Open mike 20/03/2023

Written By: - Date published: 6:00 am, March 20th, 2023 - 78 comments
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Open mike is your post.

For announcements, general discussion, whatever you choose.

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

Step up to the mike …

78 comments on “Open mike 20/03/2023 ”

  1. tsmithfield 1

    One of the best videos I have seen on the Kaikoura lights phenomena from back in the day.

    This was one of the most difficult to explain UFO incidents ever. The lights were sighted by numerous witnesses and observed on several radar installations, and filmed by a news camera crew. The explanations that were put forward were never convincing in the slightest.

    I am a UFO sceptic, in that I don't make the huge leap to assume that any unexplained sighting was aliens from outer space. But this event was fascinating.

  2. Jenny are we there yet 2

    2023 New Zealand's first ever climate change election?

    "….the 2023 election would be a climate election." The Green Party Co-leader and Climate Change Minister, James Shaw

    Not before time!

    Human ingenuity can't get us out of suffering from climate change – but preparing fast could seriously limit the damage, says the latest authoritative report on global heating.

    “What is startling about this report is that we are already experiencing limits to what we can adapt to and there are very hard limits beyond which it won't be possible,” said Canterbury University political science professor Bronwyn Hayward, a core writer of the report’s summary….

    ….“Rather than just restoring from the disasters we’ve had, it's thinking about what’s to come,” said Hayward….

    ….Humanitarian group Oxfam described the report as a “catalogue of pain, loss and suffering”.

    New Zealand and Australia are at “very high risk” of serious and unavoidable damages if the heat keeps rising, says the report’s Australasian chapter….

    • Tony Veitch 2.1

      We cannot, simply cannot, continue to expect our economic well-being to be expressed in GDP growth percentages!

      If we are to have a snowball’s hope in hell of surviving what’s coming, we need to begin by throwing out the old and tired capitalist notions of a profit-driven way out of this catastrophe.

      Put simply, people cannot continue to engage the way they have been – the overseas holiday every year, the multiple (7?) houses, the Sherman tank SUVs deemed necessary to drive the kids to school.

      These changes will be forced upon us soon enough and will impact the poor, but also the entitled rich, who will, perhaps naturally, be loth to give up their privileges!

      Sustainability necessitates down-sizing everything – from one’s expectations and wants, to the size of houses we build, the vehicles we drive, the things we do in our leisure.

      If we don’t begin to adapt quickly (and even if we do) it’s going to be a rocky couple of decades – and we humans may not emerge from the end of them.

      The Greens are so right – the ’23 election must be about climate!

    • weston 3.1

      Joe 90 trolling his daily dump of anti russian rhetoric for us gee thanks joe !!

      What should be obvious to anyone paying attention is that Ukraine is divided into two basic sectors the western part comprising of bandera revering nationalists and the eastern part comprising of russian speaking separatists .They are at war with each other and have been for years !!!!! The people of the donbass voted overwhelmingly to join with the russian federation so why on earth would Russia send at risk or bereaved children back to their oppressors ???

      Given that actual war criminals of whom the list is very long walk freely especially in the US and Britain the ICC is a sick joke and these absurd charges brought upon Putin and his childrens commisioner just reinforces to me how easily these institutions can be manipulated .Reminds me of the OPCW !!

      Even from the perspective of finding the safest place to put the children sending them to the western part of the country would make no sense whatever as no part of Ukraine is safe it being a war zone !!

      Thanks in large part to American interventionalism Ukraine as a whole is now a basket case almost entirely dependent on US and euro funding to function on the most basic level .Its energy systems are in tatters its industry largely destroyed huge numbers of its men dead or wounded millions displaced ironic indeed that that the ICC decides to do this on the 20th anniversary of the destruction of Iraq .!!

      • weka 3.1.1

        please stop having a go at other commenters. You can make political comment against whatever Joe posts without attacking him.

      • UncookedSelachimorpha 3.1.2

        What should be obvious to anyone paying attention obtaining their information from Russian propaganda sources is that Ukraine is divided into two basic sectors the western part comprising of bandera revering nationalists and the eastern part comprising of russian speaking separatists .They are at war with each other and have been for years !!!!! The people of the donbass voted overwhelmingly to join with the russian federation so why on earth would Russia send at risk or bereaved children back to their oppressors ???


        A lot of lies to unpack there. For example, in an actual free referendum on Ukrainian independence (1991), the Donbass region voted overwhelmingly (>80%) for independence from Russia. Only later Russian gunpoint referendums gave the results you point to. Try going to Russian-occupied Ukraine today, walk around with a Ukrainian flag and say you support Ukrainian independence – see how things work out for you.

      • tWiggle 3.1.3 why wouldn’t Russia send at risk or bereaved children back to their families?

    • Sanctuary 3.2

      Lots of video starting to show up of fresh Ukrainian mechanised formations concentrating. A counter-attack is in the offing and the decisive engagement of this war is at hand. Any significant defeat for the Russians means the end for Putin.

      Best of luck and God speed to the AFU. May the Russians be routed completely and this tragic and unnecessary war brought to a speedy and victorious conclusion.

      • Ad 3.2.1

        Great optimism. I struggle with being optimistic about Ukraine.

        Good to see Finland getting the nod from Turkey for NATO accession.

        Also great to see European Parliament pushing for Moldova to to get into the EU.

        • Sanctuary

          I don't know if the Ukrainians can mount a successful offensive, but if this war is to be brought to a decisive and just conclusion that is what is needed. A ceasefire on current positions would simply see round three of this war against Russian imperialism start up again in five years.

          • Ad

            Their win over Kherson was pretty amazing. I'm optimistic that the Finland NATO accession and the Moldova accelerated EU membership would give Russia pause.

            • Sanctuary

              I often wonder what the pro-Russian fanbois here who want a Russian victory think the Poles plan to do with their brand new, 300,000+ army armed to the teeth with latest and best of everything.

              I'll tell them. If the Ukraine loses and becomes a ravanchist state thirsting for revenge against Russia, the inevitable next round of these wars in 2028-30 will feature a formidable Polish army in an alliance with the Ukrainian military attacking Russia. That would be another bloodbath. Honestly, if you want the least amount of killing, you want to see Putin killed and this war end in a defeat for Russia as soon as possible.

              • woodart

                nailed it sanctuary

              • Ad

                Alternatively, what's happening now is Europe slowly sucking the economic life out of Russia over the next decade like a Tarantula with a sparrow. Putin seems even less likely to leave than Erdogan.

                No NATO country including Poland is going to start a shooting war with Russia unless they are provoked by attack and trip NATO Article 5. All sides know there's no turning back from that.

          • joe90

            round three of this war against Russian imperialism start up again in five years.

            Read a piece recently about the lasting peace between long time foes France and Germany being achieved by denazification, food, societal and governance policies and restoration of the West German economy during a ten year occupation.

            The author concluded anything less would invite rounds three, four, etc, from Russia.

  3. Herodotus 4

    I wonder what processes are being applied within Cabinet in their decision making ??When we get such crap outcomes. All good for a potential $4b project to now ballon into $15.7b and it is still being considered. Meanwhile in Dunedin the scope of the new hospital (MAJOR INFRASTRUCTURE) is reduced due to cost overruns. How some supporters within Labour must be hanging their heads in shame that their party can make so poor a decision !!!!! But some will support no matter what – Any mirrors within their houses or can they not cope looking at themselves in the mirrow???

    • Tony Veitch 4.1

      Rather Labour with their rebuild of Dunedin hospital, than National with their underfunding of health during their disastrous 9 years!

      • Herodotus 4.1.1

        Cutting the capacity of the new Dunedin hospital IS underfunding under Labour- Some time in the future we will lament that the hospital was NOT built to original specifications – So tell that to those in Dunedin – Perhaps try to add to the discussion than your crap response- Even better have those labour supporters communicate to the MP's of their short sightedness. Your snide response sums up – That will promote improved decision making ??

        And to Peter any project should have contingency items and cost overruns included in the scope – And a Good govt ?? should have in general funds additional $$ to cover such projects – Do other big projects stop short does a road that has cost overruns end short of its intended finish point ?? CRAP DECISION to not build to specs. and this perhaps sums it up and may answer your question"The deep dive revealed projects falling foul of basic skills gaps and rose-tinted expectations.

        “The gaps in capability included business case development, defining project budgets, scheduling, and stakeholder management.”

        • Tony Veitch

          Perhaps try to add to the discussion than your crap response

          How many years was the Dunedin hospital rebuild talked about under the Natz?

          Labour may not be able to afford the provide all the beds planned for, but what they're delivering is light years ahead of the useless National Party!

          How’s that for a 'crap response?'

    • Peter 4.2

      Why do cost overruns happen? How can cost overruns be avoided?

      • Maurice 4.2.1

        All them Consultants and Bureaucrats gotta be engaged and paid BEFORE a shovel can be put in the ground //

        Then there is the health and safety gravy train

        … and the backhanders

        … and the vested interests

        It is a wonder that projects do not cost far more!

        • Graeme

          Then there's the very human phenomenon of desiring the absolute maximum features for the budget available, and the expectation that the process will be have an optimistically smooth process. Happens with every human purchasing decision from a toothpick to a nuclear power plant.

        • Tony Veitch

          … and the backhanders

          Citation or link needed!

          “Then there is the health and safety gravy train” cue Simeon Brown’s latest tweet!

          • Maurice

            No possibility of citations for it is so well hidden that NZ is known to be one of the least corrupt countries! Have been on major projects and seen how much stuff walks off the site to supply the locals ….

        • Ad


      • Ad 4.2.2

        So there's a few things that have made costs go up fast in the last 10 years, in no particular order:

        – New Zealand has very few design experts who can design new hospitals, underground railway systems, airports, or other major complex infrastructure. They don't happen often enough to have a permanent pool of expertise in country. So consultant designers are imported for the project, and that means they cost a lot.

        – New Zealand has 100% employment of those who can work on complex infrastructure. Any specialist position is in hot demand, so they are regularly poached to larger more reliable and better paid projects elsewhere. So constructors are imported for the project, and that means they cost a lot.

        – New Zealand has few mines, one aluminium smelter, one steel smelter, near-zero local bitumen, and just a couple of precast concrete pipe and beam manufacturers. So when there's a boom on as there has been since the Christchurch earthquakes, not everyone can get what they want at the price they thought they'd fixed several years back. So materials get hard to find and more expensive.

        – China's trade war with the USA. We used to be able to get cheap materials and labour out of China, but it's much harder now. We've seen what China's done to Australian trade and yet we aren't diversifying our supply chain fast enough. So when China-US tensions rise, we struggle to fulfil our orders.

        – COVID delays to programme on major infrastructure. You can't get replacement workers, teams stay shut at home, stuff doesn't get built but teams still get paid – which means costs of the project go up.

        – Invasion of Ukraine by Russia. Simple materials scarcity in steel, natural gas to make steel, coal to make steel, international shipping redirected. Major supply constraints. Completely a sellers market for key construction commodities.

        – Basic NZ isolation from shipping supply chain. We're a tiny, out-of-the-way place with one city of note, reliant on 3 shipping companies, and a stop-start major infrastructure pipeline. Shipping companies will get stuff to us at their convenience not ours, so the local teams wait, and get paid for waiting. So the price of the project goes up.

        Believe it or not New Zealand's public sector in major infrastructure has few procurement disasters, is used to being disciplined with little money, and has taken on more massive infrastructure tasks in the last decade than at any time since the early 1980s. We've improved much of NZ's core infrastructure in Christchurch, Auckland, and Hamilton out of sight to what it was 15 years ago.

        We are also more adept at using the right procurement model for high risk jobs, which is why we use commercial alliances for the $300m+ jobs.

        Just don't expect a fixed price contract for anything over $5m.

        Those days are gone.

        • Herodotus

          STILL no reason for the hospital to have its capabilities fall short of original design and original announcement from the govt – just EXCUSES and we the public will suffer due to shortsighted decision to save a few $$

          • Ad

            It's more poor communications from MoH and the commissioning team, than Dunedin having something stolen from their scope. Dunedin has the best institutions, including health institutions, per capital in the entire country. It's going to stay at 130,000 population for as far as the eye can see.

            Queenstown-Lakes is on track for 60,000 residents by 2030 plus 100,000 visitors per day. Queenstown-Lakes is a boomtown with health services that are keeping up by no measure – unless you go private.

            So the best place for another hospital after the Dunedin one needs to be in Queenstown.

        • Adrian

          You missed the most important one: Capitalism 101, Never waste a good crisis to not put your prices up.

          • Ad

            You think the state has a magical Big Rock Candy Mountain stockpile of bridges, bridge designers, roading materials, house materials, electrical substations, transmitters, qualified workers, and fibre optic cable just hanging about on trees? And somethingsomethingcapitalismbad?

            If you need a job I've got one for you. Otherwise just dry up.

        • aj

          Q & AS last Sunday had an informative discussion about large project costs which covered many issues.

          With Lake Onslow becoming the latest major infrastructure project to see massive cost increases, Q+A asks the Infrastructure Commission's Ross Copland why this keeps happening.

        • RedLogix

          @Ad. An excellent real world insight as to why NZ has geographic and structural issues that will always put us at a disadvantage. We should be more honest about these and confront better ways to manage them.

          In my case I found that as an automation engineer it was rare to find continuity of work in a given industry so that I could become really good at it. I was expected to bounce around from infrastructure, to dairy, to wood processing and then food and beverage. I could say it was never boring, but then looking back my productivity was crap.

          By contrast I did a sub-sub-contract in 2003 for a large US based sawmilling OEM in Australia commissioning a massive new mill in NSW. The automation team consisted of about 8 engineers. These guys were not just specialised into that industry, but onto specific machines. A couple did the primary breakdown line, another the five saw edgers, another few on the shape sawing line (absolutely amazing machine) and then someone else on the sorter/bin machines at the back-end. They were all incredibly good at what they were doing – but they never crossed over outside of their narrow specialty. Of course this was only possible because they worked within one of the world's larger OEM suppliers and had the continuity of work to support it. It was a great experience working with such highly competent and efficient people.

          The shortage of professionally and technically competent people is not going to get better anytime soon. Globally the boomer generation is retiring, while universities seem to be determined to undermine the quality and attractiveness of their STEM courses at every turn. The entire science and engineering enterprise needs to take a long hard look at whether conventional approaches are serving us well – personally I think there is a good deal of room for improvement.

          For instance the bog standard NZS 39xx contracting model always struck me as based more on a legalistic conflict model rather than good project management principles. A quick search pulled this up:

          It is common practice in the Australian construction industry to use conventional contracting models where the client or government entity internally manages or outsources the design, development and project management using a cascade of separate contracts (Love et al., 2010). This often leads to each project participant focusing only on performing the responsibilities to which they are allocated and working separately rather than integrating the project team to work cooperatively (Jefferies et al., 2006). Thereby they offer little in the way of collaboration or active risk management, which are required to deliver best for project outcomes.

          Is this new contracting model likely to gain traction – or is it more hopeful than real?

          But otherwise everything you say with spades on. Even Australia is not immune to many of these influences.

          • Ad

            You did well to get out.

            There's some clients that are in such a hurry at the moment like Auckland Airport that they have to go Cost Plus or worse Measure and Value. That domestic terminal is a disgrace.

            Some traditional contracting here and Victoria and NZSW particularly in the big vertical builds is theocratic: the client is the arm, the contractor is the hammer, the subbie is the chisel, and you just keep smashing down as hard as you can until you get the shape you want. It's like contractor capitalism, monarchic rule, patristic families, and theocratic rule were structurally identical.

            But what's building up at the moment on the East Coast of New Zealand is one of the largest alliances we will see. I understand it will be run by Crown Infrastructure Partners and will roll transport, broadband, electricity and housing into a single delivery alliance. Not as big as Christchurch's SCIRT but certainly the biggest thig that will ever happen to the East Cost in focus and in the $5-$6b range.

            Alliances are good at encompassing risk and quick-changing priorities, should big roadblocks occur in one option. They are thankfully different to the PPP format that did Transmission Gully.

            I have had two young people I know well in the last two years go through the mechatronics courses in Canterbury and Auckland Schools of Engineering: both can't wait to get out of New Zealand due to exactly what you describe.

            • RedLogix

              I cannot tell whether to laugh or cry at your third para – it so resonates with my experience across the EPC space. The bigger engineering companies truly operate like dynasties – benign for the most part, but rarely inspired.

              I commissioned a major project here in Aus back in 2018 where Bechtel was the prime EPC. Getting onto the job it soon became apparent to me that far too many arse-polishers, none of whom would ever get to site, had created an insanely over-complex system that was a nightmare to work with. If you keep doing big projects eventually your luck runs out – and while nothing terrible happened I was very happy to take my money and finish my last rotation.

              Without giving away too much detail – last year I was highly amused to then be dragged into advising to a much smaller, more agile company who had been called in to completely rework that entire system into something sane and maintainable. Which we did very nicely thank you – and at a fraction of the original cost.

              Your comment around contracting alliances is encouraging – it feels very much like the right direction and maybe between this post cyclone and SCIRT experience something good will come of it.

      • woodart 4.2.3

        cost overuns cannot be avoided. with commodity prices fluid, looking into the future is impossible. heathcare is also one of the fastest changing and most expensive things to build. go into an operating room and guess how much everything costs. by the time you walk out, some of the tech will be out of date, and the price will have increased on others.

  4. ianmac 5

    I always enjoy the Rod Oram series and this one on "Farming: The next steps" shows just how new directions can solve the problems of the sustainability of farming. Specially re regenerative cropping. Stop moaning farmers and consider your options.

    • PsyclingLeft.Always 5.1

      Stop moaning farmers and consider your options.

      yea..its a DNA thing. Also….their fathers father (and farther back) did the same. So…like dinosaurs, they are not likely to change, until "something" happens. Hope its not an asteroid.

      Meanwhile Our Earth heats…and Rivers,Streams,Waterways and WETLANDS die !

      A strange silence has gripped Whangamarino. It is a deathly silence.

      large populations of Whangamarino's birds have fallen sick with avian botulism, dying a gruesome death after losing the ability to walk and use their wings.

      Appalled by the outbreak, Fish & Game New Zealand launched a stinging attack on Waikato Regional Council, accusing the local authority of permitting dairy intensification and failing in its statutory obligation to protect freshwater environments.

      • weka 5.1.1

        farmers aren't genetically programmed to not change. In my own family there were huge changes in farming practices from my grandfather's generation to my uncle's.

        It's true that some farmers are just stuck in their thinking and way of farming. But many farmers want to change and are prevented from that because of the banks and farm advisors. Industry orgs are a huge problem too.

        In every area of NZ there are farmers trying to do the right things. They deserve our support instead of this constant negativity and prejudice.

    • Ad 5.2

      Rod Oram found another supportive moaning prophet.

      The reason farmers went wholesale into dairy conversions by hundreds of thousands of hectares with few constraints is because of the original Fonterra legislation which required Fonterra to take all milk produced.

      Fonterra and its DIRA legislation are mostly to blame for 25 years of accelerated dairy impact, not the farmers themselves. They just reacted to the market set by the legislation.

      The dairy industry is our one export mainstay that survived COVID, keeping up our governments' tax intake that then get to redistribute. And did so better than any other industry by a country mile. I'm sure happy to slam them too but Rod Oram should start his first sentence with:

      Thank God for the dairy farmers.

        • Maurice

          Never underestimate the ability of water fowl to pollute the area they live in – especially when numbers rise due to a very good breeding year – before they are culled by duck shooters in May.

          Stagnant, or slow-flowing, water is a breeding ground for algae that use duck poo as fertiliser, and it’s the type of water that ducks tend to be found in. Excessive quantities of duck poo can cause algal overgrowth which starves the water of oxygen, killing off natural food sources for water birds. And it’s algae that is responsible for harbouring the bacteria that cause Avian Botulism.

          • weka

            Are you suggesting that water fowl are a significant factor in the collapse of the Whangamarino ecosystem?

            • Maurice

              It is certainly something to be investigated as a contributory factor given the reports of large numbers of dead ducks and reported lack of water through flow.

              All very well to “bless” dairy farmers but the effects are often more nuanced.

              • weka

                ok, so that's you making shit up again.

                • Maurice

                  There are also large numbers of Coi Carp there which have a hand in increase of algal blooms.


                  Lake Waikare suffers regularly from algal blooms, and the trophic state of Lake Waikare has worsened since 1993, with increased N and P and suspended sediment loads and decreased clarity. Chlorophyll A concentrations have remained stable, and this has been attributed to light limitation of algae due to the high suspended sediment concentrations. The high density of koi carp are also contributing to the status of the lake.

                  • weka

                    I've changed your formatting. Please put quotes from offsite in quotation marks or use the " tag when making the comment, thanks. This is so it’s easy to see what are you words and what are someone else’s.

                • Maurice

                  The algal blooms are long term and caused by a range of other factors and then there is the sewage. The Lake drains into the wetlands.


                  Lake Waikare is one of the most polluted lakes in the country, and a 2012 study put it at one of the most polluted lakes in the world.

                  Low-lake levels, surrounding farming practices and infestation of koi carp has led to its degraded state, and it often changes colour throughout the year.

                  “This is an example of the same thing happening all over New Zealand for a long, long time because there’s no enforcement from regional councils on district councils.”

                  Joy said wastewater with high levels of nitrogen and phosphorous drive algae blooms and algae flows, which can cause the lake to turn different colours.

                  Even treated wastewater was not healthy for lake water quality, he said.

                  Lake Waikare is in an almost constant state of warning for toxic algae blooms, or cyanobacteria, which threatens the health of humans and animals exposed to the water.

      • Phillip ure 5.2.2

        Do those giving praise to dairy farmers via a deity…ever pause to consider that fonterra is our number one polluter…and that seven of the other top ten polluters are meat processing companies…?..(stuff published list about 2 wks ago..)

        Does that matter..?..d'yareckon..?.

        Seeing as we are groping around for ways to lower our very high emissions..?

        Seems a bit a deity for that..?

        • Robert Guyton

          Probably coincidence…

        • Maurice

          As the old saying goes:

          “At least once in your life you need a Doctor, a Lawyer, a Policeman and a Preacher

          BUT, every day, three times a day, you need a Farmer”

          Unless you are your own farmer – and grow everything you eat ….

          … and use deities a bit sparingly … say once a day – or once a week?

  5. Ad 6

    Lordie I just love Elizabeth Warren.

    It would be so good if we had any politician in NZ who would hold our own banks to account like she does.

    If Labour get turfed this election, current Minister of Revenue Deborah Russel could if she downed 2 shots of vodka and a red cape with a strong following wind and some integration of her Medici political theory and Australian tax law practise, actually work with Genter to turn into an effective anti-bank pro wealth-tax hit squad.

    Granted that's a few caveats.

  6. Sanctuary 7

    I just love these background "Downstream" broadcasts by Aaron Bastani.

    Here, Roger Hallam – of Extinction Rebellion and Just Stop Oil fame – talks of climate change not as a technocratic problem, but as a consequence of the pathology of global capitalism and it's elites.

  7. Nic the NZer 8

    Jon Stewart does an excellent segment on the SVB collapse and its causes.

    • Anker 9.1

      Just had the link to post Bwagon.

      This will be devastating for Moana and for the Smiths as well.

      OT should be ashamed of themselves. As you said the useless racist mother wins

      • bwaghorn 9.1.1

        Can you imagine if a white child abuser want there children removed from a loving Maori family,because culture!!??

    • Belladonna 9.2

      And when the OT 'care' fails (as it so often does) – I devoutly hope that the blame will be sheeted home to the biased OT staff and the taxpayer funded rort that is the ongoing appeal process. No reason for Moana's 'mother' to stop appealing – since she wasn't paying one cent for the ongoing legal costs. No reason for OT to stop supporting these appeals, since none of the money was coming out of their funding.

      Sadly, not one of them will step up and take ownership of their decision and the consequences of it.

      Given that there has never been any question at all of Moana returning to her mother (which speaks volumes about the quality of parenting her biological mother is able to provide) – why should she have any rights at all to appeal Moana's placement (given that it was demonstrably safe, and secure)?

      End result. A little girl is re-traumatized by the system which is supposed to have her welfare at heart.

      • Phillip ure 9.2.1 is hard for all..but she will be living with her brother..

        Surely that has to count..?..for both of them..?

        • bwaghorn

          She would be fully bonded to her foster parents , the scarring caused by ripping her away will not be healed by be with her brother

          • Phillip ure

            I agree re bonding etc..

            I just see the brother as being a factor that a lot of weight was put upon to reach that conclusion…

            But hard for everyone…

  8. joe90 10

    It won't be asking for bail that worries him. It’ll be the DNA sample.

  9. SPC 11

    In the believe it, or not, category an organisation of independent school providers is suing the government for discrimination.

    Apparently they claim that the governments requirement for pay parity for teachers in their schools with those in kindergartens means the government is discriminating against older teachers – because the schools would rather fire them than pay them more money.

    The move seems timed with recent release of National Party policy to increase funding to ECE's.

    PS a certain family makes a lot of money from the schools and funds right wing radio.

  10. A very good point that is obscured by gender and race debates: Solidarity

    What do highly educated upper-middle-class people know about the life of blue-collar workers? Farah Stockman, a graduate of Harvard, journalist, and member of The New York Times editorial board, believes that the answer to that question for most upper-middle-class people, including herself, is not much.

    She discovered the experiential chasm that separates the lives of working-class people from the elite who write the laws, run the economy, and produce the culture. Working-class people, she recognized, work and live under constant supervision: watched and controlled by factory bosses, police, social workers and school officials who monitor their children. In the case of Link-Belt, their livelihoods were destroyed by a distant private equity firm that eventually moved the factory to Mexico.

    Most of the time they [the workers] felt devalued by the company. The people with college degrees who ran things didn’t think they [workers] had much knowledge and that a monkey could do what they do. They [workers] felt like they were disposable.

    A lot of liberal people who care about the working class say we should just pay our taxes and send them money in the mail—a universal basic income. Not a single steel worker I interviewed wanted to live off the government. They didn’t trust the government to help them. That’s part of why the Democratic Party is losing the support of working-class people.

  11. Ad 13

    Simon O'Connor must be a bit slutted that Ginny Anderson got Minister of Police.

    But she's a fluent Te Reo speaker and neck deep in Treaty settlements and meth issues, plus 9 years with Police itself. Good choice PM Hipkins.

    • Francesca 13.1

      Why would a Nat MP be "slutted" at a Labour appointment?

      Greg might be pissed off tho

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    Foreign Minister Winston Peters has made further appointments to the Board of Antarctica New Zealand as part of a continued effort to ensure the Scott Base Redevelopment project is delivered in a cost-effective and efficient manner.  The Minister has appointed Neville Harris as a new member of the Board. Mr ...
    1 day ago
  • Finance Minister travels to Washington DC
    Finance Minister Nicola Willis will travel to the United States on Tuesday to attend a meeting of the Five Finance Ministers group, with counterparts from Australia, the United States, Canada, and the United Kingdom.  “I am looking forward to meeting with our Five Finance partners on how we can work ...
    1 day ago
  • Pet bonds a win/win for renters and landlords
    The coalition Government has today announced purrfect and pawsitive changes to the Residential Tenancies Act to give tenants with pets greater choice when looking for a rental property, says Housing Minister Chris Bishop. “Pets are important members of many Kiwi families. It’s estimated that around 64 per cent of New ...
    1 day ago
  • Long Tunnel for SH1 Wellington being considered
    State Highway 1 (SH1) through Wellington City is heavily congested at peak times and while planning continues on the duplicate Mt Victoria Tunnel and Basin Reserve project, the Government has also asked NZ Transport Agency (NZTA) to consider and provide advice on a Long Tunnel option, Transport Minister Simeon Brown ...
    1 day ago
  • New Zealand condemns Iranian strikes
    Prime Minister Christopher Luxon and Foreign Minister Winston Peters have condemned Iran’s shocking and illegal strikes against Israel.    “These attacks are a major challenge to peace and stability in a region already under enormous pressure," Mr Luxon says.    "We are deeply concerned that miscalculation on any side could ...
    2 days ago
  • Huge interest in Government’s infrastructure plans
    Hundreds of people in little over a week have turned out in Northland to hear Regional Development Minister Shane Jones speak about plans for boosting the regional economy through infrastructure. About 200 people from the infrastructure and associated sectors attended an event headlined by Mr Jones in Whangarei today. Last ...
    4 days ago
  • Health Minister thanks outgoing Health New Zealand Chair
    Health Minister Dr Shane Reti has today thanked outgoing Health New Zealand – Te Whatu Ora Chair Dame Karen Poutasi for her service on the Board.   “Dame Karen tendered her resignation as Chair and as a member of the Board today,” says Dr Reti.  “I have asked her to ...
    4 days ago
  • Roads of National Significance planning underway
    The NZ Transport Agency (NZTA) has signalled their proposed delivery approach for the Government’s 15 Roads of National Significance (RoNS), with the release of the State Highway Investment Proposal (SHIP) today, Transport Minister Simeon Brown says.  “Boosting economic growth and productivity is a key part of the Government’s plan to ...
    4 days ago
  • Navigating an unstable global environment
    New Zealand is renewing its connections with a world facing urgent challenges by pursuing an active, energetic foreign policy, Foreign Minister Winston Peters says.   “Our country faces the most unstable global environment in decades,” Mr Peters says at the conclusion of two weeks of engagements in Egypt, Europe and the United States.    “We cannot afford to sit back in splendid ...
    4 days ago
  • NZ welcomes Australian Governor-General
    Prime Minister Christopher Luxon has announced the Australian Governor-General, His Excellency General The Honourable David Hurley and his wife Her Excellency Mrs Linda Hurley, will make a State visit to New Zealand from Tuesday 16 April to Thursday 18 April. The visit reciprocates the State visit of former Governor-General Dame Patsy Reddy ...
    4 days ago
  • Pseudoephedrine back on shelves for Winter
    Associate Health Minister David Seymour has announced that Medsafe has approved 11 cold and flu medicines containing pseudoephedrine. Pharmaceutical suppliers have indicated they may be able to supply the first products in June. “This is much earlier than the original expectation of medicines being available by 2025. The Government recognised ...
    4 days ago
  • NZ and the US: an ever closer partnership
    New Zealand and the United States have recommitted to their strategic partnership in Washington DC today, pledging to work ever more closely together in support of shared values and interests, Foreign Minister Winston Peters says.    “The strategic environment that New Zealand and the United States face is considerably more ...
    4 days ago
  • Joint US and NZ declaration
    April 11, 2024 Joint Declaration by United States Secretary of State the Honorable Antony J. Blinken and New Zealand Minister of Foreign Affairs the Right Honourable Winston Peters We met today in Washington, D.C. to recommit to the historic partnership between our two countries and the principles that underpin it—rule ...
    4 days ago
  • NZ and US to undertake further practical Pacific cooperation
    Foreign Minister Winston Peters has announced further New Zealand cooperation with the United States in the Pacific Islands region through $16.4 million in funding for initiatives in digital connectivity and oceans and fisheries research.   “New Zealand can achieve more in the Pacific if we work together more urgently and ...
    5 days ago
  • Government redress for Te Korowai o Wainuiārua
    The Government is continuing the bipartisan effort to restore its relationship with iwi as the Te Korowai o Wainuiārua Claims Settlement Bill passed its first reading in Parliament today, says Treaty Negotiations Minister Paul Goldsmith. “Historical grievances of Te Korowai o Wainuiārua relate to 19th century warfare, land purchased or taken ...
    5 days ago
  • Focus on outstanding minerals permit applications
    New Zealand Petroleum and Minerals is working to resolve almost 150 outstanding minerals permit applications by the end of the financial year, enabling valuable mining activity and signalling to the sector that New Zealand is open for business, Resources Minister Shane Jones says.  “While there are no set timeframes for ...
    5 days ago
  • Applications open for NZ-Ireland Research Call
    The New Zealand and Irish governments have today announced that applications for the 2024 New Zealand-Ireland Joint Research Call on Agriculture and Climate Change are now open. This is the third research call in the three-year Joint Research Initiative pilot launched in 2022 by the Ministry for Primary Industries and Ireland’s ...
    5 days ago
  • Tenancy rules changes to improve rental market
    The coalition Government has today announced changes to the Residential Tenancies Act to encourage landlords back to the rental property market, says Housing Minister Chris Bishop. “The previous Government waged a war on landlords. Many landlords told us this caused them to exit the rental market altogether. It caused worse ...
    5 days ago
  • Boosting NZ’s trade and agricultural relationship with China
    Trade and Agriculture Minister Todd McClay will visit China next week, to strengthen relationships, support Kiwi exporters and promote New Zealand businesses on the world stage. “China is one of New Zealand’s most significant trade and economic relationships and remains an important destination for New Zealand’s products, accounting for nearly 22 per cent of our good and ...
    5 days ago
  • Freshwater farm plan systems to be improved
    The coalition Government intends to improve freshwater farm plans so that they are more cost-effective and practical for farmers, Associate Environment Minister Andrew Hoggard and Agriculture Minister Todd McClay have announced. “A fit-for-purpose freshwater farm plan system will enable farmers and growers to find the right solutions for their farm ...
    6 days ago
  • New Fast Track Projects advisory group named
    The coalition Government has today announced the expert advisory group who will provide independent recommendations to Ministers on projects to be included in the Fast Track Approvals Bill, say RMA Reform Minister Chris Bishop and Regional Development Minister Shane Jones. “Our Fast Track Approval process will make it easier and ...
    6 days ago
  • Pacific and Gaza focus of UN talks
    Foreign Minister Winston Peters says his official talks with the United Nations Secretary-General Antonio Guterres in New York today focused on a shared commitment to partnering with the Pacific Islands region and a common concern about the humanitarian catastrophe in Gaza.    “Small states in the Pacific rely on collective ...
    7 days ago
  • Government honours Taranaki Maunga deal
    The Government is honouring commitments made to Taranaki iwi with the Te Pire Whakatupua mō Te Kāhui Tupua/Taranaki Maunga Collective Redress Bill passing its first reading Parliament today, Treaty Negotiations Minister Paul Goldsmith says. “This Bill addresses the commitment the Crown made to the eight iwi of Taranaki to negotiate ...
    7 days ago
  • Enhanced partnership to reduce agricultural emissions
    The Government and four further companies are together committing an additional $18 million towards AgriZeroNZ to boost New Zealand’s efforts to reduce agricultural emissions. Agriculture Minister Todd McClay says the strength of the New Zealand economy relies on us getting effective and affordable emission reduction solutions for New Zealand. “The ...
    1 week ago
  • 110km/h limit proposed for Kāpiti Expressway
    Transport Minister Simeon Brown has welcomed news the NZ Transport Agency (NZTA) will begin consultation this month on raising speed limits for the Kāpiti Expressway to 110km/h. “Boosting economic growth and productivity is a key part of the Government’s plan to rebuild the economy and this proposal supports that outcome ...
    1 week ago
  • New Zealand Biosecurity Awards – Winners announced
    Two New Zealanders who’ve used their unique skills to help fight the exotic caulerpa seaweed are this year’s Biosecurity Awards Supreme Winners, says Biosecurity Minister Andrew Hoggard. “Strong biosecurity is vital and underpins the whole New Zealand economy and our native flora and fauna. These awards celebrate all those in ...
    1 week ago
  • Attendance action plan to lift student attendance rates
    The Government is taking action to address the truancy crisis and raise attendance by delivering the attendance action plan, Associate Education Minister David Seymour announced today.   New Zealand attendance rates are low by national and international standards. Regular attendance, defined as being in school over 90 per cent of the ...
    1 week ago
  • World must act to halt Gaza catastrophe – Peters
    Foreign Minister Winston Peters has told the United Nations General Assembly (UNGA) in New York today that an immediate ceasefire is needed in Gaza to halt the ongoing humanitarian catastrophe.    “Palestinian civilians continue to bear the brunt of Israel’s military actions,” Mr Peters said in his speech to a ...
    1 week ago
  • Speech to United Nations General Assembly: 66th plenary meeting, 78th session
    Mr President,   The situation in Gaza is an utter catastrophe.   New Zealand condemns Hamas for its heinous terrorist attacks on 7 October and since, including its barbaric violations of women and children. All of us here must demand that Hamas release all remaining hostages immediately.   At the ...
    1 week ago
  • Government woolshed roadshow kicks off
    Today the Government Agriculture Ministers started their national woolshed roadshow, kicking off in the Wairarapa. Agriculture Minister Todd McClay said it has been a tough time for farmers over the past few years. The sector has faced high domestic inflation rates, high interest rates, adverse weather events, and increasing farm ...
    1 week ago
  • PM heads to Singapore, Thailand, and Philippines
    Prime Minister Christopher Luxon will travel to Singapore, Thailand and the Philippines this week (April 14-20), along with a senior business delegation, signalling the Government’s commitment to deepen New Zealand’s international engagement, especially our relationships in South East Asia. “South East Asia is a region that is more crucial than ever to ...
    1 week ago
  • Prime Minister launches Government Targets
    Prime Minister Christopher Luxon has announced further steps to get New Zealand back on track, launching nine ambitious Government Targets to help improve the lives of New Zealanders. “Our Government has a plan that is focused on three key promises we made to New Zealanders – to rebuild the economy, ...
    1 week ago
  • Natural hydrogen resource should be free of Treaty claims entanglement
    Natural hydrogen could be a game-changing new source of energy for New Zealand but it is essential it is treated as a critical development that benefits all New Zealanders, Resources Minister Shane Jones says. Mr Jones is seeking to give regulatory certainty for those keen to develop natural, or geological, ...
    1 week ago
  • Government responds to unsustainable net migration
    1 week ago
  • New Zealand on stage at global Space Symposium
    Space Minister Judith Collins will speak at the Space Symposium in the United States next week, promoting New Zealand’s rapidly growing place in the sector as we work to rebuild the economy. “As one of the largest global space events, attended by more than 10,000 business and government representatives from ...
    1 week ago

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