Open mike 23/01/2023

Written By: - Date published: 6:00 am, January 23rd, 2023 - 74 comments
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Open mike is your post.

For announcements, general discussion, whatever you choose.

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

Step up to the mike …

74 comments on “Open mike 23/01/2023 ”

  1. tsmithfield 1

    I like the look of the new Labour leadership team. I don't think it will do them any harm. Whether it will win the election for them is another matter. I think the biggest problem is that it looks like we are heading into tough economic times which is not good for any incumbent government.

    It looks like Hipkins is intending to move back to the centre, and appears to be dropping some of the woke stuff, which is probably a good strategy to win back some of the centre vote. This is probably good for the Greens as well because Labour voters unhappy with that shift will likely move further left to the Greens.

    It looks like some of the contentious stuff will be dropped prior to the election. The strategy of dropping unpopular, contentious policy prior to the election is probably necessary. However, the problem is that National will probably argue that the unpopular stuff has just been postponed, not dropped. And the best way to stop the unpopular stuff rearing its ugly head again will be to vote National in.

    Interesting times. As I said, I think the change is net positive for Labour. Whether it will be enough to win is another matter.

    • PsyclingLeft.Always 1.1

      some of the woke stuff

      Care to elaborate ?

      • tsmithfield 1.1.1

        I saw it commented on the news that he used the word "New Zealand" exclusively in his interview rather than "Aotearoa" for what it is worth. I think the thought was it indicated he was going to step away from some of the co-governance stuff that has been a bone of contention for many for instance.

        • weka

          maybe it was the real politik of not wanting the start of his leadership to be swamped on SM by racists going on about Aotearoa.

          • Nic the NZer

            Shhh, tsmithfield is about to tell us what words need to come out of Chris Hipkins mouth to capture his vote.

        • Shanreagh

          That is a weak point about Aotearoa New Zealand.

          Some people use it, some don't and hopefully we are not getting into entrail divining mode.

          Why anyone would think this means anything about co governance is beyond me.

    • Jimmy 1.2

      I actually heard our prime minister on Newstalk ZB this morning on the Mike Hosking show (although Hosking is still away). Now that hasn't happened for a while.

      He communicates and comes across well, and can answer the questions.

      Perhaps if he decides to can the TVNZ / RNZ merger, and stops 3/5 waters there is a very real chance of a Labour led government after October 2023.

      • Tiger Mountain 1.2.1

        Rest assured, on behalf of his masters Mi Cockskin will be gunning for PM Hipkins!

        More centrism from Labour is the last thing the working class of this country need, but the argument about winning back certain voters is clear enough. Plus it will give Greens and Te Pāti Māori some good negotiating strength if there is an opportunity for a Labour led Govt.

    • Ad 1.3

      So many things predispose me not to like Chris Hipkins, but he and Ardern have formed the ski jump right over the top of National's weekend, so good start.

      Looking forward to the Cabinet reshuffle and work programme reprioritisation.

      I want to see the new Prime Minister put a lot more pressure on Robertson to show he really is part of the election win plan through Budget, not just Budget Business As Usual.

    • Shanreagh 1.4

      Yes I'd like your definition of woke. It is used and abused so much that plain speaking and less jargon would be useful.

      Actually my preference would be that you don't use the word 'woke'.

      I am finding it has more and more of a 'rightie' flavour and people are using it as a cipher so they don't have to admit to sexist, anti democratic or racist views

      • Corey Humm 1.4.1

        I believe "woke" or "identity politics" is the idea perpetuated by upper middle class to rich liberals that gender, sexuality, race is more important than class and poverty.

        Woke politics in my experience is corporate friendly activism that places the individual above the community. My gender, my sexuality, my identity. Me me me.

        Woke activists care less about policies and more about "representation" and "diversity" of the people saying the policies.

        Woke activists often reject the idea of class and often truly believe a millionaire of colour lives a less privileged life than a white person on dole.

        When confronted by the fact that there are more poor white people in NZ than poor people of colour and that we should create universal programs to lift everyone out of poverty woke activists resort to name calling, denialism, what aboutisms and suggest "targeted programs".

        Woke in my honest opinion is neo-neoliberalism, sounds nice but ultimately it's corporate friendly, individualism using left wing talking points to alienate groups from uniting based on class and shared circumstances and fighting amongst each other based off race, gender and sexuality.

        There are elements of it that are surely noble, but there are elements of it such as putting people in boxes and ignoring class issues that as a gay mixed race person who grew up poor I find disgraceful.

        The left wants everyone to have a great life and succeed regardless of what ethnicity, gender or sexuality you are where as the woke want you to succeed because of your race gender or sexuality.

        When you're focusing on you and your identity and how different you are every day you're not focusing on other people.

        Class is and still is the best unifying factor the left has going for it. The 90% vs the 1% and it's 9% enablers.

        • Shanreagh

          Corey, I totally agree with what you have written.

          I have long been of the view that 'woke' is a rightist construct just as 'PC' was a rightist/male construct.

          I will have a deeper & slower read and may comment further though most times with your posts my conclusion is 'I wish I could have written something just as good.'

          The left wants everyone to have a great life and succeed regardless of what ethnicity, gender or sexuality you are where as the woke want you to succeed because of your race gender or sexuality.

          This is powerful and lines up with the link that MB had about leftists being more empathetic


          20 January 2023 at 10:28 am

        • Binders full of Women

          Well said, so basically as Bryce Edwards has said "Less Grey Lynn- more Kelston". That, and pleeeease stop burning the DoC huts. Just last week a woman with a badly injured leg was found by rescuers.. sheltering in a DoC Urewera hut.

        • Nomi

          Bravo! That is the best explanation of wokeness I have ever read in my life. Thank you, I'm going to copy and paste for future reference.

  2. tsmithfield 2

    I think a problem for Labour is that they could lose some of the idiot vote, judging by the stupid woman I saw making a comment on the news last night.

    She said that she was probably going to go back to voting National now Jacinda was gone. So, the whole reason for her voting decision appeared to be a personality she liked regardless of the policy mix of the party she was voting for.

    • PsyclingLeft.Always 2.1

      I think a problem for Labour is that they could lose some of the idiot vote, judging by the stupid woman I saw making a comment on the news last night.

      What a mixed comment. Does passive aggressive cover it ? Im really wondering how to respond : (

      Do you feel… she was maybe woke?

      • tsmithfield 2.1.1

        LOL. Nah, just stupid.

        I really have little time for people whose sole decision is voting is on the basis of one person they like, regardless of what the policies of that party are. The reason I see them as stupid is because they appear to be led totally by their feels rather than their brain.

        • Stuart Munro

          You know they say that character is destiny.

          If you heard Key talk about housing before he became PM, you could be forgiven for thinking his policy was going to make things better.

          Personality is not an unreasonable way to judge political aspirants – it was not policy as such that made Dr Sharma undesirable, for instance.

          • Belladonna

            Hmm. Sharma was elected in 2020 – entirely on Ardern's popularity (approx 6K+ additional votes from his previous result).

            How did that work out for Labour? Or for the electorate of Hamilton West, for that matter?

            Paying attention to the actual candidate, rather than the leader, is probably a fairly intelligent thing to do.

            • Stuart Munro

              entirely on Ardern's popularity

              I'd say it was more that he coat-tailed on the Covid response. It was not some irrational 'love Jacinda' thing.

              Labour has, sadly, a number of others that came in in similar fashion, who may not have proven their value to the public at large.

              Some of the more divisive policies fall somewhat short of either a respectable level of public support, or a clear overriding public interest justification. These should have been identified in the drafting stage, not as they come into force.

            • lprent

              Personally I always vote for the party and the electorate candidate separately. The party vote is what gives you the government. The electorate vote just gives you an MP. Nice when you have a electorate MP that is worth voting for.

              But when the local candidate doesn't fit, then I vote for someone else. When it was FPP, I'd hold my nose. But MMP means that I have a choice.

              David Shearer for instance. I voted for someone else during the candidate selection as a Mt Albert member mostly because his views felt like they were from a by-gone era. Liked him as a person. He felt like he would have worked better as a politician in the 1990s.

              The by-election was interesting. I wasn’t able to vote because Newton was in Auckland Central. But the campaign…. That was like going back a decade in the techniques being used. That was understandable for a by-election. But the 2011 election was the same, less of a MMP campaign in the electorate and more of a FPP campaign to get out the the party faithful. A local MMP election needs to target swing voters and concentrates on party vote.

              Some time in 2012, I'd come to the conclusion that I wasn't happy with hims ideas. They'd represent some conservative like Josie Pagani far more than me or the people of Mt Albert. It was also why I didn't vote for Richard Prebble when he was still with Labour and I was voting in Auckland Central. That was when I started working across the border in Mt Albert.

              I pretty well dropped out of the Mt Albert LEC in 2012. A vote by walking. It wasn't the sole reason. I'd been running out of time anyway from projects at work and other things I was doing – like this site.

              I voted for Labour in 2014. Ironically I was actually in the Mt Albert election in 2014 for the first time for a decade. I seem to remember that I didn't vote for David Shearer. I just couldn't do it at the polling booth. So old school and so damn wasteful because he kept running FPP campaigns. Not to mention ill-considered conservative policies that looked for niche electorate votes and didn't represent Labour members across the whole country.

              It was exactly the reason that other old school campaigners (Jim Anderton and the Biege wonder come to mind) won regularly won silo electorates but lost party votes because they simply weren't chasing the important vote. NZF managed to recover from the same trap

              In the aftermath of the 2014 election I wrote "Labour obviously never worked out MMP" because I was really getting pissed off. It will be a pain if the electorate candidates do a 2014 election strategy this year.

              I'm still a member in Mt Albert and I'm still in the bounds of the Mt Alert electorate (just – one building to the east is Auckland Central). Hopefully we'll get a decent selection of candidates to pick from. Hopefully we will pick a candidate I can vote for.

              Probably the last time voting at the end of this year in Mt Albert. I still don't have time to do much active campaigning this election, and we'll probably move elsewhere (in Auckland?) by next election.

              • tinderdry6

                Interesting comments, thanks. I live a few minutes stroll from what was David's electorate office on New North Road and met him on a number of occasions around his electorate work. I really liked David as a person, but I came to the view that he was in the wrong political party, and that, unlike Helen Clark, politics didn't sit comfortably on his shoulders. I was genuinely surprised when he put his name forward to contest the Labour leadership, and I was even more surprised when he won! From memory, I gave him my electorate vote in 2011 and 2014, even though I didn't party vote Labour.

                • Visubversa

                  David Shearer is a very fine man. He has a lot of skills, but the skills involved with negotiating aid corridors with dictators and warlords are not suited to todays 30 second soundbites.

                  He had potential as a good Electorate MP, but that was it.

              • I agree that I try to look with a critical eye at the local candidate – and vote for the person separately from the party vote.

                It's made a bit more difficult when parties put up some fairly shallow, or single-issue focused candidates (my experience with both National and Labour candidates in my electorate in 2020). And, the reality is that, even the most outstanding candidate from Greens (pace Auckland Central) and ACT (pace Epsom) – doesn't have a chance in a standard electorate – so your vote would be wasted.

                I commented elsewhere, that so far Labour have been unwilling to support (formally or informally) a Green candidate with a better shot at winning an electorate, than the Labour one. It was in the context of Auckland Central – and the possible effect on Swarbrick if Helen White takes over Mt Albert.
                Logically, a 'cup of tea' scenario (as National/ACT have done in Epsom) to ensure that Swarbrick wins comfortably – would be a better result for the Left – but we've yet to see it eventuate.

        • Nic the NZer

          I only really consider policy, but have come to realise this is probably just a wrong way. Most people its primarily personality.

          Obviously policies can change and will. I mean the last thing any RW voters should think is that NACT will carry out most of the stupid they are proposing, and thats the very limited set of stuff they have policy on.

          It seems more sensible to judge personalities and the kinds of policy preferences they lead to, because events can totally change the policy landscape during a term.

          Unfortunately I struggle with this judgement. I actually thought Bill English would be a safe sensible, and therefore appealing PM at one time. Probably you could help with this, just want to see a few details from people involved in the wealth of business experience in the National party. What kind of managers have they been, what kinds of deals did they do, was everyone involved better off?

          • Belladonna

            The judging on personality (or at least the elements of personality that the media let you see) – can result in the Peter Dunne scenario, and the 'worm' of 2002. [NB: I'm older than I thought, I remember it clearly!]

            Someone who seems 'nice' and 'sensible' ….

        • Tony Veitch

          they appear to be led totally by their feels rather than their brain.

          You've just summed up 9 years of the Key government.

    • Jimmy 2.2

      Unfortunately, many people simply vote on looks or personality. Remember, half the voting population is below average intelligence and often have no ideas of what policies they are voting for.

      • tsmithfield 2.2.1

        So, are you saying that the idiot vote is really big? sad

      • psych nurse 2.2.2

        No your wrong, half of the population is of average intelligence, 25% above 25% below, have a look at a bell curve, use your average intelligence to google one.

        • Jimmy

          Not from the mid point. 34% are below but within the first deviation, and 16% are lower.

          IQ bell curve

        • Shanreagh

          If this is correct why is the Comms mantra to tailor press releases to an average age of 11. Presumably with average 11 year knowledge.

          Are you saying that people may be intelligent in terms of Bell Curve distribution but their comprehension is no better than an 11 year old. if so I would agree.

          I have long had the belief that the Labour Govt has thought that the electorate as a whole was wiser and more intelligent than they really are, so they pitch comprehension at a higher level. The strange views/misunderstandings about 3/5 Waters and Co Governance on here, where I have long believed we are all have good comprehension, is testament that.

          • psych nurse

            Interestingly the 70 to 74 cohort has the highest average IQ at 119, but that is more to do with wealth = health and the earlier demise of the unhealthy.

  3. Visubversa 3

    Great example of their care for women! Scottish women parliamentarians at an anti woman rally.

    May be an image of 2 people, people standing and text that says '8:06 Facebook LTE Thread Julie Scott This picture pretty much sums up the state of Scottish politics just now Both these women are SNP MSPs Apparently unable to see the violent lent threats being made to women, even when they re staring them in the face I EAT TERES&'

    [image resized – Incognito]

    • Visubversa 3.1

      Many thanks.

    • weka 3.2

      a fair bit of bullshit on twitter about how the signs are just a joke, no-one really wants to behead or eat feminists. Feminists pointed out that men already do behead women and other extremely violent shit. At the least it's incredibly tone deaf in a country that has a high rate of murder of women.

      And placard abuse is not that different to online abuse. It increases tolerance for harassment, and sometimes leads to increased violence. Which is ironic from the movement that claims that feminists being critical of gender identity are responsible for violence against trans people (rather than the men that do the actual violence).

      But of course they will argue that it's just the 'terfs' they are targeting, which is another version of dehumanising the women who's beliefs you don't approve of.

      For those that think the signs are a joke or no big deal, here's the context: a sustained movement of death, rape and other threats aimed at women's rights campaigners or any woman who speaks up online. Women get these threats in public spaces (online and IRL), and their DMs, emails etc. This is what liberals who deny women's right to our own spaces and culture are sanctioning. And then they wonder why we don't want any men, trans identified or otherwise, in our spaces.

      I've written about the messaging from (usually) trans women/trans identified males, which can often be summarised as 'suck my dick, cunts'.

      New misogyny, same as the old.


  4. Stephen D 4

    Is there a poster on TS that understands German politics?
    I’m looking for a decent reason why Scholz hasn’t allowed Leopard 2 tanks to be shipped to Ukraine. Form a logistical pow that should be a no-brainier.

    • tsmithfield 4.1

      It is all a bit confusing, and seems to change by the minute. But the latest I have heard is that Germany won't stand in the way of other countries supplying Leopards. Though, that is probably forced because those other countries are threatening to supply them with or without German permission.

      And, Poland will be training Ukrainians on using the Leopards, so it is a bit of a done deal.

      And, Germany has tended to get there in the end with other weapon systems. So, lets just say they are late adopters.

      They have said they will supply tanks if the US does it first. So, that might mean the US supplying a token number of Abrams tanks. Though, that is not the ideal tank for Ukraine for a number of reasons.

      Part of the reluctance of Germany sending their tanks is probably something to do with the image of German tanks close to the border of Russia, given WW2 history where German tanks were a prominent part of the German invasion of Russia.

      • Sanctuary 4.1.1

        Under reported – Germany is ditching the overhang.

        German politics is still haunted by the second world war. They've spent eighty year systematically repudiating heroic leadership of the kind they embraced under Hitler and instead raising technocratic rationalism to a complete ideology of government. So now they have an ossified technocratic leadership frozen in place by the nature of MMP, a system designed to restrain radicalism but after sixty years of this system Germany has been left in the grip of a near terminal political inertia. The epitome of this was the "Merkle doctrine" of engagement with Russia, the idea being that if only Germany cleaved closer to Russia economically it could mitigate and dissipate any threat from the east. The problem of course is that relationship degenerated into something akin to Germany having a political version of battered woman syndrome vis-a-vis Russia.

        On top of that you've got a weird coalition of the far left (Die Linke) and the far right (AfD opposed to supporting the Ukraine, the former due to a pacifism that amounts to defeatism combined with a reflexive opposition the military-industrial complex and the latter because they are fascists making common cause with Russia against democracy.

        So the broad centrist consensus in Germany is one of a slothful political system that prizes "rational consensus" above all else, takes a long time to make any decision let alone a complete change of direction, a pathological desire to avoid another war in the east (the idea of German tanks again fighting on the steppes of Russia is an anathema to centrist German politicians), and a decades long cultural rejection of the idea of the legitimacy of national identity (i.e. another reaction to the extemism of the Nazi narrative of the German identity as the master race) which looks at horror at Ukrainians dying to defend the idea of an separate Ukrainian identity and sovereignty all means that Germany is currently paralyzed. Turning the ship of the German body politic around is going to take a long long time.

        • Shanreagh

          Turning the ship of the German body politic around is going to take a long long time.

          'If ever' if you read Sabine's post.

          Having lived and studied in Germany I found that there is a carefulness about discussions on arming, armies, weapons, wars. I found, though, that there is a keenness to follow up its membership with the UN in supplying aid and peace-keeping forces. Fellow NZers who have worked beside them in this have valued the experience. Nato works too, with others to protect themselves and others.

          So I am not sure that words such as the last para of Sanctuary's post, with its hint of annoyance, really hits the mark and reality about dealing with these tanks. The German people are not a bunch of children taking an inordinately time to hand over a toy that another child wants to play with.

          one of a slothful political system that prizes "rational consensus" above all else, takes a long time to make any decision let alone a complete change of direction, a pathological desire to avoid another war in the east (the idea of German tanks again fighting on the steppes of Russia is an anathema to centrist German politicians), and a decades long cultural rejection of the idea of the legitimacy of national identity (i.e. another reaction to the extemism of the Nazi narrative of the German identity as the master race) which looks at horror at Ukrainians dying to defend the idea of an separate Ukrainian identity and sovereignty all means that Germany is currently paralyzed.

          Thank you Sabine for your post.

          To the German people take as long as you want about these tanks.

          • Sabine

            Two issues that people not from Germany have a hard time understanding sometimes.

            A. the Germans lost a million man in Russia. One Army. The 6th Army. Those that came back took ten years to come back. the last Russian prisoner of war returned in 1955.
            To this day we do not speak of the Wehrmacht and their offerings to the gods of war and selfish greed.

            They have fought russia and lost and they have not forgotten. Both of my grandfathers send to war in their early 20s did not come back. In fact non of the male relatives came back. I was raised in a household of old women and young men/girls.

            B. The east Germans lived with the Russians and are not quite as gung ho then some arm chair soldiers in far away lands to fight them eithers. They know the Russians. Angela Merkel knew the Russians, she speaks fluently Russian enough to get a 1.0 highest grade when she sat her Abitur.

            Then that issue of pesky 'crt' or 'denazification" as it was for us Germans. We went through the 'all Germans are horrible people who killed millions and we can never allow that to do again'.

            That too leaves marks and might change a way of thinking. Again, not something that i expect people to understand that have not been at that end of education. But then ' all white people are racists' is coming close to it.

    • Sabine 4.2

      Where do you want to start?

      start at the beginning.

      Germany got their peace contract from the allies in 1990. Until then Germany was split in 4 parts, myself i grew up in the US American Zone of Germany. You had East Germany which was the Russian Zone of Germany, The French and the English shard the rest.

      Until that day Germany was not allowed to have a military in the sense of having a 'free military' that other countries might have. So the Army was restrcited in how many men it could have, ditto for the Airforce, and Navy. This was of course to prevent Germany from being a military power.

      When the Bundeswehr was established in 1955, its founding principles were based on developing a completely new military force for the defence of West Germany. In this respect the Bundeswehr did not consider itself to be a successor to either the Reichswehr (1921–1935) of the Weimar Republic or Hitler's Wehrmacht (1935–1946). Neither does it adhere to the traditions of any former German military organization.[dubiousdiscuss] Its official ethos is based on three major themes:[12]

      Every single German (and Austrian) has gone through De-nazification via School. This process was quite different in the years directly after the war vs the years that i spend in school in the 70s. The focus of my education was on Responsibility and collective guilt and on how to 'Never Again' commit the same sins. In the process of that quite a few pacifists were created.

      Pacifism in Germany is a thing. Never again is a thing. Not being allowed to have an army and to wage war also had an impact on the people that are the parents of current youth and young people. Trickle Trickle Trickle.

      Hence why Schroeder won and election by not going to war with the US in Iraq.

      All of these reasons might be coming into play when telling Germans that one wants to sell/deliver weapons to another country to wage war. This is just a bit of back story, and people need to understand that the Germany Army is literally 30 years old. What was the Bundeswehr before the Re-unification was nothing more then a few pieces of meat the Allies would have thrown at the Russians whilst they retreated to the UK. That was known. Germany was considered a buffer zone by the allies.

      Germany has provided weapons, under the Auspices of Nato, and you could argue it should do so again this time around.

      However……there might still be restrictions on what exactly the Germans can and can not do with regards to armaments to third parties, and this might to do more with European rules/regulations then Germany itself.

      Anyways, Germans generally don't like to participate in war for reasons. the German government still is quite beholden to their old overlords the allies much to the distress of Germans. (There is quite a few people who would shut down Ramstein and the various US Spy stations any day of the week, me inc).

      This is a big article here that has a good run down on what / why and how.

      also Germany just ditched their Minister of Defense and appointed a different person. That might also have something to do with it.

      Update from January 20, 4:10 p.m .: NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg made it clear on the sidelines of the Ukraine conference at the US air base in Ramstein that he expected further developments in the debate about the possible delivery of German Leopard 2 tanks. On the question of whether Germany is harming European unity because it has not yet delivered any Leopard 2 tanks, Stoltenberg said: "The consultations will continue."

      Since the beginning of the war, the type of support has been constantly evolving. The Norwegian also emphasized that Germany was one of the allies that supported Ukraine the most. "Artillery, ammunition, air defense systems and now also Marder-type infantry fighting vehicles: Germany is really a leader in supporting Ukraine in many, many areas," he emphasized.

      Update from January 20, 2:25 p.m .: The new Federal Defense Minister Boris Pistorius (SPD) has checked the inventory of Leopard main battle tanks for a possible delivery to Ukraine. Pistorius said on Friday at the US Ramstein Air Force base in Rhineland-Palatinate that he had given his ministry the corresponding order "this morning", which included various types of tanks for the armed forces and in industry. He also announced that the federal government would make a decision about the leopard in coordination with the partners "as soon as possible".

      The UK wants to give Ukraine 14 Challenger 2 main battle tanks. Poland wants to supply Leopard tanks to Ukraine, and Finland is also in favor. However, since the Leopard tanks were developed in Germany, the delivery hinges on the permission of the German government for the transfer of German-made armaments to third parties.

      • gsays 4.2.1

        Thank-you Sabine, I am a littler wiser than what I was when I woke up this morning.

      • Francesca 4.2.2

        Thanks Sabine

        That is a valuable rundown on the context of a German military

      • Scud 4.2.3

        Got a couple of books on the History of the German Military & in particular the General Chief of Staff.

        Is that had the 3 Great Reformers of the German/ Prussian Military got their way ie make the Military accountable to Parliament & not the Head of State ie the German Crown.

        Then it's very likely that Germany's & probably for that matter European History would be very different today.

    • Stephen D 4.3

      Thanks TS and posters.

      ”A sadder and a wiser man

      He rose the morrow morn.”

  5. tsmithfield 5

    Something I would really like to get a left-wing perspective on as it is something that concerns me quite a bit.

    A number of months back there was the publicised letter from a group of academics expressing concern about what they said was Maori knowledge being elevated to the same level as science in science education.

    There have been a number of posts on the likes of Kiwiblog, and a post there today on this subject.

    From the post:

    Jerry Coyne blogs a letter from a NZ science teacher about the new science curriculum. Take the time to read the full post, but here is some of what will be taught in science:

    • That mātauranga Māori is equivalent to science
    • That science is a Western knowledge system
    • The study of Maori gods and “their powers.
    • The tale of Maui and Aoraki
    • The concept of mauri, that inanimate objects have a life force

    I would be very concerned if this is actually the case. I strongly value quality education, and the teaching of science. But I would be very concerned if teaching of science was to be diluted by unscientific stuff dressed up as science.

    I can see value in the teaching of science history in teaching about Maori navigation methods for instance. And I can see value in say anthropology in teaching about Maori legends. And I can see value in Maori knowledge say about the properties of NZ plants that could lead perhaps to new medical treatments for instance.

    But, if Maori historical knowledge, including legends etc as stated in the kiwiblog post, is given the same status in a science curriculum as modern science, I would be greatly concerned, as I would see that as a dilution rather than a benefit. And if science is given some sort of "imperialistic" status as "Western Science" I would be greatly concerned. To me science is science. It doesn't matter who does it or where it comes from.

    But, perhaps those making these types of complaints have got the wrong end of the stick. So, I would be interested to hear from those here who have some insight into what the true situation is.

    • Nic the NZer 5.1

      I'd be a bit concerned if anything posted on kiwiblog shows up in the science curriculum. That is the question right? Should any ideology be infering what is and isn't true.

      • tsmithfield 5.1.1

        If it were just kiwiblog I would agree. But it started with an open letter from a group of concerned academics.

        And even Richard Dawkins has weighed in.

        • Janice

          Government in NZ is so ignorant of science that they even passed a law to say that men can claim to be women and change their birth certificate to 'prove' it and be able to invade women only spaces. So don't be surprised what they put into the education system.

          • Visubversa

            They have put the same sort of crap into the Education system. Have a look at the Relationship and Sexuality Education syllabus. It is chock full of gender ideology. Science hardly gets a look in.

        • Shanreagh

          Anker or Molly (I think) one or both have taken an interest in this and both had some careful posts late last year before 3 Waters took over. I did not agree with all of them. Weka too on regen ag and how it is turning agricultural science based on fertiliser plus, plus to a science based on observation and moderation.

          Others of us commented then too.

          I personally have a problem with Westerners defining what they believe is science unless it is caveated/divided

          • Western views
          • Maori views or first peoples views

          I also have a problem with people saying 'unless this work fits within this ( read western) paradigm it is not science'

          In NZ the separation of thought has meant that Maori Rongoa is left out. We as NZ people are poorer for it. As first people they had their own methods remedies of treating illness, growing plants, navigation, knowledge of climate & weather patterns. That it relies on oral tradition or patterns of doing after experimenting does not mean it is valueless because it has not started with an hypothesis, testing, written recording and conclusion

          Maori also got from Hawaiki to NZ and so far as I know they did not have magic carpets. So they had to have a form of celestial navigation or another type of navigation and skilled people who could read them. (there are a number of Maori navigation pieces in large scale on the lawn behind Parliament.)

          I am really wary of the Kiwiblog type approach which I sense is western, western western……oh and did I mention western.

          For me there is no right wing science or left wing science.

          There is just science and the query is what should it contain. I believe that western world actually does not contain everyhting that fits us for living. Following on from that I belive that the western world does not contain the only source of wisdom based on observation and experimentation.

          MB linked to material on how LW & RW see and react to people/situations/problems in the world around them. This might be useful to tease out how people make sense of their world in the work you are doing


          20 January 2023 at 10:28 am

          • tsmithfield

            Thanks for the interesting discussion. It would be good to continue this discussion going forward. It would be interesting to see a post put up about it actually.

            For me there is just science. Not Western science and Maori science.

            If something falls within the definition of science then it is science, where ever it is from.

            The key aspect of science is research that has the capacity to produce accurate, reliable, and repeatable results, that also have a predictive capacity that leads to future discovery.

            That doesn't mean that knowledge that falls outside the scope of science doesn't have value.

            I think the navigation of early Maori is certainly falls within the scope of science. As do other Maori knowledge that would have allowed them to plan their lives. For instance, knowledge of seasons, and food production based on these etc.

            However, a lot of that is really now science history rather than current science. For example, we now have satellite GPS that allows much more reliable navigation.

            I agree there is value in Maori knowledge of NZ plants etc for medical treatments. But to develop these would require “western” science as those methods (double blind studies etc) are needed to provide statistical evidence of usefulness and to exclude placebo effects. So, the road still leads to western science.

            I think there is certainly a lot of value in studying Maori culture, and valuable lessons to be learned. But, if it doesn't fall within the scope of science, it should probably be studied as an art.

            I think a better thing to do in our education system would be to study the work of prominent Maori scientists. This would definitely fall within the scope of science and provide incentive for Maori students to achieve at a similar level.

        • Anker

          I have posted a bit on this tsmithfield. Shanreagh is correct as Molly has too.

          She initially had some anedotal evidence of a group of teachers setting the school geology curriculum (science) and the Maori advisor offering up for the lesson plan students being adviced to stand in the water and see what the feel (this is not a direct quote, but from memory).

          I have followed the debate around the Listener 7. Seven immenant NZ academics, including Professor Robert Nola who is an internation expert in the Philosophy of Science. I would say Professor Nola is well qualified to define what science is. The Listener 7 said Maturanga Maori fell well short of meeting the definition of science (they were very respectful at the same time about MM, but just said it couldn't be considered science). MM of course has many aspects that can't be considered science.

          Professor Garth Cooper was one of the listener 7 and is of Maori heritage. He has done outstanding work in the field of teaching Maori medical students, research and discovery in diabetes and developing programmes for Maori re diabetes.

          From a health point of view, what I have read about Rongao Maori (Maori healing ) I find problematic. A particular article I read inwith interviews with Rongao healers that talked about the importance of plants whakapapa. I say I believe this is problematic, because Maori health stats are so poor.

          “A distinctly curious feature of the backlash against the seven professors’ letter published in The Listener titled “In Defence of Science” is that none of its most prominent critics have actually defended mātauranga Māori (traditional Māori knowledge) as being scientific.”
          For more on the Listener 7 read the above link. Graham Adams has covered this extensively.

          • weka

            From a health point of view, what I have read about Rongao Maori (Maori healing ) I find problematic. A particular article I read inwith interviews with Rongao healers that talked about the importance of plants whakapapa. I say I believe this is problematic, because Maori health stats are so poor.

            What's the connection between poor Māori health stats and rongoa Māori?

            • Anker

              Research wise there is unlikely to be a connection.

              I think it is possible that people who seek out Rongao Maori may do this instead of visiting a Dr. I don't have any evidence for this. But if it is true, then it could lead to postponed diagnosis.

              I think it is important that all people have a good science education so they understand the benefits of Western medicine. This is surely what would have been preferable for the anti vaxer types?

              • weka

                There is however good evidence to show that Pāhekā dominated systems treat Māori in ways that inhibit good engagement, and that when Māori services are provided (separate or integrated) Māori have better outcomes and are more likely to engage.

                Irihapeti Ramsden's work a really good place to look for understanding on this. Here's a good starter. Note how she's talking about making changes for all cultures

                Many Māori have experiential reasons to not trust mainstream medicine. Because of how they've been treated, or mistreated.

                The best outcomes come from culturally appropriate services, and integrated care ie make rongoa Māori available alongside GP and specialist care. We won't get that by positioning Western Science as the be all and end all. This is one of the reasons why I think the position of segregating Māori culture is a fail.

                btw, rongoa has a science base as well, to the extent that some of the plants have been studied. It's a particular Western view to see it as lesser or ineffective.


                (you might know Chris Pook from twitter)

                • tsmithfield

                  Thanks for your various thoughtful responses. I feel like I have learned something.

                • Anker

                  Thanks Weka.

                  I am not on twitter.

                  I am not at all surprized Kawakawa leaves have been proven through science to have healing properties. St Johns Wort is a herb that the Germans did much research on and it was found to have an anti depressant effect. It is not to be taken with other anti depressants though as many herbal medicines are not to be taken with allopathic medicine.

                  It is sad that Maori find it hard to access healthcare because of mistrust due to their experiences. Richie Poulton from the Dunedin Longitudinal study put out a statement during the pandemic about the anti vaxers. They analyed data from the study participants that showed those who were anti vax were more likely to have experienced adverse life events in childhood and had anti authority tendancies.

                  I will read Ramsdem's article.

                  Having worked in the health sector in the 1990s we managed to engage well with Maori and their whanau.

            • Shanreagh

              I didn't follow this point from Anker either.

              If Maori are using Rongoa Maori in their healing of course the origins of the plant matter. I am picking that many Maori may be uncomfortable with hybridised* plants, or plants where the seed has been treated a la Monsanto.

              I had an experience with flax at our family beach property. My next door neighbour was an art tutor at a local wananga. He said our flax was a special kind, that was not used for fine weaving but was used in other ways, it had a different preparation required before use.

              So imagine if Maori had not known this whakapapa/origin of this flax, others would be using it, wasting time preparing for fine weaving and then not getting the result that was wanted.

              NB The spelling is Rongoa Anker, please correct you auto correct…it makes my eyes hurt spelled the other way.

              * I know that those engaged in serious native reveg programmes do not use hybrids. They eco source or grow on from unhybridised plants in the area.

              It is exactly because health stats are so poor that those practising Rongoa Maori need to have the best, authentic plants available to them. Their patients deserve the best and those practising Rongoa Maori what their remedies work. Only if they are made from the best ingredients can they have the best results.

              This is why in western medicine some prescriptions have expiry dates, this is because the older they are usually the less effective they are. The less effective they are, such as in antibiotics, the more chance of breeding antibiotic resistant diseases.

    • Peter 5.2

      I went to the links, read through the NZ Science Curriculum on line and could not find "it will be taught in science that science is a Western knowledge system."

      What I did find: tsmithfield on The Standard quotes Jerry Coyne who quotes getting a letter from a person who quotes a teacher who went to a regional session about the government curriculum for integrating modern science.

      The meeting was a professional development day to discuss the NCEA science curriculum. At the meeting a unit plan from the host school was presented. This was quoted as evidence of the potential for the curriculum to be distorted.

      On here that has been turned into "here is some of what will be taught in science: That science is a Western knowledge system."

      Fair enough for people to qualms and concerns about the science curriculum but it is ironic in a discussion about science and presumably accuracy, to see how this is presented.

  6. Tony Veitch 7

    Sometimes Bomber hits the mark – though I couldn’t find the text to give the actual quote – he said something like this:

    Both Chris Hipkins and Christopher Luxon hold strong views on how NZ should be governed.

    The difference is, Chippy is happy to share his views with one and all, while Luxon is terrified we may get to learn what his real views are.

    • Anne 7.1

      Both Chris Hipkins and Christopher Luxon hold strong views on how NZ should be governed.

      The difference is, Chippy is happy to share his views with one and all, while Luxon is terrified we may get to learn what his real views are.

      Bang on.

  7. Uncle 8

    Does anyone have any predictions for the Cabinet reshuffle? (Apart from those portfolios/roles Hipkins has already handed over to Nash, Tinetti and Robertson.) Obviously PMs tend to hold few portfolios other than intelligence services, but what about Sepuloni? Might she pass on MSD, which she’s held for 5 years, or is that too much of a priority area? It seems likely Roberston will remain MOF? Who might we expect to get promoted and/or handed key portfolios?

    • Anne 8.1

      I think the reshuffle is expected shortly after Hipkins is sworn in on Wednesday. My pick is either late Wed, or Thurs.

      Those who have indicated they are leaving politics at the time of the election (14 Oct.) are likely to lose their portfolios and we will see the arrival of fresh faces in the Cabinet. Dr Deborah Russell, MP for New Lynn is likely to be one of them. She is a taxation expert.

  8. PsyclingLeft.Always 9

    Better to 'bite the bullet' and get rail work done quickly, Transport Minister says

    Well..yes! Also re-nationalise NZ Rail (having a cleanout of Kiwirail white ants). Time…is of the essence ! Get on it

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