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Open mike 21/12/2009 to 22/12/2009

Written By: - Date published: 6:00 am, December 22nd, 2009 - 61 comments
Categories: open mike - Tags:

mike

Topics of interest, announcements, general discussion. The usual rules apply (see the link to Policy in the banner).

Step right up to the mike..

61 comments on “Open mike 21/12/2009 to 22/12/2009”

  1. lprent 1

    There is a problem with the cron jobs for scheduled posts on wordpress at present after the upgrade to 2.9 (not something I test for when looking at new versions *sigh*).

    I will be your cron job for today

  2. Andrei 2

    Lynn quite often the capta doesn’t appear or it shows up as ***invalid***.. It was like that all yesterday for me and this AM as well

    Obviously it is fine now it is “completely” not that that is relevant

    [lprent: Damn – another site issue. Oh well I’m on holiday so I have time to deal with it. Last time it was a buildup of the generated graphics in the tmp directory.

    There is a work-around. Login and you’ll find that you don’t have a captcha. The only restrictions are that you have to get past the captcha on the registration and have a valid e-mail address. ]

    • felix 2.1

      The other workaround is to right click where the image should be (whether you can see this or not depends on your browser) and open the image itself, perhaps in a new tab.

      Has worked for me when I’ve had this problem in the past anyway.

    • lprent 2.2

      Any particular browser and operating system? I’ve tried 5 so far in windows and linux.

      The tmp directory it uses doesn’t seem to have much in there.

      Edit: Umm while I’m out of login, I should have a look at fixing the layout of the re-edit as well.

  3. prism 3

    Laura Dekker was born at sea and presumably has been at sea ever since. Fourteen years and being encouraged by her father to sail round the world? She has only just started on her life and is being encouraged to put herself at such risk. And if she needs rescue and receives it who pays?It would be unreasonable to make a whimsical decision to be at one with the sea, a water nomad, a free being and then want someone else to pay for it.
    One of the saddest stories is the one of the Brit who was in a lone-hand race and was so far out of it he started fibbing about his location and got so far from the truth as well as his goal port and the other competitors that I think he drowned himself.
    These people who live on boats sailing around all the time can’t have much connection with any country and any giving relationship with a community or their own country. Their children are separated from real-life relationships with other children outside their tight little closed community. Sort of like a sea-cult.

  4. prism 4

    Unbelievable. There has been a massive breakdown in the Channel tunnel and will probably be no Eurostar trains going through before Christmas with thousands of people probably unable to make alternative travel bookings in France and Britain. Eurostar have a 50 year contract to run the thing. Those pressing for public-private or completely private operations need to bear this type of thing in mind when thinking about provision of quality services needed by the general public.
    Trains broke down in the Chunnel one after another apparently. There was a reference to change from cold air outside the tunnel to warm air inside – as if that might have been a reason for the breakdowns. 2,000 got stuck in the Chunnel overnight. There was little communication with passengers. It must have been hell for the workers too trying to deal with an obviously inadequate emergency plan. Passengers in one carriage had to wait half an hour to get half a litre of water to share between a large number. No mention has been made of the toilet facilities. The airconditioning broke down. The passengers opened the emergency doors manually and walked along lines to get to another train.
    The pride of modern technology and modern management techniques – most useful would have been golf carts for ferrying passengers with perhaps some horses pulling carts that could run along the rail lines.

    • BLiP 4.1

      heh! Reminds me of a few years ago when the private company running BritRail, can’t remember the name, had a series of massive failures due to a build up of leaves on he tracks. At the time, the company said the failures occurred because Autumn took them by surprise!!

    • prism 4.2

      Interesting point on TV report today about the Chunnel problem and Heathrow down too. There is no bus service to ferry these hapless people (and their children) to where they are supposed to go for getting transport.
      Where is the co-ordination? Whose responsibility? Where private companies operate they are likely to go into a silo mode. It’s not their responsibility to be concerned about ease of transport and providing needed services for the public. If there is government oversight over transport it knits the systems together.
      The TV showed a long line of resigned people trudging along the street dragging their luggage and pushing their children’s pushchairs. They have been waiting for four days to get away. It’s an indictment on both private and public lack of planning for emergencies.

  5. ianmac from Abudhabi 5

    Prism: The immortal lines “Have a madiera m’dear!” hold true forever. Blocked lines? New girlfriend?

    • prism 5.1

      Interesting but enigmatic comments. I remember the madeira but don’t remember the others PB and Ian. Must listen to the tape or I think its vinyl, again. Haven’t played LPs for a long time. Think everything still works.

  6. prism 6

    Just got 63 cents interest on my bank account and 12 cents taxation off it. I am sure that one of our problems with lack of savings is the way that fees and taxes eat into them. Once I had $100 in a credit union. I didn’t do anything it just sat there. They charged $25 yearly to handle a/c. Why not spend it when it would have disappeared in 4 years and earned $6 a year.
    Inflation is always diminishing savings even though it is lower than it used to be but then the interest paid is lower as well. Its time the government bit the bullet and cut the taxation on ordinary savings way back, and stopped taking it out in cents, pay nothing till you earn $100 I say. Taxmen leave my cents alone!

  7. Bomber 7

    Appointing a homophobic bigot like Brian Neeson to the Human Rights Tribunal is like appointing Paul Henry to the Broadcasting Standards Authority! John Key may as well appoint hood wearing, cross burning Klansmen to the Human Rights Review Tribunal if Neeson is the new benchmark. This hateful bigot who has a well tracked history of attempting to DENY human rights is now on the fucking tribunal reviewing human rights? Tell me this is some sort of sick, sick Joke. The Human Rights Review Tribunal has no moral authority whatsoever with a bigot like Neeson on it.

    For the love of Christ, Neeson has intellectually argued AGAINST giving certain groups human rights, he is a human rights vandal NOT a human rights defender!

    Disgusting decision National, disgusting decision.

    • Gosman 7.1

      Why are you just regurgitating the stuff you posted on your blog here Mr Bradbury? Is that because you’re worried noone will bother reading it there? I suppose you have a point then.

      So is the position of the liberal left now that the only people who get to be appointed to various Government agencies have to be liberal lefties?

      If so then I look forward to the Stalinist purges of the Public sector when next Labour gets back into power. I’ll be an old man mind you. 😉

    • Just watch the religious nuts take over Bomber! .I thought this sort of welfare went out with the first Labour Government here and the UK. The people that will suffer most under this type of sytem will be the Solo mums and gay people .Who according
      to these religious bigots will look down their beaks and lecture on morals ? Then decide whether they “deserve” payment .
      The whole thing makes me sick . Robert Tressell wrote all about it in the Ragged Trousered Philanthropist way back in the 1930s . English should be sent a copy.

      • Gosman 7.2.1

        We are discussing a single appointment to a Government agency with limited powers not a complete re-prioritisation of social welfare here.

        The agency in question would have, I suspect, a number of people with far more liberal viewpoints than Mr Neeson.

        It isn’t as if Mr neeson can use his new posituion to role back the entire pro-gay legislation that has been enacted since the mid 1980’s is it?

  8. Tim Ellis 8

    Don’t bigots have human rights as well?

    I don’t have any time for Mr Neeson, but it seems he has a perspective that is shared by many. I don’t see why his views should excuse him from serving on the tribunal.

  9. Bill 9

    Chavez was accused in some media of being responsible for torpedoing Copenhagen ( along with China, Bolivia and Brazil et al) and of referring to Obama as the great satan and so on

    Here’s his speech in full.

    http://www.zcommunications.org/znet/viewArticle/23421

    • Quoth the Raven 9.1

      It seems they all blame each other. Ed Miliband blames Venezuela in part – he said it himself on BBC, but it only mentions his aides in this article:

      Only China is mentioned specifically in Miliband’s article but aides tonight made it clear that he included Sudan, Venezuela, Bolivia, Nicaragua and Cuba, which also tried to resist a deal being signed.

      And Chavez should have little to say considering fully half his government’s revenue comes from oil and gas.

      • Bill 9.1.1

        And Chavez should have little to say considering fully half his government’s revenue comes from oil.

        Probably more, but no more than any other government’s revenue. Everything runs on oil QtR and so almost all revenue depends on it.

        Chavez has as much right to say whatever as any other head of state. Fact is, his speech was more realistic and truthful.

        BTW Brown finger pointed Chavez, not Milliband.

        • Quoth the Raven 9.1.1.1

          Probably more, but no more than any other government’s revenue. Everything runs on oil QtR and so almost all revenue depends on it.

          I’m talking direct revenue and it’s a huge amount more than other governments. It’s comparable to middle eastern oil nations. See Energy policy of Venezuela

          BTW Brown finger pointed Chavez, not Milliband.

          No it was Miliband I saw him on television.

  10. Mac1 10

    @Tim Ellis.
    Yes, bigots have human rights as well, but I wonder if people who argue that consider the flip side of that coin- responsibilities. I know the Right is very big on personal responsibiity. A bigot has the responsibility to change his/her thinking if they understand that they are wrong. But isn’t that the definition of a bigot- one who knows she/he is wrong but won’t change? The COD says that a bigot is one who “irrespective of reason attaches disproportionate weight to a creed or view.”

    Too many people nowadays are proffering the line that they are entitled to have their opinions even if they are wrong. Since a lot of people hold opinions based on emotion rather than logic or experience, it has similar characteristics to new age philosophy.

    I was taught that wrong opinions get changed to suit the new facts or experience.

    I have noticed, Tim, that you very rarely respond to a contrary opinion with a further exchange of ideas. The idea of debate is to enable change where error can be proven.

    Yes, bigots can have human rights but their responsibility is also to be human- admit error and change when shown to be wrong.

    To do otherwise is cant, fixed ideological positions, bigotry, personal regression, backwardness. In my world, bigotry can’t be excused. A confirmed bigot will not make good decisions for human rights. A person who admits to having been a bigot and has changed would be eminently suitable, since they would at least understand something of the well-springs and continuance systems involved in being a bigot.

    The scene in the film “Amazing Grace” where the writer of the hymn having been a murdering slaver repents and makes atonement was very powerful. “Was blind, but now I see.”

    To have a bigot pronounce on Human Rights is, in a metaphor for this time of year, allowing Christmas dinner cooks to determine the right to life of turkeys.

    Spam word “considerable”- how apposite.

    • Tim Ellis 10.1

      A bigot has the responsibility to change his/her thinking

      Really? Don’t people have the human right to think what they like?

      Human rights enforcement should govern behaviour, not thought. When you start telling people what they should and shouldn’t believe, their right to free thought and free speech has gone out the window. You start discriminating against people for holding conservative points of view.

      A legitimate question should be asked of Mr Neeson, if an employee were dismissed because of sexual orientation, would he uphold human rights legislation making such actions illegal, or would he not?

      As long as Mr Neeson can uphold the law and defend the human rights of people who are discriminated against, I don’t think it matters at all what his view on homosexuality or anything else is.

      • Pascal's bookie 10.1.1

        Do you think whether or not people who have been discriminated against may feel a bit apprehensive about dealing with Neeson has any bearing, or should they just form a group?

        • Tim Ellis 10.1.1.1

          No more so than an average bloke might feel apprehensive about a hearing presided over by a radical feminist PB.

          • Pascal's bookie 10.1.1.1.1

            So does it or doesn’t it?

            Was there a point in there hiding behind your strange belief that the average bloke is intimidated by feminism?

            What does a radical feminist think any way Timmsy? Got an example of what you have in mind, and the position they’ve been appointed to that you think I’d approve of?

            I’m betting you’ve got nothing.

            • Tim Ellis 10.1.1.1.1.1

              No, PB, I can’t point to a single case. But it is not me who is making the case that somebody should be excluded from membership of the HRRT just because of their personal beliefs.

              PB, can you point to a single case where the HRRT has made a ruling on discrimination on the grounds of sexual orientation, where had Mr Neeson been a member of the tribunal, the outcome would have been different?

              • Pascal's bookie

                So you brought up the radical feminism why exactly?

                As to your latest question, which again adds nothing, according to the mans own stated thoughts on the tribunal, I know that if Neeson had his wish all such cases would be rejected.

                So again,

                Do you think that whether or not people who have been discriminated against may feel a bit apprehensive about dealing with Neeson, should have any bearing on whether or not he is suitable?

                The answer is fairly obvious Tim, if you think the trib’s role is important.

              • Tim Ellis

                I brought it up because it is the very opposite of Mr Neeson’s views. If some parties might feel intimidated by Mr Neeson, then equally other parties might feel intimidated by a radical feminist.

                So you can’t name a single case where a judgement on discrimination on the grounds of sexual orientation would have been different if Mr Neeson had been a member of the tribunal. Thought so.

                Have a look at the HRRT’s cases PB. There’s a full list of all the cases going back to 2002 before the tribunal. Name a single one where Mr Neeson’s supposed prejudice would have changed a decision.

              • Pascal's bookie

                I brought it up because it is the very opposite of Mr Neeson’s views.

                No it isn’t. Unless there is some Tribunal for Keeping the Bitches in their Place that I am unawre of.

                Perhaps you can explain why you think radical feminists, whatever they are, would be opposed to the HRRT ? Seeing it’s your example, and it makes no sense, I think you should explain.

                Name a single one where Mr Neeson’s supposed prejudice would have changed a decision.

                Any one of those cases could have been different Tim. The complainant might not have come forward. And asking me to provide an appropriate counterfactual, is exactly the type of thing we were discussing the other day, re good faith debating and your failure to be any good at it.

                So again, and I’ve responded to everything you’ve put me Tim, so I think you could at least try to stay on the topic, or answer the question you’ve so far ignored.

                Do you think that whether or not people who have been discriminated against may feel a bit apprehensive about dealing with Neeson, should have any bearing on whether or not he is suitable?

                The answer is fairly obvious Tim, if you think the trib’s role is important.

              • Tim Ellis

                Conceivably, PB, a feminist radical could reach a different conclusion that a complainant was dismissed due to discrimination on the grounds of sexual orientation than Mr Neeson.

                But since you can’t point to a single case where Mr Neeson’s judgement in such a matter might have been persuasive, your argument falls flat PB.

                Any one of which cases could have been different? Point to one. Show me where Mr Neeson’s views on a person’s sexual orientation could have swayed the outcome.

              • Pascal's bookie

                Got logic Tim?

                Neeson opposes some cases even being heard, it’s not about legitimate interpretation. he thinks people should be allowed to discriminate.

                So what’s a radical feminist, and how does it matter?

                and do you think that whether or not people who have been discriminated against may feel a bit apprehensive about dealing with Neeson, should have any bearing on whether or not he is suitable?

      • Mac1 10.1.2

        With rights come responsibilities. If I know that I am wrong, and I have changed my mind over significant issues, then my humanity and my desire for intellectual honesty say that I have to revise my point of view. Part of my humanity is my ability to reason and also part of my humanity is to live as good a life as I can, as a social being and as an individual.

        If a person has a conservative view, arrived at by experience and knowledge, than that’s fine. I would hope that further knowledge and experience would at least refine such views.

        But you instanced bigots- and bigots know they are wrong but through laziness, or self-interest, or plain meanness continue to be bigotted.

        I think there might be a gap between Mr Neeson asked your question and supporting the law, actively promoting the law or even advancing the law towards greater human rights for people discriminated against by sexual discrimination.

        It is asking for great things to expect that a self-confessed homophobe would equitably uphold gay rights, as it is for a militarist to respect pacifist beliefs or a religious fundamentalist of what ever persuasion to uphold other opinion.

        it is difficult to act, (your reference to behaviour), against your own beliefs.
        Unless of course tolerance is one of the fundamentals of our own beliefs, and therefore affects behaviour. I am not sure that a bigot has tolerance in abundance. Not if he chooses to be a bigot, “irrespective of reason”, as the COD states.

        I immediately think of the old adage about dying for your right to hold your opinion, but would Mr Neeson go start a war to continue the analogy? You brought in Mr Neeson, by the way, but I had wanted to engage on more general terms as to whether a bigot has rights and also responsibilities to consider.

        If you talk about rights and disregard responsibilities, then that is soft argument. The spam word is “granting” which is what we do with rights and what we do when we are tolerant. Even of other people’s rights to be wrong. One can be wrong, but not be bigotted. There is an important distinction.

        You say that my way of thinking will lead to criticising thought rather than behaviour. They are linked, but I never said that people should be made to believe one way or the other. Never said that. What I believe is that bigotry is a shameful place to be intellectually, humanly and socially and that criticism should be made of bigotted practice, that bigots should be encouraged towards honesty and tolerance.

        We have free speech and thought. So we should have. With free speech and thought is a responsibility to be moderate, tolerant, and exercising that most precious and free gift of reason. Free speech and thought is not an excuse for laziness, protection of self-interest and meanness. It is a right exercised with responsibility.

        Having said all that, I acknowledge too that I am human and imperfect, still needing to exercise more tolerance and work on prejudice. That is a life’s work.

  11. Pascal's bookie 11

    Everyone knows ol’ gwb sucked pretty hard at the presidenting gig, but geez wayne:

    http://politics.theatlantic.com/2009/09/closing_the_book_on_the_bush_legacy.php

    So the summary page on the economic experience of average Americans under the past two presidents would look like this:
    Under Clinton, the median income increased 14 per cent. Under Bush it declined 4.2 per cent.

    Under Clinton the total number of Americans in poverty declined 16.9 per cent; under Bush it increased 26.1 per cent.

    Under Clinton the number of children in poverty declined 24.2 per cent; under Bush it increased by 21.4 per cent.

    Under Clinton, the number of Americans without health insurance, remained essentially even (down six-tenths of one per cent); under Bush it increased by 20.6 per cent.
    Adding Ronald Reagan’s record to the comparison fills in the picture from another angle.

    Under Reagan, the median income grew, in contrast to both Bush the younger and Bush the elder. (The median income declined 3.2 per cent during the elder Bush’s single term.) When Reagan was done, the median income stood at $47, 614 (again in constant 2008 dollars), 8.1 per cent higher than when Jimmy Carter left office in 1980.

    But despite that income growth, both overall and childhood poverty were higher when Reagan rode off into the sunset than when he arrived. The number of poor Americans increased from 29.3 million in 1980 to 31.7 million in 1988, an increase of 8.4 per cent. The number of children in poverty trended up from 11.5 million when Carter left to 12.5 million when Reagan stepped down, a comparable increase of 7.9 per cent. The total share of Americans in poverty didn’t change over Reagan’s eight years (at 13 per cent), but the share of children in poverty actually increased (from 18.3 to 19.5 per cent) despite the median income gains.
    The past rarely settles debates about the future.

    The fact that the economy performed significantly better for average families under Clinton than under the elder or younger Bush or Ronald Reagan doesn’t conclusively answer how the country should proceed now. Obama isn’t replicating the Clinton economic strategy (which increased federal spending in areas like education and research much more modestly, and placed greater emphasis on deficit reduction-to the point of increasing taxes in his first term). Nor has anyone suggested that it would make sense to reprise that approach in today’s conditions. But at the least, the wretched two-term record compiled by the younger Bush on income, poverty and access to health care should compel Republicans to answer a straightforward question: if tax cuts are truly the best means to stimulate broadly shared prosperity, why did the Bush years yield such disastrous results for American families on these core measures of economic well being?

    And no, the big worldwide crash isn’t what made his record look bad. It already looked bad in 07.

  12. Tim Ellis: ‘A legitimate question should be asked of Mr Neeson, if an employee were dismissed because of sexual orientation, would he uphold human rights legislation making such actions illegal, or would he not?’

    And the answer is not, Tim. Neeson is happy to sack workers if they are openly gay.

    ‘But at a time when someone behaves in an extreme way it is up to me to have the right to tell that person that that is not the way to behave, and it does not matter whether he or she is homosexual or anything else. I think that everybody would agree with that. When it comes to that particular point an employer should have the right to be able to turn around and say to someone: “Enough is enough; that’s not the way that you are going to behave in my premises or in my employ, whoever you are.”’

    That’s him speaking on the Human Rights Bill when it was introduced back in ’93. There is, er, bugger all chance his bigotry has diminished over the years. In fact, norightturn has more of this braindead and heartless twat here: http://norightturn.blogspot.com/2009/12/brian-neesons-greatest-hits.html

    Now, Tim, I know you’re a decent, hail fellow well met sort of guy. Are you still going to back his appointment or are you going to recognise he is a bigot and completely unsuitable to be helping the commision perform its role in our open, liberal society?

    • Tim Ellis 12.1

      TVOR, I invite you to point out which of the HRRT’s rulings on discrimination on the grounds of sexual orientation might have been different if Mr Neeson had been a member of the tribunal.

      • BLiP 12.1.1

        And, given Neeson’s record of homophobia, I invite you to point out why a gay person should feel more comfortable approaching the HRRT now that Neeson is to sit in judgement.

        • Pascal's bookie 12.1.1.1

          What quacks me up is how utterly unprincipled these clowns are.

          If they believe in the role of the trib, they’d be more careful about who the posted to it.

          It’s a transparent wingnut welfare scheme, paying back various people the party has shat on.

          If the don’t give a shit about the trib, or think it should be undermined by appointing people to it that oppose it’s legislatively designed role, then the principled thing to do is change the legislation.

          If they do support it, and think Neeson can serve anyway, just fulfilling the law impartially, (The Timmy Ellis gambit) they are asking him to do something which he is morally opposed to and that if he had a spine he’d resign before doing.

          But instead it’s paybacks and snouts in troughs and jabbering about the radical feminines or whatever the hell they are sweaty about this week.

          Political philosophy my arse. Conservatism is neurosis.

        • Tim Ellis 12.1.1.2

          BLiP, give me a single example where Mr Neeson’s role as a member of a three person panel would have been persuasive in a case relating to discrimination on the grounds of sexual orientation.

          PB and TVOR haven’t managed to find one yet, except to protest about jobs for the boys (just as they were very vocal with Labour appointing Mr Williams and others to every government job under the sun).

          • Pascal's bookie 12.1.1.2.1

            You can’t prove a counter factual Tim. You should know this. Both TVoR and I answered your silly question.

            Please answer mine:

            Do you think that whether or not people who have been discriminated against may feel a bit apprehensive about dealing with Neeson, should have any bearing on whether or not he is suitable?

            It’s easy. I’m asking you your opinion, I’m not asking you to imagine an alternate universe and prove that something would definitely happen there. Just asking you what your opinion on the topic is. You do have an opinion on that particular question don’t you? Or is discrimination, like racism, just something you aren’t all that concerned about?

          • BLiP 12.1.1.2.2

            Timmy, what a thought!

      • The Voice of Reason 12.1.2

        All of them, Tim, all of them.

        • Tim Ellis 12.1.2.1

          Name a single one, TVOR. It shouldn’t be that hard to name just one.

          • The Voice of Reason 12.1.2.1.1

            Jeez, Tim, can’t you just answer a simple question without dissembling? Do you support having an anti gay bigot on the HRC or not? And if you do, are you also in favour of paedophiles on school boards, atheists on the Vatican council and god forbid, Michael Laws on the Geographic Board?

            The point is simple, Tim; Neeson is not fit to do the job he has just been gifted. He will take the money anyway, of course, because he is a typical tory bludger, sucking on the public teat. But it ain’t right just coz it’s right wing.

  13. Westminster 13

    I see Farrar’s got his knickers in a twist about Hipkins and Mallard pumping out “shotgun” questions via written PQs. The consensus of the drooling mob over there is that Labour should be told to get knicked. Mallard comes in for a particularly hard time because, shock of shock, it seems he’s using a mail merge to produce his questions. Wow.

    You know it’s the cut and paste oppositionism that I think the sewer dwellers are reacting too. It’s wasteful and inane. I mean questions like:

    What is the cost of [INSERT REGION] schooling improvement project in 2008/09 and which appropriation line or lines from Vote Education does the funding for this project come from?

    Are wasteful, I guess. Oh, wait, that’s Anne Tolley when she was in opposition asking one of her “inane” scattershot mail merge type questions.

    I guess it’s an outrage when Labour does it but when the Tories do it, it’s just good politics. What a friggin’ hypocrite.

    For my money, a pox on both their houses for such lazy efforts. But let’s not let Farrar get away with painting this as some sort of Labour low trick.

    • Gosman 13.1

      If Farar is correct then Helen Clark was only asked a total of just over 150 questions on her ministerial responsibilities during the last parliament. Wouldn’t you agree that it is a bit much for Labour to be asking John Key a similar number of questions just for a single month?

      • Pascal's bookie 13.1.1

        No, that just shows National are lazy bastards.

      • lprent 13.1.2

        I suspect that it is the way that he tends to disappear and leave gerry or bill to answer his questions when question time comes up. Makes him look like a target.

        Helen usually preferred to front up. But I guess that John isn’t as comfortable on his feet. Eventually he’ll get enough experience. After all the opposition are trying to give him the practice. Quite generous of them I thought…

        • Tim Ellis 13.1.2.1

          The questions relate to written questions of ministerial services, not oral questions LP.

          • lprent 13.1.2.1.1

            Ok. But didn’t the NACTs do that every year around xmas?

            Something about finding out what each ministry was doing for the end of year bashup from the minister responsible?

            It was almost a ritual… Ummm… link

            The Key apologists seem to have forgotten that National MPs used to routinely ask tricky questions of the then Labour government. One of their favourites was to ask about staff Christmas parties and presents. Most government departments do some sort of end of year function for their staff, so National’s questions were basically intended to find examples of where they’d gone a bit over the top so that they could shout from the rooftops about “waste’.

            Interestingly, they aren’t so keen to answer now that the shoe is on the other foot. I asked a written question of each Minister that’s almost identical to one Brownlee, McCully etc used to ask and they have all come back with the same answer: “The question the member asks relates to an operational matter which is the responsibility of the Chief Executive.’

            Interesting to note that when Labour was the government and National was the opposition the questions were OK, but now that National is in government they seem to think a lower standard of accountability should apply. In 2005 Annette King even went so far as to compile all of the answers into a handy little table for the Nats, so why are they suddenly ducking for cover?

            Anyway, I’m off to get a haircut. Get rid of the intense coding ‘mad scientist’ look and revert back to the military

  14. gitmo 14

    Odd

    http://www.stuff.co.nz/national/politics/3187537/Nats-John-Key-popular-throughout-year-poll

    ….is this because the opposition is so cak, I can’t see any other reason as the Nats ain’t really doing a whole lot, perhaps that’s how NZ likes their politicians ?

    • Pascal's bookie 14.1

      Fucked if I know, but this

      Towards the end of the year (Goff’s) fortunes followed the same pattern as Mr Key’s, with the proportion of unfavourable opinion increasing.

      is funny cause on both sides it reflects their bases souring on them I suspect, rather than the squishy middlings.

  15. Merry Xmas and happy new year to everybody.

    I’m off to the beach till midJanurary

    I have faith that Obama is going to do the world proud in 2010!

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    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    3 hours ago
  • Anti-fluoridation propaganda now relies on only four studies. 4: Till et al (2020)
    Paul Connet, head of the anti-fluoride propaganda group, Fluoride Action Network, claims that the IQ of children bottle-fed in fluoridated areas drops by 9 points. But he misrepresented the research. There is no observable effect. For earlier articles in this series see: Part 1: Anti-fluoridation propaganda now relies on only ...
    6 hours ago
  • The Role of Government
    The Queen’s coronavirus broadcast, with its overtones of Winston Churchill and Vera Lynn, prompted me to reflect on the tribulations my parents’ generation suffered during the Second World War – and I imagine that those parallels, given her own wartime experience, were very much in the Queen’s mind as she ...
    Bryan GouldBy Bryan Gould
    7 hours ago
  • How to complain about MDC’s unreasonable LGOIMA charging regime
    Back in February, the Marlborough District Council increased the mount it charges for LGOIMA requests. I used the LGOIMA to poke into this, and it seems the case for increased charges is unjustified: the supposed increase in request volumes it rests on is an artefact of the Council suddenly deciding ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    23 hours ago
  • Life in Lock Down: Day 12
    . . April 6: Day 12 of living in lock-down… Another day of a near-empty Park N Ride carpark; . . And another day of near-empty Wellington streets; . . . Light traffic on the motorway. No apparent increase in volume. Commercial vehicles sighted; a gravel-hauling truck; McAuley’s Transport; a ...
    Frankly SpeakingBy Frank Macskasy
    1 day ago
  • A Lamentable Failure of Imagination.
    Imagination By-Pass: Had the Communications Minister, Kris Faafoi (above) taken a firm stand with Bauer, reminding them of their obligations to both their staff and the wider New Zealand public, then a much more favourable outcome may well have ensued. He should have made it clear to the Bauer board ...
    1 day ago
  • Simon Bridges can’t connect
    We all know that Simon Bridges has, at the best of times, an intermittent relationship with the truth. However you would think that during a pandemic and economic crisis the current opposition leader would pull his head in and start to do the right thing.Obviously leading by example should be ...
    1 day ago
  • Anti-fluoridation propaganda now relies on only four studies. 3: Riddell et al (2019)
    Connett promotes Riddell et al (2019) as one of the only four studies one needs to read about fluoridation. But he misunderstands and misrepresents the findings of this study. Image credit: Fluoride Action ...
    1 day ago
  • The biggest challenge for a generation ahead – covid-19. Defeat and Recovery
    Last month I wrote my blog on covid-19 pointing out the in our pre Alert Level 4 days that a subject no one had heard here months ago was now dominating the media. An amazing feature of this crisis is how quickly it has swept every other issue aside worldwide. ...
    PunditBy Wyatt Creech
    2 days ago
  • Testing for COVID-19 in NZ to Achieve the Elimination Goal
    Nick Wilson,1 Ayesha Verrall,1,2 Len Cook,3 Alistair Gray,3 Amanda Kvalsvig,1 Michael Baker,1 (1epidemiologists, 2infectious disease physician, 3statisticians) In this blog, we raise ideas for how New Zealand might optimise testing to both identify cases in the community as part of the COVID-19 elimination strategy, and to confirm when the virus ...
    SciBlogsBy Public Health Expert
    2 days ago
  • Should we all be wearing face masks to prevent Covid-19 spread?
    Maybe you’ve seen the graph that says those countries where everyone wears a mask are the ones that have managed to keep Covid-19 under control? The first thing to say about that claim is that those countries also did lots of other things, too – they acted fast, with intense ...
    SciBlogsBy Siouxsie Wiles
    2 days ago
  • 2020 SkS Weekly Climate Change & Global Warming Digest #14
    Story of the Week... Editorial of the Week... Toon of the Week... Coming Soon on SkS... Climate Feedback Claim Review... SkS Week in Review... Poster of the Week... Story of the Week... North Atlantic's capacity to absorb CO2 overestimated, study suggests Research into ocean’s plankton likely to lead to ...
    2 days ago
  • The Americans are trying to kill us all again
    The Treaty on Open Skies is one of the most effective mechanisms for preventing war curently in force. By letting countries make surveillance flights over each others' territory, it eliminates fears that they are secretly preparing for war. So naturally, the US is planning to withdraw from it: The Trump ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 days ago
  • Life in Lock Down: Day 11
    . . April 5: Day eleven of living in lock-down… My one day of rest for the week, and an opportunity to mow my lawns – which I’d been delaying for about three weeks. (On the plus side, the damp micro-climate in my back yard yielded three lovely fresh mushrooms ...
    Frankly SpeakingBy Frank Macskasy
    2 days ago
  • Now we know what the rules are
    As the lockdown has gone on, disquiet about what the rules were and the police's enforcement of them has grown. On Friday, Police admitted that they were abusing routine traffic stops to effectively set up illegal checkpoints, and on Saturday Stuff revealed internal police advice saying that they actually needed ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 days ago
  • Anti-fluoridation propaganda now relies on only four studies. 2: Green et al (2019)
    Paul Connett is putting all his eggs in one basket. He says “you only have to read four studies” to find community after fluoridation harmful. Image credit: Fluoride Action Network newsletter. For part 1 of this series see Anti-fluoridation propaganda now relies on only four studies. 1: Bashash et al (2018). Paul Connett, ...
    2 days ago
  • Hard News: Splore Listening Lounge 2020: the road to a “yes” vote
    As far as anyone can say, New Zeaand still has a general election scheduled for September 19 this year. The election will be accompanied by two referenda, one of which will ask voters:Do you support the proposed Cannabis Legalisation and Control Bill?The official campaign period for the cannabis referendum begins ...
    2 days ago
  • Obituary for The New Zealand Listener (1939-2020)
    The vast majority of tributes to the Listener hearken back to its glory days, with little reflection on the magazine as it was at its end.I wrote for it, for half the Listener’s life; I have known personally all the editors except the first (mythical) three. From 1978 to 2014 ...
    PunditBy Brian Easton
    2 days ago
  • Universal income – a challenge to capitalism or a crutch?
    As the world economy slides rapidly towards deep recession there are growing calls for a Universal Benefit coming from some leftists and rightists. Now Finance Minister Grant Robertson is saying it is on the table.  This article by a French party Workers Struggle provides analysis of various forms of universal ...
    RedlineBy Daphna
    3 days ago
  • Anti-fluoridation propaganda now relies on only four studies. 1: Bashash et al (2018)
    This is the advice from the very top of the anti-fluoride movement – Paul Connett, director of the Fluoride Action Network (FAN). Don’t worry about reading  up on all the scientific information “You only have ...
    3 days ago
  • Life in Lock Down: Day 10
    . . April 4: Day 10 of living in lock-down… I wake up to a fine Saturday morning which normally would be like an early Christmas. But it’s Day 10 of Level 4 Lock Down. What  will my fellow New Zealanders be doing on a day like this – staying ...
    Frankly SpeakingBy Frank Macskasy
    3 days ago
  • Redline reaching out to more writers & readers
    Some time during the night we went over the 850,000 views mark. We might have had our millionth view by the end of this year – certainly by early next year. Most of the people involved in Redline spent years and years producing various small left-wing papers and selling them ...
    RedlineBy Daphna
    3 days ago
  • Keir Starmer elected
    Comfortably, in the very first round, with an impressive 56% of the votes.I wonder, did members of the Shadow Cabinet start tweeting their resignations during Starmer's victory speech, or is that only a trick the right pull?It is odd how all the talk of how the next leader "needs to ...
    3 days ago
  • Hard News: Michael Baker and the Big House
    One of the key voices in this extraordinary time in which we live is that of University of Otago epidemiologist Professor Michael Baker. Philip Matthews did an an excellent job this weekend of capturing the way he became the man for this moment in a profile for The Press.But one ...
    3 days ago
  • New Zealand Gives up on Trying to Save Daylight
    New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern addressed the nation today about the decline in daylight New Zealand has been experiencing over the previous few months. She said “As many of you will notice, our attempts to stem the dwindling of the daylight over the last few months have been completely ...
    Can of wormsBy Can of Worms, Opened
    4 days ago
  • A bulletin from Greece
    Redline received this article from the KOE a Marxist party in Greece Our friends in the KOE describe here the mounting crisis in Greece and tensions on the Turkish border. As desperate people flee from their homelands which have been ruined after decades of imperialist wars and interventions the people ...
    RedlineBy Daphna
    4 days ago
  • And God spake all these words, saying
    As the first week of Level Four lockdown unfolded, mounting questions grew as to just what was (and was not) allowed under its “rules”. Partly these were driven by some apparently contradictory messages from different authority figures and explanations carried in the media. Partly they reflected a somewhat sketchy legal basis ...
    PunditBy Andrew Geddis
    4 days ago
  • Life in Lock Down: Day 9
    . . April 3: Day 9 of living in lock-down… Another late-start to my work day. Everything is temporarily upended as clients are shuffled around so we can minimise our “bubble” by reducing the number of people we help. One of my colleagues has been removed from his clients; his ...
    Frankly SpeakingBy Frank Macskasy
    4 days ago
  • Death to our lockdown enemies!
    We must root out the traitors among us! ...
    Imperator FishBy Scott Yorke
    5 days ago
  • Climate Change: The benefits of electrification
    In order to meet our 2050 carbon target and do our bit to avoid making the Earth uninhabitable, New Zealand needs to decarbonise our economy, replacing fossil fuels with electricity in the energy, industrial and transport sectors. The good news is that it will mean cheaper power for all of ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    5 days ago
  • Life in Lock Down: Day 8 (sanitised version)
    For those folk who find my other Lock-Down Diary versions too “negative” or otherwise unpalatable… Here’s a photo of a pretty flower, .   . Better? Tomorrow’s Sanitised Version: a cute animal video. . . . =fs= ...
    Frankly SpeakingBy Frank Macskasy
    5 days ago
  • Life in Lock Down: Day 8
    . . April 2: Day eight of living in lock-down… Today, my work day starts late. Our rosters and clients have been dramatically changed, lessening (theoretically) the number of people in our work “bubble”.  If just one of us catches covid19 the impact could be considerable as Grey Base Hospital ...
    Frankly SpeakingBy Frank Macskasy
    5 days ago
  • A note on apartments and bubbles
    As Aotearoa enters week two of lockdown, it’s clear we’re all still working out what our “bubbles” look like and how to stay in them to stop the spread of Covid-19. New to the government’s Covid-19 website is some good guidance for people living in apartment blocks. Recent decades have ...
    SciBlogsBy Siouxsie Wiles
    5 days ago
  • Getting in futures shape 
    “There are decades where nothing happens; and there are weeks where decades happen.” Lenin Don’t we all know that feeling now.

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

    SciBlogsBy Robert Hickson
    5 days ago
  • Maybe axing Clark would be unfair. But what about any of this is fair?
    Yesterday was the day the consequences of the lockdown suddenly got very real for many. Firms have been closing and laying people off since the outset of the quarantine but this has mostly been happening out of the public eye. The mass closure of a number of iconic New Zealand ...
    PunditBy Liam Hehir
    5 days ago
  • Might a ‘Coasean’ social contract mitigate overall societal harm from COVID-19?
    Brian Williamson1, Prof Nick Wilson2 (1Economic consultant, UK; 2University of Otago Wellington) In this blog, we outline how a win-win social contract could be forged to address the major dimensions of response to the COVID-19 pandemic when using a mitigation strategy: the particular need to protect older people from high ...
    SciBlogsBy Public Health Expert
    5 days ago
  • Returning To “Normalcy”.
    Resuming Normal Service: The Republican Party's nominee for in 1920, Warren Harding, promised the American people: “not heroics, but healing; not nostrums, but normalcy; not revolution, but restoration”. If she wishes to remain our prime minister, then Jacinda Ardern will offer New Zealanders the same.HOW EDUCATED AMERICA snickered when the ...
    5 days ago
  • New Zealand’s Government Must Save New Zealand’s Media.
    No Free Society Without A Free And Functioning News Media: If we are to surrender our civil rights to the broader cause of defeating Covid-19, then foreign corporations must, likewise, surrender their right to inflict immense economic and cultural harm on New Zealanders simply because it improves their bottom line.I’M ...
    5 days ago
  • Corona fevers and the madness of models
    by Daphna Whitmore A third of the world is under lockdown and a clear assessment of this measure to curb the spread of COVID-19 is urgently needed.  With any high-stakes decisions it has to be asked what are we dealing with here? Are the measures warranted? Will they achieve their ...
    RedlineBy Daphna
    6 days ago
  • Lockdown day 8
    I haven’t done a huge amount in the last few days. I’m reading The Poppy War and I’ve sort of poked at a couple of games – I started SOMA but I’m a wimp and I quit while in the first room after the brain scan. I might try it ...
    The little pakehaBy chrismiller
    6 days ago
  • Backstage and Theatre
    The swan politicians may be gliding on the water, occasionally snapping at one another. Meanwhile, as the Covid19 crisis illustrates, the officials are desperately paddling below providing the real locomotion. One of the most fatuous recent grandstanding comments (of about a week ago), adding to the public’s anxieties, was ...
    PunditBy Brian Easton
    6 days ago
  • Legal Beagle: Waiver, the singular Crown and the conduct of Crown legal business
    Much has been written about the importance of discretion in an emergency situation, and the concerns raised by the potential for it to be exercised arbitrarily. Given the quality of the discussion, there seemed little point in adding to it at any length. In particular, I point to the evidence ...
    6 days ago
  • Highlights from Bauer Media’s science-related reporting
    Today has felt surreal. I was all set to touch base online with my science communication students when a colleague shared the news that Bauer Media would be shutting down its publications immediately. The first link I saw implied it was Woman’s Weekly affected, and even that shocked me. But ...
    SciBlogsBy Sarah-Jane O'Connor
    6 days ago
  • Outsiders.
    Bogeymen, Real And Imagined: Is the number of psychopathic and sociopathic individuals in any given society truly as vanishingly small as we like to tell ourselves? Isn’t it more likely that the mass-shooters and serial-killers filling the headlines represent only the tip of a much, much larger iceberg of frightfulness? ...
    6 days ago
  • We have a right to know the rules we are expected to obey
    Outgoing Police Commissioner Mike Bush appeared before the Epidemic Response Committee today, who asked him for the rules police are using to enforce the lockdown. He refused:Police Commissioner Mike Bush has admitted the advice given to Kiwis about what they're able to do during the lockdown hasn't been clear enough. ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    6 days ago
  • Life in Lock Down: Day 7 (sanitised version)
    For those folk who find my other Lock-Down Diary versions too “negative” or otherwise unpalatable… Here’s a photo of my cat, . . Better? Tomorrow’s Sanitised Version: a pretty flower. . . . =fs= ...
    Frankly SpeakingBy Frank Macskasy
    6 days ago
  • Life in Lock Down: Day 7
    . . April 1: Day seven of living in lock-down… This morning I had a brief chat with one of my neighbours, “D” (social distance between us, a good three or four metres). I learned he had resigned from his previous job and had been hired by another company – ...
    Frankly SpeakingBy Frank Macskasy
    6 days ago
  • RIP The Listener, New Zealand’s pioneering voice
    Funnily enough, my thought as I start this post is whether it will be well written enough. Or should that be well enough written? Because so much of what I know about good writing came from my two stints at The Listener, which this morning was shut down due to ...
    PunditBy Tim Watkin
    6 days ago
  • OK, Britney: stop sniping at National for doing its job
    With normal democratic procedures in abeyance, there were two ways to go. First, it was open for the government to dissolve itself and invite the National Party to join a ministry of national salvation. That would have lessened the democratic deficit of the times by having a team of rivals without ...
    PunditBy Liam Hehir
    6 days ago
  • Helpful tips for parents during lockdown
    Dr Kirsty Ross Children and young people can respond differently in times of distress. This also varies by age and developmental stage, with younger children having more magical and imaginative thinking, and older children having more awareness and knowledge of the issues our communities are facing (which brings up ...
    SciBlogsBy Guest Author
    6 days ago
  • Skeptical Science New Research for Week #13, 2020
    7 days ago
  • Hungary is now a dictatorship
    Hungary has been a virtual dictatorship for a decade now, as Prime Minister Viktor Orbán has gradually eroded its democracy. But now, its official, with the passage of an indefinite emergency law allowing rule by decree:Hungary’s parliament has passed a new set of coronavirus measures that includes jail terms for ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    7 days ago
  • A new Ministry of Works
    While the economy is on pause under lockdown, the government is beginning to plan how to cope with the post-lockdown, post-tourism, post-export education world we will eventually find ourselves in. They're planning a lot of infrastructure spending as economic stimulus, and have asked for proposals which can start the moment ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • Capture: Well spaced out
    It's my distraction,  setting up tiny scenes to photograph.  I've got stuck on the Babushka dolls for now.  Something about their bubble shape.  Something about their never changing, smiling features, suggesting persistent equanimity.  Can we get through everything that is being thrown at us and keep at least a tiny ...
    1 week ago
  • Life in Lock Down: Day 6
    . . March 31: Day six of living in lock-down… This time I managed to sleep a little longer and the alarm woke me at the pre-set time: 6.55am. Then remembered I was working a later shift and could’ve slept in. Oh well, there are things to do at home. ...
    Frankly SpeakingBy Frank Macskasy
    1 week ago
  • March ’20 – NZ blogs sitemeter ranking
    Image credit: Diamond Harbour School Blogs I notice a few regulars no longer allow public access to the site counters. This may happen accidentally when the blog format is altered. If your blog is unexpectedly missing or ...
    1 week ago
  • Hard News: Poll Pot and the partisans
    Yesterday's Horizon poll showing support for a "Yes" vote in this year's cannabis referendum sliding into the majority for the first time in a year looked like good news for reformers – and it probably is. But the result warrants some scrutiny.The poll is the fifth in a series commissioned ...
    1 week ago
  • Why those bubbles are so important
    For almost a week now, every one of us who isn’t an essential worker has been confined to their bubble. We are allowed to go shopping for groceries, to visit the doctor, and to get a bit of exercise if we stay local. The reason we are doing this is ...
    SciBlogsBy Siouxsie Wiles
    1 week ago
  • A Government System That Works
    The Covid-19 saga will no doubt produce many twists and turns for us before it is finally brought to an end. But one thing it has shown us – and what comfort it should bring us – is that our country’s government is in good hands. I am not thinking ...
    Bryan GouldBy Bryan Gould
    1 week ago
  • Smashing down the barriers: Where are we at with COVID vaccines?
    In the absence of a vaccine or a cure for a deadly disease, staying home in your bubble is what you do, the concept is not new.  To the best of my knowledge last time we did this in NZ was for polio, in the years before a vaccine came ...
    SciBlogsBy Helen Petousis Harris
    1 week ago
  • National Network on Cuba (USA): “Cuban medical solidarity is a pillar of its society and is founde...
    The following statement was released on March 28 by the National Network on Cuba, a coalition of 40 groups, based in the United States. In recent weeks, Cuba has deployed hundreds of medical providers to over a dozen countries in Europe, Asia, as well as to their neighbors in Latin ...
    RedlineBy Admin
    1 week ago
  • Alarming decrease in calves increases fears for endangered Hector’s dolphin
    This has been a terrible summer for Hector’s dolphins. The first indication was very low numbers of dolphin sightings during late spring and early summer. The Otago University Marine Mammal Research Team has carried out routine dolphin surveys at Banks Peninsula for more than 30 years. In all that time, ...
    SciBlogsBy Otago Marine Science
    1 week ago
  • Time for Grant Robertson to reveal package #2?
    On March 17, Finance Minister Grant Robertson was quick out of the blocks with an economic rescue package to help businesses through the inevitable recession resulting from the coronavirus pandemic. Robertson had pulled together a scheme in short order that so far seems to have saved many jobs. In his ...
    PunditBy Tim Watkin
    1 week ago
  • Saving lives
    The purpose of the lockdown is to save lives, by reducing the spread of covid-19. We won't know if its really working for another week, but given the devastation that will result if it doesn't - 14,000 dead is the optimistic scenario - its definitely worth trying. But pausing the ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • Life in Lock Down: Day 5
    . . March 30: Day five of living in lock-down… Woke up still in darkness. Alarm hadn’t gone off. Turn to radio clock; it’s a few minutes after 6am… I lie there in the dark, waiting to drift off to sleep… but it ain’t happening. Clock ticks over to 6.55 ...
    Frankly SpeakingBy Frank Macskasy
    1 week ago
  • Speaker: Les Gray: the man who told the truth
    The story of Les Gray, the public sector psychologist who told the truth about his use of cannabis and set off a storm, has a special place in the lore of cannabis reform in New Zealand.When Paul Shannon interviewed Gray for the 'Dope and Hope' issue of Planet magazine in ...
    1 week ago
  • Why now? Historical specificity and the perfect storm that has created trans identity politics
    by Phil Duncan For Marxists, a key concern about social trends is their context – not just their causes, but why they happen when they do.  Events and phenomena have causes, but they also are time or period-specific. While much of the left have capitulated recently to postmodernism, most notably ...
    RedlineBy Admin
    1 week ago
  • Time for a living wage for supermarket workers
    Since the lockdown began, we've all suddenly been reminded who the actually essential workers in our society are: not the people at the top who pay themselves the big bucks and rort the perks, but the people at the bottom they screw over and squeeze: cleaners, warehouse staff, truck drivers ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • Hard News: MUSIC: Lockdown Grooves
    Kia ora! As I've watched nearly all my remaining work vanish over the past couple of days, it has occured to me that one good way to keep me away from arguing with fools on Twitter all the time (in the knowledge that all we're really doing is processing our ...
    1 week ago
  • A place of greater safety?
    Aotearoa New Zealand has committed to trying to extirpate the virus that causes COVID-19 from its shores. To do that, as a society we’ve moved to “Level 4”. That means adapting to unprecedented restrictions on our personal freedoms, particularly to our rights to move freely and associate with friends and ...
    PunditBy Andrew Geddis
    1 week ago
  • The police and public trust
    When the Prime Minister declared a state of emergency last week, she handed the police powers to enforce it. And almost immediately, we started hearing about heavy-handed, arbitrary "enforcement" by police who (at best) cared more about order than law, or (more likely) had no idea what the rules were ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • Life in Lock Down: Day 4
    . . Lock Down: Day 4 – A photo essay with observations . March 29: Usual wake up routine as RNZ snaps on my radio-clock. Jim Mora’s voice slowly enters my conciousness; there’s talk of a second wave of covid19 taking hold in South Korea; the week in Parliament – ...
    Frankly SpeakingBy Frank Macskasy
    1 week ago
  • COVID-19 vs New Zealand
    Yesterday, New Zealand recorded its first Covid-19 related death on the West Coast. Unfortunately this is unlikely to be the only fatality, with the virus now being found in every region of the country.However despite the significant danger, people are still unfortunately breaching lockdown rules.There’s really only one main very ...
    1 week ago
  • 2020 SkS Weekly Climate Change & Global Warming Digest #13
    Story of the Week... Toon of the Week... Coming Soon on SkS... Climate Feedback Claim Review... SkS Week in Review... Poster of the Week... Story of the Week... ‘Misinformation kills’: The link between coronavirus conspiracies and climate denial   Grist / Rob Kim / Stringer / CSA Images  Scientific ...
    1 week ago

  • Covid19: Government moving quickly to roll out learning from home
    The Ministry of Education is working with partners to develop a package of options so that students can learn at home when Term 2 begins on 15 April, Education Minister Chris Hipkins said today. Supports are also being prepared for households with children under five, to help parents and whānau ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    19 mins ago
  • Making learning from home accessible to Māori learners and whānau
    Māori Television to begin educational te reo programmes Ki te Ao Mārama – a new online learning space Thousands of hard copy learning packs ready for distribution Helpdesk and advice service for kōhanga, kura and wharekura Television, the internet and hard copy learning packs are some of the ways whānau ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 hour ago
  • New Zealand to provide assistance to Vanuatu following Tropical Cyclone Harold
    Foreign Affairs Minister Winston Peters has announced an initial package of support to help the people and the Government of Vanuatu respond to the impact of Tropical Cyclone Harold. “Our Pacific neighbours have been hit by a Category 5 Cyclone at the same time as dealing with the economic impacts ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 hours ago
  • Planning for the future of tourism
    Tourism New Zealand to lead work reimagining the way tourism operates in post-COVID-19 world. Ministers to review International Visitor Conservation and Tourism Levy investment plan. The Government, industry and business are working together to develop a plan for how tourism will operate in a post-COVID-19 world, Tourism Minister Kelvin Davis ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 hours ago
  • NZ horticulture sector feeding Kiwis and the world during COVID-19
    More New Zealanders are taking up the chance to work in horticulture as the sector keeps New Zealanders fed and in jobs during the COVID-19 Alert Level 4 lockdown. “Our horticulture sector has long been one of New Zealand’s export star performers, contributing around $6 billion a year to our ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    10 hours ago
  • Work to repurpose PGF funds begins
    The Provincial Development Unit is working through applications and projects to see where Provincial Growth Fund money can be repurposed for initiatives deemed more critical to fighting the economic impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic, Regional Economic Development Minister Shane Jones says. “We need to be throwing everything we have at ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 day ago
  • A million workers supported by Govt wage subsidy
    The Government’s wage subsidy to protect jobs and keep workers and businesses connected during the lockdown has now supported over a million New Zealanders, with $6.6 billion already paid out. “We’re supporting businesses to pay wages, and stay connected with their workers so that we are all in a better ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 day ago
  • Government helps Pacific communities fight COVID
    The Government is stepping up efforts to help protect New Zealand’s Pacific communities in the fight against COVID-19. Cabinet has agreed that $17 million will be allocated to support a COVID-19 Pacific Response Package, which will: Support Pacific health and disability services facing increased demand; Ramp up public health messaging ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 day ago
  • Statement from the Prime Minister on Dr David Clark
    “Yesterday evening the Health Minister advised me of his trip to a beach during the lockdown and offered his resignation,” Jacinda Ardern said.  “Under normal conditions I would sack the Minister of Health. What he did was wrong, and there are no excuses.  “But right now, my priority is our ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 day ago
  • Statement from David Clark
    Last night as part of my preparation for the Epidemic Response Committee, I provided the Prime Minister with a complete picture of my activity outside my home during Alert Level 4.  That included the fact that on the first weekend of the Alert Level 4 lockdown I drove my family ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 day ago
  • COVID-19 mental health support begins
    A range of support is being rolled out across New Zealand to help people look after their mental health during COVID-19 Health Minister David Clark said this morning. “COVID-19 has brought a lot of uncertainty into our lives and many of us will be feeling some level of distress or ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 day ago
  • New Zealanders in Peru to be assisted by Government charter flight
    The New Zealand Government has made arrangements to charter a flight for New Zealanders stranded in Peru to depart the country, following agreement with the Chilean government to allow the necessary transit through Chile, Foreign Affairs Minister Winston Peters announced today. “Like many travellers around the world at the moment, ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • COVID-19 Hospital Preparation Well Advanced
    Hospital preparations for COVID-19 are well advanced says Health Minister David Clark. “Hospitals across New Zealand are repurposing buildings and training staff to get ready for COVID-19 patients. This gives me confidence that we are well prepared for any potential increase in COVID-19 patients needing hospital level care,” said David ...
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    5 days ago
  • Further measures to support businesses
    The Government will be introducing legislation to make changes to the Companies Act to help companies facing insolvency due to COVID-19 to remain viable and keep New Zealanders in jobs. The temporary changes include: Giving directors of companies facing significant liquidity problems because of COVID-19 a ‘safe harbour’ from insolvency ...
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    5 days ago
  • Govt’s COVID plan, economic strength recognised
    The Government’s plan to cushion the blow of COVID-19 by supporting incomes, jobs and businesses, and position the economy to recover has been backed by another international report. International credit rating agency Moody’s today reaffirmed its highest Aaa credit rating on New Zealand, saying the economy is expected to remain ...
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    5 days ago
  • Funding certainty for sports through COVID-19
    National sports organisations have been given certainty of funding to ensure they can remain viable through the COVID-19 pandemic, Sport and Recreation Minister Grant Robertson announced today. “The global spread of COVID-19 has had a significant impact on sport and recreation in New Zealand, including the cancellation or postponement of ...
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    5 days ago
  • Butchers now allowed to process pork
    Changes have been made to allow butchers to process pork, only for supply to supermarkets or other processors or retailers that are open, Agriculture Minister Damien O’Connor has announced. “We carefully weighed the risk of allowing butchers to open their shops for retail customers, but the risk of spreading COVID-19 ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • Essential workers leave scheme established
    Essential workers who take leave from work to comply with public health guidance are being supported with a leave scheme to ensure they will continue to receive income, say the Minister of Workplace Relations and Safety Iain Lees-Galloway and Minister for Social Development, Carmel Sepuloni. A number of essential businesses ...
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    6 days ago
  • Govt WhatsApp helps share COVID-19 information
    A Government WhatsApp channel has been launched to help make information more easily accessible and shareable in the fight against COVID-19. Govt.NZ, which is free to use on any mobile device, will carry information and news for the public, businesses, healthcare providers, not for profits and local government. It can ...
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    6 days ago
  • Managed departure plan for stranded foreign nationals enables safe, orderly exit
    The Government has announced a plan to enable the safe, orderly exit of tens of thousands of stranded foreign nationals from New Zealand during the current COVID-19 Alert Level 4 restrictions, Deputy Prime Minister and Foreign Minister Winston Peters has said. “When we moved into lockdown a week ago, the ...
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    6 days ago
  • Government delivers COVID-19 support to GPs and Pharmacies
    Health Minister Dr David Clark says the Government is delivering on its commitment to support general practice doctors and nurses, and pharmacies on the front-line of our fight against COVID-19. "For us to overcome COVID-19, we need community health services such as general practice and community pharmacy to step up ...
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    6 days ago
  • Susan Thomas the new Chief High Court Judge
    Justice Susan Thomas has been appointed Chief High Court Judge, Attorney-General David Parker announced today.  She replaces Justice Geoffrey Venning who has resigned from the position.   David Parker paid tribute to Justice Venning, who he said had stewarded the High Court very capably over the last five years.   “On behalf ...
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    6 days ago
  • Business Finance Guarantee – applications open
    Businesses can start applying to their banks for loans under the Business Finance Guarantee Scheme set up to support the New Zealand economy during the COVID-19 pandemic. “We’re moving quickly to protect New Zealand businesses, jobs and the economy during this unprecedented global economic shock,” Finance Minister Grant Robertson said. ...
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    7 days ago
  • Work starts on ways to fast-track consents to boost recovery from Covid-19 downturn
    Work is underway looking at measures to speed up consents for development and infrastructure projects during the recovery from COVID 19, to provide jobs and stimulate our economy.  Environment Minister David Parker said the COVID-19 pandemic is a serious global crisis that will have a wide ranging and lasting impact ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Advance payments to support contractors
    Advance payments will be made to transport construction industry contractors to retain the workforce and ensure it is ready to quickly gear up to build projects which will be vital to New Zealand’s COVID-19 economic recovery, Transport Minister Phil Twyford announced today. He said keeping the workforce required to build ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Government seeks infrastructure projects
    The Government has tasked a group of industry leaders to seek out infrastructure projects that are ready to start as soon as the construction industry returns to normal to reduce the economic impact of the COVID-19 pandemic, Economic Development Minister Phil Twyford and Infrastructure Minister Shane Jones say. The Infrastructure ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Health system scaled up to prepare for COVID-19
    Work to scale up the health system in preparation for COVID-19 was today outlined by Health Minister David Clark, as he reported back to the new Epidemic Response Committee. “We are well placed to contain the spread of COVID-19. We have taken early and decisive action at our borders, and ...
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    1 week ago
  • Essential media COVID-19 guidelines refined
    The Government is refining its COVID-19 essential business guidance to include the distribution of news publications for communities which are hard to reach. The Minister of Broadcasting, Communications and Digital Media, Kris Faafoi, said the move was in recognition of the importance for New Zealanders who might be harder to ...
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    1 week ago
  • Supermarkets able to open on Easter Sunday
    The Government is ensuring supermarkets can open on Easter Sunday so we can buy groceries, but stay closed on Good Friday allowing workers to take a break. This provides a balanced approach and ensures we avoid large queues that two days closure may cause. “Supermarkets will be able to open ...
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    1 week ago
  • New Zealand defence personnel conclude mission at Taji
    Following the successful conclusion of the Building Partner Capacity (BPC) mission at Taji, New Zealand defence personnel are returning to New Zealand from Iraq, in accordance with the Cabinet decision made in June 2019, Foreign Affairs Minister Winston Peters and Defence Minister Ron Mark announced today. “New Zealand is very ...
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    1 week ago
  • State of National Emergency extended
    The State of National Emergency to help stop the spread of COVID-19 has been extended for a further seven days, Minister of Civil Defence Peeni Henare said. The initial declaration on March 25 lasted seven days and can be extended as many times as necessary. “Since we went into isolation ...
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    1 week ago
  • Strong Govt books support ‘go hard, go early’ response
    New Zealand’s ability to go hard and go early in the fight against COVID-19 has been underpinned by strong Government finances and the growing economy heading into this global pandemic, Finance Minister Grant Robertson says. The Treasury today released the Crown financial statements for the eight months to the end ...
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    1 week ago
  • Christchurch Hospital Hagley ICU to open to support COVID-19 response
    Health Minister Dr David Clark says 36 new intensive care beds at Christchurch Hospital’s new Hagley building are being fast tracked so they are available for treatment of COVID-19 patients.   The Ministry of Health is working with contractor CPB and Canterbury DHB to enable access to the hospital’s ICU, ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Government supports Air NZ freight flights
    The Government has fast-tracked up to $1 million to help Air New Zealand move urgent freight to and from New Zealand, with the first flight to Shanghai leaving tonight, Transport Minister Phil Twyford announced today. Phil Twyford says it’s crucial that trade in vital goods such as medical supplies and ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Tariff concessions on COVID-19 related products
    New Zealand will temporarily remove tariffs on all medical and hygiene imports needed for the COVID-19 response. Trade and Export Growth Minister David Parker and Commerce and Consumer Affairs Minister Kris Faafoi said today that the New Zealand Customs Service will apply tariff concessions to all diagnostic reagents and testing ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 weeks ago
  • Clarification of modification to wage subsidy scheme
    Minister of Finance Grant Robertson has clarified that the changes to the wage subsidy scheme announced yesterday mean that employers should be passing on the full subsidy to workers, except in the case where the person’s normal income is less than the level of the subsidy. “We still want employers ...
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    2 weeks ago
  • Face masks flowing to DHBs
    Medical face masks from the national reserve supply are now being distributed to District Health Boards, while at the same time local production is being ramped up. Yesterday more than 640,000 masks were sent to DHBS – that is an immediate two week supply, with more to follow in coming ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 weeks ago
  • COVID-19: Further steps to protect New Zealanders’ jobs
    The Government has made modifications to the wage subsidy scheme to ensure people don’t lose their jobs during the national lockdown. These changes will soften the impact of COVID-19 on workers, families and businesses, and position them to exit the lockdown and look to recovery, Finance Minister Grant Robertson says. ...
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    2 weeks ago
  • Tax relief for Mycoplasma Bovis farmers
    Farmers whose herds were culled in response to the outbreak of Mycoplasma bovis will be able to minimise the tax treatment of their income in some circumstances. Revenue Minister Stuart Nash says Cabinet has agreed to change the law. It means farmers may be eligible to spread their income over ...
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    2 weeks ago
  • $27 million for NGOs and community groups to continue providing essential services
    A $27 million dollar package, effective immediately, is being provided to social sector services and community groups to ensure they can continue to provide essential support to communities as we stay at home as a nation to stop the spread of COVID-19, Minister for Social Development Carmel Sepuloni announced. “At ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 weeks ago