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Open mike 22/10/2019

Written By: - Date published: 7:00 am, October 22nd, 2019 - 38 comments
Categories: open mike - Tags:

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 …

38 comments on “Open mike 22/10/2019”

  1. Sanctuary 1

    Looking at the leaked documents regarding light rail in Auckland in today's online Stuff – https://www.stuff.co.nz/national/116758191/aucklands-light-rail-under-queen-st-and-over-mt-eden-the-super-funds-tunneling-or-flying-tram – it seems to me we now need to exercise some caution in how we react. 

    This is clearly a planned leak designed to a) make the project look flaky and b) do maximum political damage to the coalition government, and in my opinion it probably originates from someone on the board fired by Twyford. 

    It is clear the leaker is in lockstep with the National party, who have leapt on this to engage in their now usual culture war bashing of PT.

    Labour has been blindsided, for which they deserve be condemned for breathtaking political idiocy. They – especially Tyford, does he not employ poltical advisors? – should have seen this coming, especially given how much the minister has been at war with the National party toadies who he recently cleared out at the NZTA. The blame must fall squarely on Twyford, who has been exposed for a second time as a bungling incompetent both operationally and – arguably worse – for his political management of two key, flagship policies for Labour. The only solution now is for Jacinda to publicly fire Twyford, dismiss the SuperFund bid, and direct AT to get on with their project with an aim to get some sort of political win with spades in the ground before next years election. 

    One other thing is clear. Public transport has been elevated into a frontline culture war issue by National and it's ideological fanboys in the bureaucracy and online. Attack PT initiatives and you are attacking those smug environmentalists, urbanistas, immigrants, and hippies with their bikes and trains and their lectures about climate change. It is about rarking "everyday New Zealanders" in their dormitory suburbs who like their SUVs to hate their fellow country men and women for no other reason than a lust for power by an irresponsible and utterly unsuited for power Simon Bridges.

    Bridges went to Australia, saw how the Australian liberals used social media to spread hate and culture war to win and came back to NZ to clear out his team. He now has lots of money from China and 16 out of 20 staff doing social media and spinning bullsh*t, lies and division on issues like PT. 

    The left – and Labour, who seem to have carried into government the utter incompetence of political messaging they displayed in opposition – need to start taking bridges use of hate and lies via social media seriously and start discussing not what he is saying, but what he is doing and the implications of such irresponsibility.

    • Ad 1.1

       

      Bridges is now climbing in as you would expect.

      It's worth stepping back a bit and recognising that public transport in New Zealand is in the best place it's been in 60 years.

      NZTA is the right place for the blame at this point, and Sir Brian has fronted that yesterday.

      Further upstream the main issue is Treasury and DPMC for failing to intercept the NZInfra bid before it went direct to the Minister.

      Either way it's now a Cabinet decision early next year, which is as it should be for a deal this size. No one is covering themselves in glory, but Cabinet will unite on it.

      In Twyford's defence, he's the Minister who has sought the strongest reforms from the two most entrenched and hardest policy areas: transport and housing. The PM acknowledged as much in the reshuffle.

      Also, unless it really drags out, light rail is still going faster than the CRL decision.

      With about $60 billion of work currently sucking New Zealand human resources (eg CRLL), either proposal is going to need an awful lot of overseas help. A small delay is good for capacity reasons.

      No one other than the chattering class is bothered by the delay. PT users are fine with it, those affected by CRL and other city construction are fine with it, the construction industry is fine with it. Maybe the Greens are a bit, but they're more banking on their Carbon bill for any tangible result this term.

      All they have to do is sign before the 2020 election and it's underway.

      Odds for that are very good.

  2. Adrian Thornton 2

    So, Stuart Nash is making joining gangs unattractive, and on RNZ this morning he expressed the opinion that Gang members/Meth dealers of Wairoa should "get a job at the meat works, and make their kids proud of them".

    Like its 1975 again.

    Mr Nash appears to have a very selective memory, has he really forgoten the recent history of the Wairoa Meatworks?

    Three years on, will Wairoa AFFCO workers finally be paid?

    https://www.stuff.co.nz/business/farming/109167252/court-rules-locked-out-affco-workers-must-be-paid-lost-wages

    https://www.tvnz.co.nz/one-news/new-zealand/affco-talleys-backs-down-over-leave-ban-helen-kellys-funeral

    and now?

    Affco Talley are seeking approval to bring in migrant workers to its Wairoa and Rangiuru plants, but Cooke said: "It's absurd to try to import workers into a community where there are 600 job seekers — especially following past practices of Affco including lockouts of vulnerable workers, and the lack of any training programme to get new local workers employed.

    "Given the high level of under-employed or unemployed in the Wairoa district, and the limited ability of a small and relatively poor community like Wairoa to absorb and support new migrants we think Affco is taking the mickey."

    https://www.nzherald.co.nz/business/news/article.cfm?c_id=3&objectid=12267181

    Landlords in parts of Kaiti and Wairoa are reaping the highest returns in New Zealand as new data shows renters across Gisborne are paying $51 a week more than they were last year.

    Rental statistics from the Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment show mean rents in Gisborne are at record levels of $344 a week. That equates to an annual rental bill of $17,888 — $2652 more than renters paid last year.

    http://gisborneherald.co.nz/localnews/4036639-135/wairoa-and-kaiti-rental-returns-best

    As usual Labour has an amazing disconect…sure, make joining the gangs unatractive, though given the recent 30% rise in Hawkes Bay gang numbers thats a joke, BUT, more importantly…Why not make normal life, as a normal, functional member of society the attractive option?.

    My advice if you want to weaken the allure of gang life..Wages, job security, housing, community(night classes, Health services, education)..start there.

     

    • marty mars 2.1

      + 1 nice post mate

       

    • Rosemary McDonald 2.2

      Seriously excellent post AT…thanks for the history lesson.

      I laughed out loud when Nash described Wairoa a ' lovely city'. 

    • Siobhan 2.3

      ….nice piece Adrian. Very succinct, excellent spelling for a change. 10/10wink

      Note to self…remember to log out of Adrian's account before posting on TS at work.

       

      • veutoviper 2.3.1

        LOL.  Agree with your assessment of his  your piece.  As Rosemary McDonald said a seriously excellent post.  Enough so to actually prompt me to comment as I rarely bother commenting here these days. 

      • marty mars 2.3.2

        It did seem a bit too good to be true tbh and leopards and spots and all that – but nevertheless a good piece ta

      • OnceWasTim 2.3.3

        Well I seriously hope that most of the commenters here do their bit by boycotting Talleys products.

        "Every little bit helps" said the old lady as she spat into the ocean

        • Siobhan 2.3.3.1

          Indeed..that is very true, though avoiding Talleys products is easier said than done. And tbh the entire food industry from farm gate to plate is rife with exploitation. Hence the need for even more foreign workers. And the growth of gang culture and inequality and dangerous Drug use in 'thriving' horticultural areas like the Hawkes Bay.

          Maybe we should all take the time to contact places like RNZ when they uncritically allow Politicians to give their little speal without any context*..and directly confront politicians like Nash that they need to represent all levels of society*..not just the employers and industry…..

          Direct action is whats needed.

          * Adrian Thorntons approach. May he never change his spots.

          • OnceWasTim 2.3.3.1.1

            Have been doing those things for a few years.

            You might be interested in this little gem:

            https://www.stuff.co.nz/business/116767166/heinous-bottle-store-owner-fined-200000-for-exploiting-staff

            I am because the Labour Inspectorate spokesman seems to have suddenly had an epiphany.

            This is the man, whom shortly before the election, assured us on RNZ that there were a sufficient number of inspectors.

            This is the man, who given his senior position, should have been aware of the culture surrounding some of his colleagues – one of whom openly referred to some immigrants as "scum"

            This is also the man, who given his senior position, WAS aware of the degree of migrant exploitation, but, along with colleagues saw it as all a bit too hard to do anything about. 

            And then this is the man who sat back and wondered why there was a reluctance to report exploitation, because when they did – they were fobbed off, and in some cases, ushered out of the country before you could say "boo".

            Instead of assuring us (his employer) that there were enough inspectors, and that we shouldn't worry our pretty little heads because 'thems know better', he should have been screaming blue murder, AND if necessary, blowing a very loud whistle. He actually did SFA. Maybe he had a big mortgage – who knows….

            Kudos to an underling worker-bee Labour Inspector Ya Rachael Tsui who probably should be running the place.

            While the Minister might have "complete faith in his officials", sure as shit I, and quite a few others can't – even if he comes across as a 'nice enough bloke' (going forward, in the ecosystem of immigrant-labour relations).

            In many ways, it epitomises all that's gone wrong in the public service.

      • lprent 2.3.4

        🙂

        I should have another look at that. But it is damn hard to prevent cookie caching. 

        Ask any parent…

    • The Chairman 2.4

      My advice if you want to weaken the allure of gang life..Wages, job security, housing, community(night classes, Health services, education)..start there.

      Indeed, Adrian.

       

    • Tiger Mountain 2.5

      Well put Adrian Thornton. Talleys’ appalling record on safety particularly, and employment rights, and union busting, should see them slapped with all sorts of actions and restraints of trade. But they are experts at developing “company town” thinking, and sycophantic local and Parliamentary politicians.
       

      Talleys spend a lot on the regular cases taken against them by workers and Unions. They overwhelmingly lose, as TRP has outlined here previously, but they don’t care so deep are their pockets and anti Union attitude. 

    • The Chairman 2.6

      Adrian, your advice largely taps into what's been suggested in the link I posted (below) re suicide at comment 6.

  3. joe90 3

    Postol tried to get his conspiracy theory published. Thanks, but no thanks.

     

    Gregory Koblentz, a biological and chemical weapons expert at George Mason University in Fairfax, Virginia, says the paper’s aim was clear: “While on its surface, Postol’s article appeared to revolve around a narrow technical question about whether a rocket or a bomb created the crater in Khan Sheikhoun, the purpose of the article was in fact to challenge the impartiality and competence of the OPCW and JIM,” he says.

    https://www.sciencemag.org/news/2019/10/prestigious-journal-pulls-paper-about-chemical-attack-syria-after-backlash

    https://www.sciencemag.org/news/2019/09/scientists-clash-over-paper-questions-syrian-government-s-role-sarin-attack

    • francesca 3.1

      Hmmm 

      That reasoning is reminiscent of John Key's assertion that Mike Joy's findings were primarily anti dairying, thus dismissing the science.

      • Ngungukai 3.1.1

        Key unfortunately does not know much about History or Science ?

        He is a Financial Wizard.

      • francesca 3.1.2

        Carrying on from your quoted link Joe

         

        "In emails last month, Koblentz urged SGS not to publish the manuscript, saying it would be “misused to cover up the [Assad] regime’s crimes” and “permanently stain the reputation of your journal.” Initially, the journal’s three editors said they planned to go ahead with publication. Later, they decided to hold off, writing that they had identified a “number of issues with the peer-review and revision process” and would “examine whether the editors can rectify the problems that we identified.”

        The Editors have decided to return this manuscript to the authors without prejudice and not proceed further with considering it for publication.

        Science & Global Security

        The newly posted update makes clear that the decision not to publish the paper is final but does little to explain it. “The Editors have determined they cannot now rectify the problems that were identified, while others are outside of our control—including the manuscript, some comments from reviewers, and the authors’ responses now being in the public domain,” the statement says. “As a result, the Editors do not see a viable path to providing an independent, fair, effective, and conclusive blind peer review of this article by this journal.”

        very convenient

        So not so much the science I suspect , more the politics.

        Unless you are going to refer to the open source findings of  that well known, rigorous science journal Bellingcat

        hah!

  4. joe90 4

    Brain spurs.

    President Donald Trump on Monday claimed he's receiving unfair scrutiny because of the "phony emoluments clause," as he defended his prior decision to host next year's G-7 summit at his Doral resort in Miami.

    […]

    “You people with this phony emoluments clause,” Trump said as he took questions from reporters during a Cabinet meeting.

    https://www.politico.com/news/2019/10/21/trump-emoluments-clause-053289

  5. Richardson not happy about comments made about him by Winston Peters ?

    Both him and Garner are RWNJ's ?

    Richardson needs to have a Cup of Concrete and Harden Up ?

  6. The Chairman 6

    The link below is a very insightful read re New Zealand's suicide problem and how to help address it.

    https://www.newshub.co.nz/home/new-zealand/2019/10/opinion-a-view-from-the-sharp-end-of-new-zealand-s-suicide-problem.html

  7. marty mars 7

    the tepid turd turnip – no need to pretend anymore

    Donald Trump made clear on Monday that those US forces remaining in eastern Syria would be there to protect the oil rather than the people.

    “So we have a small group there, and we secured the oil. Other than that, there’s no reason for it, in our opinion,” the president told reporters. “Where’s the agreement that said we have to say in the Middle East for the rest of humanity, for the rest of civilization to protect the Kurds? We never said that.”

    …The US defence secretary, Mark Esper, confirmed that the US was keeping troops “in north-east Syria that are located next to the oil fields”.

    “The troops in those towns are not in the present phase of withdrawal,” Esper told journalists during a visit to Saudi Arabia. “A purpose of those forces, working with the SDF [Kurd-led Syrian Democratic Forces] is to deny access to those oilfields by Isis and others who may benefit.”

    The admission that the troops the US was leaving behind would be there exclusively to guard the oil, rather than the Kurds and the several other minorities in the area, seemed likely to further inflame already widespread feelings of betrayal.

    https://www.theguardian.com/world/2019/oct/21/residents-of-syrian-city-pelt-retreating-us-troops-with-potatoes

    • Sabine 7.1

      he never did pretend – it is just that some where really taken by that economic anxiety of the white working class man – that of course out weighted the economic anxiety of all other working class people, and thus people did no see nor hear the shit he said I mean really calling all Mexicans rapists and murderers is not racist, its humor really he was just doing a funny, and grabbing women by their pussy without consent is also not sexist and predatory, and of course he will just keep the oil, use the soldiers of shitfacelandia to guard 'his' oil – they knew what they were signing up to, and if Turkey does not pay up Turkey is gonna get attacked by the US, all this is  just the shitface doing a funny, did you not know? 

      He Did Never Pretend. 



      • marty mars 7.1.1

        thanks for stating the obvious

        many times the pretense is that the oil is not the issue – the oil is the issue as WE ALL KNOW and now they just say it instead of saying other things like protecting the people or other lies

  8. Brexit –

    The DUP has threatened to unite with Labour to back a customs union this week as it warned it will unleash “guerilla warfare” to bring down Boris Johnson’s Brexit deal.

    In a move that could torpedo the Prime Minister’s strategy for delivering Brexit by Oct 31, senior DUP figures have threatened to back proposals which could prevent the UK from pursuing its own trade policy. 

    Should MPs back an amendment for customs union this week, Mr Johnson could be forced to pull the legislation required to ensure the UK leaves the European Union on time. 
    from Henry Yorke of the Telegraph

    Also on The Telegraph
    https://www.telegraph.co.uk/brexit/

    https://www.bbc.com/news/uk-politics-50132790
    PM aims to push Brexit bill through in three days

    The Guardian's seemingly thorough summary.
    https://www.theguardian.com/politics/live/2019/oct/21/brexit-johnson-to-push-for-deal-as-labour-woos-rebel-tories-eu-extension-live-news

  9. Three x3 Mongol Gang cars were torched Sunday night in the Tauranga//Mt Maunganui Area in the Bay of Plenty.

    None of these cars had number plates on them ?

    What's going on here ?

    Evidently they are a ruthless American Gang who have set up branches here in NZ, no doubt to facilitate the drug trade from Central & South America ?

    https://www.nzherald.co.nz/nz/news/article.cfm?c_id=1&objectid=12278400

    • David Mac 9.1

      Yep, Est. USA 1969. Well established chapter in Oz, deportee is establishing a chapter in NZ. 

      It would be good to see some initiatives to assist these deportees become assets to NZ rather than press on with the social and financial expense they're currently totting up. A solid straight path must be the best way to get back across the Tasman.

      What's a man covered in tattoos, that hasn't had a proper job in 10 years and accustomed to living on $200k pa income to do? Lining up some basic probationary requirements but essentially ignoring the situation is the very worst solution of all.

      https://www.nzherald.co.nz/nz/news/article.cfm?c_id=1&objectid=12275576

  10. Poission 10

    Here is the news redacted.

    • OnceWasTim 12.1

      Indeed. And as long as they are: Oh Dear! HOW VERY SAD!.

      I guess on the upside, laundry operations will have to be shifted to Christchurch or outsourced to the TAB. There'll be a few bottlenecks of course with one less high roller operation available

    • Ad 12.2

      Because the Sky City Convention Centre is the most critical piece of infrastructure to New Zealand being able to host APEC in 2021, we are likely to see a Cabinet response to this event.

      SKy City Convention Centre is uniquely designed for the degree of security that APEC will require, separating for example Putin from Xi from Trump and all their entourages.

      The fire will knock out their already much-delayed completion timetable to this APEC-critical infrastructure.

      Some unique art and installation items will have been irrevocably damaged.

      Until literally the smoke clears we will not be able to gauge how the APEC timetable milestones are affected.

      But it will have Prime Minister Ardern's full attention from a national preparedness perspective.

       

      • greywarshark 12.2.1

        Talk of a torch being left to start a fire as a possibility.    I wonder whether the work force is a trained one, whether it is a trained one from NZ, trained in what is needed for this type of building work, or is a sketchily trained workforce from outside NZ?

        You get to reap what you sow.

        • Exkiwiforces 12.2.1.1

          At least I'm not the only thinking along those lines, who the bloody hell uses a  blow torch on combustibles such plastics, rubber etc? Haven't they heard of a heat gun etc for plastic welding.

          It all sounds very dodgy to me either AUS/NZ Standards or NZTA Standards all whatever they are called these days are shit house or a ill trained worker not trained to AUS/NZ Standards from Overseas.  

  11. joe90 13

    Projected Liberal minority government.


    https://newsinteractives.cbc.ca/elections/federal/2019/results/

  12. ScottGN 14

    CBC is predicting a return to office for Liberal Party in Canada. Polls are still open in BC but Trudeau appears to have done enough in Atlantic Canada, Quebec and Ontario, particularly the 905 around Toronto where there are loads of seats. 
    interestingly the Libs and the Tories are pretty even with about 37/38% of the vote each. FPTP however is delivering tight seats to the Liberals. Maybe the Tories should take up the cause of proportional representation in Canada?

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  • 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
    4 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 ...
    4 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 ...
    4 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
    4 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
    4 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
    4 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 ...
    4 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
    4 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? ...
    5 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
    5 days ago
  • Life in Lock Down: Day 7 (sanitised version)
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    Frankly SpeakingBy Frank Macskasy
    5 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
    5 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
    5 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
    5 days ago
  • Helpful tips for parents during lockdown
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    SciBlogsBy Guest Author
    5 days ago
  • Skeptical Science New Research for Week #13, 2020
    5 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
    5 days ago
  • A new Ministry of Works
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    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    6 days 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 ...
    6 days 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
    6 days 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 ...
    6 days 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 ...
    6 days 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
    6 days 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
    6 days 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
    6 days 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
    6 days 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
    6 days 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
    6 days 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
    7 days 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
    7 days 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 ...
    7 days 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
  • Rāhui day 4
    The kids did surprisingly well today – meltdown count was about 3, and mostly fairly short ones. (And a fourth while I was writing.) Game-wise I had a go at Fell Seal: Arbiter’s Mark. It’s a fairly standard RPG with turn-based combat and what they call a “mature storyline” (it ...
    The little pakehaBy chrismiller
    1 week ago
  • Letter to a friend
    by Don Franks Hi David, Nice hearing from you, I’m glad to hear you’re getting by okay in these grim times. You asked how’s it going for us back here in New Zealand. You would have heard that the whole country is locked down and with breaks for exercise and ...
    RedlineBy Daphna
    1 week ago
  • Life in Lock Down: Day 3
    . . Lock Down: Day 3 – A photo essay with observations . March 28: First day of the first weekend in Lock Down. It feels like it’s been weeks since only Level 3 was declared last Tuesday, only four days ago. Woke up this morning to RNZ; coffee; toast, ...
    Frankly SpeakingBy Frank Macskasy
    1 week ago
  • 2020 SkS Weekly Climate Change & Global Warming News Roundup #13
    A chronological listing of news articles linked to on the Skeptical Science Facebook Page during the past week, i.e., Sun, Mar 22, 2020 through Sat, Mar 28, 2020 Articles Linked to on Facebook Sun, Mar 22, 2020 In Just 10 Years, Warming Has Increased the Odds of Disasters by Chelsea Harvey, ...
    1 week ago
  • Rāhui day 3
    I’m here in lockdown with my flatmate and her two girls (6 and 2) and it. is. a time. They’re usually really active so to start with the only boardgame in the house is the copy of Guess Who that the 6 year old got for her birthday. Flatmate commented ...
    The little pakehaBy chrismiller
    1 week ago
  • A test of civil society.
    The CV-19 (COVID) pandemic has seen the imposition of a government ordered national quarantine and the promulgation of a series of measures designed to spread the burden of pain and soften the economic blow on the most strategically important and most vulnerable sectors of society. The national narrative is framed ...
    KiwipoliticoBy Pablo
    1 week ago
  • Life in Lock Down: Day 2
    . . Lock Down: Day 2 – A photo essay with observations . March 27 – Day 2 of our Strange New World. The Park and Ride near my suburb, usually filled with hundreds of vehicles, had just… four; . . Another drive into Wellington City on a highway nearly ...
    Frankly SpeakingBy Frank Macskasy
    1 week ago
  • How Do You Feel? What Do You Think?
    Fortune's Children: Under extraordinary pressure, the leader of the Government and the leader of the Opposition will each show us what they are made of. Have they been blessed with intelligence, grace, wit, poise, toughness, empathy and humour – and in what measure? More importantly, to what extent have they ...
    1 week ago
  • Landlords are NOT an essential service
    If you’ve ever had the misfortune of having to rent a property on the open market in New Zealand, which is one of the most expensive in the entire world, you’ll likely be keenly aware of just how arrogant and entitled landlords and their real estate agents can be.Unfortunately for ...
    1 week 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
    11 hours ago
  • COVID-19 Hospital Preparation Well Advanced
    Hospital preparations for COVID-19 are well advanced says Health Minister David Clark. “Hospitals across New Zealand are repurposing buildings and training staff to get ready for COVID-19 patients. This gives me confidence that we are well prepared for any potential increase in COVID-19 patients needing hospital level care,” said David ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • Further measures to support businesses
    The Government will be introducing legislation to make changes to the Companies Act to help companies facing insolvency due to COVID-19 to remain viable and keep New Zealanders in jobs. The temporary changes include: Giving directors of companies facing significant liquidity problems because of COVID-19 a ‘safe harbour’ from insolvency ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • Govt’s COVID plan, economic strength recognised
    The Government’s plan to cushion the blow of COVID-19 by supporting incomes, jobs and businesses, and position the economy to recover has been backed by another international report. International credit rating agency Moody’s today reaffirmed its highest Aaa credit rating on New Zealand, saying the economy is expected to remain ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • Funding certainty for sports through COVID-19
    National sports organisations have been given certainty of funding to ensure they can remain viable through the COVID-19 pandemic, Sport and Recreation Minister Grant Robertson announced today. “The global spread of COVID-19 has had a significant impact on sport and recreation in New Zealand, including the cancellation or postponement of ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 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
    4 days ago
  • Essential workers leave scheme established
    Essential workers who take leave from work to comply with public health guidance are being supported with a leave scheme to ensure they will continue to receive income, say the Minister of Workplace Relations and Safety Iain Lees-Galloway and Minister for Social Development, Carmel Sepuloni. A number of essential businesses ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • Govt WhatsApp helps share COVID-19 information
    A Government WhatsApp channel has been launched to help make information more easily accessible and shareable in the fight against COVID-19. Govt.NZ, which is free to use on any mobile device, will carry information and news for the public, businesses, healthcare providers, not for profits and local government. It can ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • Managed departure plan for stranded foreign nationals enables safe, orderly exit
    The Government has announced a plan to enable the safe, orderly exit of tens of thousands of stranded foreign nationals from New Zealand during the current COVID-19 Alert Level 4 restrictions, Deputy Prime Minister and Foreign Minister Winston Peters has said. “When we moved into lockdown a week ago, the ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • Government delivers COVID-19 support to GPs and Pharmacies
    Health Minister Dr David Clark says the Government is delivering on its commitment to support general practice doctors and nurses, and pharmacies on the front-line of our fight against COVID-19. "For us to overcome COVID-19, we need community health services such as general practice and community pharmacy to step up ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • Susan Thomas the new Chief High Court Judge
    Justice Susan Thomas has been appointed Chief High Court Judge, Attorney-General David Parker announced today.  She replaces Justice Geoffrey Venning who has resigned from the position.   David Parker paid tribute to Justice Venning, who he said had stewarded the High Court very capably over the last five years.   “On behalf ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • Business Finance Guarantee – applications open
    Businesses can start applying to their banks for loans under the Business Finance Guarantee Scheme set up to support the New Zealand economy during the COVID-19 pandemic. “We’re moving quickly to protect New Zealand businesses, jobs and the economy during this unprecedented global economic shock,” Finance Minister Grant Robertson said. ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 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
    6 days 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
    6 days 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
    6 days ago
  • Health system scaled up to prepare for COVID-19
    Work to scale up the health system in preparation for COVID-19 was today outlined by Health Minister David Clark, as he reported back to the new Epidemic Response Committee. “We are well placed to contain the spread of COVID-19. We have taken early and decisive action at our borders, and ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • Essential media COVID-19 guidelines refined
    The Government is refining its COVID-19 essential business guidance to include the distribution of news publications for communities which are hard to reach. The Minister of Broadcasting, Communications and Digital Media, Kris Faafoi, said the move was in recognition of the importance for New Zealanders who might be harder to ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • Supermarkets able to open on Easter Sunday
    The Government is ensuring supermarkets can open on Easter Sunday so we can buy groceries, but stay closed on Good Friday allowing workers to take a break. This provides a balanced approach and ensures we avoid large queues that two days closure may cause. “Supermarkets will be able to open ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    7 days ago
  • New Zealand defence personnel conclude mission at Taji
    Following the successful conclusion of the Building Partner Capacity (BPC) mission at Taji, New Zealand defence personnel are returning to New Zealand from Iraq, in accordance with the Cabinet decision made in June 2019, Foreign Affairs Minister Winston Peters and Defence Minister Ron Mark announced today. “New Zealand is very ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    7 days ago
  • State of National Emergency extended
    The State of National Emergency to help stop the spread of COVID-19 has been extended for a further seven days, Minister of Civil Defence Peeni Henare said. The initial declaration on March 25 lasted seven days and can be extended as many times as necessary. “Since we went into isolation ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    7 days ago
  • Strong Govt books support ‘go hard, go early’ response
    New Zealand’s ability to go hard and go early in the fight against COVID-19 has been underpinned by strong Government finances and the growing economy heading into this global pandemic, Finance Minister Grant Robertson says. The Treasury today released the Crown financial statements for the eight months to the end ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    7 days 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
    1 week ago
  • Clarification of modification to wage subsidy scheme
    Minister of Finance Grant Robertson has clarified that the changes to the wage subsidy scheme announced yesterday mean that employers should be passing on the full subsidy to workers, except in the case where the person’s normal income is less than the level of the subsidy. “We still want employers ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week 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
    1 week ago
  • COVID-19: Further steps to protect New Zealanders’ jobs
    The Government has made modifications to the wage subsidy scheme to ensure people don’t lose their jobs during the national lockdown. These changes will soften the impact of COVID-19 on workers, families and businesses, and position them to exit the lockdown and look to recovery, Finance Minister Grant Robertson says. ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    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 ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    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
  • Statement on guilty plea of March 15 terrorist
    “The guilty plea today will provide some relief to the many people whose lives were shattered by what happened on March 15,” Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern said. “These guilty pleas and conviction bring accountability for what happened and also save the families who lost loved ones, those who were injured, ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 weeks ago
  • COVID-19 updates
    The Prime Minister is holding daily press conferences to update New Zealanders on the Government's response to COVID-19. Links to videos and transcripts of these updates below. These transcripts also include All of Government press conferences led by Director Ministry of Health's Director-General of Health Dr Ashley Bloomfield. 25 March: Live update from the Prime ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 weeks ago
  • Police numbers break through 10,000 mark
    Frontline Police numbers have broken through the 10,000 mark for the first time in history as officers step forward to keep the community safe during the COVID19 lockdown. “Two Police graduations in Auckland and Wellington in the past week have been conducted in unprecedented circumstances,” Police Minister Stuart Nash said. ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 weeks ago
  • Urgent tax measures for economic recovery
    Urgent legislation has been passed to support the package of economic and social measures needed to recover from the impact of the coronavirus outbreak. “The COVID-19 Response (Taxation and Social Assistance Urgent Measures) Bill will cushion New Zealanders from the worst economic impacts of the COVID-19 outbreak,” said Revenue Minister ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 weeks ago
  • Further support for farmers and growers as drought persists
    From tomorrow, Government support for farmers and growers affected by drought will be expanded and extended across the country, with access to Rural Assistance Payments (RAPS) available throughout the North Island, parts of the South Island and the Chatham Islands, Social Development Minister Carmel Sepuloni announced. “These challenging conditions have ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 weeks ago
  • COVID-19: Temporary changes to Education Act
    Parliament has passed amendments to legislation that give the Secretary of Education stronger powers to act in the fight to limit the spread of COVID-19, Education Minister Chris Hipkins said today. “They are part of a suite of changes passed under the COVID-19 Response (Urgent Management Measures) Legislation Bill,” Chris ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 weeks ago
  • Canada, Australia, Chile, Brunei and Myanmar join NZ and Singapore in committing to keeping supply a...
    Canada, Australia, Chile, Brunei and Myanmar have joined forces with New Zealand and Singapore by committing to keep supply chains open and remove any existing trade restrictive measures on essential goods, especially medical supplies, in the face of the Covid-19 crisis.  Trade and Export Growth Minister David Parker today welcomed ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 weeks ago
  • COVID-19: Rent increase freeze and more protection for tenants
    Immediate freeze on rent increases Tenancies will not be terminated during the lock-down period, unless the parties agree, or in limited circumstances Tenants who had previously given notice can stay in their if they need to stay in the tenancy during the lock-down period Tenants will still be able to ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
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  • Working together to protect businesses and workers
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