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Open mike 19/07/2015

Written By: - Date published: 6:00 am, July 19th, 2015 - 131 comments
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131 comments on “Open mike 19/07/2015”

  1. Skinny 1

    Just sitting down to watch Q&A. Let’s see if they can extract some sense out the Housing Minister Smith after Gower didn’t have the skills on The Nation yesterday. So far he is dodging the real question of the lack of available data from his regime.

    • Paul 1.1

      Don’t hold your breath.

      • Skinny 1.1.1

        Smith was woeful showing up how hopeless their front bench is without Key, who will be back on deck tomorrow, all sun tanned having jetted back in from his Hawaiian holiday.

        Expect Key to be sucking air in and sounding like a bath tub drain pipe after pulling the plug. The issues are mounting economically and Key is getting hamstrung and tied down with his odd hair fondling fetish.

    • vto 1.2

      ask him what has happened to the “demand” side of the “supply and demand” equation so beloved of right wing nutbars everywhere…

      Smith will look you in the eye while standing on the lawn and tell you that grass is not green …….. why do you think he has one wonky eye?

    • half crown 1.3

      What’s Q&A?. Oh I remember that party political broadcast on behalf of the National Party used as a current affairs programme.

    • Draco T Bastard 1.4

      This turned up in my twitter feed:

      Nick Smith said on #thenationtv3 the Massey Affordability Unit shows affordability improving. Not according to
      Home Affordability Report

  2. Herodotus 2

    No one has made the comment that with less than 3 months before the earth works season commences, many earth moving companies are already filling their books for work this year, It will not be long before the capabilities of this sector will be maxed out. Rates for this work will rise rapidly not only affecting land development but also to a large degree roading. That is if you will be able to find anyone wanting to commit to the work, we will soon hear land owners lamenting about being unable to develop or how expensive the process is and not just limiting their comments towards council costs.

    • cricklewood 2.1

      Rates for excavation and site works have already risen and will lift again soon As you say a large number of contractors are booked already, similar story for builders charge rates are now hitting $70+gst per hour. Makes me laugh when politicians talk about affordable housing in Auckland when the labour rates are rising so quickly…

  3. AsleepWhileWalking 3

    Do they ever check their stories? A brief look and the first thing that stands out is an error on their front page. It isn’t Oprah’s first time in NZ as she stayed at Huka Lodge a few years back.

    Useless MSM

    http://www.nzherald.co.nz/entertainment/news/article.cfm?c_id=1501119&objectid=11483399

  4. Morrissey 4

    “It’s not to Television New Zealand’s credit that they employ him.”
    Nicky Hager damns Mike “Contra” Hosking

    Mediawatch, Radio NZ National, Sunday 19 July 2015

    One year after the release of his latest exposé of the National Party’s assault on democracy, Nicky Hager was interviewed by Colin Peacock. Hager said that there is a huge gap between journalists and the organisations that employ them. In spite of having to work for organisations like the New Zealand Herald, Mediaworks and TVNZ, most people in the media are serious and well informed journalists—with the exception of one or two, who didn’t let the fact they had not read the book stop them from launching crazed attacks on him.

    Colin Peacock pressed him to name one of those lazy, ill-informed National Party loyalists. Hager hesitated, and then said: “Well, Mike Hosking. It’s not to Television New Zealand’s credit that they hire him…”

    If you can bear it, there’s more Hosking here….

    Open mike 15/03/2015

    Open mike 05/02/2015

  5. Sirenia 5

    Man on Q and A says Colmar Brunton poll tonight hasn’t given Labour a boost.

    • Anne 5.1

      I thought he said: the bounce isn’t as high as Labour would have hoped.

      Well of course it isn’t – yet. The story only broke a week ago and it takes much longer than a week for these issues to sink in among the majority of voters – plus the poll must have started before the story broke.

      • Ergo Robertina 5.1.1

        A sharp bounce would be undesirable anyway, as it would feed the Labour’s Orewa narrative.

        • Anne 5.1.1.1

          Exactly.

        • Skinny 5.1.1.2

          Or you could look at it differently. Business confidence dropping effects of the low milk solids price is starting to effect every town and city in New Zealand. Gone is the rhetoric of our economy being solid as a rock, hence the Rock Star title, down to more realistic economic view of snap crackle and finally bang…pop deflated. So Pop Star is more fitting these days.

          • Ergo Robertina 5.1.1.2.1

            Yep and that dynamic is building slowly and likely caused the RM lift. I was just thinking of how a sudden bounce now might be characterised by some commentators.

      • The Colmar Brunton poll period was 11-15 July, i.e. started the day the story broke.

        • te reo putake 5.1.2.1

          It’ll be interesting, but Colmar Brunton’s built in 5% lean to the right should make it look OK for the Nats. Expect the lead story to be a beat up about how the housing crisis exposure hasn’t helped Labour. As if that was why it was done.

          • Skinny 5.1.2.1.1

            Maybe by the odd media shill, however with our economy on the skids and heading to a crisis the punters will see a wider range of issues not just Housing.

            • te reo putake 5.1.2.1.1.1

              Yep. I don’t see much to boost the nats in our future. Mind you, All Black captain John Key has won two tests already this year, so there’s that.

          • Stephanie Rodgers 5.1.2.1.2

            I’m only going to note that it’s really interesting how the first defence of the story was “Labour has to appeal to more voters” and now that there’s not going to be a bump out of it the new defence is “oh we didn’t do it to get more votes anyway.” (Or Anne’s alternative, “voters are too stupid to have figured out whether they support this or not yet”.)

            • Skinny 5.1.2.1.2.1

              The non resident foreigners buying property issue won’t be showing to any great degree in this poll. And even in the next polls, as there are numerous issues that those surveyed may have an axe to grind with this incumbent regime. It can be as simple as the more the population hear our economy is on the rocks, the more likely they are going to blame Key and his cronies for their unacceptable inaction. That is my opinion for what it’s worth.

              • It’s a very fair opinion. I just tire of the paradoxical arguments, i.e. “this will appeal to voters, but that appeal will mysteriously not be reflected in poll results”.

                The idea that dogwhistling on people’s surnames wasn’t actually a great move is apparently unspeakable.

                • Lanthanide

                  Just because something will appeal to voters, doesn’t mean it should result in a clear signal in the polls, particularly immediately after the event. Also if the polling started on the Saturday, a lot of people simply would not have heard about it until Monday anyway.

                  Labour lost the last election because they didn’t look like they could form a credible government. Their attack on foreign speculators in the last week doesn’t speak directly towards that particular criticism either.

                  Also notable is that National haven’t really responded to Labour’s attacks on them; that will likely be occurring in this week. National’s response is partly what will drive polling intentions – do they agree with the problem and are they doing something concrete about it, or are they just going to keep on claiming that there is no problem? Or, most likely, are they just going to deflect onto the ‘racism’ angle and refuse to talk about the issue?

                • Skinny

                  Thanks for that Stephanie, yes I was very disappointed at the dog whistle tactic, the sloppiness was amateurish. There was a lack of being honest and frank. Where was the confession “Labour doesn’t have the funds to resource for paying an agency to provide the details…unlike National who have large donators like property magnates like Mr Barfoot who contributed $20,000 at last year’s election”.

            • te reo putake 5.1.2.1.2.2

              You didn’t see that approach from me, Stephanie. In fact, I’m struggling to recall anybody who made an argument that it was done because “Labour has to appeal to more voters”. I’m pretty sure that most people accept that it was an issue that needed raising, but there was considerable difference on how it should have been done.

            • Anne 5.1.2.1.2.3

              Stephanie… you seem to like reading things into people’s comment that are not there. It’s a well known fact that most people are not into politics in the same way we are, and therefore take longer to respond to political issues when they arise. Nothing to do with “stupidity” as you well know. I will respond in kind by saying I think that was a witting attempt to drive a wedge where no wedges should exist.

  6. greywarshark 6

    Wallace Chapman talking to author about NZ wines and regions! WTF – that’s Metros area or the Sunday inserts. Why waste valuable interviewing time on such lifestyle matters. It isn’t even part of a business overview which informed people should know about.

    • Marvellous Bearded Git 6.1

      Wallace is pretty damn good most of the time though. Asks hard questions while not seeming to.

      • Morrissey 6.1.1

        Wallace is pretty damn good most of the time though. Asks hard questions while not seeming to.

        Sadly, that’s not true. He has provided an unquestioning, even groveling platform for some utterly despicable ideologues.

        There was his pathetic interview with the right wing author Lee Child….

        Open mike 31/08/2014

        Even worse was this interview with Israeli apologist Jonathon Spyer. No sign of even one “hard question” from anyone “pretty damn good” on this occasion….

        Open mike 14/12/2014

        • greywarshark 6.1.1.1

          Jane Kelsey is being interviewed on her new book The Fire Economy. Good.
          Perhaps we are being presented with a ‘balanced’ set of interview, the acceptable lifestyle ones, with a token piece of searching, thoughtful stuff to show that it’s all not souffles with madeira wine flavouring. Now wouldn’t that be an attractive dessert. If you like the idea, it’s yours.

        • Marvellous Bearded Git 6.1.1.2

          According to wikipedia Lee Child was “involved with shows including Brideshead Revisited, The Jewel in the Crown, Prime Suspect, and Cracker…”

          These are some of the best shows that have ever been on British TV.

          He also “told the Daily Mail that he writes while high on marijuana, and that he has smoked cannabis five nights a week for 44 years..’

          On the negative side he is a Villa fan…..

          I haven’t read his books. Is there solid evidence of his rightist leanings?

    • Morrissey 6.2

      There’s nothing wrong with talking about wine. The problem is the utter triviality of most of the rest of his programme. A few minutes ago, he said: “What’s your favorite tree? THAT is the theme of the day.”

      Chapman also has people texting in about what their favorite David Bowie song is. A few weeks ago, he begged people to text in about their favorite Beatles song. Every week, he asks people to say what their favorite city, or favorite snack or favorite movie is.

      Unlike some people in the media—Mike “Contra” Hosking, Leighton Smith, Larry “Lackwit” Williams, Sean Plunket—Wallace Chapman is neither lazy nor ill-informed. This trivialization of the Sunday morning programme is not his idea, it’s something that some genius in Radio New Zealand management has forced on him.

      • Rosemary McDonald 6.2.1

        “This trivialization of the Sunday morning programme is not his idea, it’s something that some genius in Radio New Zealand management has forced on him.”

        So, its not just us then? Switched the squawk box off 1/2 an hour ago.

        I thought Natrad was trying to build its audience???

        I hope they’re following this….

      • greywarshark 6.2.2

        Yes I have noticed the attempt at drawing people to use their ‘apps’ to contact Wallace at Radionz about matters which is something that the commercial is likely to do. That may be necessary as so many young to middle-aged people view life through the tiny space of a reversed telescope their smartphone screen gives. There is a need to bring young people into the Radionz circle. But it dilutes the effective time for big media stuff. It seems to me like bringing special needs pupils into the ordinary everyday classroom, the teacher time and attention available to other children is lessened.

        But Radionz cannot be allowed to become only for the older age group, it will need to bring in the younger group. I hope that we don’t lose the majority of intelligent, informed discussion about the world’s news, in favour of the soft option of discussing the interests of the middle class and nice pieces from most favoured nations that imitate the pretty words of a travelogue.

        Your final sentence is also my worry. This trivialization of the Sunday morning programme is not his idea, it’s something that some genius in Radio New Zealand management has forced on him.

      • red-blooded 6.2.3

        Hey, the tree discussion was actually focused on the effects of climate change (trees dying in Melbourne because of long-term droughts), and explored the connection people feel to trees that form part of their sense of self and community. I thought it was an imaginative approach to a subject that people often find dry or abstract and hard to connect to. The sample emails he read out were great – heart-warming, moving, funny, poetic… Not everything has to be hard-hitting. Sometimes a more quirky or unexpected approach can really touch a nerve and get people thinking.

    • greywarshark 6.3

      Now Wallace is talking about food in Italy and an Italian visitor and an item on I think the film festival. So weekend lifestyle. Sh.t.

      • greywarshark 6.3.1

        Another thought re Wallace and wine buff interview. The sort of people that would enjoy listening to the talk about NZs fine wine are those who realise that the early favourites of Cold Duck or Blue Nun were rather sweet, perhaps even sugar-added, They now have more sophisticated palates, prefer something drier, appreciate the nuances in flavour.

        But they have equally developed a preference for their news to reflect the sweet life. The bitter aftertaste of thorough coverage of real-world news requires a higher sort of sophistication from them before it can be embraced.

  7. Morrissey 7

    Patty Culhane of Al Jazeera on Obama’s legacy
    Al Jazeera News, Saturday 18 July 2015

    The U.S.-friendly official mouthpiece of the Qatari dictatorship took several minutes out of its “news” for a specially prepared item by Patty Culhane in Washington, pondering the legacy of Barack Obama as he approaches the final year of his presidency. Over several photographs of Obama looking serious, dignified and “presidential”, Culhane assured viewers that “much, perhaps most, of what happens internationally is beyond his control”. To illustrate how helpless the U.S. President is, she cited Yemen and ISIS in Iraq and Syria—none of which, apparently, has any connection to the United States.

    The item finished with a long shot of a serious-looking President Obama gazing through the window, framed dramatically by the grand Oval Office windows.

    I’m not sure now, but I think there was reflective violin music playing for the whole item, to emphasise the lonely vigil of this embattled human rights warrior.

    More on Obama….

    Open mike 29/06/2015

    Amazing Grace

    Open mike 27/06/2015

  8. I prefer my humour watered down:

    • weka 8.1

      Gotta love ignorant people laughing at things they don’t understand.

      • Ergo Robertina 8.1.1

        +1

      • Not sure if ‘don’t understand’ is the same as ‘doesn’t actually exist’, weka! Generally, I prefer laughing at people who make money by exploiting the gullible, something I appear to have in common with Mitchell and Webb.

        • Ergo Robertina 8.1.2.1

          You better tell the BMJ – this week it hosted a debate on something that doesn’t actually exist!

          • Colonial Rawshark 8.1.2.1.1

            I can pretty much guarantee that homeopathy (and acupuncture and chiropractic and…) will outlast energy intensive complexity reliant high funding requiring ‘modern medicine’.

            • northshoredoc 8.1.2.1.1.1

              … and I can pretty much guarantee that treatments such as homeopathy will be continue to be completely ineffective for any serious illnesses such as cancer, diabetes etc ….

              • Colonial Rawshark

                well, I can pretty much guarantee to you that a traditional Japanese or African or Greek diet is better for cancer and diabetes than anything modern medicine can come up with 😉

            • te reo putake 8.1.2.1.1.2

              Agreed. Because there’s a sucker born every minute.

          • te reo putake 8.1.2.1.2

            Whatever. The BMJ is pretty convinced that it’s pants, actually, ER.

            • Ergo Robertina 8.1.2.1.2.1

              You don’t seem to get what ”hosted a debate” means. In Britain there isn’t the degree of professional and intellectual conformity that prevails in NZ.

              • They still have science there, though. So, yeah, still bollocks.

              • One Anonymous Bloke

                Fisher of “shaken not stirred” fame – a rich vein for comedy if it weren’t for the harm that Edzard Ernst points out.

                Why couldn’t the BMJ find someone credible on the woo-woo side?

        • weka 8.1.2.2

          “Not sure if ‘don’t understand’ is the same as ‘doesn’t actually exist’, weka!”

          I’m reasonably confident that you have no idea how homeopathy is alleged to work, so ‘ignorant’ and ‘don’t understand’ seem appropriate.

          “Generally, I prefer laughing at people who make money by exploiting the gullible, something I appear to have in common with Mitchell and Webb.”

          Yet you appear very selective in that, which makes me think it’s ideological rather than reality based.

          • te reo putake 8.1.2.2.1

            Reality based! Gotta clean my keyboard now!!!

            • weka 8.1.2.2.1.1

              Yep, like I said, ideological which is why it doesn’t stand up to scrutiny.

          • One Anonymous Bloke 8.1.2.2.2

            We know how it’s supposed to work, Weka, because the woo-woo-witch-doctor gave evidence at the British Parliamentary Inquiry that:

            “Dr Fisher stated that the process of ‘shaking is important’ but was unable to say how much shaking was required. He said ‘that has not been fully investigated’ but did tell us that ‘You have to shake it vigorously […] if you just stir it gently, it does not work’.

            In other words, the woo-woo-witch-doctor hasn’t got a clue, but he believes it very very hard.

            Mainstream science, on the other hand, does have a clue: Homeopathy relies 100% on the Placebo effect.

            • Lanthanide 8.1.2.2.2.1

              The “placebo effect” can actually be broken down into many individual factors.

              In fact, what is measured by the “placebo effect” in drug trials is simply the the amount of healing that took place for the control group that weren’t given the drug. This naturally therefore lumps “the body’s natural healing ability” in under the umbrella “placebo effect”. Which is interesting.

              One factor that is known to have a big benefit, and this is probably why modern medicine is not as effective as it ‘should’ be, and these alternative medicines seem to show more effect than they ‘should’, is simply the level of attention given to the patient from the practitioner. Studies have been done where pain killers were given to patients, but the amount of attention given to the patient varied dramatically. Some patients were simply proscribed the intervention after a short discussion, while others had long conversations with frequent follow-ups and discussions of the progress. It was found that patients that had more involvement from their practitioners had a statistically significant improvement in symptoms compared to those who were simply proscribed the intervention and then left to their own devices.

              In other words, if modern medicine could be practised in a way that showed more concern for patients, overall we’d get better outcomes. A tricky question is whether the improved outcomes are worth the increased investment.

              Anyway, that ‘hands-on’ attention is a clear difference between alternative ‘medicine’ and modern medicine, and likely explains a lot of the positive results.

              https://www.sciencebasedmedicine.org/placebo-are-you-there/#more-36036

              • weka

                Placebo is more than the body’s normal healing processes. That’s why drug trials also include a control group. Placebo will often show better results than the control. What’s the mechanism behind that? I agree that pracitioner/client relationship is part of it, but it’s more than that. Natural health practitioners are much better at engaging the placebo response than conventional.

                • One Anonymous Bloke

                  [citation needed]

                  Although given that for many “natural” “health” “practitioners” the context effect is all they’ve got, they’d better be good at it, eh.

                • Lanthanide

                  “Placebo is more than the body’s normal healing processes.”
                  I never said it wasn’t. In fact I said it is made up of many parts, one of which is the body’s natural healing process. Re-reading I can see that this isn’t as clear as it should be, but reading the whole comment I don’t think you can construe that I said placebo is only natural healing.

              • One Anonymous Bloke

                Thanks for that Lanth: lots to absorb there 🙂

                …the placebo object is not necessary for the contextual effect.

                Much of the literature regarding bedside manner stresses the need for better practice: it looks like the profession agrees with you 🙂

            • weka 8.1.2.2.2.2

              “We know how it’s supposed to work, Weka”

              Succussing is how the remedy is prepared. That’s not what I am talking about. I’m talking about how homeopathic practice works. I’m happy to add you to the list of people who express opinions about this when they are still largely ignorant of the theory they are critiquing.

              What you are demonstrating is faith and superstition. The faith is in omnipotence of the metatrials, despite them being quite easily critiqued (i.e. I would guess you have no idea about the shortcomings). The superstition is ridiculing something you don’t get understand.

              “Mainstream science, on the other hand, does have a clue: Homeopathy relies 100% on the Placebo effect.”

              I suggest you go and extend your reading OAB. Placebo is a very useful thing in healing and health management. Even mainstream science is catching on to that one. The rest of us have know about it forever.

              • One Anonymous Bloke

                I did a Google scholar search for “bedside manner” as a consequence of Lanth’s comment. The medical profession is way ahead of you, and was at the time of Hippocrates.

                As for further reading on Placebos, I recommend you read the link too.

                • weka

                  Yep, and the Persians were there before Hippocrates. But ffs, the Chinese have been doing this shit for thousands of years longer than we have. Btw, physicians in Hippocrates’ time did things and believed things that you would consider woowoo, so I’m not sure why you are invoking his name.

                  If you are suggesting that placebo from bedside manner is the only thing happening with alternative pracitioners, then you have a very limited idea of what placebo is or how it works. It also backs up my suspicion that you have no idea what homeopathic practice is. These are very basic illogics, it’s hard to believe I’m in a conversation with otherwise thoughtful people. But ideology trumps every time.

                  • One Anonymous Bloke

                    It’s clear you haven’t absorbed the information in the article Lanth linked above.

          • Realblue 8.1.2.2.3

            https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Homeopathy

            If you believe this is medicine when it’s been proven to be ineffective other than for placebo effect you need your head read (by a doctor).

            Or this

            https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Chiropractic

            Although effective in temporarily relieving back pain, that’s where it begins and ends.

            If you can accept the science behind climate change proven by reputable scientists and researchers, why the fuck would you accept these frauds perpetuated by charlatans which have been disproven through the similar research methodologies and rigour. It’s preying on the daft and the gullible. About as genuine as Scientology.

            • Lanthanide 8.1.2.2.3.1

              What I find funny about scientology is that even the name of it sounds bogus, like it was deliberately named to take in the naive and vulnerable.

            • Colonial Rawshark 8.1.2.2.3.2

              Realblue:

              Otago and Southland residents have been using chiropractic care since post WWI. For many different reasons. And they continue to do so in their thousands and thousands. These are smart practical people who don’t put up with BS which doesn’t work. University lecturers, PhD candidates, medical doctors, nurses and physiotherapists, some of them 🙂

              • weka

                Kind of like all those people in India who use integrated health care that includes homeopathy. They must be suckers and idiots.

                Or the millions of people in China that use the integrated system there that includes that woo woo acupuncture.

              • One Anonymous Bloke

                As I’ve said before, I’ve had very good results from Chiropractic treatment for sciatica. This is not unusual: cf the medical literature cited by Realblue above.

                • weka

                  Did bacteria exist before the microscope?

                  The argument that science has proved something doesn’t exist is flawed, and most people who are anti-homeopathy are not willing to be honest about this.

                  • One Anonymous Bloke

                    Of course that particular argument is flawed. The fact remains, however, that the best way to discredit a Homeopath is to let them speak.

                    • Colonial Rawshark

                      the ongoing multi-centuries long fucking arrogance of you scientism types who in your ignorance and pridefulness believe you possess all the valid knowledge of mankind; in fact the very same attitude as when the brightest medical doctors of the day were prescribing bleeding, arsenic and opium. Or thalidomide, vioxx and Dalkon Shields.

                    • One Anonymous Bloke

                      Yeah whatever CR, have fun with your strawman.

                  • But it’s not science making the absurd claim. It’s really up to the rip off artists to justify themselves. Though they’re highly incentivised to do no such thing.

                  • northshoredoc

                    Hi Weka

                    Perhaps for the sake of clarity you should explain what yu mean by homeopathy.

                    Some people use the term to cover using such products as Arnica and other herbal/natural medications, while others use it in its narrowest definition relating to dilution and shaking to a level wherein no molecules are left within the product apart from the diluent.

                    In this narrow definition homeopathy has been repeatedly proven to be no more effective than placebo as such its use in preference to an active proven effective treatment in anything but simple maladies cannot be recommended by any healthcare professional, I’m not sure why you find that disturbing.

                    • RedLogix

                      Good-oh. I’ll take your placebo effect thank you very much. Cheap, reliable and often effective. And no list of risks and side-effects.

                      And besides, the moment you invoke the term ‘placebo effect’ you’re opening a remarkably interesting can of worms anyhow.

                    • Lanthanide

                      Yes, this.

                      Homoeopathy, where somehow the water ‘remembers’ the ‘cure’ that was put in it through mystical vibrations or whatever is utter bullshit. How come the water remembers the ‘cure’, but not all the other millions of years where it had literal shit or toxic metals in it?

                      Herbal remedies may have some limited healing powers in some uses.

                      @ RedLogix:
                      “Good-oh. I’ll take your placebo effect thank you very much. Cheap, reliable and often effective. And no list of risks and side-effects.”

                      Actually it works both ways: the “nocebo effect” is where drugs and actual treatments are less effective than they should be, because that brain of ours has some funny ideas about how its body should behave sometimes.

                    • Colonial Rawshark

                      How come the water remembers the ‘cure’, but not all the other millions of years where it had literal shit or toxic metals in it?

                      Because of human intention which can cross time and space FFS; how is it you people are so ignorant??? Are you all dyed in the wool materialists?

                    • northshoredoc

                      RL I don’t think you understand what the term ‘placebo effect’ means.

                    • Lanthanide

                      @CV:
                      So the human intention of people dumping toxic waste into water (which is then diluted to huge degrees) doesn’t harm people, because…?

                      How come ‘human intention’ requires mixing stuff up with water? Why can’t we just pray disease away? What is the mechanism by which this works?

                    • McFlock

                      Is it strictly limited to “human” intention, I wander?

                      Otherwise there’s a massive vibe of fish-jizz in my morning cup of tea…

              • Prickles

                This is to follow on from Colonial Rawshark’s response to Realblue –
                Acupuncture is taught at Otago University and at AUT in Auckland as a post grad course and as Bachelor and Master programmes at private colleges in Auckland and Wellington. Wiki is well known for its bias against complementary and alternative medicine. Fortunately NZQA do not rely on Wiki.

                • Colonial Rawshark

                  And acupuncture (and chinese medicine in general) is going to be taught to the medical specialists of the Russian defence forces – by the PLA.

            • weka 8.1.2.2.3.3

              “If you can accept the science behind climate change proven by reputable scientists and researchers, why the fuck would you accept these frauds perpetuated by charlatans which have been disproven through the similar research methodologies and rigour. It’s preying on the daft and the gullible.”

              If you can’t tell the difference between evidence of something and trying to prove the absence of something then you really shouldn’t be trying to use science as part of your argument.

              You also shouldn’t go anywhere near healthcare other than your own given you appear to have no clue about informed consent or patient centred practice.

              btw, it’s those attitudes that keep the gulf between the scienceheads and the woo wooers. They’re both entrenched in belief systems that they can’t see out of, but the sad thing is that the woo wooers will never come back to science while it is so damn patronising and mean.

              • One Anonymous Bloke

                Perhaps the reason woo-wooers find scientists patronising and mean [citation needed] is that woo-wooers expect to be taken seriously when they have a profound information deficit.

                Or are you ok with unqualified civil engineers too?

                • Colonial Rawshark

                  What a dick comment.

                  Ancient civilisations built pyramids, aquaducts, irrigation systems and highways without your ‘qualified civil engineers’. And some of that shit lasted for centuries – better than anything built today is going to last.

                  • One Anonymous Bloke

                    Yes, they had no master builders or architects and had not learned from experience. They just let anyone design and build things like the tomb of the Emperor or The Parthenon.

                    No, wait…

                    • Lanthanide

                      He’s also using survivorship bias to ignore the 99.99% of buildings built by ancient cultures that aren’t still standing today.

                    • Iron Hoof

                      The narrow bands have been packaged up and locked into mind traps which they mistake for knowledge

                      Some of the wee monkeys understand limitations ,while other wee monkeys prefer to masturbate in public believing they are the apex of universal evolution

                      Human beings are monkeys with prehistoric tools believing they are unlocking the secrets of the universe.

                      Stroke on wee monkeys

                      [I’ve pointed out previously that your chosen handle is homophobic. Please don’t use it again. TRP]

                    • RedLogix

                      @OAB

                      I think CV’s point might be better interpreted like this; that the ancients were capable of building remarkable structures based purely on their observational and artisan skills.

                      Yes the people entrusted with supervising these projects would have been carefully chosen as the most talented and trusted people to do it – but few of them would have been burdened much by many years of mathematics, structural analysis, finite object analysis and so on. In other words they achieved all those things prior to any of the scientific revolution, and with none of the tools civil engineers take for granted today.

                      @Lanth

                      Well yes but what portion of structures that WE build do you think will stand in 1000 years time?

            • RedLogix 8.1.2.2.3.4

              As I stated elsewhere today, I’m as much a creature and beneficiary of the experimental scientific method as anyone here. I was trained in it and have earned a living at it all my life.

              But as a method it has it’s limits, and I’ve always been aware that all other non-Western cultures use a more observational approach arrive at quite another set of rules and guides for understanding the world they live in. And with quite remarkable degrees of coherence across multiple cultures. It’s a pretty gross arrogance, a racist conceit even, to simply erase that vast, complex and correlated body of knowledge as mere superstition and ignorance.

              And I’m old enough to have my own modest little collection of experiences that no explanation within the scientific model. Most of these experiences arrived uninvited, unexpected and left their own very specific memories.

              One example: when I was younger I used to have very vivid OOBE dreams. When I was six years old one night I ‘visited’ a house, down the driveway, around the back and into the kitchen. Next day at school I actually made a drawing of it.

              At the age of ten my family moved into that house. My mum recognised the room and found the old drawing. One problem; there was a big set of cupboards in my picture which was not definitely not there. Still she was pretty impressed.

              About four years later my dad and I lifted the flooring to move a wall – and there on the boards was the clear outline of the missing cupboards.

              Western Science has zero explanation for this kind of thing, yet in conversation with people over the years I know that it’s also pretty common. Yes I know anecdote ‘proves’ nothing. I’m not trying to.

              Yet tell this tale to most non-Westerners, indigenous peoples especially – and the response is a ‘so what boringly ho-hum and commonplace’. They’d typically find it no more remarkable than a detailed description of my last bowel movement.

              At no point am I suggesting that this invalidates or diminishes the scientific method. It remains the reliable pivot around which I understand my world. But neither is there any proof to show that it is the ONLY way to understand reality, or indeed that it’s method can ever encompass an understanding of ALL reality.

              Because I think this is all that people like CV, weka and myself ask for; is that science has the humility to acknowledge the boundaries of it’s domain, and remain open to the possibility that future generations will uncover new ideas and new knowledge that none of us can properly imagine just now.

              • One Anonymous Bloke

                Western Science has zero explanations for OOBEs, does it? Shall I Google the studies for you?

                • RedLogix

                  sighs … but not the ability to ‘see’ a place you have definitely never been to. Nor explain why that particular house and not the one next door.

                  And I only chose that example because of it’s pretty commonplace, banal even, nature.

                  • One Anonymous Bloke

                    I’ve had a few myself.

                    To my mind that makes them explicable by Physics. Science hasn’t yet demonstrated the mechanism: it’s still the best tool for researching the phenomenon.

                    • RedLogix

                      And that’s the point I was making. I totally agree that physics (or some yet to be understood extension of it) will be the best explanation.

                      Indeed that IS the power of the scientific method. Once it can create a reliable model of a phenomenon, it can then be expanded into a reproducible technology.

                      But just dismissing these out-of-domain experiences as woo-woo simply slows the process down – and crucially is a betrayal of the fundamental spirit of science. And ordinary people are pretty good at detecting that sort of thing.

                    • One Anonymous Bloke

                      I characterised Fisher’s pathetic testimony to the Parliamentary Science and Technology Select Committee as “woo-woo-witch-doctor”. I stand by that description.

                      For anyone who thinks evidence-free drivel is a good idea I have one word: Neoliberalism.

                    • RedLogix

                      But equally the absence of evidence is not proof of absence.

                    • One Anonymous Bloke

                      So what? Woo-woo-witch-doctors don’t give a fuck about evidence, absent or not: they just want to inflict their afflictions upon everyone else while demanding “respect” and most importantly, public money.

                      The Roger Douglases and Max Bradfords of this world: in any sane universe they only deserve oxygen because I let my foot off their throat.

                    • Lanthanide

                      I’ll just throw this into the mix as it’s semi-relevant.

                      People with near death experiences in hospitals often claim they have visions of hovering up and over their body, looking down on themselves while doctors crowd around trying to heal them etc.

                      So a study was done (it was mentioned on QI, unfortunately I haven’t been able to google it) where they placed various objects on top of cabinets and shelves high up in the room, that could only be seen by someone who had a genuine out-of-body experience.

                      Over the years that the study ran, none of the hundred or so people who reported OOBE where they were hovering over their beds were able to recall the objects so-placed.

                    • Colonial Rawshark

                      How quickly and easily RL’s comments are thrown away.

                      Fact is – a single incident of the type RL relates and you must admit that everything we know about the scientifically known universe – is not that much.

                      A prospect terrifying to some – but liberating to others.

                    • One Anonymous Bloke

                      The same study was mentioned in Supernature iirc. Perhaps not the most credible citation.

                      One reason neuroscience takes them seriously is the number of patients who’ve reported verifiable events that happened while they were ‘unconscious’.

                      In sports contexts there are many many accounts of people watching themselves perform athletic acts in real time.

                    • RedLogix

                      Sorry OAB – but for such a determined defender of science you’ve been quick to abandon it here. If there is no evidence for something there are at least four logical possibilities:

                      1. You haven’t found it yet, or more likely, you haven’t really looked

                      2. You’re looking for the wrong kind of evidence, in the wrong places

                      3. You have found it, but you’ve failed to recognise it’s significance

                      4. It really does not exist

                      You don’t have to have a go at me. I actually do logic on a daily basis for a living. And getting my head around ALL the possible states is the key to getting a complete and robust solution.

                      Of course you are quite right; charlatans of all types will indulge lazy and wishful thinkers by parting them from their money at every opportunity. But you have to accept – alternative medicines, while especially prone to it, do not have that affliction on their own.

                    • One Anonymous Bloke

                      RL – when did I abandon it again? I’m not having a go at you – it’s quite clear that there is plenty of independent evidence that mirrors your own experience, and mine for that matter.

                      Neuroscience has mapped the territory a bit better, and will explore further if the rate of growth of literature on the subject is any indication. The only people I can see with grounds to be “frightened” of this are the woo-woo brigade, who are financially dependent on ignorance.

                      Meanwhile, CR’s strawman doesn’t stand scrutiny: ask any scientist and they’ll tell you that the more they learn the more they realise they don’t know.

                    • McFlock

                      Fact is – a single incident of the type RL relates and you must admit that everything we know about the scientifically known universe – is not that much.

                      Oh bollocks CR – there are dozens of possible explanations for RL’s experience before mysterious powers need to be introduced.

                      Did RL see their house in the future, or did RL’s parents like the house because it looked like RL’s picture? If a house has been around long enough, most walls would have had cupboards against them at one stage or another.

                      There is a huge amount to learn, yes. Maybe even remote viewing or something similar is possible. Hell, maybe even this is what RL’s experience was, rather than clouded memories of long ago or any other explanation. All I’m really saying is that confirmation bias is a wonderful thing, and eyewitness testimony is frequently unreliable.

                    • RedLogix

                      @McF

                      Yes I’ve done my best over the years to consider all of those possibilities. Most of them I can categorically rule out.

              • Draco T Bastard

                Déjà vu

                Déjà vu, (Listeni/ˌdeɪʒɑː ˈvuː/; French pronunciation: ​[de.ʒa.vy]) from French, literally “already seen”, is the phenomenon of having the strong sensation that an event or experience currently being experienced, has already been experienced in the past, whether it has actually happened or not.

                I figure that there’s an everyday description of it that’s known and understood by everybody because it’s, as you say, common.

                • One Anonymous Bloke

                  Clinical experiments with patients who suffer from epilepsy…

                  found that synchronized neural firing between the rhinal cortices and the hippocampus or amygdala were increased in stimulations that induced déjà vu. This suggests that some sort of coincident occurrence in medial temporal lobe structures may “trigger” activation of the recollection system.

                  .

                  Epilepsy research has also yielded interesting results regarding OOBEs.

                  • Colonial Rawshark

                    Including OOBE’s which can place furniture and fittings in exact locations from whence they have been gone for years?

                    • One Anonymous Bloke

                      R/L may have visualised the house as it was the day they ‘visited’ it. That seems less unlikely.

    • Marvellous Bearded Git 8.2

      “if that doesn’t cure him I don’t know what will’…….lol!!
      Epic.

  9. Tory Entitlement Update No94: Oz

    Speaker Bronwyn Bishop blows $5 grand of taxpayer dosh on a helicopter trip from Melbourne to Geelong and back so that she can attend a Liberal Party fundraiser, doesn’t see the inherent problem.

    http://www.abc.net.au/news/2015-07-18/bishop-calls-travel-investigation-a-beat-up/6630724

  10. Sirenia 10

    Jane Kelsey on RNZ now for an interview about her new book. Should be good.

  11. greywarshark 11

    The gummint has noticed that there are organised fights within our prisons, disapproves, and has put the entities in charge ‘on notice’.

    I know just how the gummint feels. As with so many in our country, I have listened to the farce of bouts needing Queensberry Rules that the gummint turn Parliament’s Question Time into. I and a great number of others, I hope, put them ‘on notice’ to be meted out at the next election.

  12. Draco T Bastard 12

    Fourteen tenants, one toilet: Donghua Liu’s ‘slum’ rental

    Can anybody really say that they’re surprised by this?

    • greywarshark 12.1

      And they can’t resist involving David Cunliffe on spurious grounds. (Note to political
      media advisor – Tell pollie to always say ‘I can’t remember.it was many years ago. I will have to check on that.’)
      Stuff has repeated :Former Labour leader David Cunliffe was also put on the back foot after it was proved he had signed a letter in 2003 supporting Liu, having initially denied doing so.

  13. Ergo Robertina 13

    http://www.odt.co.nz/regions/otago/349473/vetsouth-offers-free-care-dairy-cows

    VetSouth to offer free services to struggling dairy farmers (for a month, but it could be extended), who would otherwise shoot cows rather than call the vet.
    It’s really encouraging to see this kind of thing – the banks need to adopt a similar attitude to managing the dairy bust. If managed correctly land values and production can drop to a realistic level without exacting a severe toll on farmers and their families.

    ”We thought that wasn’t good enough and we could do better … by supporting the farmers who supported us. We wanted to tip the balance in favour of the cows.”
    Farmers typically wanted to do their best for their stock and it was hoped the offer would ”remove some of the pain” and ease both the situation for both farmers and cows, he said.
    ”The reasoning behind this is simple – it’s not a cow’s fault if she gets sick in a low-payout season.”

  14. Draco T Bastard 14

    How population growth can make us worse off

    Of course, slower growth in the population means slower growth in the size of the economy. But what of it? What do we lose?

    The economic rationale for economic growth is that it raises our material standard of living. But this happens only if GDP grows faster than the population grows. So it doesn’t follow that slower GDP growth caused by slower population growth leaves us worse off materially.

    That would be true only if slower population growth caused slower growth in GDP per person. I suspect many people unconsciously assume it does, but where’s the evidence?

    I doubt there is any. The most significant recent study, conducted by the Productivity Commission in 2006, concluded that even skilled migration would do little to increase income per person. And what little growth the commission could find was appropriated by the new arrivals.

    An interesting article that raises interesting questions.

    • Lanthanide 14.1

      Assuming that higher GDP = better standard of living is stupid, anyway.

      It’s quite easy for GDP to increase, even increase at a rate faster than population growth, but general standard of living doesn’t go up.

      It’d even be quite easy for the GDP to go down while living standards increase. The two obvious causes are unequal distribution of the wealth, and then more efficient/effective technologies being introduced that improve living standards.

  15. Draco T Bastard 15

    Rachel Stewart: Media should have seen dairy slump coming

    Throughout this era I’ve watched truckloads of provincial rural reporters do nothing more than suck, and grease, and fawn over the entire industry. With very few exceptions, nary a searching question has passed their lips.

    What questions should they have asked? Here’s a random selection of thousands that could and should have been asked.

    Why are we content to produce masses of low-commodity, low-value milk powder to the lactose-intolerant Chinese?

    Why aren’t we actively pursuing value-added products to trade with the rest of the world?

    Why do we think that high input farming – having to use imported feed like PKE – isn’t ‘factory farming’?

    How sustainable is this industry given the level of intensification, outside inputs, environmental damage and debt required to conduct “normal” business?

    Has the short-term boom been worth the long-term bust of our dying waterways?

    Have farmers been doing enough to protect the environment while making that quick buck?

    You see, right about here lies one of the problems. An indignant, arrogant press release would suddenly appear from “BigAg” saying that farmers have spent “$1b to date” on cleaning up their effects on the environment. Yet, not one journalist has ever asked ask them to quantify that figure. Not one.

    Makes you wonder what else is going straight over their heads, doesn’t it?

    Our economy and our environment is pretty much fucked and a large part of the blame lies squarely with farming but a lot of that could have been prevented if we’d had a Fourth Estate asking the correct questions and a government willing to reign in the depredations of the farmers.

  16. joe90 16

    Tory pigs are at it again.

    Tory peers like Lord
    Cormack argued in favour of moving away from tax funding, saying:

    “All forms of funding must be
    looked at. We have to have a plurality of funding if we are to have a
    sustainable NHS. Whether the extra funding comes from compulsory
    insurances or certain charges matters not
    , but it has to come.”

    Matters not!? As a true Tory, he says that
    the funding should not come from taxing the rich (which he does not even
    countenance), but instead from taxing the sick.

    More disappointing were the contributions from
    Labour peers like (the notoriously pro-privatisation) Lord Warner:

    Our tax-funded, largely free at the point of
    clinical need NHS is rapidly approaching an existential moment. The voices of
    dissent and outrage will no doubt be deafening but a wise Government
    should begin now the process of helping the public engage in a
    discourse about future funding of the NHS.”

    https://www.opendemocracy.net/ournhs/richard-grimes/government-moves-to-consider-nhs-user-charges

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    The government has been congratulating itself over the passage of the Zero Carbon Act, which sets out long-term emissions targets. Meanwhile, Climate Action Tracker has the shameful reality: those targets are insufficient:While New Zealand is showing leadership by having passed the world’s second-ever Zero Carbon Act in November 2019, under ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • More secrecy
    The government introduced a Racing Industry Bill today. As an urban who horse racing as pointless-to-cruel, and gambling as a tax on stupidity and/or hope, this isn't normally a bill which would interest me in the slightest, beyond grumpiness at more government money for a dying industry. But there is ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • Unlikely online bully, Liam Hehir
    Check. Check. One, two, three, four. Is this thing ON? Hello readers, I logged in last night (yeah, it’s been a while) to mark THE END of the landmark legal case, Jordan Williams v Colin Craig, which (gulp) reached The Supreme Court, in which New Zealand’s most-defamed man was suing the politician he ...
    The PaepaeBy Peter Aranyi
    1 week ago
  • The Birth Of Israel: Wrong At The Right Time.
    Before The Birth: Israel’s most fervent supporters set their clocks ticking in Biblical times. They cite the kingdoms of David and Solomon as proof that, in the words of the Exodus movie’s theme-song: “This land is mine.” The majority of Israel’s backers, however, start their clocks in 1933 – the year Adolf ...
    1 week ago
  • Hard News: Public Address Word of the Year 2019: Korero phase
    In an unreliable, strange and confusing world, Public Address is proud to present a measure of comfort and stability by annually asking everyone what words or phrases sum up the year that's been – and then giving some of them consumer goods as prizes for being clever or simply lucky.Well, ...
    1 week ago
  • Generalist to specialist
    Both my parents are pretty handy – and they seem to have the right tools for most jobs in the garage and they know how to fix practically anything. A similar story could be told about their generation’s experience in the workforce – being a generalist was not unusual and ...
    SciBlogsBy Guest Author
    1 week ago
  • A “coincidence”
    When it was revealed that NZ First had tried to enrich itself from public office via the Provoncial Growth Fund, the Prime Minister assured us that everything was OK as Shane Jones, the Minister responsible for the fund, had recused himself. Except it seems that that recusal came very late ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • Member’s Day
    Today is a Member's Day, and probably the last one of the year. After the marathon of the End of Life Choice Act, most of the bills up for debate today are uncontentious. First up is the second reading of Chlöe Swarbrick's Election Access Fund Bill. This will be followed ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • Worse than I thought
    The Foreign Affairs, Defence and Trade Committee has reported back on the government's odious and tyrannical control orders bill. As expected, the fraudulent select committee process has made no significant changes (partly because they couldn't agree, but mostly because it was a stitch-up from the start, with no intention of ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • The cannabis bill and the referendum
    Yesterday, the government released its draft Cannabis Legalisation and Control Bill, which will be put to a non-binding referendum at the next election. I'm not a drug policy expert, but Russell Brown is, and he thinks its pretty good. And pretty obviously, it will be a massive improvement on the ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • Hard News: The Cannabis Legalisation and Control Bill: pretty good so far
    As you're probably aware, the draft bill outlining the proposed legal cannabis regime to be put to a referendum late next year was published yesterday, and has already attracted a flurry of comment. It's notable that a good deal of the comment is about proposals that aren't actually new.A minimum ...
    1 week ago
  • Climate Change: Alignment
    One of the big problems in New Zealand climate change policy is the government working at cross-purposes with itself. It wants to reduce fossil fuel use, but encourages oil and gas exploration. It wants to reduce transport emissions, but then builds enormous new roads. The problem could be avoided if ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • How climate change will affect food production and security
    Climate Explained is a collaboration between The Conversation, Stuff and the New Zealand Science Media Centre to answer your questions about climate change. If you have a question you’d like an expert to answer, please send it to climate.change@stuff.co.nz According to the United Nations, food shortages are a threat ...
    SciBlogsBy Guest Author
    1 week ago
  • More bad faith
    Last year, the government announced it was ending offshore oil exploration by no longer issuing new permits. The idea was that the industry would then die off as permits expired. Except almost immediately the government revealed its bad faith, by saying they would extend permits and alter conditions to keep ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • Banning foreign money from our elections
    The government has said it will ban foreign donations to political parties and candidates, and will be introducing legislation to be passed under all-stages urgency this afternoon. While I agree with the goal, I don't see a particular case for urgency, unless the government is concerned about a flood of ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • Reforming the Education Acts
    The government introduced the Education and Training Bill to Parliament yesterday. Its a massive bill, which replaces both existing Education Acts, as well as various other bits of legislation (including some which are still proceeding through the House). I'll leave the serious analysis to teachers and people who actually know ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • Bite-sized learning
    Amelia SharmanThere’s no one-size-fits-all when it comes to micro-credentials, those bits of bite-sized learning that can help workers stay on top of technological change.  What’s a micro-credential? While definitions vary, micro-credentials can be understood as short courses that allow people to learn new skills or have an existing competency recognised. ...
    SciBlogsBy Guest Author
    1 week ago
  • “Not The Labour Party We Once Knew.”
    All Smiles Now: Claire Szabo is taking up her presidential role after serving as the CEO of Habitat For Humanity. Which is absolutely perfect! After KiwiBuild was so comprehensively mismanaged by Phil Twyford, the party has not only elected a new president from a thoroughly respectable not-for-profit, but one who ...
    1 week ago
  • Marxist versus liberal methodology on transgender ideology/identity politics
    While much of the NZ left has transitioned to postmodern and identity politics in relation to transgender ideology, there are some very good articles about that deploy Marxist methodology in relation to this subject.  The one below is from the British marxist group Counterfire and appeared on their site here ...
    RedlineBy Admin
    1 week ago
  • Book review: The Farm by Joanne Ramos
    by Daphna Whitmore At Golden Oaks, a luxurious country retreat in the Hudson Valley, pregnant women have the best care money can buy. From the organic food, personalised exercise programmes, private yoga instruction and daily massages Golden Oaks looks like a country lodge for the upper class. Set some time ...
    RedlineBy Daphna
    1 week ago
  • Loosening the purse strings
    When Labour was running for election in 2017, it felt it needed to demonstrate "fiscal responsibility" and signed itself up to masochistic "budget responsibility rules". It was a fool's errand: the sorts of voters who demand fiscal responsibility are also the sorts of voters who believe that labour can never ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • Climate Change: How to get there
    Writing in Stuff, Joel MacManus looks at what we need to do to meet the Zero Carbon Act's targets. The core of it:1. Convert 85 per cent of vehicles on the road to electric. 2. Eliminate fossil fuels from all industrial heating up to 300 degrees Celsius. 3. Double our ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • anti-vaxxers in a measles epidemic: so many ways to be untruthful
    “Anti-vaxers are a pro-death movement,” those comments from Dr Helen Petousis-Harris speaking about six more Measles related deaths in Samoa over the past twenty-four hours. “Anti-vaxers are a pro-death movement,” those comments from Dr Helen Petousis-Harris speaking about six more Measles related deaths in Samoa ...
    SciBlogsBy Alison Campbell
    2 weeks ago
  • Is Youth Vaping a Problem in New Zealand?
    Professors Janet Hoek and Richard Edwards, Emeritus Professor Phil Gendall, Jude Ball, Dr Judith McCool, Anaru Waa, Dr Becky Freeman Recent media reports have presented conflicting evidence on youth vaping in NZ. While some NZ school principals report concerns about increasing vaping on school grounds and confiscating vapes, ASH Year ...
    SciBlogsBy Public Health Expert
    2 weeks ago
  • In pursuit of “Freedom and Democracy”: Forever Wars in “America’s backyard”.
    “America the Beautiful!”, staunch defender of democracy, freedom and… a whole lot of despotic tyrants that play nice with what is called “the Washington Consensus.” America is indeed capable of immense good, but like any Nation, and most assuredly any aspirant to the mantle of Empire, great, immense evil. All ...
    exhALANtBy exhalantblog
    2 weeks ago
  • November ’19 – NZ blogs sitemeter ranking
    Image credit: The beginner’s guide to blogging I notice a few regulars no longer allow public access to the site counters. This may happen accidentally when the blog format is altered. If your blog is ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Whodunnit? Finding the mystery 1080 testing lab
    1080 is used to control pests in NZ. Its use is contested by a noisy few. A new report claims high levels of 1080 in rats washed up on a beach. Flora and Fauna of Aotearoa (F&F) won’t name the laboratory that did their testing. It has sparked a hunt ...
    SciBlogsBy Grant Jacobs
    2 weeks ago
  • Authoritarian Friends, Democratic Enemies.
    What Kind Of Empire? The thing for Kiwis to decide is what kind of empire they want to belong to. The kind that, while offering its own citizens democratic rights, demands absolute obedience from its “friends”? Or, the kind that, while authoritarian at home, takes a relaxed attitude to the ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Boris Johnson Goes Down
    It hasn't been a good week for the Conservatives, pollwise.  All major recent polls are showing their lead shrinking.Comparing each pollster's current (between 29/11 and 22/11) and previous most recent poll.Com Res - Conservative lead down 3 points.You Gov - Conservative lead down 1 point.Kantar - Conservative lead down 4 ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Interesting
    Within quick succession, Countdown maths wizard and twitterer Rachel Riley, alleged comedian David Baddiel and prominent lawyer Andrew Julius have all expressed very similar opinions / ideas:
    These #3billboards are going round London today, organised by ex-Labour people, horrified by what their party has become. Their principles haven’t changed, they’re ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Damn the Polls
    So, there have been a bunch of bad polls out for Labour, and even the Leftie's friend, Survation, have recently given the Conservatives a rip-snorting 11% lead.  You Gov's much vaunted MRP poll - which pretty much nailed the result in 2015 - is currently predicting a comfortable majority for ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Climate Change: Europe declares an emergency
    The European Parliament has voted overwhelmingly to declare a climate emergency:The European parliament has declared a global “climate and environmental emergency” as it urged all EU countries to commit to net zero greenhouse gas emissions by 2050. The vote came as scientists warned that the world may have already crossed ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • A Bi-Partisan Commitment To X-ing “P”.
    Pure Fear: Worse than Heroin, this drug’s addictive power was terrifying. People under its influence didn’t drift off to Elysium. Nor did it persuade inadequate individuals that they could conquer the world. No, this drug – pure crystal methamphetamine, “P” for short – unlocked the gates of Hell itself. It ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Advice about measles: when ignorance is definitely not a virtue
    As the rate of measles infection, and of deaths, continues to climb in Samoa, antivaccination activists infectious disease proponents seem intent on doubling down on their claims about vaccination. (Check pretty much any news-media FB post about measles & you’ll see exactly what I mean.) Unfortunately, some of them have ...
    SciBlogsBy Alison Campbell
    2 weeks ago

  • Government takes bite out of loan sharks
    The days of vulnerable consumers falling victim to loan sharks, truck shops and other predatory lenders are numbered, following the Credit Contracts Legislation Amendment Bill passing its third reading tonight. “Too many Kiwis are being given loans that are unaffordable and unsuitable, trapping them in debt and leaving their families ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    12 hours ago
  • New Zealand safer as Terrorism Suppression (Control Orders Bill) becomes law
    A Bill that prevents terrorism and supports the de-radicalisation of New Zealanders returning from overseas has passed its third reading, Justice Minister Andrew Little says. The Terrorism Suppression (Control Orders) Bill is a carefully targeted response to manage the risk posed by a small number of New Zealanders who have ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    12 hours ago
  • Foreign Minister and Pacific Peoples Minister to visit Samoa
    Foreign Affairs Minister Winston Peters and Minister for Pacific Peoples Aupito William Sio will travel to Samoa on Friday, where New Zealand medical teams are helping Samoa respond to an outbreak of measles. “New Zealand has been working closely with the Government of Samoa and offering our assistance from the ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    13 hours ago
  • New Pastoral Care Code will support tertiary students in 2020
    The Government has changed the law to improve student safety and welfare in university halls of residence and other student accommodation. The Education (Pastoral Care) Amendment Bill passed its third reading this afternoon and details of an interim Code of Practice setting out the Government’s expectations of tertiary providers have also been released. ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    13 hours ago
  • New infrastructure funding tool to build housing developments faster
    A new tool to help councils fund and finance infrastructure could mean some housing developments happen a decade earlier than currently planned, Urban Development Minister Phil Twyford said today. “This new tool, developed by the Government in partnership with industry and high-growth councils, will allow councils to access private debt ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    15 hours ago
  • Vision to unite the primary sector launched today
    Agriculture Minister Damien O’Connor has welcomed the release of a bold new vision for the country’s vital food and fibre sector. “I’m delighted that New Zealand’s major farmer and grower organisations are today supporting the Primary Sector Council’s vision – Fit for a Better World,” he said. “The international consumers ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    17 hours ago
  • NZ congratulates PNG and Autonomous Bougainville Government on referendum
    Foreign Minister Winston Peters has congratulated the Government of Papua New Guinea and the Autonomous Bougainville Government for completing a well-conducted referendum on the future political status of Bougainville. “New Zealand supported the referendum process by providing technical advice through the New Zealand Electoral Commission and leading a Regional Police ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    18 hours ago
  • Next steps for Upper North Island logistics
    In light of Cabinet’s position that freight operations on prime land in downtown Auckland are no longer viable, the Government will now embark on a short work programme to enable decision-making in the first half of next year, Associate Transport Minister Shane Jones says. Minister Jones is today releasing the ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    18 hours ago
  • Surgical mesh restorative justice report received
    Associate Health Minister Julie Anne Genter has received the report back from a surgical mesh restorative justice process undertaken by Victoria University. The process heard stories, either in person or online submission, from more than 600 people affected by surgical mesh. “The report made for heart-breaking and confronting reading,” says ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    19 hours ago
  • The Water Services Regulator Bill – Taumata Arowai a milestone for drinking water safety
    The Water Services Regulator Bill – Taumata Arowai , introduced to Parliament today, is a milestone for drinking water safety in New Zealand and will help improve environmental outcomes for urban waterways, rivers and lakes.  “This is a breakthrough for New Zealanders in terms of providing safe drinking water throughout ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    20 hours ago
  • Speech to new direction for criminal justice reform announcement
    Kia ora koutouE ngā mana, e ngā reo, e ngā matā wakaTēnā koutou katoaHaere ngā, moe maiKoutou ma ngā Rangatira Ko Anaru ahauKo au te Minita mo ngā TureHe Honore tino nui kei roto I ahau No reira tena koutou katoa Today, we are releasing two reports that are the ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    20 hours ago
  • New direction for criminal justice reform
    The Government is looking to turn around the long-term challenges of criminal justice by taking a new approach to break the cycle of offending to ensure there are fewer victims of crime. Justice Minister Andrew Little released two reports today, Turuki! Turuki! from Te Uepū Hāpai I te Ora, and ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    21 hours ago
  • New law sets up $300m Venture Capital Fund
    New Zealand firms expanding beyond the start-up phase are set for more support after today’s passage of the Venture Capital Fund Bill, Associate Finance Minister David Parker said. The Bill, which establishes a $300 million Venture Capital Fund, puts in place a key initiative of the Wellbeing Budget’s economic package. ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 day ago
  • New Zealand’s National Statement to COP25
    E ngā mana, e ngā reo, e ngā iwi, e ngā rau rangatira mā. Tēnā koutou, tēnā koutou, tēnā koutou katoa. Señora Presidenta, Excellencies, Delegates. International action A common thread that runs through the Paris Agreement is the commitment we have made to each other to do what we can to ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • $12 billion in extra infrastructure investment
    The Government is lifting capital investment to the highest level in more than 20 years as it takes the next step to future-proof New Zealand. Finance Minister Grant Robertson has announced $12 billion of new investment, with $8 billion for specific capital projects and $4 billion to be added to ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • Strong economy, careful spending gives $12bn of surpluses
    The Government is forecast to run $12 billion worth of surpluses across the four years to 2023/24 as the economy continues to grow. The surpluses will help fund day-to-day capital requirements each year. These include fixing leaky hospitals, building new classrooms to cover population growth and take pressure off class ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • Priorities for 2020 Wellbeing Budget outlined
    Budget 2020 will continue the Coalition Government’s focus on tackling the long-term challenges facing New Zealand while also investing to future-proof the economy. When the Government took office in 2017 it was left with crumbling infrastructure, severe underinvestment in public services, degraded rivers and lakes, a housing crisis and rising ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • Minister welcomes data-rich coastline mapping tool
    The Minister responsible for the Marine and Coastal Area (Takutai Moana) Act 2011 (te Takutai Moana Act 2011), Andrew Little has welcomed the launch of an online geospatial tool that provides data-rich, dynamic coastline maps that will significantly boost research and evidence-gathering under the Act. Te Kete Kōrero a Te ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • Chief Victims Advisor reappointed for a further two years
    The Chief Victims Advisor to Government Dr Kim McGregor, QSO, has been reappointed in her role for a further two years. Dr McGregor has held the role since it was established in November 2015. She provides independent advice to government on how to improve the criminal justice system for victims. ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • New Zealand tsunami monitoring and detection system to be established
    Foreign Affairs Minister Winston Peters and Civil Defence Minister Peeni Henare have today announced the deployment of a network of DART (Deep-ocean Assessment and Reporting of Tsunami) buoys. “New Zealand and the Pacific region are particularly vulnerable to natural disasters. It is vital we have adequate warning systems in place,” ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • DART Buoys Announcement
    DART Buoys Announcement Aotea Wharf, 9.30am 11 December 2019   Acknowledgements Acknowledgements to Minister for Civil Defence Hon Peeni Henare also here today. White Island It is with regret that this event shadows the tragic natural disaster two days ago. The volcanic eruptions on White Island have claimed 5 lives, ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • Final steps for racing industry reform
    Racing Minister Winston Peters has welcomed the first reading of the Racing Industry Bill in parliament today. This is the second of two Bills that have been introduced this year to revitalise New Zealand’s racing industry. “Our domestic racing industry has been in serious decline.  The Government is committed to ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • Funding to promote New Zealand Sign Language initiatives
    Minister for Disability Issues, Carmel Sepuloni, is pleased to announce that $291,321 is to be awarded to national and local community initiatives to maintain and promote the use of New Zealand Sign Language (NZSL). “New Zealand is one of the few countries  in the world where Sign Language is an ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • How New Zealand defines and recognises veterans
    Minister for Veterans Ron Mark has announced today the Coalition Government’s initial response to work completed by the independent statutory body, the Veterans’ Advisory Board. “When Professor Ron Paterson completed his review of the Veterans’ Support Act in 2018, he made a number of recommendations, including one which I referred ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • Government to fund lion’s share of Ohakea water scheme
    The Government will fund the bulk of the cost of a rural water supply for the Ohakea community affected by PFAS contamination, Environment Minister David Parker announced today at a meeting of local residents. This new water scheme will provide a reliable and clean source of drinking water to the ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • Prime Minister statement on White Island eruption
    I have had the opportunity to be briefed on the details of the volcanic eruption of Whakaari/White Island, off the coast of Whakatane in the Bay of Plenty.  The eruption happened at 2.11pm today.  It continues to be an evolving situation.  We know that there were a number of tourists ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • Govt funds $100k for weather-hit communities
    Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern and Minister of Civil Defence Peeni Henare have today confirmed initial Government support of $100,000 for communities affected by the severe weather that swept across the South Island and lower North Island over the weekend. The contribution will be made to Mayoral relief funds across the ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • Death of NZ High Commissioner to Cook Islands
    New Zealand's High Commissioner to the Cook Islands, Tessa Temata, died in Palmerston North over the weekend, Foreign Minister Winston Peters said today. Ms Temata, 52, had recently returned to New Zealand for medical treatment. "On behalf of the Government and the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade, we extend ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • Wellington rail upgrade full steam ahead
    Transport Minister Phil Twyford today announced construction is underway on Wellington commuter rail upgrades which will mean more frequent services and fewer breakdowns. The upgrades include converting the Trentham to Upper Hutt single track section to a double track, with a new signalling system, upgraded stations and level crossings, and ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • Defence Climate Change Implementation Plan released
    Minister of Defence Ron Mark and Minister for Climate Change James Shaw have announced the release of a Defence Climate Change Implementation Work Plan, titled Responding to the Climate Crisis: An Implementation Plan.  The plan sets out a series of recommendations based on the 2018 New Zealand Defence Assessment, The ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • Govt releases funding to support South Canterbury
    A medium-scale adverse event has been declared for the South Canterbury district, which will see up to $50,000 in funding made available to support farming communities which have been significantly affected by recent heavy rain and flooding in the area, says Agriculture Minister Damien O’Connor. “Two weeks of solid rain ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • Speech at launch of Rethinking Plastics Report
    Thank you Professor Juliet Gerrard and your team for the comprehensive and extremely helpful report and recommendations. Thank you too to all the stakeholders and interested parties who have contributed ideas and thinking to it. “Making best practice, standard practice” is a great framework for change and the action plan ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • Govt pledges next steps on plastic waste
    The Government will phase out more single-use plastics following the success of its single-use plastic bag ban earlier this year and the release today of a pivotal report for dealing with waste. Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern has welcomed the Rethinking Plastics in Aotearoa New Zealandreport, released by her Chief Science Advisor ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • International student enrolments grow in universities and the regions
    International education continues to thrive as the Government focuses on quality over quantity, Education Minister Chris Hipkins said. The tuition revenue from international education increased to $1.16 billion last year with the average tuition fee per student increasing by $960. The total number of international students enrolled in New Zealand ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • Speech to Government Economics Network 2019 Conference
    I want to talk about one of the most pressing issues in our national life: the housing crisis and the poor performance of our cities. The argument I want to make to you is that generations of urban land use policy have lacked a decent grounding in economics. The consequences ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • DHB leadership renewed and strengthened
    Health Minister Dr David Clark says new appointments to DHBs represent a significant changing of the guard, with 13 new chairs including four Māori chairs. Today 76 appointments have been announced to complement elected board members, as well as eight elected members appointed as either chair or deputy chair.  Four ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • Tabuteau to advance New Zealand’s trade and political interests with European partners
    Parliamentary Under-Secretary for Foreign Affairs, Fletcher Tabuteau, is travelling to Germany, Poland, Austria, and Spain next week to bolster New Zealand’s political and trade relationships in Europe. While in Spain, Mr Tabuteau will represent New Zealand at the 14th Asia-Europe (ASEM) Foreign Ministers’ Meeting in Madrid. “New Zealand strongly supports ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    7 days ago
  • Statement from the Prime Minister on Kris Faafoi
    “I’ve spoken to Minister Faafoi, who has apologised for his poor handling of this issue,” Jacinda Ardern said. “I have confidence in Kris as a hardworking and effective Minister, but this should have been dealt with in a much clearer manner, and I’ve made my views on that very clear ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    7 days ago
  • Tonga-New Zealand Joint Ministerial Forum
    Deputy Prime Minister Winston Peters met with Tongan Prime Minister and Foreign Minister Pohiva Tu'i'onetoa in Wellington today. The pair signed a Statement of Partnership setting out joint priorities for cooperation out to 2023.  “We welcomed Prime Minister Tu'i'onetoa on his first visit to New Zealand as Prime Minister. Tonga ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    7 days ago
  • Shooting in Kurow
    The Minister of Police Stuart Nash says his sympathies are with the family of a man who died after being shot by Police in Kurow. “Initial reports are that Police were called by a family member to help the man who was threatening to harm himself,” Mr Nash says. “However ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    7 days ago