Open Mike 18/12/2016

Written By: - Date published: 6:00 am, December 18th, 2016 - 154 comments
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154 comments on “Open Mike 18/12/2016”

    • Jenny 1.1

      On the fall of Aleppo.

      • Jenny 1.1.1

        “The triumph of fascism in Aleppo will not be confined to that ancient city.”

        Sam Hamad

        To which I would add; “The triumph of fascism in Spain did not remain confined to the Iberian Peninsular.”

        • Paul

          The author appears to be based close to the aaction.

          ‘Sam Hamad is a Scottish-Egyptian writer based in Edinburgh. He specialises in Middle Eastern affairs.’

          Whereas independent journalists working in Syria and the Middle East come to a more nuanced conclusion.

          • Paul

            Some key excerpts to note from that article.

            Patrick Cockburn has chided mainstream media for relying on unverified sources belonging to the Syrian opposition, as in Iraq, to base their rabidly anti-Assad stories on. Cockburn compares and contrasts the coverage of Aleppo with Mosul, both fallen into rebel/terrorist hands and the attempt to liberate them by respective government forces are/were ongoing, and shows that although there have been far more casualties in Mosul, the war cry over Aleppo has been exponentially high.

            Eva K Bartlett says those are plain lies. In a scathing video recorded on December 9, 2016, four days before Aleppo officially came into Syrian Army’s hold and rebels “surrendered” after Putin and Erdogan “brokered a deal” for the safe passage of civilians, Bartlett – an independent Canadian journalist with massive experience in covering Iraq, Gaza and Syria – accuses BBC, Guardian and NYT of propagating Anglo-American lies and relying on Syrian rebels and NATO-backed terrorists for so-called information on Aleppo.

            Robert Fisk warns us that there is more than one story in Syria and that the international meltdown over Aleppo is more to serve Western interests than actually an instance of genuine sympathy for residents of Aleppo. According to him, “regime change” is the biggest interest driver in the NATO intervention, even though there is major populist support for Assad.

            The framing of the Syrian crisis has been gravely wrong. As early as December 2013, veteran journalist Seymour Hersh expressed his reservations over the accusations against Assad that he gassed his own population, resulting in a no-fly-zone declaration within Syria. Hersh asked why would Assad take the route that would automatically invite international censure and make for terrible press, when he could effectively combat the rebels in conventional warfare. It must be noted that at that point, Russia hadn’t officially entered the Syrian equation, and Vladimir Putin was only giving informal and ideological support to Assad and his government.

            Questions are being raised on the maelstrom of “fake news” generated by establishment media and the social media arms of well-known Anglo-American bodies. Images of children orphaned or killed by shelling are being photoshopped from music videos and then circulated as anti-Assad propaganda.

            Eva Bartlett is scathing in her account of the “White Helmets”, who were in fact the first runners-up in the race to the Nobel Peace Prize in 2016. Bartlett says White Helmets have deep links with UK military and have been known to recirculate the same pictures and names over and over again, often using photos of children maimed and killed by shelling and aerial bombing and blaming it all on Assad’s forces, or Putin fighter jets.

            If the revolt against mainstream media has been so extreme in 2016, we need to ask why and shift the arena from within troubled Western countries to their imperial laboratories in West Asia and North Africa, where a crisis of information repression and twisting of narrative has been going on without remorse.

            The belated lament over Iraq War has not sharpened the editorial eyes of establishment media houses such as the Guardian, BBC, New York Times, and they continue to see the “Middle East” through terribly biased lenses, seeing the vast swathes of land and people as mere resource basins in an increasingly resource-crunched world.

            It helped to portray Aleppo as the Auschwitz of our times. Problem is it’s more Baghdad than anything else, but for the outcome. In the outcome alone, there may be shades of Vietnam in the grim four-year-long Battle of Aleppo.

              • Paul

                So you read Cockburn, Fisk, Bartlett and Hersh, did you?
                Did you believe the Weapons of Mass Destruction story as well?
                I am not disputing that Assad is a dictator – however I am questioning how lovely the rebels are. They are no heroes. And the media is hiding how awful they are.

                • Stunned mullet

                  Yes Paul the various groups in Syria are awful. The dictator Assad having invited in Putin and his mafia continues to slaughter, gas, maim and starve any and all those who he perceives as a threat – hopefully once Syria is dragged out of the hell it is enduring those who thought that there could be a democratic change while a piece of filth like ASsad was in charge will realize the error in their thinking.

                  • Paul

                    Yes and the ‘rebels’ also ‘slaughter, gas, maim and starve any and all those who they perceives as a threat.
                    It’s more nuanced than the propaganda you are reading.

                  • mauī

                    Assad was voted in by 88% of voters in a 2014 election that had a high turnout, comparable to our turnout. It looks like your understanding of the Syrian people is questionable.

                    • Stunned mullet

                    • Jenny

                      The dynastic Assad dictatorship has ruled Syria with an iron fist for over 50 years.

                      One of the silliest claims made by Western supporters of the Assad regime is that Bashar Assad is a democratically elected leader.

                      That Bashar Assad can claim stratospheric levels of voter support is not unusual for dictatorships. Bashar Assad’s brother dictators, Ben Ali of Tunisia and Hosni Mubarak of Egypt, also claimed near 90% voter support; Just before they were toppled in massive popular revolts!

                      Just like Kim Jong-un of North Korea, Basha Assad was handed the role of dictator in a succession on the death of his father Hafez Assad. Originally of course the succession was supposed to be handed on to Bashar’s older brother Yassin before Yassin was killed in a car accident.

                      As well as the leadership being handed down from father to son, the leadership of the Assad regime is stuffed full of Assad family members and relatives.


                      Because like most dictators the Assad regime can only be sure of the loyalty of those closely related to them. And not even then. Which is another reason why familial ties are important in dictatorships. Because family ties can be used to influence and coerce any relatives that might want to stray from the fold.



                    • alwyn

                      “Assad was voted in by 88% of voters in a 2014 election that had a high turnout”
                      Is that all? The man wasn’t even trying.
                      He should study more carefully the way the people of North Korea vote for their Great Leader.
                      100% turnout and 100% for the status quo.

                • KJT

                  “Dictator’ Assad, was elected with more votes than Trump, Key, or Obama.

                  Just like the “Dictator” Chávez.

                  Shows the pervasive effect of false memes.

              • Jenny

                In the famous Revolutionary Syrian song (below), @2:04 minutes, is the line:

                “Time for you to go Bashar”

                “You create thieves every day, Shaleesh, Rami and Mahar”

                The “Rami” that the song refers to is Rami Makhlouf, Basha Assad’s cousin who is Syria’s version of Roger Douglas, Don Brash and Michael Fay all rolled into one.

                Rami Makhlouf, commonly known in Syria as “Mr Ten Percent”, was one of the architects, (and single biggest beneficiary, aside from the foreign banks) of the Neo-liberal reforms the ruling elite around Assad imposed on Syria in the 1990s.
                Just like here in New Zealand, the neo-liberal reforms imposed on the Syrian people by the rich elite in alliance with the world bank, devastated the working class and poorer Syrians while massivley increasing the incomes of the wealthy elite around Assad.

                But starting from an even poorer base than New Zealand, these neo-liberal reforms were much more devastating to the working people in Syria than they were here.

                • Jenny

                  The other names mentioned in the famous song “Time for you to go Basahar”, (apart from the dictator himself) are “Shaleesh” and “Maher”.

                  Read the Wikipedia profile of these characters to know why the Syrian people are fighting for freedom.



                  • Morrissey

                    In Jenny-speak, “the Syrian people” = ISIS, Al Qaeda and their affiliate the Al-Nusra Front.

                    • Paul

                      Useful atrocities

                      Who outside of Syria knows the names Yara Abbas, Maya Naser, Mohamed al-Saeed…? The corporate media has inundated us with news of the two American journalists allegedly beheaded, the first of whose execution video has been deemed faked. But what of the non-Western journalists and civilians beheaded and murdered by ISIS, al-Nusra, and associated terrorists in Syria, Iraq, Lebanon, Palestine?

                      Why didn’t the August 2012 execution (which some reported as a beheading) of TV presenter Mohamed al–Saeed, claimed by the Nusra gang, create the same outrage? Or the December 2013 kidnapping and point blank execution in Idlib by ISIS of Iraqi journalist Yasser al-Jumaili?

                      Why wasn’t the murder of Yara Abbas—a journalist with al-Ikhbariaya, whose crew’s car was attacked by an insurgent sniper—broadcast on Western television stations? Or that of Lebanese cameraman for al-Mayadeen, Omar Abdel Qader, shot dead by an insurgent sniper on March 8, 2014 in eastern Syria.

                      Maya Naser, Ali Abbas, Hamza Hajj Hassan (Lebanese), Mohamad Muntish (Lebanese), Halim Alou (Lebanese)…all were media workers killed by the Western-backed insurgents in Syria. Their deaths were reported by local media, some even got a passing notice in corporate media, but none resulted in a media frenzy of horror and condemnations as came with the alleged killings of Westerners. Another at least 20 Arab journalists have been killed by NATO’s death squads in Syria in the past few years.

                      The killing of 16 Palestinian journalists in Gaza, at least 7 targeted while working, during the July/August 2014 Zionist Genocide of Gaza, also fell on deaf ears. Nor were the previous years of murdering Palestinian journalists noted, let alone whipped into a media frenzy. [see also: Silencing the Press, Sixteenth Report, Documentation of Israeli Attacks against Media Personnel in the opt ]

                      In Syria, there are thousands of civilians and Syrian soldiers who have been beheaded—and in far more brutal and realistic manner than the SITE videos insinuate—by the so-called “moderate” Free Syrian Army (FSA), al-Nusra, Da’esh (ISIS), and hoards of other Western-backed mercenaries. At the hands of the various NATO-gangs, tens of thousands more civilians have been assassinated and subjected to various sadistic practices—torture, mutilation, crucifixion, burning in ovens, throwing into wells, and a sick lot more. Thousands more, including children and women, remain missing after being kidnapped during mercenary raids and massacres.

                      Keep reading by clicking below


          • Psycho Milt

            ‘Sam Hamad is a Scottish-Egyptian writer based in Edinburgh. He specialises in Middle Eastern affairs.’

            Whereas independent journalists working in Syria and the Middle East come to a more nuanced conclusion.

            So, could you point me to the bits where Fisk and Cockburn refute the claims about mass death and torture in detention that Jenny linked to? Or was there just no point to you re-posting (yet again) these articles? I know which one I think it is, but feel free to prove me wrong.

          • Morrissey

            Paul, she’s an unwitting supporter of head-choppers and heart-eaters. You’re wasting your time trying to reason with her.

            • Jenny

              Maybe if you marshalled up some facts it might help your case. Just saying.

              • Paul

                Did you read the articles I attached?

                • As per my comment above, the articles you linked to don’t refute the claims in Jenny’s posts or even cast doubt on them, so there wouldn’t be much point in her reading them, except maybe for entertainment. Why do you believe those articles are relevant to her posts?

                  • Paul

                    If you read Jenny’s posts, there is a clear inference that one side are the ‘goodies’ and the other the ‘baddies’.
                    Such simplistic ideas are dangerous.

                • Jenny

                  Opinion, no matter how ilustrious the person giving it, is still just that, Opinion.

                  Personally I post links of verified facts, backed up by my own personal experiences and observations of my time in Syria.

                  I notice that most of the Assadists try to avoid making statements on these facts, or offer any counter argument against them. And continually make claims with no factual backing at all.

                  Having been in Syria, not long before the Arab Spring, I was surprised and dismayed when John Pilger made statements in support of the Bathist regime of Bashar Assad.

                  In my opinion Pilger has let his well justified hatred of US imperialism cloud his judgement.

                  Syria is not Iraq, Syria is not Afghanistan.

                  The Syrian popular revolt and civil war is a completely different thing altogether.

                  The Syrian revolt has more in common with the revolts in Tunisia and Egypt.

                  Leftists and those who pride them selves on their liberal credentials should never support the mass aerial bombing of civilian cities whatever the excuse.

                  Pilger, Fisk and countless other lesser luminaries who support the Assad regime’s one sided genocidal air war against its people, believing it is necessary to defeat terrorism, might justify this support by agreeing with the saying; “The end justifies, The means.”

                  What these lunimaries great and small need to keep in the front of their minds instead, is the saying; “Rotten means, usually mean rotten ends”.


              • Morrissey

                You’re obviously far beyond reason, Jenny. I and many others here have tried to make you see sense, but you are indifferent to the truth, and clearly believe everything you are told on radio and television.

                • Paul

                  I would ignore her – but I don’t believe the Standard should be relentlessly subjected to views you’d hear on Larry Williams’ ZB talkback show.

                  • DH

                    Paul jenny has as much right as you to post here. Your attitude here is pretty repugnant IMO. Someone posts an alternate view to yours and you challenge their right to air their opinions. That’s the way of tyrants.

                    For what it’s worth I think your own argument has deteriorated to a pissing contest. It hasn’t gone unnoticed that you’ve started deliberately inflating the ‘credentials’ of your copy & paste sources and framing your argument along the lines of “My journalistic references are better than yours so mine must be right and yours therefore are wrong”. It’s quite irritating.

                    • Morrissey

                      Nobody is challenging Jenny’s right to post here. This is not Whaleoil Beef Hooked.

                    • Paul

                      Yes Jenny is free to post.
                      However, she can expect to be challenged on her support for extreme Jihadist groups.

                • Paul

                  And cannot and will not read articles presented to her.

                • Jenny

                  “….you are indifferent to the truth, and clearly believe everything you are told on radio and television.”

                  If you thing that is where I get my information from, you are mistaken.

                  I have been to Syria Morrisey and seen the Assad regime close up. (Admittedly getting out just before the Arab Spring erupted.) But that was enough to convince me that this was nightmarish police state, no need for any persuasion from the MSM radio or TV.

                  But if I get the meaning of your words Morrissey, then we shouldn’t believe the evidence of our eyes provided by the drone video of Syrian cities flattened by massive Aerial bombardment by the regime and its allies, scenes that humanity has not witnessed since the bombing of Warsaw by the Nazis in WWII.

                  Would you really have us believe, Morrissey, that all this drone video footage which is a record of genocide, is digitly altered computer generated fiction?

              • Penny Bright

                Seen any work by independent journalist Vanessa Beeley?

                “…Through the White Helmets we are seeing the eradication of Syrian state institutions and the implanting of a Syrian shadow state by predominantly the UK, the US and supported by EU governments, says Vanessa Beeley, independent researcher and journalist.

                With Syria’s White Helmets having been in the running for a Nobel Peace Prize in 2016, grabbing headlines as ‘Heroes of Peace’, with the media and politicians endorsing them, RT spoke with Vanessa Beeley, independent researcher and journalist.

                Beeley discussed whether The White Helmets are indeed “independent, impartial and unsullied by Western cash”.

                I have taken the time to do a lot of googling from a variety of sources on the ‘White Helmets’ of Aleppo Syria.

                In my view, given who set them up, funds them, and their role – it’s to push ‘regime change’ in Syria, and, in my view serve USA / European corporate / militarist interests.

                In my view, NZ should NOT be supporting in ANY way the ‘White Helmets’ in Aleppo, Syria.

                Penny Bright.

                • Seen any work by independent journalist Vanessa Beeley?

                  No. But based on your quote there, she sounds like a complete nutcase.

                  • Morrissey

                    Why are you here? You have nothing intelligent or interesting to say about any topic.

                    MEMO Site Administrators:

                    Is there any moderation on this site?

                    • Stunned Mullet

                      Well they appear to allow third rate stenography …

                    • Paul

                      And fourth rate right wing trolls….

                    • Paul

                      I give up with PM.
                      I admire your patience with the man.

                    • I guess I should apologise. I skimmed Penny’s comment and didn’t recall that actually I have read stuff by Vanessa Beeley, and that she’s an Assad regime shill, not a nutcase. I’m not sure “regime shill” is an improvement on “nutcase,” but accuracy is important.

                      Why are you here?

                      Assuming that’s not a general philosophical question, the reason I’m responding to all these pro-Assad propaganda links is outlined in this comment.

            • Paul

              I am beginning to think this as she equates Sam Hamad to Patrick Cockburn and Robert Fisk.

              • Jenny

                An alternative narrative to the simplistic and outdated and clunky “US regime change” narrative template, that Western leftists have tried to force over the Syrian civil war.

                Below is video from Tahrir Square in Egypt, part of the heroic region wide 2011 people’s revolt, against dictatorship and authoritarianism, commonly known as the “Arab Spring”.

                After witnessing the toppling of his fellow dictators Ben Ali in Tunisia and Hosni Mubarak in Egypt, the dictator of Syria Basha Assad faced a choice, step down and grant the democratic reforms the protesters were demanding, or attempt to drown the Arab Spring in blood with unbelieveable levels of state violence.

                In move he since may have had cause to regret, the beleagured dictator chose the second option.

                Just like in Egypt and Tunisia many of the members of the Syrian armed forces refused to shoot down the protesters and instead turned their guns on the regime.

                Only the Syrian airforce remained loyal.

                And so began the ferocious genocide from the sky that has killed over 400,000 Syrians and driven millions more from the country.

                Without an army to speak of, (or at least one that could be relied on), and with the loyalist airbases being slowly over ran, one by one, the regime turned to foreign allies to preserve their rule and turn the tide of the war.

                Witnessing all this the Western powers and the UN turned a blind eye and stood aside. There has never been a popular movement that they didn’t distrust.

                • Paul

                  Have you read Cockburn, Bartlett or Fisk as part of your understanding of Middle East geopolitics?

                  • Jenny

                    Could Egypt have become another Syria?

                    Believe it or not, it was a close thing.

                    • Paul

                      Have you read Patrick Cockburn on Syria?

                    • Jenny

                      @03:50 minutes:

                      One Woman’s Story From The Egyptian Revolution

                      “The stakes are high, if people’s power works here, it could sweep away undemocratic governments across the Arab world.”

                • Tim

                  Thanks for sharing this Jenny. Nobody is saying there was not popular support for the Syrian uprising (except idiots) but the question is was it largely an Islamist uprising or was it more people in search of secular democracy?

                  • Jenny

                    Either way that is their right. Or democracy means nothing.

                    For instance in the Egyptian revolution; in the elections that people fought so hard for, despite the clearly secular and multi-denominational nature of the uprising, the electorate delivered up the Muslim Brotherhood led government of Mohamed Morsi.
                    Rather than letting this democratically elected government work out its contradictions. Under US pressure and the payment of a bribe of an extra $6billion in military aid by the Obama administration, the Egyptian military stepped in to take power, and another pro-Western dictator Adel Al Sisi rules again.

                    This coup has been followed with the business as usual massacres and banning of protests.

                    What it might pay to remember is that the Muslim Brotherhood is a close political ally of Hamas in Gaza, which was also elected democratically.

                    I think we need to stop looking at this issue through Western eyes and see it how those in th Middle East see it. Hamas which is an Islamic movement, started as a religious charity providing medical and food aid to the Palestinians displaced and living in the refugee camps in Gaza. The reason Hamas became so popular in Gaza, (and the Westbank), is that the secular political movements like the Palestine Authority had failed the Palestininan people. Unfortunately for all its early hope, the PA had become corrupted and infiltrated by the Zionists.

                    The Zionists had a lot more trouble infiltrating and buying off Hamas compared to the PA, finding the religious Islamist movement completely impenetrable, and because of their deep held faith, pretty much incorruptible.


                    • Tim

                      thanks jenny – that is a lot more revealing of your outlook. I’d side with Israel against Islamism

                    • Morrissey

                      So Israel is not simply bombing hospitals, cutting water off at whim, attacking peace convoys with lethal force, blowing up houses and illegally dispossessing people of their land. We now find that all these apparent crimes are nothing more than fighting “against Islamism.”

                      Tim, your post at 1:12 p.m. is as depraved as it is stupid.

                    • Tim []

                      Yes yes Israel is evil and eats people’s babies etc etc, heard it all before buddy.

                    • Paul

                      A bit silly Tim.
                      Not so funny for folk from Gaza though.

                    • Morrissey

                      Yes yes Israel is evil and eats people’s babies etc etc, heard it all before buddy.

                      Your flippant response confirms what I suspected.

                    • Tim []

                      What did you suspect? That I’d side with the clearly more just and rational side in a longstanding conflict? Your nonsense transcripts confirm to me how biased and out of touch you are.

                    • Morrissey

                      Israel is “more just and rational”, is it?

                      You really do not have a clue.

                    • Tim []

                      Easily. Maybe you should leave it to younger types who still have working brains to figure out where to go from here? Thanks for all your ‘work’.

                    • Morrissey

                      A request to Standardistas:

                      I think this poor bloke is trying to have a go at me, but he’s not very coherent. Could someone interpret please?

                    • Paul

                      Tim your arrogance does not strengthen an argument. It weakens it.
                      It looks like you don’t support democracy after reading your points about Egypt and Israel.
                      Israel has killed many innocent Palestinian children in Gaza – great you support a country that does this.
                      You need to read more widely than Fox and CNN to get the news.

                • Penny Bright

                  Another view on the ‘Arab Spring’?


                  According to Bensaada, the MENA Arab Spring revolutions have four unique features in common:

                  None were spontaneous – all required careful and lengthy (5+ years) planning, by the State Department, CIA pass through foundations, George Soros, and the pro-Israel lobby.1
                  All focused exclusively on removing reviled despots without replacing the autocratic power structure that kept them in power.
                  No Arab Spring protests made any reference whatsoever to powerful anti-US sentiment over Palestine and Iraq.
                  All the instigators of Arab Spring uprisings were middle class, well educated youth who mysteriously vanished after 2011.

                  • In Vino

                    Interesting. But those who have become passionate will not listen – that is the way it goes..

                  • Jenny

                    @Penny Bright.
                    My that is certainly some conspiracy theory.

                    I had no idea that all those millions of people were all being paid by the CIA. Who Knew. And that they were all magically spirited away afterwards, presumably to the US, that was something else.

                    Next you will be telling us that NASA faked the moon landings and the satelite evidence of climate change.

                    That climate change is a conspiracy invented by the Chinese to destroy our jobs.

                    And that the twin towers was an inside job.

                  • None were spontaneous – all required careful and lengthy (5+ years) planning, by the State Department, CIA pass through foundations, George Soros, and the pro-Israel lobby.

                    That’s ridiculous. Everyone knows the Arab Spring uprisings were orchestrated by the Lizard People. The CIA is behind the chemtrails.

                  • Paul

                    Really interesting.
                    So like the colour revolutions in the Ukraine?

    • Broze 1.2

      In October, the Chicago Tribune ran a story covering #StandWithAleppo, a popular twitter handle and hashtag created by “two Chicago moms” looking to document the plight of children in besieged E. Aleppo. But as some observant social media users have since discovered, one of the women turned out to be a journalist, the other the head of a SuperPAC.

      In the run-up to eastern Aleppo’s liberation by the Syrian army last week, #StandWithAleppo was turned into an extremely popular Twitter hashtag, users joining the Western mainstream media in condemning the Syrian government and accusing it of committing war crimes in the city. In spite of numerous stories, photos and video materials by alternative media showing that the city’s residents were actually mostly relieved by their liberation, the hashtag has effectively become a rallying cry for the anti-Assad, anti-Russian narrative pushed by the mainstream media and Western governments. But as one very observant Twitter user searching for the origin story behind the viral #StandWithAleppo campaign has since discovered, Becky Carroll and Wendy Widom, the “two ordinary moms” who launched the campaign, are anything but ordinary. 2. Described by Chicago Tribune as a “Chicago mom,” Carroll is in fact CEO of “public affairs & strategic communications firm ” C-Strategies — Club des Cordeliers (@cordeliers) 15 декабря 2016 г. ​The Chicago Tribune, which interviewed the two women in October, described Carroll as a strategic affairs consultant who “decided it was time to do something” to help the suffering people of the city.

      Read more:

  1. Cinny 4

    How embarrassing for NZ…

    “Tourists are shocked to discover New Zealand’s “Middle-earth” is dirty and polluted, says a Lord of the Rings actor who now leads high-end tours.”

    Meanwhile Paula says…

    “Acting Tourism Minister Paula Bennett disagreed, saying the Government was actively working to improve the quality of New Zealand’s waterways, including setting minimum water quality standards and an extra $100 million clean-up fund for lakes, rivers and wetlands.”

    I say… the outgoing government has failed to protect our environment, putting profit over everything else. Now they are trying to look heroic attempting to fix a problem that should have never happened in the first place.

    • John up North 4.1

      Well here we go, from the linked news article, our minister for the environment (though she did admit to knowing nothing about the job when first given the portfolio)

      When asked if the 100% Pure campaign was aspirational only, she replied: “It’s an award-winning campaign that is working brilliantly for New Zealand with record growth in visitor numbers. It’s not, and never has been, an environmental measure.”

      “It’s not, and never has been, an environmental measure”

      At least she’s a bit more honest than our bail out ex-pm. But!!! does that mean this award winning campaign which brings tourism and $$$ into our country won’t/can’t be also used to provide some relief (or shock even $$) to help maintain our environment so maybe the “industry” of tourism is sustainable?

      It may have the unintended side effect of our environment also being sustainable, that may be a good thing, methinks.

      • Cinny 4.1.1

        O.O i see where you are coming from, that makes sense and if that’s what it takes so be it.
        So many of us contribute to maintaining and helping the planet, it will be a wonderful day when the rest realise that all the money in the world doesn’t matter if the planet is dead.

        As for 100% Pure, it’s all just a big marketing campaign exploiting our natural environment while some allow others to rape it even more.

      • Wensleydale 4.1.2

        Hardly surprising. Paula Bennett has form for not wanting to measure things that might paint the government in a less than stellar light. Like poverty. The entire thing is wholly disingenuous. You’re showing photos of pristine alpine wilderness and glittering lakes, alongside the slogan “100% Pure”. The inference is obvious, and pretending that inference isn’t absolutely deliberate is complete bollocks.

    • The Chairman 4.2

      First we hear tourists are shocked to discover New Zealand’s “Middle-earth” is dirty and polluted.

      Surprisingly, acting Tourism Minister Paula Bennett disagreed as she highlighted a $100 million clean-up fund for lakes, rivers and wetlands.

      If they are not dirty and polluted then why the $100 million clean-up fund, Paula?

      • Cinny 4.2.1

        Dang Chairman that’s just too logical, cut that out 😀

        Lolz Paula the putz yup that’s her alright, just rolls off the tongue like truth to the world.

  2. Morrissey 5

    Great Moments in Broadcasting. NOT.
    No. 6: Phony liberals mug furiously as Aretha sings.

    38th Annual Kennedy Center Honors, Washington D.C., December 6, 2015

    A year ago the Kennedy Center held a special tribute concert for Carole King. As great as Carole is, however, it was the legendary Aretha Franklin who stole the show, singing her timeless hit “(You Make Me Feel Like A) Natural Woman”. [1]

    Aretha is unimpeachably brilliant of course, but there’s something repellent about the over-the-top reaction shots of selected audience members, who seem to think they are obliged to show the audience just how reverent they are in their worship of the Queen of Soul. Carole King herself, I’m sorry to say, is excruciating in her ridiculous wide-eyed, face-pulling luvvie antics; she starts her performance at the 13 second mark. Sitting behind her is the great cellist Yo-Yo Ma; obviously embarrassed by her shenanigans, he is by the 2:02 mark displaying annoyance and contempt for her.

    But even worse is the appalling couple who start an obviously well rehearsed routine of painfully excruciating finger-clicking and head-nodding at 0:46. The man, who has been lambasted for his insincere posturing [2] in the past, even pretends to brush away a tear, so profoundly moved is he by the song. Never has the old truism been truer: guilty feet ain’t got no rhythm.


    [2] /open-mike-30062013/#comment-655545

    Great Moments in Broadcasting. NOT is an occasional series highlighting some of the worst moments in our shameful history of broadcasting mediocrity and downright failure.

    • DoublePlusGood 5.1

      So we couldn’t possibly allow that someone enjoy themselves and get a little too into it at their own tribute concern?

      • Morrissey 5.1.1

        Not like that. It was toe-curlingly embarrassing. Yo-Yo Ma’s expression of distaste spoke for everyone who finds luvvie behaviour unacceptable.

  3. Stunned mullet 6

    Great Moments in Stenography. NOT is an occasional series highlighting some of the worst moments in moz’s shameful history of mediocre stenography and downright fabrications.

    • Morrissey 6.1

      Nothing fabricated about any of these “Great Moments, NOT”, my friend…..

      No. 6: Phony liberals mug furiously as Aretha sings. (Sun 18/12/16)
      No. 5: Chris Trotter puts on a “funny” South American accent (Sun 11/12/16)
      No. 4: Susan Baldacci and Jim Mora talk about “lack of empathy”. (Sat 10/12/16)
      No. 3: Kevin Roberts’ performance on TV3 chat show The Panel, late 2001. (Sun 4/12/16)
      No. 2: Noelle McCarthy’s patsy interview with Mark Bowden 8/1/13 (Sat 3/12/16)
      No. 1: Pippa Wetzel grovels and simpers before a slimy criminal…. (pubd. Fri 2/12/16)

      Keep an eye out, fellas, there’s more to come!

      • james 6.1.1

        You need to get out more – there is a lovely country out there – enjoy it. You will be a lot happier then spending hours in your basement banging out post of newsclips.

        • Morrissey

          You need to get out more – there is a lovely country out there – enjoy it.

          Thanks James. I intend to do just that this afternoon.

          You will be a lot happier then spending hours in your basement banging out post of newsclips.

          Certainly getting outside will make me happy—but happier than spending time in the basement, composing masterpieces? I don’t think so.

          • james

            “Thanks James. I intend to do just that this afternoon.”

            Excellent – hope you have a great day.

        • Paul

          Regurgitating the Henry paradise line……

          • james

            Actually – Ive traveled – a lot – more than most (for which I am thankful).

            Its not a myth that NZ is a paradise. It has some faults sure – But a paradise it is.

            • KJT

              Don’t worry. Governments since 1984, have been fixing that as fast as they can get away with.
              We will be a country of bag ladies, beggars, combined with a few obscenely wealthy, as fast as we can.

            • One Two

              Use of the word paradise in respect of NZ has become a twisted narrative repeated by the delusional

              The delusional who enable the incrimental decline by comparing it to places that are ‘worse off’

              So long as there is people suffering, starving, living in the street or in cars and garages and killing themselves in record numbers….use of the word ‘paradise’ is twisted

    • Gabby 6.2

      It’s a great advertisement for deaf aids though.

  4. John up North 7

    Oh my God!

    The govt is finally doing something about the shit state school facilities have degraded to, wonderful, wonderful, magnificent minister Parata has loosened the drawstrings on her money bag to halt the slide many schools have had to endure due to budgets being concreted over.

    I sense the lolly bag has been brought out in anticipation of building up good headlines and shizzle for the coming election, watch this space for more National kindness (aka funding shit you’re supposed to).

    But, as per normal these clowns just kant get it rite. Not only do we have public funding cut to the bone but of course the private system gets it by the wheel barrow, Charter schools and now the Integrated schools funding rorts bubbling to the surface. C’mon MSM do your job and get into these bastards, there’s a ugly sore needing a good picking over.,-committee-told

    • Wensleydale 7.1

      When the election eventually rolls around, I sincerely hope someone from Northland asks Simon Bridges where the bridges he promised them have got to, and if they’re still going to get them. And when he gets all slippery and evasive (or even better, does a Brownlee and throws his toys out of the pram), someone else from Northland throws a dildo at him.

  5. RedBaronCV 8

    On another subject entirely – does Fonterra need to get a life or something similar.

    Lewis Road had developed a niche market for good quality milk (and some other flavoured milk products) but then when I went to the supermarket to buy my very small quantity of it I found a similar product crowding the shelf alongside from Fonterra.

    All was explained by some newspaper articles suggesting that Fonterra are possibly trying to tie up shelf space to the detriment of other producers. Next stop by the look of the articles is the Courts.

    So my question for Fonterra is:
    you have supposedly a large international market- can you not use these links to sell these premium milk products rather than trying to maybe crowd out a smallish local developing company?? This smallish company may grow into a premium exporter to the benefit of a lot of people so
    Shouldn’t you be bigger than that?

    • Wensleydale 8.1

      If you’re expecting Fonterra to take the high road on that one, you’re a hopeless optimist. I’m pretty sure they’ll quite happily walk all over the little guy for the sake of increased market share, and Kiwi solidarity can take a hike. Watch and smirk as they wheel out that hoary old chestnut “competition is good for the consumer”, especially when that competition is so small as to be virtually non-existent.

      About 15 or so years ago, there was a tiny ice cream company in Whangarei that used to manufacture niche ice creams, most of which contained liquor – rum and raisen, creme de menthe, cointreau and so on. As I recall, they were bought out by Tip Top, who promptly ceased making these wonderful flavours… and so no, competition is not always good for the consumer. Sometimes it’s only good for corporates who enjoy throwing their weight around.

  6. Ad 9

    For when the new cabinet is announced today, some suggestions for the PM:

    1. Prime Minister Bill English: SIS, Tourism
    2. Paula Bennett: Housing, Auckland Issues, Associate Finance
    3. Stephen Joyce: Finance
    4. Simon Bridges: Economic Development, and Transport
    5. Nikki Kaye: Social Development, Education
    6. Todd McClay: Trade, Foreign Affairs
    7. Michael Woodhouse: Health
    8. Chris Finlayson: Attorney-General, Treaty Negotations, and Arts+Culture
    9. Judith Collins: Defence, Police
    10. Dr Jian Yang: Minister of Tertiary Education, Associate Minister Foreign Affairs
    11. Andrew Bayly: Ministry for Primary Industries (Forestry, Fisheries, Agriculture)
    12. Gerry Brownlee: Chief Whip, Earthquake Recovery
    13. Joanthan Coleman: Justice
    14. Scott Simpson: Revenue
    15. Alfred Ngaro: Corrections, Pacific island Affairs
    16. Nick Smith: Conservation, Environment
    17. Jamie-Lee Ross: Local Government

    • Intercepted and decrypted this coded message to Hawaii just this morning. not signed but probably from kiss curl bridges? { –mr key ,thanks so very much for your excellent support of myself for my govt position.} mr English told me it was very important.The lots of time you told me and said-lovely boy,sholders back,stand tall–fine set of sholders ,made me what I am. –simon.

    • KJT 9.2

      Reminds me of the joke.
      That if you want the worst possible country, make the politicians Italian, the cooks English, the police German, the entertainment Flemish, and the security police, Russian.

    • Muttonbird 9.3

      Completely wrong as usual.

    • Jenny 9.4

      Some interesting and creative inside the box thinking from Ad.

      But I see Ad, that you have out left climate change (currently Paula Bennet’s portfolio), altogether.

      Any particular reason for this oversight Ad?

      Are you in favour of abolishing this portfolio?

      If not, who do you think it should go to?

      • Muttonbird 9.4.1

        Why on earth is ‘Climate Change Issues’ different to ‘Environment’? Why two portfolios?

        Is it to separate the carbon commitment which the current government has no intention of supporting from the general weak approach to New Zealand water concerns?

        • Jenny

          Climate change ignoring, is the new climate change denial.

          Why two portfolios?

          Because climate change is not an environmental issue.
          (well not in the traditional sense, like clean rivers for instance. While polluted rivers is a terrible obscenity a polluted river does not endanger the whole planet).

          The way to think about climate change, is to think of it as akin to nuclear war.

          It is undeniable that the side affects nuclear war, or climate change, will be bad for the environment.

          But that is not the main reason why we oppose them.

          Though the environmentalists may disagree….

          In our human-centric view, we oppose nuclear war and climate change, not because they will damage the environment but because they could drive humanity to extinction.

          Most governments give climate change and the environment seperate spokes people.

          Any attempt to role one into the other, must be seen as a threat to diminish the importance and danger of both.

          Which leads me to my point.

          You haven’t answered my question.

          Are you in favour of abolishing the climate change portfolio?

          If not, who do you think it should go to?

  7. Craig H 10

    Michael Woodhouse should also remain Minister of Immigration, and you also need an Associate Minister of Immigration.

    I assume Dunne remains Minister of Internal Affairs.

  8. The Chairman 11

    Social enterprise groups are welcoming a Cabinet paper as a positive step forward for the growth of social enterprises in New Zealand.

    Shouldn’t the Government be focused on growing and improving its own social services instead of further relying on and assisting in the growth of social enterprises?

  9. Rosemary McDonald 12

    I admit to sometimes being out of touch with yoof culture, and it appears that not doing faceache and twitterer makes one a cave dweller….however…a Young Person directed me here…

    …and I haven’t laughed so much in ages and ages. This girlz a gem.

    (warning…will challenge, but take heart…she offends everyone.)

  10. Paul 13

    Neoliberalism is a species of fascism

    by Manuela Cadelli, President of the Magistrates’ Union of Belgium

    ‘The time for rhetorical reservations is over. Things have to be called by their name to make it possible for a co-ordinated democratic reaction to be initiated, above all in the public services.

    Liberalism was a doctrine derived from the philosophy of Enlightenment, at once political and economic, which aimed at imposing on the state the necessary distance for ensuring respect for liberties and the coming of democratic emancipation. It was the motor for the arrival, and the continuing progress, of Western democracies.

    Neoliberalism is a form of economism in our day that strikes at every moment at every sector of our community. It is a form of extremism.

    Fascism may be defined as the subordination of every part of the State to a totalitarian and nihilistic ideology.

    I argue that neoliberalism is a species of fascism because the economy has brought under subjection not only the government of democratic countries but also every aspect of our thought.

    The state is now at the disposal of the economy and of finance, which treat it as a subordinate and lord over it to an extent that puts the common good in jeopardy.

    The austerity that is demanded by the financial milieu has become a supreme value, replacing politics. Saving money precludes pursuing any other public objective. It is reaching the point where claims are being made that the principle of budgetary orthodoxy should be included in state constitutions. A mockery is being made of the notion of public service.

    The nihilism that results from this makes possible the dismissal of universalism and the most evident humanistic values: solidarity, fraternity, integration and respect for all and for differences.

    There is no place any more even for classical economic theory: work was formerly an element in demand, and to that extent there was respect for workers; international finance has made of it a mere adjustment variable.

    Every totalitarianism starts as distortion of language, as in the novel by George Orwell. Neoliberalism has its Newspeak and strategies of communication that enable it to deform reality. In this spirit, every budgetary cut is represented as an instance of modernization of the sectors concerned. If some of the most deprived are no longer reimbursed for medical expenses and so stop visiting the dentist, this is modernization of social security in action!’

  11. Muttonbird 14

    While denying increasing income inequality but accepting increasing wealth inequality yesterday, Wayne’s solution to tackling increasing wealth inequality was to have the government pay private banks any amount above a 3% interest rate for low income mortgage holders.

    I’m no economist but this seems crazy for several reasons, not least of which taxpayer money is being paid to private companies for no service whatsoever.

    Also there is no cost limit to this because as interest rates rise so too does the bill to the taxpayer.

    Will not the banks enjoy raising rates (and they have total freedom to do this) with the knowledge that the NZ taxpayer has to pay?

    Also, if Wayne is dishing out subsidies to home-owners banks, what should non-homeowners expect? Should they expect say a $5000- annual payout when interest rates climb to 4%, because that is effectively what the government would be paying home-owners banks on interest only or interest heavy repayments for the rock bottom house prices in Auckland.

    It struck me as odd that a Nat would promote a policy where the ongoing costs to the taxpayer are unknowable.

    Far better to address the demand side of housing unaffordability by restricting immigration temporarily, and increase spending on building and national infrastructure to address the supply side. Neither of which the current government seems willing to do.

    Open Mike 17/12/2016

    • Paul 14.1

      As was clear from yesterdays discussion, Wayne doesn’t have a plausible argument.
      But he sticks doggedly to his point to justify his privileged position.

      • Muttonbird 14.1.1

        What he proposed was so weird given that he’d already admitted a severe and problematic increase in wealth inequality as a result of house price inflation.

        Why not consider that equity gain on houses (perhaps own home excepted) be considered income? After all that’s what it is, a fact completely accepted by Wayne.

        • One Anonymous Bloke

          A while back, he also confessed that the increase in inequality caused in part by the cabinet he was a member of, was “deliberate”. His own words.

          • KJT

            Because he was envious of wharfies. Also in his own words.

            I am sure it is an improvement that, real estate agents, lawyers, housing speculators, asset strippers, bank managers, land hoarders, politicians and tax dodgers, now make infinitely more than wharfies. And infinitely more than educated hard working professionals, also.

            Overpaid they may have been, but At least, wharfies do a socially useful job, pay tax on all their income, and spend and invest locally.

      • KJT 14.1.2

        The really scary thing about people like Wayne, is they really do believe their own bullshit.

      • Red 14.1.3

        Paul you are sounding very sanctimonious today., get some sun to cheer yourself up

    • Draco T Bastard 14.2

      It struck me as odd that a Nat would promote a policy where the ongoing costs to the taxpayer are unknowable.

      It shouldn’t do as the whole purpose of the National Party is to shift public wealth into private hands.

    • Gabby 14.3

      Looks more like a notion to subsidise speculators.

  12. Muttonbird 15

    Oh dear. Farrar will be in a spin. He opposes the idea of a runway extension in Wellington for whatever reason, but now the environment court opposes it too. Farrar will not for one second want to be seen to be agreeing with the environment court so he’s in a real bind.

    The objectors include residents, not surprising but they did buy a house next to a fucking airport, didn’t they? Another objector was, interestingly, Air New Zealand. Could it be that Air New Zealand are shit scared of other international operators flying routes into Wellington?

    It surprises me that Farrar is happy to open Auckland up to all sorts of unregulated immigration and infrastructure stress but packs a sad when economic benefits to Wellington are proposed for Wellington with a runway extension.

    Perhaps Farrar is being paid by Air New Zealand to fight increased competition???

    • alwyn 15.1

      Air New Zealand’s objection is very simple.
      If the extension is built, at an estimated figure of $300 million, the users of the airport are going to have to pay for it. Either that or the poor bloody ratepayers like me get thumped.
      The only reason to go ahead with it is the deluded idea, largely propagated by our previous Mayor that there is a large, unfilled, demand for seats on long haul flights out of Wellington. The extension is NOT required for short haul flights to Australian airports like Brisbane, Sydney, Melbourne and Adelaide.
      There is however no evidence of any demand at all for long haul travel from Wellington.
      Look at Christchurch. There is only a single commercial flight a day out of Christchurch that goes past Australia. That is a flight by SIA to Singapore. Christchurch has a very long runway and a similar population to Wellington but there is no interest in anyone introducing new flights.
      Look at all the other New Zealand cities that built facilities for an “International Airport”. How many of them get any use?
      If the runway is built, and has to be paid for, it will have to be by the airlines that use it at present. That is primarily Air New Zealand who provide most of the existing flights. They don’t want to get lumbered with the enormous costs of the runway when they don’t need it. They don’t give a damn about other international airlines that don’t want to fly from here at all unless they are, like SIA, heavily subsidised by the Wellington ratepayer, to fly out of here to Canberra.
      I regularly fly long haul to Europe. I am entirely happy to fly up to Auckland and fly out from there. So, I think, are most long haul travellers.

      • Muttonbird 15.1.1

        I suppose you are right. Why anyone would fly to Wellington is a mystery. There is nothing to do there. There’s also nothing to do in the lower North Island which is about to be opened up upon the completion of Transmission Gully. Nothing to do in Nelson/Marlborough which Wellington is a gateway for, nothing at all.

        That international carriers into Christchurch is used as a reason to not bother with international routes is obscene quite frankly when Christchurch has been left to rot by the current government as a tourist destination.

        • alwyn

          I must say how much I admire your wonderful parody of a Jafa, that strange sub-tribe of Auckland residents.
          You must have observed them closely.
          We residents of Wellington have broad shoulders but we do have a few burdens to bear. What have we done to be cursed with both the Leader AND the Deputy-Leader of the Labour Party choosing to live here? No city deserves such a terrible fate.

      • mpledger 15.1.2

        Most of the money that would be spent on extending Wellingtons runway will go into dumping rocks off the South Coast.

        If you’re going to spend that much money then do something better with it then spend it on rocks.

  13. Muttonbird 16

    So Nikki Kaye is going to be thrust up the order and into a senior position according to reports.

    Strikes me that this promotion is more about trying to bring youth to cabinet in order to appeal to a broader range of voters rather than actually considering Nikki Kaye herself. Also it is a direct response to the steady rise of Jacinda Ardern.

    Would the National party be guilty of putting their interests ahead of Nikki’s health? I think they probably would.

    I am not a doctor but I would have thought putting a recent sufferer of cancer into one of the most high intensity jobs in the country so soon after treatment is bad for that person’s long term prospects.

    • james 16.1

      “Also it is a direct response to the steady rise of Jacinda Ardern”

      Really – Nikki has bet her twice already – and now Ardern has to run off to another area so not to lose a third time.

  14. Draco T Bastard 17

    Automation beyond the factory

    is month, Amazon made headlines with its announcement of the opening of a new convenience store in Seattle that would go without one staple: cashiers. Using a combination of “computer vision, deep learning algorithms, and sensor fusion” to track purchases, Amazon Go allows customers check in to the store using a smartphone app and walk out with what they need, much as one enters and exits a subway station. A similar event occurred in October when the autonomous vehicle company Otto delivered 50,000 cans of beer in Colorado using a self-driving truck. What the headlines don’t convey is the potential impact on the millions of workers currently employed in the U.S. as cashiers and truck drivers. Though still in development, these two technologies signal major changes ahead for a labor force still adjusting to previous rounds of worker displacement from automation.

    Basically, say goodbye to probably the largest chunk of the ‘service industry’ – retail shop assistants and truck drivers.

    • jcuknz 17.1

      consequences, simply consequences. Think of the freedom to pursue more interesting activities rather than retail or driving …. SARC

      • Draco T Bastard 17.1.1

        I do think of that but to bring it about requires more people going into tertiary education both as tutors and as students. Over the last couple of decades our governments have been discouraging people from going back to school.

        We should be looking to get 25%+ of our working age population into R&D.

  15. Muttonbird 18

    I drive a lot through the Lincoln Rd, Ranui, Swanson area of West Auckland and what always amazes me is the permanent nature of Alfred Ngaro’s campaigning profile there. It’s like he’s never not campaigning.

    I wonder if this is at the expense of actually doing good for his constituents? Oh, that’s right, he doesn’t have any.

  16. Muttonbird 19

    Cone-head gets the sack. Re-Joyce everyone!

    He was the minister of doing fuck all for so many years and his greatest claim to fame was having a sex toy thrown at him.

    • Red 19.1

      I dunno leading national to 3 election wins as campaign manager over the evil left is not bad for a start, be four this time next year

      • Muttonbird 19.1.1

        You’re only as good as your last campaign and his last was a disaster. And the one before that.

        Could be a trend.

  17. Foreign waka 20

    I have read an article about entitlement of pensions for immigrants in todays paper showing an elderly lady with white skin and blue eyes.
    May I officially state that most European and British immigrants who have come here as adults do have an entitlement to a pension that they been paying at the time of their working live overseas, similar to the Kiwi saver program.
    Once the moneys are drawn they have to be declared and either “handed over” and deducted from the basic pension or one has to declare not to draw any NZ funded pension at all but rather have the O/S fund cover the need.
    If Diane Maxwell would care about the truth she would have to stop scaremongering and making NZ belief that they have to pay for immigrants. THIS IS NOT SO and in fact there are already comments that if the overseas pension is akin to Kiwi saver than in fact “confiscating” the moneys might be unjust.
    Not that I would say a double dipping is commendable but there should be one law for all. Kiwi saver is paid on top of the pension.
    As for some of the Asian immigrants bringing their parents to NZ, please consider that in their culture elderly are far more dependent on their children than we ever would consider. Dignity would come to mind and whilst there maybe in some cases cause for means testing, it should be applied before residency is granted.
    NZ has to look into the ramifications of returning Kiwis too, especially when the retirement age goes up (Australia).
    However I would suggest that the first step would be that every time a residency visa is granted the person receiving that visa needs to get to know the consequences to their lifestyle if they choose to stay for many years or even forever.
    Fairness is the keyword here.

  18. Red 21

    Mean while in the socialist nirvana of Venezuela as reported by the economist

    President Nicolás Maduro says that the constant shortages of more or less everything in Venezuela are caused by evil speculators. (They are actually caused by his price controls.) Mr Maduro claims that “mafias” in Colombia are stockpiling lorryloads of bolívars, the Venezuelan currency, and sneaking across the border to buy up price-controlled goods. Given Venezuela’s soaring inflation, this seems improbable. “The idea that anybody would want to hoard a currency that has lost 60% of its value in the past two months is absurd,” says David Smilde of the Washington Office on Latin America, a think-tank.

    Pres Nic also confiscated a load of toys as he believed they where too expensive and he will play saint nic and re distribute himself for free

    What is amazing that after a 100 years people still think socialism is the answer

    • One Anonymous Bloke 21.1

      It is, isn’t it, especially since it’s the social democracies that get the best outcomes. However, while for the most part. Socialists understand this, right wing nut-jobs still cling to Randist drivel, “free” “market” dogma, and Grand Wizard Trump.

      Have a nice day.

      • Red 21.1.1

        So it’s just a matter of degrees then but we agree far left is nut job territory, glad that’s sorted , many would argue nz is a social democracy, centre left or centre right, very little between them barring ego and it’s my turn, many on this site here are however not arguing for social democracy

        Have a nice evening

        • One Anonymous Bloke

          Even your feeble attempts at civilised discourse are useless and vain. We do not agree. Arguing for (say) public ownership of the means of production is not morally equivalent to your vile hate speech.

    • joe90 21.2

      Meanwhile, the land of the free, by many public-health metrics — including infant mortality and preventable deaths and a variety of others, narrows the gap.

      We don’t know how bad the United States’ burgeoning mortality crisis is going to get. Russia provides a disturbing worst-case scenario. “Sometime in 1993, after several trips to Russia, I noticed something bizarre and disturbing: people kept dying,” wrote Masha Gessen in New York Review of Books in 2014. “I was used to losing friends to AIDS in the United States, but this was different. People in Russia were dying suddenly and violently, and their own friends and colleagues did not find these deaths shocking.” She went on to explain that “In the seventeen years between 1992 and 2009, the Russian population declined by almost seven million people, or nearly 5 percent — a rate of loss unheard of in Europe since World War II. Moreover, much of this appears to be caused by rising mortality,” with alcohol a prime culprit. This is what happens when the insides of a developed country begin to rot.

      The United States isn’t Russia. Probably.

    • ropata 21.3

      How can a New Zealander who was raised on public education, drives on public roads, enjoys free health care, and whose infrastructure was built by public works, write such utter drivel?

    • KJT 21.4

      Another country, that, like New Zealand was too dependent on one commodity.

      Failing for the entirely capitalist reason of shortage of demand for oil.

    • DoublePlusGood 21.5

      Trolling about Venezuela being a socialist nirvana? Are you Gosman on a sockpuppet account, perchance?

  19. Rosemary McDonald 23

    Wrong. We’re all wrong.

    Australian economist waxes lyrical about the NZ economy. Apparently we’re ‘smokin’ and we ‘re all as happy as pigs in poo.

    All to do with the fact that 99% of New Zealanders…

    “…. say they have family or friends to rely on in times of need.”

    We have ‘social capital’ (see, say’s Bill ‘the Lizard” English, my social investment scheme works!!!!) lots and lots of social capital.

    Okay, so this guy is basing his opinion on the Legatum Institute’s ……

    “”But, wait!” I want to say. “We’re heaps richer than our cuzzies!”

    It’s true. If you go to NZ you notice the material standard of living is slightly lower. They tend to have slightly older cars. Slightly smaller houses. Slightly older smartphones. Etc.

    The report says this doesn’t matter.

    “Some deliver a lot of prosperity with little wealth. Others have vast wealth, but have not turned it into better lives for their citizen,” it claims.”

    Better lives…who knew?

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    Back in the 90's and early 2000's, the building industry was building leaky homes which should never have been granted consent. Now it turns out they've been building dodgy office blocks as well:New imaging technology has revealed hundreds of major buildings nationwide have defective or missing concrete or reinforcing steel. ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 days ago
  • Local bodies
    Local body election results were released over the weekend, to joy or despair depending on where you live. In Auckland, Phil Goff trounced John Tamihere, who is muttering darkly about running for Parliament again (but which party would want him?) Wellington is now a wholly-owned subsidiary of Weta Workshop, except ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 days ago
  • A future of government
      How could government evolve over the next decades? Reports of democracy’s imminent demise are greatly exaggerated.  However, satisfaction with political systems in many countries is low, so there is much to do for governments of all political stripes to improve relevance and trust. Digital technologies are seen as one ...
    SciBlogsBy Robert Hickson
    4 days ago
  • Speaker: Catalonia, interrupted
    Two years have now gone by since the Friday afternoon when my university-student son and I headed out of our Barcelona flat to a nearby primary school, designated as a polling station for the vote that was to be held the following Sunday: the referendum on Catalonia’s independence from Spain ...
    4 days ago
  • Sage Decisions Unwisely Over-Ruled.
    Overruled: The joint decision of Finance Minister, Grant Robertson (Labour) and his Associate Minister, David Parker (Labour) arguably the two most powerful ministers in Jacinda Ardern’s government, to grant OceanaGold the consents which Land Information Minister, Eugenie Sage (Greens) had earlier denied them, offers bitter proof of how hard fighting ...
    4 days ago
  • Government may ban voting in effort to get more people to do it
    More than double the number of people who will vote in this year’s local body elections have tried marijuana or urinated somewhere they shouldn’t have. As local elections look set for the lowest turnout in decades, with many regions falling well short of 40%, the Government is exploring a number ...
    The CivilianBy admin
    5 days ago
  • Woman: Deleted.
    A Statement on Abortion Law Reform by the Council of Disobedient Women   On the eve of bringing an end to antiquated, anti-women abortion laws Green MP Jan Logie intends to write women out of the Bill. With a stroke of the pen, the woke are aiming for total erasure ...
    RedlineBy Daphna
    5 days ago
  • The Hollowest of Men Ride Again… SURPRISE!
    Musings continue apace about “the experienced businessman!” soon to be taking up a National Party MP position. Or to be more accurate, being parachuted into a seat to shut down their former MP Jamie-Lee Ross, who despite his own shortcomings shed at least some more light on the inner workings ...
    exhALANtBy exhalantblog
    5 days ago
  • Barbaric
    The Ugandan government wants to murder gay people:Uganda has announced plans to impose the death penalty on homosexuals. The bill, colloquially known as “Kill the Gays” in Uganda, was nullified five years ago on a technicality, but the government said on Thursday it plans to resurrect it within weeks. The ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    5 days ago
  • Fighting Monsters.
    Freedom Of Speech? The Säuberung (cleansing by fire) was the work of the German Student Union which, on 10 May 1933, under the watchful eye of the Nazi Reichminister for Propaganda, Joseph Goebbels, consigned 25,000 books to the flames in a ritual exorcism of “un-German thought”. According to the logic of the ...
    5 days ago
  • The next wave of kaupapa Māori politics: its constitutional, it must be.
      “There can be no such thing as kaupapa Māori political parties or politics in Aotearoa” (Willie Jackson, Labour Party (2017). Māori TV, General/List Election Special) I begin with that claim because at the time, I was confounded at first that it fell out of Willie Jackson’s mouth, and then ...
    EllipsisterBy Ellipsister
    6 days ago
  • Night lights of NZ from orbit
    New Zealand has prided itself for decades with regard to its lack of pollution, and all will be aware that the ‘100% Pure New Zealand‘ meme is under threat through land, water and air pollution of various causes. There is another type of contamination that the country also faces: light ...
    SciBlogsBy Duncan Steel
    6 days ago
  • Reporters deliver uplifting news to fleeing Japanese residents: they won’t miss any rugby
    New Zealand’s media is doing its part in Japan, reassuring those in the path of the storm that they won’t miss any rugby while away from their flooded homes. New Zealand sports reporters stationed in Japan for the Rugby World Cup have had the rare and heartwarming opportunity to inform ...
    The CivilianBy admin
    6 days ago
  • Government in contentious discussions about whether to put surplus on red or black
    Regional Development Minister Shane Jones is the only Cabinet member in favour of putting it all on green. As Finance Minister Grant Robertson finds himself with an enormous $7.5 billion surplus, the Government has begun intense, at times contentious conversations about whether to put the money on red or black at ...
    The CivilianBy admin
    6 days ago
  • Jordanian teachers’ successful strike has lessons for here
    by Susanne Kemp At the start of September close to 100,000 school teachers went on strike in Jordan.  They demanded a 50% pay rise.  A pay rise actually agreed to by the regime back in 2014. In early October, however, in the face of government repression and threats, the teachers’ ...
    RedlineBy Admin
    6 days ago
  • Why some people still think climate change isn’t real
    Climate Explained is a collaboration between The Conversation, Stuff and the New Zealand Science Media Centre to answer your questions about climate change. If you have a question you’d like an expert to answer, please send it to Why do people still think climate change isn’t real? David ...
    SciBlogsBy Guest Author
    6 days ago
  • The SIS unlawfully spied on Nicky Hager
    Back in 2011, journalist Nicky Hager published Other People's Wars, an expose on NZDF's activities over the previous decade of the "war on terror". NZDF didn't like this, and especially didn't like the fact that it was base don leaks from their own. So, they had the SIS investigate him ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    6 days ago
  • October 2019 – Newsletter ...
    Closing the GapBy Tracey Sharp
    6 days ago
  • And they wonder why we think they’re environmental vandals…
    The Zero Carbon Bill is due back from select committee in two weeks, and will likely pass its final stages in November. So naturally, farmers are planning a hate-march against it. But they're not just demanding lower methane targets so they can keep on destroying the planet; they're also demanding ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    6 days ago
  • Climate Change: Paying the price in California
    Last year, California burned. This year, to stop it happening again (or rather, to stop themselves from being found liable if it happens again), Pacific Gas and Electric is cutting power to half the state for a week:Schools are closed. Traffic lights down. Tunnels dark. Businesses unopened. Hospitals running on ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    6 days ago
  • Let’s Hear It For Up-Close-And-Personal, Hard-Copy Democracy!
    The Best Way: Missing from the on-line voting debate is any reference to the voting system that produces turn-out figures ranging from 77 to 93 percent of registered voters. The voting system used to collect and count the votes cast in our parliamentary elections. The system that involves citizens making ...
    6 days ago
  • 10/10: World Day Against the Death Penalty
    Today, October 10, is the world day against the death penalty. Out of 195 UN member states, 84 still permit capital punishment. Today is the day we work to change that. This year's theme is children. Having a parent sentenced to death or executed causes long-term trauma and stigmatization which ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    6 days ago
  • Talking Freer Lives: a Marxist gender-critical perspective from Australia
    Among the great new bunch of political friends we have been making recently is the excellent Australian-based Marxist gender-critical site, Freer Lives.  So we asked the comrade who set up that blog to write something for Redline on the blog, himself, his analysis of the rise of gender politics and ...
    RedlineBy Admin
    6 days ago
  • Government spin accepted by union leadership
    by Don Franks  The Auckland City Mission is struggling with a 40 percent increase in demand for food parcels this year. A total of 23,020 were needed by June. Last month Missioner Chris Farrelly told the Herald the “cupboards are bare” and without an emergency food drive, he can’t see ...
    RedlineBy Daphna
    7 days ago
  • Forbidden Thoughts
    by The Council of Disobedient Women   Massey Wellington Student Association had a sit-in today. Imagine a sit-in. On a campus. Against a women’s rights meeting. Did the ’60s really happen or did we fucking dream it? They gathered in the student square, an echo chamber. Sitting on soft pillows ...
    RedlineBy Daphna
    7 days ago
  • Much love to my loyal Ukrainian readership
    For some reasons, my post about the mystery message from inside the Downing Street bunker seemed to catch people's attention.  Quite a lot of hits from NZ (unsurprisingly) and the USA (a bit more puzzlingly, but hi there, USAians!!) and 76 views from the Ukraine.I've celebrated my Ukrainian readers in ...
    7 days ago
  • Another day of bonkers GNUmours (again, sorry)
    First, almost a score of Labour MPs seem to have sent a letter to the EU basically begging them to accept a deal - any deal - just so Britain can get the Heck on with Brexiting instead of being trapped in limbo:
    To avoid no deal, deliver on the ...
    7 days ago
  • Labour vs working class immigrants – again!
    by Phil Duncan In 2016 the National-led government suspended the Parent Visa Category, through which migrants were able to bring their parents into New Zealand.  Since then over 5,700 people have been in immigration limbo, stuck on the visa wait list. Labour is now bringing back the scheme.  Well, sort ...
    RedlineBy Admin
    1 week ago
  • Speak Up for Women press statement: on Massey University and Feminism 2020
    The following was released yesterday (Tues, October 8) by the women’s liberation organisation Speak Up for Women. On 23 September Speak Up For Women announced that we would be holding an event at the Massey University Theaterette in Wellington. The event is called Feminism 2020. The intention of the event ...
    RedlineBy Admin
    1 week ago
  • Farmers support dirty rivers
    The government is currently consulting on plans to improve freshwater quality. So naturally, farmers oppose it:South Taranaki farmers are preparing to fight proposed national freshwater changes that some fear will bankrupt them. The Government's proposed National Environment Standard on Freshwater Management, released in September, rated the Waingongoro River as one ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • No-one cares about local government
    Yesterday was the last day for (reliably) posting your vote away in local body elections. Turnouts are mostly much lower than the equivalent time last year (Palmerston North is down 2.3%), and so naturally people are pushing their online-voting snake oil again. Because the online census worked so well, lets ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • The political ghosts of eugenics may matter more than the genetic
    This essay, on the political legacy of the eugenics movement, by Kenan Malik was originally published in the Observer on 6 October 2019, under the headline ‘The spirit of eugenics is still with us, as immigrants know to their cost’. Birth control. Intelligence tests. Town planning. Immigration controls. It’s striking how ...
    RedlineBy Daphna
    1 week ago
  • “Surplus” again
    Another year, and the government has announced another enormous government "surplus". And just like last year, its nothing of the sort. When we have people homeless and sick and hungry, when we have schools and hospitals still falling down, when we have underpaid public servants and infrastucture unmaintained or unbuilt, ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • Inside the Downing Street bunker
    James Forsyth at The Spectator (I know, I know) has tapped one of his contacts inside Number Ten for an insight into the Johnson administration's thinking and strategy.It is fascinating, unsettling and quite, quite mad.  Some key points:Negotiations have stalled and the Johnson administration are keen to blame the EU: ...
    1 week ago
  • Taking Control Of The Nation’s Story.
    Fatal Contact: With the arrival of captain James Cook in October 1769, the islands of what would become New Zealand ceased to be the preserve of Polynesian navigators and settlers and became a part of both the world’s map and the world’s history.THE MAORI NATIONALIST assault upon the historical meaning ...
    1 week ago
  • Are GNUs extinct?
    Another round of tactical talks about forming a Government of National Unity have come to nothing with the Liberal Democrats still refusing countenance putting Jeremy Corbyn into Downing Street:Opposition talks on Monday made little headway over when to try and vote down Boris Johnson's government and who might succeed him as ...
    1 week ago
  • Labour chickens out again
    When the government was elected, it promised to lead the way on electric vehicles, and specifically to make the government vehicle fleet emissions-free where-practicable by 2025.They lied:There are 15,473 vehicles in the government fleet and only 78 are electric. When the coalition Government came into power in late 2017, the ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • Transgender extremism, violence at work against feminist meeting at British Labour Party conference
    by Nick Rogers The debate around the meaning of sex and gender made an appearance at this year’s British Labour Party conference in Brighton. Women’s Place UK – an organisation that questions the demand that biological males who self-identify as woman should have access to women’s spaces, to all-women shortlists, ...
    RedlineBy Admin
    1 week ago
  • Rebelling in Wellington
    Yesterday I went down to Wellington to participate in the Extinction Rebellion protest. Its part of the latest global wave of XR actions, with actions happening all over the world. Some of those protests are massively disruptive: in Canada, XR is blocking major bridges, stopping people from getting to work. ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • ‘The Workshop’ – Report: Talking about Poverty and Welfare Reform: A Guide to Strategies that ...
    The Workshop is a charitable trust for public good. The Workshop undertake research to find ways of communicating that will build support for the solutions that work to solve complex social and environmental problems. See their Report on Talking about Poverty and Welfare Reform below. ...
    Closing the GapBy Tracey Sharp
    1 week ago
  • Exclusive language
    What is language? We generally assume that it a facility unique to humans, allowing us to share what’s in and on our minds. We can tell of our plans, our past exploits, our knowledge. It also allows us to lie. And yet there are vast numbers of people we can’t ...
    SciBlogsBy Michael Corballis
    1 week ago
  • April 2018 – Submission to the NZ Govt Tax Working Group
    You can read our submission HERE ...
    Closing the GapBy Tracey Sharp
    1 week ago
  • 2018 – Submission to the NZ Government Tax Working Group
    Read our submission here ...
    Closing the GapBy Tracey Sharp
    1 week ago
  • Guardian: Poll shows DISASTER for Corbyn and the End of Times
    The Guardian - ever eager to forewarn of doom and disaster on the left - are leading with a new poll from Opinium, which puts the Conservatives 15% clear of Labour.Con 38% +2Lab 23% -1Lib Dem 15% -5Brexit 12% +1Green 4% +2This isn't good news, and it would be very ...
    1 week ago
  • How prostitution became the world’s most modern profession
    Being and Being Bought (Spinifex Press, 2013) by Kajsa Ekis Ekman  A synopsis and commentary of Chapters 1-2 by Daphna Whitmore Ekman, a Swedish journalist and critic, brings together a Marxist and feminist analysis of prostitution and surrogacy in this groundbreaking book She opens the discussion with a definition of ...
    RedlineBy Daphna
    1 week ago
  • Clever legal fellow on Scottish challenge to Brexit
    I make no claims to having much legal knowledge,  so I defer to those trained in this area.I am very much enjoying this twitter stream from m'learned friend in Edinburgh, deciphering the legal arguments around the Scottish court challenge to Boris Johnson, based on the charmingly obscure principle of Nobile ...
    2 weeks ago
  • An Open Letter From Closed Minds.
    Ivory Folly? The University of Auckland’s Vice-Chancellor, Professor Stuart McCutcheon, upheld the right of the radical nationalist group, Action Zealandia to exercise their freedom of speech – not matter how distasteful that speech might be. A wiser community of students and scholars would have nodded their agreement and moved on. ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Extinction Rebellion members want to “eat babies”
    If you are not convinced terrorist Organisation ‘Extinction Rebellion’ is very, very dangerous – watch this video at one of their recent meetings. Not only is this obviously mentally ill Woman begging the other terrorists to promote killing and “eating” babies and children, if you watch carefully other members nod ...
    An average kiwiBy
    2 weeks ago
  • The government needs to tell people about the OIA
    The Ombudsman has been surveying people about their knowledge of the OIA and the right to information. Unfortunately, it doesn't seem that widespread:The Chief Ombudsman says too many New Zealanders were in the dark over their right to access official information. Peter Boshier said an independent survey released yesterday on ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • Climate Change: Join the rebellion
    In the wake of last Friday's climate strike, Peter McKenzie had an article in The Spinoff about protest strategies. The school strike movement is "polite" and cooperates with those in power because that's its kaupapa - its led by schoolkids who understandably don't want to risk arrest. But there's more ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • Jermey Corbyn, I don’t like GNU (sorry)
    So, the latest ruminations on the gnews from Westminster (Again, sorry; I'll stop making that pun right now).  This follows on from, and likely repeats bits of, my last post, on the suggestion that a Government of National Unity (GNU) should be set up and then oversee a referendum before ...
    2 weeks ago
  • New Fisk
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • About time
    New Zealand likes to think of itself as not a racist country (despite being founded on the racist dispossession and subjugation of Maori). But for years, we've had a racist refugee policy, which basicly excludes refugees from Africa and the Middle East unless they already have relatives here. Now, the ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • Legal Beagle: Vexation, or Something Too Long for Twitter
    Several people have asked me whether a particular repeat litigant could be declared a vexatious litigant, in light of their recent decision to appeal an adverse High Court ruling. My nascent tweet thread was getting ridiculously long, so it became this blog post instead.The short answer is: no. The particular ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Zealandia’s Lost Boys.
    Appealing To The Past: Action Zealandia, like so many of the organisations springing up on the far-Right, across what they call the “Anglosphere”, is born out of the profound confusion over what a man is supposed to be in the twenty-first century and, more importantly, what he is supposed to do.THE STATUE OF ...
    2 weeks ago
  • British trade union and political activists defend women’s right to speak, organise
      The attempts of anti-democratic transactivists to (often violently) disrupt women’s rights organising is largely ignored by those sections of the left most prone to misogyny and authoritarianism in New Zealand.  In Britain, however, scores of trade union and left activists added their names to a letter in July, defending ...
    RedlineBy Admin
    2 weeks ago
  • Turning their back on justice
    The Justice Committee has reported back on the Criminal Cases Review Commission Bill. The Bill would establish an independent, quasi-judicial body to investigate and review potential miscarriages of justice, and refer them back to the Court of appeal if required. It would be a vital backstop to our judiciary, help ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • US imperialism’s 40 years of war on the Iranian people
    by The Spark On September 14, a total of 22 drones and cruise missiles struck two oil installations in Saudi Arabia, the Abqaiq processing facility and the Khurais oil field. Abqaiq is the largest oil production facility in the world. For a few days afterwards, Saudi Aramco, the Saudi national ...
    RedlineBy Admin
    2 weeks ago
  • $47 billion
    How much will NeoLiberal irregulation of the building sector and subsequent leaky homes crisis cost us? $47 billion, according to a new book:The total cost to fix all of New Zealand's leaky homes would be $47 billion, probably. The estimate comes from a new book, Rottenomics written by journalist Peter ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago

  • Kiwis to take part in world’s biggest earthquake drill
    At 1.30pm tomorrow, hundreds of thousands of Kiwis will join about 65 million people around the globe in ShakeOut, the world’s biggest earthquake drill. The annual drill is to remind people of the right action to take during an earthquake which is to Drop, Cover, Hold, and to practise their ...
    3 hours ago
  • Rising wages and low inflation supporting Kiwis
    Kiwis are benefiting from higher wage growth and low inflation under the Coalition Government. Stats NZ data out today shows the rise in the cost of living remains low, as annual Consumers Price Index (CPI) inflation fell to 1.5% in September from 1.7% in June. “The low inflation comes as ...
    5 hours ago
  • NZ economy strong amid global headwinds
    New Zealand’s economic strength and resilience has been recognised in a major update on the state of the global economy. The IMF’s latest World Economic Outlook released overnight shows a reduced global growth forecast over the next two years as issues like the US-China trade war and Brexit take hold. ...
    5 hours ago
  • Keeping New Zealanders safer with better counter-terrorism laws
    Justice Minister Andrew Little has today introduced a new Bill to prevent terrorism and support the de-radicalisation of New Zealanders returning from overseas. The Terrorism Suppression (Control Orders) Bill gives the New Zealand Police the ability to apply to the High Court to impose control orders on New Zealanders who ...
    6 hours ago
  • Improved succession and dispute resolution core of Ture Whenua changes
    A Bill that proposes targeted changes to simplify the processes for Māori land owners when engaging with the Māori Land Court has had its First Reading today. “The approach taken by the Government is to ensure that the protection of Māori land remains a priority as we seek to improve ...
    7 hours ago
  • Speech to CTU Biennial Conference
    Let me first thank all the new unionists and members in the room. There is nothing more important to improving people’s working lives than people making the decision to care, to get on board and help, to take up the reins and get involved. Congratulations to you. You bring the ...
    7 hours ago
  • Minister ensures continued Whenuapai flight operations
    Minister of Defence Ron Mark has signed a certificate exempting the activity of engine testing at Whenuapai Airbase from the Resource Management Act 1991. The Act gives the Minister of Defence the power to exempt activities for the purposes of national security.  The certificate will mean the recent Environment Court ...
    7 hours ago
  • NZ joins Coalition of Finance Ministers for Climate Action
    Finance Minister Grant Robertson has announced New Zealand will join the Coalition of Finance Ministers for Climate Action while attending APEC meetings in Chile. The objective of the 39 member Coalition is to share information and promote action to tackle climate change. It was formed in April this year, in ...
    10 hours ago
  • CTU speech – DPM
    Ladies and gentlemen, NZCTU President Richard Wagstaff, members of respective unions – thank you for the invitation to speak to you today. This might be preaching to the choir, but the importance of trade unions in New Zealand’s historical arch is difficult to understate. And it is my belief that ...
    1 day ago
  • Police Association Annual Conference
    "Let’s start by acknowledging that it has been a huge year. " Police Association Annual Conference James Cook Grand Chancellor Hotel Wellington Nau mai, haere mai. Tēnā koutou, tēnā koutou, ka nui te mihi, ki a koutou katoa. President of the Police Association, Chris Cahill; Members of the Association and ...
    1 day ago
  • New Zealand announces a further P-3 deployment in support of UN sanctions
    Minister of Foreign Affairs Winston Peters and Minister of Defence Ron Mark have announced the New Zealand Government’s decision to again deploy a Royal New Zealand Air Force P-3K2 (P-3) maritime patrol aircraft to support the implementation of United Nations Security Council (UNSC) resolutions imposing sanctions against North Korea. New ...
    1 day ago
  • New Zealand deeply concerned at developments in north-east Syria
    Foreign Affairs Minister Winston Peters says New Zealand continues to have serious concerns for peace and stability in north-east Syria. “Recent reports that hundreds of ISIS-affiliated families have fled from a camp are deeply concerning from a humanitarian and security perspective”, Mr Peters says. “While we acknowledge Turkey’s domestic security ...
    1 day ago
  • Government on high alert for stink bugs
    Biosecurity Minister Damien O’Connor is warning travelling Kiwis to be vigilant as the high-season for the crop-eating brown marmorated stink bug (BMSB) is under way. “We’re on high alert to stop BMSB arriving in NZ. The high season runs until April 30 and we’ve strengthened our measures to stop stink ...
    1 day ago
  • Better protections for students in halls of residence
    The Government is moving swiftly to change the law to improve the welfare and pastoral care of students living in university halls of residence and other tertiary hostels. Cabinet has agreed to several changes, including creating a new mandatory Code of Practice that sets out the duty of pastoral care ...
    2 days ago
  • New trapping guide for community and expert trappers alike
    The Minister for Conservation Eugenie Sage has launched a new comprehensive trapping guide for community trappers to help them protect our native birds, plants and other wildlife, at Zealandia in Wellington today. ‘A practical guide to trapping’, has been developed by the Department of Conservation (DOC), and was launched during ...
    2 days ago
  • Widening Access to Contraceptives Welcomed
    Associate Health Minister Julie Anne Genter welcomes PHARMAC’s move to improve access to long-acting reversible contraception (LARCs). PHARMAC has today announced it will fund the full cost of Mirena and Jaydess for anyone seeking long term contraception, lifting previous restrictions on access to Mirena. “I welcome women having greater choices ...
    2 days ago
  • Major upgrade for Taranaki Base Hospital
    The Government has approved the next stage of a major redevelopment of Taranaki Base Hospital, which will deliver new and improved facilities for patients. Health Minister Dr David Clark has announced details of a $300 million dollar project to build a new East Wing at the New Plymouth hospital. It ...
    3 days ago
  • Extra support for rural families
    Extra funding will allow Rural Support Trusts to help farming families, says Minister for Rural Communities and Agriculture Damien O’Connor. “I know that rural families are worried about some of the challenges facing them, including the ongoing uncertainty created by the Mycoplasma bovis outbreak. “Those concerns sit alongside ongoing worries ...
    4 days ago
  • Howard Leaque Beekeeper programme graduation
    Thank you for the opportunity to be here to present certificates to the 16 graduates who have completed a beekeeping course delivered by the Howard League.  Let us start by acknowledging Auckland Prison’s Deputy Prison Director Tom Sherlock, and Acting Assistant Regional Commissioner of Corrections Northern Region Scott Walker - ...
    5 days ago
  • Finance Minister to attend APEC meetings
    Finance Minister Grant Robertson leaves this weekend to attend the APEC Finance Ministers meeting in Santiago, Chile. Discussions between APEC Finance Ministers at the meeting will include the effects of the current global economic uncertainty, risks for APEC economies and sustainable development of the region. While at APEC Grant Robertson ...
    5 days ago
  • Pacific languages are a source of strength, they ground us and build confidence
    The Minister for Pacific Peoples Aupito William Sio says for Pacific people, language can be a source of strength. It can help ground us and give us confidence. When we speak them, our languages provide us with an immediate and intimate access to our identity and our story - and ...
    5 days ago
  • Major boost to support disabled people in sport and recreation
    The Coalition Government has announced an action plan to improve the wellbeing of disabled New Zealanders by addressing inequalities in play, active recreation and sport. The initiative includes training to develop a workforce that understands the needs of children and young people with a range of impairments, advocacy for fit ...
    5 days ago
  • More prefab homes to be built as red tape cut
    The construction sector is being freed up to allow more homes to be built more quickly as the Government cuts through some of the red tape of the Building Act.  “Every New Zealander deserves a warm, dry, safe home and old inefficiencies in the Building Act make building slow and ...
    5 days ago
  • Further details of Prince of Wales and Duchess of Cornwall visit to New Zealand
    Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern has welcomed further details on the Prince of Wales and Duchess of Cornwall’s visit to New Zealand next month. Their Royal Highnesses will visit New Zealand from 17-23 November – their third joint visit to New Zealand and first in four years. They arrive in Auckland ...
    5 days ago
  • O’Connor in Thailand to push for RCEP deal
    Minister of State for Trade and Export Growth and Minister of Agriculture, Damien O’Connor, heads to Thailand today to attend the final Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP) Ministerial meeting, as negotiations enter their final stages. “The RCEP Agreement would anchor New Zealand in a regional agreement that covers 16 countries, ...
    5 days ago
  • Young Pacific people can access earning and learning opportunities in Hawke’s Bay, Otago and South...
    Pacific young people living in the Hawke’s Bay, Southland and Otago regions will have access to support services that have proved successful in helping young people find new earning and learning opportunities. “Tupu Aotearoa is about changing Pacific young peoples’ lives. Our young people are talented, they are smart, they ...
    6 days ago
  • Protecting wellbeing – ACC HQSC Trauma Forum
    Introduction As the Minister for ACC I thank you all for the work that you do supporting New Zealanders in their literally most vulnerable moments. From those who hold people’s lives in their hands, to the people who research technique, technology and trends, your work is highly valued. A special ...
    6 days ago
  • NZ economy in good shape – notes prepared for speeches in Christchurch
    Notes prepared for speeches in Christchurch – Wednesday 9 October 2019 Today’s topic, “trends and opportunities for the New Zealand economy,” is certainly one getting a great deal of commentary at the moment. Looking across the media landscape lately you’ll notice we aren’t the only ones having this discussion. There ...
    6 days ago
  • World Mental Health Day a reminder of the importance of mental health work
    Minister of Health Dr David Clark and Associate Minister of Health Peeni Henare say this year’s World Mental Health Day theme is a reminder of why the Government’s work on mental health is so important. “This year the World Federation for Mental Health has made suicide prevention the main theme ...
    6 days ago
  • Cultural Ministers Meeting
    Associate Arts, Culture and Heritage Minister Carmel Sepuloni will represent the government at Australia’s Meeting of Cultural Ministers in Adelaide this week. “This year’s meeting is special because New Zealand is expected to become an International Member of the Meeting of Cultural Ministers at this Australian forum,” Carmel Sepuloni said. “The meeting is an opportunity to ...
    7 days ago
  • 608 claims resolved by GCCRS in first year
    The Greater Christchurch Claims Resolution Service has resolved 608 insurance and EQC claims in its first year in operation, Minister Megan Woods has announced. The government service, which celebrates its first birthday today, provides a one stop shop to help Cantabrians still battling to get their homes repaired or rebuilt ...
    1 week ago
  • NZ economy in good shape
    Today’s topic, “trends and opportunities for the New Zealand economy,” is certainly one getting a great deal of commentary at the moment. Looking across the media landscape lately you’ll notice we aren’t the only ones having this discussion. There has been an increasing amount of attention paid to the outlook ...
    1 week ago
  • NZTA to refocus on safety following review
    The Government is acting swiftly to strengthen NZTA’s regulatory role following a review into the Transport Agency, and Ministry of Transport’s performance as its monitor, Transport Minister Phil Twyford said today. An independent review by Martin Jenkins has found NZTA failed to properly regulate the transport sector under the previous ...
    1 week ago
  • Joint Cooperation Statement on Climate Change between the Netherlands and New Zealand
    The Netherlands and New Zealand have a long-standing and close relationship based on many shared interests and values. We value the rule of law, our democracies, and multilateralism.  And we value our environment – at home and globally. Right now there are major global challenges in all of these areas – ...
    1 week ago
  • Government putting right Holidays Act underpayment in Health
    The Government is putting right a decade’s worth of underpayment to nurses, doctors and other health workers, says Health Minister Dr David Clark.  Initial sampling of District Health Boards payroll records has found that around $550-$650 million is owed to DHB staff to comply with the Holidays Act. It’s expected ...
    1 week ago
  • Government accounts show strong economy
    A strong surplus and low debt show the economy is performing well, and means the Government is in a good position to meet the challenges of global economic uncertainty. “The surplus and low levels of debt show the economy is in good shape. This allows the Government to spend more ...
    1 week ago
  • Ministers approve application to expand Waihi mine
    New applications from mining company OceanaGold to purchase land in Waihi for new tailings ponds associated with its gold mines have been approved. Minister of Finance Grant Robertson and Associate Minister of Finance David Parker considered the applications under the Overseas Investment Act. Earlier this year, applications from OceanaGold to ...
    1 week ago
  • Tuia 250 Voyage flotilla launches with tribute to tangata whenua
    New Zealanders in Tūranganui-a-Kiwa / Poverty Bay will witness Māori, Pākehā and Pacific voyaging traditions come together today as the Tuia 250 Voyage flotilla assembles for the first time, Māori Crown Relations: Te Arawhiti Minister Kelvin Davis says. “Tuia 250 is a national commemoration and an opportunity for honest conversations ...
    1 week ago
  • Visit to advance trade agenda with Europe and the Commonwealth
    Minister for Trade and Export Growth David Parker leaves tomorrow for Dubai, London and Berlin for a series of meetings to advance New Zealand’s trade interests.  In Dubai he will visit New Zealand’s Pavilion at Expo 2020 where construction is underway.  There he will meet Minister of State for International Cooperation, Her ...
    1 week ago
  • More cancer drugs confirmed – even more on horizon
    Confirmation that PHARMAC will fund two new cancer drugs is further evidence of the good progress the Government is making to improve the treatment of New Zealand’s leading cause of death, Health Minister David Clark says. From 1 December PHARMAC will fund alectinib (Alecensa) for ALK positive advanced non-small cell ...
    1 week ago