are these methods being used elsewhere on more benign political movements?

  7. Paul 8

    ‘With Canadians heading to the polls soon, Staff columnist for the Toronto Star Heather Mallick is hoping for a change in government.

    She is the author of two books, and her piece on Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper, The Nixon of the North, appears in the latest issue of Harper’s magazine.
    Despite being in power since 2006, Harper seems to have a knack for alienating people , and Mallick describes him as “Nixon, but without the charm”. She is clearly frustrated at the prospect of another Liberal term in government. ”

    “I’m so embarrassed. You know what. I want my country to go back to being the nice, dull, kind place it used to be.”

    That sounds like how I feel about New Zealand since we got looted and lied to by the neo-liberal clique who have taken over our country.

    http://www.radionz.co.nz/national/programmes/saturday/audio/201774091/heather-mallick-stephen-harper-and-canada

  8. Stuart Munro 9

    Allan Hubbard’s blood cries out from the ground for justice.

    • Chooky 9.1

      link?..photos?

    • seeker 9.2

      It certainly does Stuart. Thank you for reminding us all. Any news on the progress towards justice?

      • greywarshark 9.2.1

        Any news on Allan or Hubbard or blood or Justice? Don’t know what this is about. Meaningless without context. Why didn’t you send it as a text on your phone?

  9. There are steps that could be pursued. No entitlements for Australians/ dual passport holders to superannuation, no access to student loans, no cover by ACC while living/visiting in NZ. A start.

    • alwyn 10.1

      “No entitlements for Australians/ dual passport holders to superannuation, no access to student loans, no cover by ACC while living/visiting in NZ”
      That is an interesting selection you have made.
      Do you realise that any New Zealander living in Australia, even if only on the special visa they give us is entitled to all those things?
      It might make more sense to suggest things that we cannot get in Australia don’t you think?

  10. Ad 11

    In case people can’t get enough of Margaret Attwood’s dystopia’s, here’s an interview of her explaining her hybrid of gated communities and private prisons.

    http://www.salon.com/2015/10/17/margaret_atwood_on_our_real_life_dystopia_what_really_worries_me_is_creeping_dictatorship/

    She has this great knack of pushing reality out into almost-likely wigginess that puts current reality into stark contrast, or likelihood.

  11. North 12

    What a joy to watch (through teary eyes) South Auckland kids performing in the Auckland Town Hall, playing violin a la symphonia…….”Sunday”, TV One tonight. A programme now developing beyond South Aux to open worlds by getting kids into symphonic musical instruments.

    Some REAL good news in this crass and dirty neo-lib’ NZ where our fascinations are manipulatively steered by MSM/Crosby Textor towards fizzing about the gauche, effetely simpering, bankster PM’s latest idiot ‘quip’.

    And we all know a star/stars will emerge of course. Many, many thanks to the wonderful woman leading the programme, the funders, the helpers.

    • maui 12.1

      I thought there wouldn’t have been a dry eye in the Town hall house, but the audience they showed looked fairly non-plussed.

  12. Pat 13

    “Some of these allegations have been proved. In the 11 years since he became leader of the country’s Conservatives, the party has been fined for breaking electoral rules, and various members of Team Harper have been caught misleading parliament, gagging civil servants, subverting parliamentary committees, gagging scientists, harassing the supreme court, gagging diplomats, lying to the public, concealing evidence of potential crime, spying on opponents, bullying and smearing. Harper personally has earned himself the rare rebuke of being found to be in contempt of his parliament.”

    Sound familiar?

    http://www.theguardian.com/world/2015/oct/15/stephen-harper-master-manipulator

  13. Adrian 14

    For Chooky, it’s called No Surrender and it is very funny .

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    Redline received this article from the KOE a Marxist party in Greece Our friends in the KOE describe here the mounting crisis in Greece and tensions on the Turkish border. As desperate people flee from their homelands which have been ruined after decades of imperialist wars and interventions the people ...
    RedlineBy Daphna
    4 days ago
  • And God spake all these words, saying
    As the first week of Level Four lockdown unfolded, mounting questions grew as to just what was (and was not) allowed under its “rules”. Partly these were driven by some apparently contradictory messages from different authority figures and explanations carried in the media. Partly they reflected a somewhat sketchy legal basis ...
    PunditBy Andrew Geddis
    4 days ago
  • 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
    4 days ago
  • Death to our lockdown enemies!
    We must root out the traitors among us! ...
    Imperator FishBy Scott Yorke
    5 days 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
    5 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
    5 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
    5 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
    6 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
    6 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
    6 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
    6 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 ...
    6 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 ...
    6 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
    6 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
    6 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
    6 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 ...
    6 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
    6 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? ...
    6 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
    6 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
    6 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
    6 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
    7 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
    7 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
    7 days ago
  • Skeptical Science New Research for Week #13, 2020
    1 week 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
    1 week 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
    1 week 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 ...
    1 week 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
    1 week 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 ...
    1 week 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 ...
    1 week 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
    1 week 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
    1 week 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
    1 week 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
    1 week 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
    1 week 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
    1 week 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
    1 week 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
    1 week 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 ...
    1 week 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
    1 week 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
    1 week 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 ...
    1 week 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
    1 week 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
    1 week ago

  • Communities step up to help New Zealanders stay connected and fed during lockdown
    Communities stepping up to help New Zealanders stay at home to break the transmission of COVID-19 and save lives have received Government support, said Minister for Social Development Carmel Sepuloni. “Delivering groceries for the elderly who can’t shop online, providing data packs for low income families to keep them connected, and being ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    7 hours ago
  • 120 COVID-19 testing centres now operating
    Across New Zealand 120 sites are taking samples to be tested for COVID-19.   68 community based assessment centres (CBACs) have been established to take samples from people with COVID-19 symptoms. Alongside this, 52 other centres including designated general practices, swabbing centres, and mobile clinics are now testing people for ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    7 hours ago
  • Covid19: Government moving quickly to roll out learning from home
    The Ministry of Education is working with partners to develop a package of options so that students can learn at home when Term 2 begins on 15 April, Education Minister Chris Hipkins said today. Supports are also being prepared for households with children under five, to help parents and whānau ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    8 hours ago
  • Making learning from home accessible to Māori learners and whānau
    Māori Television to begin educational te reo programmes Ki te Ao Mārama – a new online learning space Thousands of hard copy learning packs ready for distribution Helpdesk and advice service for kōhanga, kura and wharekura Television, the internet and hard copy learning packs are some of the ways whānau ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    9 hours ago
  • New Zealand to provide assistance to Vanuatu following Tropical Cyclone Harold
    Foreign Affairs Minister Winston Peters has announced an initial package of support to help the people and the Government of Vanuatu respond to the impact of Tropical Cyclone Harold. “Our Pacific neighbours have been hit by a Category 5 Cyclone at the same time as dealing with the economic impacts ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    10 hours ago
  • Planning for the future of tourism
    Tourism New Zealand to lead work reimagining the way tourism operates in post-COVID-19 world. Ministers to review International Visitor Conservation and Tourism Levy investment plan. The Government, industry and business are working together to develop a plan for how tourism will operate in a post-COVID-19 world, Tourism Minister Kelvin Davis ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    12 hours ago
  • NZ horticulture sector feeding Kiwis and the world during COVID-19
    More New Zealanders are taking up the chance to work in horticulture as the sector keeps New Zealanders fed and in jobs during the COVID-19 Alert Level 4 lockdown. “Our horticulture sector has long been one of New Zealand’s export star performers, contributing around $6 billion a year to our ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    18 hours ago
  • Work to repurpose PGF funds begins
    The Provincial Development Unit is working through applications and projects to see where Provincial Growth Fund money can be repurposed for initiatives deemed more critical to fighting the economic impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic, Regional Economic Development Minister Shane Jones says. “We need to be throwing everything we have at ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 day ago
  • A million workers supported by Govt wage subsidy
    The Government’s wage subsidy to protect jobs and keep workers and businesses connected during the lockdown has now supported over a million New Zealanders, with $6.6 billion already paid out. “We’re supporting businesses to pay wages, and stay connected with their workers so that we are all in a better ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 day ago
  • Government helps Pacific communities fight COVID
    The Government is stepping up efforts to help protect New Zealand’s Pacific communities in the fight against COVID-19. Cabinet has agreed that $17 million will be allocated to support a COVID-19 Pacific Response Package, which will: Support Pacific health and disability services facing increased demand; Ramp up public health messaging ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • Statement from the Prime Minister on Dr David Clark
    “Yesterday evening the Health Minister advised me of his trip to a beach during the lockdown and offered his resignation,” Jacinda Ardern said.  “Under normal conditions I would sack the Minister of Health. What he did was wrong, and there are no excuses.  “But right now, my priority is our ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • Statement from David Clark
    Last night as part of my preparation for the Epidemic Response Committee, I provided the Prime Minister with a complete picture of my activity outside my home during Alert Level 4.  That included the fact that on the first weekend of the Alert Level 4 lockdown I drove my family ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • COVID-19 mental health support begins
    A range of support is being rolled out across New Zealand to help people look after their mental health during COVID-19 Health Minister David Clark said this morning. “COVID-19 has brought a lot of uncertainty into our lives and many of us will be feeling some level of distress or ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • New Zealanders in Peru to be assisted by Government charter flight
    The New Zealand Government has made arrangements to charter a flight for New Zealanders stranded in Peru to depart the country, following agreement with the Chilean government to allow the necessary transit through Chile, Foreign Affairs Minister Winston Peters announced today. “Like many travellers around the world at the moment, ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • COVID-19 Hospital Preparation Well Advanced
    Hospital preparations for COVID-19 are well advanced says Health Minister David Clark. “Hospitals across New Zealand are repurposing buildings and training staff to get ready for COVID-19 patients. This gives me confidence that we are well prepared for any potential increase in COVID-19 patients needing hospital level care,” said David ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days 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
    5 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
    6 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
    6 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
    6 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
    6 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
    6 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
    6 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
    6 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
    6 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
    1 week 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
    1 week 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
    1 week 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
    1 week 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
    1 week 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 ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week 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 ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week 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 ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week 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 ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week 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 ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week 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, ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Government supports Air NZ freight flights
    The Government has fast-tracked up to $1 million to help Air New Zealand move urgent freight to and from New Zealand, with the first flight to Shanghai leaving tonight, Transport Minister Phil Twyford announced today. Phil Twyford says it’s crucial that trade in vital goods such as medical supplies and ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Tariff concessions on COVID-19 related products
    New Zealand will temporarily remove tariffs on all medical and hygiene imports needed for the COVID-19 response. Trade and Export Growth Minister David Parker and Commerce and Consumer Affairs Minister Kris Faafoi said today that the New Zealand Customs Service will apply tariff concessions to all diagnostic reagents and testing ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 weeks ago
  • Clarification of modification to wage subsidy scheme
    Minister of Finance Grant Robertson has clarified that the changes to the wage subsidy scheme announced yesterday mean that employers should be passing on the full subsidy to workers, except in the case where the person’s normal income is less than the level of the subsidy. “We still want employers ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 weeks ago
  • Face masks flowing to DHBs
    Medical face masks from the national reserve supply are now being distributed to District Health Boards, while at the same time local production is being ramped up. Yesterday more than 640,000 masks were sent to DHBS – that is an immediate two week supply, with more to follow in coming ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 weeks ago
  • COVID-19: Further steps to protect New Zealanders’ jobs
    The Government has made modifications to the wage subsidy scheme to ensure people don’t lose their jobs during the national lockdown. These changes will soften the impact of COVID-19 on workers, families and businesses, and position them to exit the lockdown and look to recovery, Finance Minister Grant Robertson says. ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
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