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Open mike 23/12/2013

Written By: - Date published: 6:37 am, December 23rd, 2013 - 76 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 right up to the mike …

76 comments on “Open mike 23/12/2013 ”

  1. how spook-nervous are you..?


    ..i have a solution for a large part of that ongoing unease/malaise….

    ..i had this utterly brilliant/lightbulb-going-on-in-head idea..


    phillip ure..

  2. Rodel 2

    John Banks on morning report is really looking forward to his day in court next year.
    Yeah-right and my turkey is really looking forward to Christmas.

    • David H 2.1

      Just like a meal at Milliways.

    • Tim 2.2

      Exactery. Problem is that while your turkey will end up somewhere around Moa Point, Banks will probably get some cushy little number on a board somewhere.

      • aerobubble 2.2.1

        Well that assumes a few things, that boardrooms want over the hill neo-liberals. Or left dotcom high and dry despite Dotcoms money. Does Banks really enhance shareholder value?

        • Tim

          “Does Banks really enhance shareholder value?”

          true, but then did the Shipleys ever ‘enhance WESTPAC shareholder value’ just for starters. And then of course there’s always SOE’s like Solid Energy to consider

          I’d be picking Banks is likely more toxic than anything sloshing around Moa Point, but then apparently some semi-literate money trader that exists on an out-of-date ideology learned parrot-fashion is fit enough to become a Proim Munsta. Stranger things happen at sea.
          That semi-literate money trader was also once deemed to be “krismetuk’ by our ‘mainstream’ media as well (i.e. them there that profess to be the voice of the people – the incisive, the investigative foreskins of journalsim who challenge a status quo calling themselves the 4th Estate).

          Funny ‘ole world ain’t it!

    • Lanthanide 2.3

      Really looking forward to the day in court that he tried his hardest to avoid.

  3. Molly 3

    The idea that this is providing a “better” education for our Maori and Pasifika students – is flawed.

    Along similar lines to the Aspire Scholarship implemented by Heather Roy.

    Fundamentally, schemes like this subsidise private schools.

    They also stop the discussion about the outcomes that we want. AG provides networking along with academics – and it is the networking in later years that contribute quite a lot to personal career opportunities and wealth. Are the InZone students going to be included in that? I doubt it.

    And shouldn’t we be asking the question about what a successful Maori or Pasifika student is anyway? (For that matter, – we should be asking that for every student).

    Surely, it doesn’t have to be the one and only model of attending a private school and going to university – and often disconnecting from his childhood community and support systems? Where are the tradespeople, teachers, community builders, the sustainable business entrepreneurs, volunteers, the vast army of quiet contributors?

    • Adele 3.1

      Tēnā koe, Molly

      Ultimately such schemes provide Māori and Tāngata Pasifika with options and choice. Why should rangatahi be deprived of an educational experience that may expand their present worldview. For that matter, why should students that attend such schools because they can, be denied the opportunity of meeting our youth kanohi ki te kanohi.

      I know many people who have benefited enormously from private school education. Think Hato Paora, Hato Petera, St Josephs Māori Girls College. We are not above re-interpreting what private education is about. Charter schools will work for us because we have already set a benchmark in Kohanga Reo.

      Mainstream education is what is failing our Māori youth. Teachers may wax lyrical about their so called professional standards but when it comes to teaching Māori youth – the statistics speak for themselves.
      Please don’t even attempt to blame the majority of the parents. To do so is to simply highlight my point.

      • Molly 3.1.1

        Yes, you are right. There will be success stories from this project, and your examples highlight some of the best on offer for Māori students.

        But the InZone project is only for AG – and the premise that it is the best on offer. Efeso Collins wrote much more succinctly on a similar topic a few weeks ago on TDB – Brown Flight

        So – as these projects roll out – I believe that there has to be a discussion alongside it about the other success stories, AND the uplift of outcomes for all students whether they participate or not.

        I went through a period of researching charter schools many years ago, and have come to the conclusion that while they can be a vehicle for some to achieve – as a state funded use of educational money – others, often the most vulnerable, are left behind. And have even less chance of achieving.

        I’m not convinced that these projects have no costs for education as a whole, and the most vulnerable students in our country.

    • Draco T Bastard 3.2

      Surely, it doesn’t have to be the one and only model of attending a private school and going to university – and often disconnecting from his childhood community and support systems?

      Have you considered that it may be that disconnect that’s producing such extreme results? Being taken out of a negative environment and put in a positive one can, and will, have massive effect upon the kids.

      • Molly 3.2.1

        You equate “childhood community and support systems” as a negative.
        Which it may be, but that is not a given.

        It is most likely, that these InZone students have quite a positive family and community support system.

        Otherwise, you are correct: taking someone from a negative environment and putting them into a supportive one will be more likely to produce good results.

        However, there are also downsides for those students – and the disconnect from their communities and families is one that occurs often with scholarship students.

        • Draco T Bastard

          You equate “childhood community and support systems” as a negative.

          No I don’t. I only put forward the option that may be the cause of them not doing too well at school previously to going to the new system.

          It is most likely, that these InZone students have quite a positive family and community support system.

          May have a positive family environment but who are their friends, who do they play with at school? What are their attitudes? Taking them away from them and putting them in with others who also have a similar positive family environment could be the reason for the change.

          One of the points I’ve made about kids is my belief that just throwing them at school with no social learning from many adults around them results in negative socialisation.

          However, there are also downsides for those students – and the disconnect from their communities and families is one that occurs often with scholarship students.

          Yep, I’m aware of that as well.

  4. burt 4


    This guy should declare himself a union – I hear they don’t pay their PAYE and the IRD just turns a blind eye. Good ‘ol NZ eh… Protection for the parasites and punishment for the producers.

  5. David H 5

    I thought that the Nats were supposed to be regulating Alcohol sales, and yet here’s Pull ya benefit promoting Alcohol.


    And all to get into Upper Harbour on a wave of Chardonnay

  6. johnm 6

    The U$K continues down the austerity for the poor handouts for the well off neoliberal plug hole. The same ideology Keyshine boy believes is the only way, hence the poverty we have here in NZ.

    Over in the USK it’s draconian here is a man suffering from a heart condition, diabetes and emphysema whose had his disability extra allowance cut to encourage him back to work! He is now dependent on food banks..

    ” Access to the necessities of life should be a human right by now, not just another venture for capital gain. Rates of violence, drug abuse, mental problems, and societal stress would all go down if everyone had these vital life essentials. Politicians and business leaders praise our supposed economic freedom, yet ironically most of the world’s effort is wasted on trying to survive. “

    • johnm 6.1

      And now a Christmas message from the head of the English class system whose offspring Shonkey will welcome to our land next year, HER ROYAL MAJESTY QUEEN ELIZABETH, HEAD OF THE COMMONWEALTH. Although there’s not much of that left, Shonkey continues to flog it off to make his rich class mated richer. 🙁


  7. Draco T Bastard 8

    National’s cutting of the public service inevitably results in it costing more.

    I’d call them numpties but, as it happens every time, it’s probably planned.

    • RedLogix 8.1

      Indeed. DtB.

      It’s the kind of intentional theft of public monies that would probably give dear old burt a coronary …

  8. chris73 9


    Just in case anyone missed it Cameron Brewer declared his trip back in 2011 so I guess now all those that accused him of being as untrustworthy as Len “I will always tell the truth, but always with a limit” Brown will now register their apologies

    • dv 9.1

      What is more interesting is he didn’t know he had declared it.

      • chris73 9.1.1

        I’ll be interested to see if any posters retract their condemnation of Brewer, such as this:

        Ernst and Young should investigate Cameron Brewer

        • One Anonymous Knucklehead

          I hadn’t commented before but I will now: he seems like slimy Tory trash to me.

        • phillip ure

          um..!..hate to burst yer bubble there..chris 73..

          ..but brewer filed notification when he found out the herald story was going to be published..

          ..he filed the day before the story was published..

          ..(and i reckon those spinning the ‘look..!..nothing to see here!’ spin..

          ..do deserve some sort of special bullshitting-award..)

          ..so..just putting the ‘con’ in ‘condemnation’ there..chris 73..eh..?

          phillip ure..

          • RedLogix

            but brewer filed notification when he found out the herald story was going to be published

            Is that on the level philip?

            Because until now I’ve had nothing much to say about Brewer – but if this is accurate that could change real fast.

            • alwyn

              This is just Phil out of his head. Brewer notified it back in 2011, when it happened.Don’t let an inconvenient little truth bother you though.

              • Pascal's bookie

                Check the timeline.

                When did he email council, (notifying kind of implies he did it as per spec, which he didn’t) and when did Drinnan publish the snippet about his junket?

                A: Looks like he emailed the council the day before Drinnan published on the 9th. Drinnan rang him on the 8th, the email was sent on the 8th. All a big ol’ coinkydink I’m sure.

                • chris73

                  Lens spin doctors really need to be taking notes on this, this is how you shut a story down

                  • McFlock

                    Nah, you should keep going with the false moral outrage. As soon as you start admiring deception and talking like it’s a game, you reveal that your previous moral bluster was contrived.

                    • chris73

                      Of course its a game otherwise you’d have to deal with the realization that there’s 2/5s of f**k all difference between Labour and National and that since the 80s theres been no real change between the parties at all

                      This means that all the money, time and effort has been for nothing, that there a 2-3 term cycle and that for opposition parties and its workers its pointless doing anything because you won’t win and even if you do win you’ll only ever nibble at the edges of the changes you want to make

                      Lets say Labour/Greens/NZfirst/Mana win the next election nothing much will change because Labour want the treasury benches and won’t give anything other then minor roles to the support parties (except that Winnie will get what he wants) and the reverse is true for National and whoever else they drag in

                    • RedLogix

                      I guess that’s the difference here c73.

                      Politics is how we decide what kind of society we live in – and the rules that everyone has to abide by. And this affects the real lives of everyone.

                      And I just don’t see other people as disposable pawns in a game. You do.

                    • chris73

                      Then you’re more likely to feel more let down and dissapointed with the politicians and parties that we have then me

                    • RedLogix

                      If you imagine that a hard-shelled cynicism will protect you from the disappointment and hurt of being let down by other people – you are right.

                      But it’ll do nothing on the day your conscience awakens your own sense of shame.

                    • chris73

                      I’m ok with my conscience, are you with yours?

                    • RedLogix

                      The short answer to your question is no.

                      No-one gets to live a full adult life and have no regrets. There are no perfect people – despite our best intentions, we are all ignorant and we all make mistakes that haunt us one way or another. There are things that trouble my conscience.

                      Unfortunately a small group of people with a probable genetic defect called psychopaths have no conscience or sense of shame.

                      You may have just have just self-diagnosed buddy. In fairness to you I hope not.

                    • Colonial Viper

                      Wake up! Wake up! Hmmm. Clearly today is not the day RL is referring to.

                • Mossman

                  Pascal’s bookie – according to the Herald, Brewer notified the Council on 8 September 2011, not 8 December 2013.

            • phillip ure

              @red..i heard it on natrad today..

              ..phillip ure..

              • Anne

                Yep. I heard it too. Commented in response to today’s Herald article:

                Anne 41.1
                23 December 2013 at 8:52 am

                Actually if you listened to Radio NZ’s political correspondent this morning you get a different picture. Essentially, Brewer rang someone and told them about the trip but only after having been advised to… and he still wriggled out of a formal declaration of interest. He also accepted another gift – something to do with Sky City I think – that wasn’t declared. In essence, the journalist was saying he’s dancing on the head of a pin.

                I may have got the wrong end of the stick about Sky City…. haven’t had time to check yet.

    • Draco T Bastard 9.2

      I’m still wondering if declaring it in an email, notoriously insecure, without a signed affidavit is actually legally declaring it.

      • chris73 9.2.1

        In the court of public opinion its done and dusted, Brewers been exonerated… I’m not saying there isn’t any other things to get him on but this isn’t one of them

        • Te Reo Putake

          In the court of public opinion …. the damage is already done. It’s too late for Brewer, Chris, he’s just going to remembered as a hypocrite now.

          • chris73

            I disagree but what was more interesting to me was when the herald started the story is was easy to find but trying to find the new story was difficult…

        • Pascal's bookie

          You polling on this then? Coz his ‘explaining’ came few days after the ‘everyone’s doing it meme, and it’s pretty much xmas now.

        • Morrissey

          In the court of public opinion its done and dusted, Brewers been exonerated…

          If by “public opinion” you mean a few ACT-supporting dunderheads, which of course includes a couple of extreme right wing radio hosts, then your statement is correct. In the real world, however, your statement makes as much sense as the one posted by poor old “Tracey” a couple of days ago, when she asserted, in apparent high seriousness, that Brewer had “admitted nothing”; what he had done (according to Tracey) was “merely confirmed what others discovered”.

          Ernst and Young should investigate Cameron Brewer

          Many of my family and friends are National supporters or sympathizers, and without exception, every single one of them who has mentioned this topic has condemned Brewer. So even National Party supporters, who necessarily swallow the slimiest rats, are not prepared to support that hypocrite.

          “The court of public opinion”? You really have no idea.

      • Colonial Viper 9.2.2

        Doubtful. Especially when email details like to/from/date etc. can be easily spammed or falsified.

        • Draco T Bastard

          Yeah, that’s what I’m thinking. When was the email really sent?

          • phillip ure

            brewer is now admitting the call from drinnan ‘may’ have happened just before he filed his register..

            ..but he ‘can’t remember’..

            ..and those who called me a liar/accused me of making shit up..over this..

            ..well they can form an orderly line on the right..eh..?

            ..and the dates show the email to brewer from drinnan…was the day before he filed his notification of the perk…


            phillip ure..

  9. Anne 10

    Congrats to Labour. Great idea. Feel free to send John Key one of the Xmas cards. Only your first name will be included. I chose ‘the living wage’ but incorporated the others in my message. The more people who send the better…


    • karol 10.1

      Good idea, but

      By sending a card you agree to receive occasional email from Labour on this and similar campaigns. You can opt out at any time.

      Why can’t we opt out from the get go?

      • Anne 10.1.1

        The unsubscribe ‘button’ is on the bottom of the opening gambit which contains membership details karol. I suspect you will only receive an email when they have another such campaign like the Asset Sales referendum and this Xmas card campaign. There is always and unsubscribe button at the bottom of the actual email so you can opt out the first time you receive one.

  10. Draco T Bastard 11

    It’s Time to Turn Away From the God of Economic Growth

    Growth always, everywhere

    It’s hard to ignore the blitz of messages espousing the virtues of growth. Jobs and prosperity, we’re told, happen only through growth. When growth doesn’t happen, we experience a recession, and that’s bad. Growth has become the mantra and god of governments around the world.

    And yet it’s impossible to have infinite growth on a finite planet.

    (Ironically, it appears that much of our national strategy lies in exploiting and exporting non-renewable resources.)

    And where have we seen that before? Oh, that would be from this government and the previous one and the one before that…Mine more, farm more, sell, sell, sell. We never hear anything different and then wonder why our society is producing more and more poverty.

    • RedLogix 11.1

      Here’s just one line from that article DtB:

      The implication is a limitless planet with limitless resources. Run out of copper? Just move on and find a new mine. Run out of oil? Just drill a new well.

      Just one example; the median gold ore grade currently being dug up by the worlds 10 largest miners these days is around than 1g/tonne. That’s down from over 4g/tonne about 15 yrs ago.


      By far the largest production cost in conventional mining is the energy cost of getting the raw rock out of the mine and into the processing plant. The implication of these numbers is startling – these miners are now digging up 5 times more rock than they were just 15 years ago.

      When the grade drops to 0.5% as it surely will in less than a decade they will have to double again the amount of rock they are digging up.

      This law of diminishing returns is playing out in every important resource sector – this is the fundamental limit we are ignoring in our magical “infinite growth, forever technology” belief system.

      But here is the kicker. I actually don’t think that the resource limit will be hit first. I’m beginning to think that ordinary people will simply will simply stop buying all the crap that we are meant to be buying. I think a lot of people are waking up to the realisation that this gross excess of materialistic crap that is being force-fed onto us – is making us sick.

      We really need something else – love, compassion and the opportunity to be creative, to excel or to be of service to others.

      • Colonial Viper 11.1.1

        Income insufficiency is making a lot of people realise – through necessity – that a different way of living and thinking is possible

        Also see below – article on economic rent extraction – which is very relevant.

      • Draco T Bastard 11.1.2

        I think a lot of people will wake up to the realisation that this gross excess of materialistic crap that is being force-fed onto us – is making us sick.

        I truly hope so and I see this (video) of an indication of that swing.

    • Flip 11.2

      +GPP (Gross Planetary Product)

      When Cunliffe mentions growth I think Labour needs to get some better economic advisors so that they can actually propose an economic plan that factors in the issues described in the post and differentiate themselves from National and provide a future for the people of NZ. There is plenty of literature and studied options but vested interests hold the politicians, country and the planet captive.

      The machinery of government cannot see past GDP so everyone uses the same rhetoric. Cannot see much of a diff in economic plan between Nat and Labour.

  11. Colonial Viper 12

    When trade and competitive advantage is replaced by rent extraction and economic toll booths

    Yes, it’s coming from the fact that for the 99%, their income’s going down and for the 1% they’re making capital gains and interest. The 1% have the 99% of the population in debt to themselves, so they’re collecting and it’s like a siphon taking all the wealth upwards. And first the 1% are looking for all the income that the 99% have to be pledged to pay the debt and then they want all the assets. So the wealth gap is coming.


  12. Morrissey 13

    Look who the latest shill for mass killing is.
    U.S. military propaganda merchants truly have no shame

    Monday 23 December 2013

    Santa Claus has been associated with some pretty dodgy products, like smoking [1], brothels [2], and some really disgusting people [3], so it’s hard to be shocked at the crassness of Santa-related shilling of products. But the tail-end of tonight’s Television One news, the light-hearted bit after the weather, still managed to shock me and I’m sure anyone else who was actually paying attention.

    It was a jokey little piece of product placement by the American military. Introduced in jovial tone by Wendy Petrie, this “whimsical” piece informed viewers, in mock-serious tone, that NORAD has been tracking Santa for the last sixty years—cue clever graphics of jet-planes flanking a sleigh—and deploying an “anti-grinch” device. Ho ho ho.

    Odd that Television One studiously avoids more than the most cursory mention of the real activities of NORAD, yet is prepared to grant a considerable amount of time to a fantasy about a benign NORAD.

    Encouragingly, though, there are more astute and moral people in the world than the people who run television news in this country. This item from Denver, Colorado shows that not all Americans are meekly accepting such contemptuous propaganda….

    [1] http://graphics8.nytimes.com/images/2008/10/06/business/07adco3_190.jpg

    [2] http://www.retronaut.com/wp-content/uploads/2012/06/2.png

    [3] http://assets.thefiscaltimes.com/TFT2_20101228/App_Data/MediaFiles/9/8/1/%7B981A14BC-41C8-49F3-B45F-5C6D005DA98D%7D12202011_Trump_Santa_article.jpg

  13. amirite 14

    ‘Various studies have found that as a person’s level of wealth increases, their feelings of compassion and empathy go down, and their feelings of entitlement, of deservingness and their ideology of self-interest increases.’

    Looks like someone has had an epiphany.


  14. joe90 15

    Seems all would be well if the world went back to the old ways, with the right people in charge of course.


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  • More support for first home buyers and renters
    House price caps for First Home Grants increased in many parts of the country House price caps for First Home Loans removed entirely Kāinga Whenua Loan cap will also be increased from $200,000 to $500,000 The Affordable Housing Fund to initially provide support for not-for-profit rental providers Significant additional ...
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  • Budget lifts up to 14,000 children out of poverty
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  • A booster for RNA research and development
    More support for RNA research through to pilot manufacturing RNA technology platform to be created to facilitate engagement between research and industry partners Researchers and businesses working in the rapidly developing field of RNA technology will benefit from a new research and development platform, funded in Budget 2022. “RNA ...
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  • Unleashing business potential across NZ
    A new Business Growth Fund to support small and medium sized enterprises (SMEs) to grow Fully funding the Regional Strategic Partnership Fund to unleash regional economic development opportunities Tourism Innovation Programme to promote sustainable recovery Eight Industry Transformation Plans progressed to work with industries, workers and iwi to transition ...
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  • Securing the wellbeing of Pacific communities
    Budget 2022 further strengthens the economic foundations and wellbeing outcomes for Pacific peoples in Aotearoa, as the recovery from COVID-19 continues. “The priorities we set for Budget 2022 will support the continued delivery of our commitments for Pacific peoples through the Pacific Wellbeing Strategy, a 2020 manifesto commitment for Pacific ...
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  • Government delivers timely support for whānau
    Boost for Māori economic and employment initiatives. More funding for Māori health and wellbeing initiatives Further support towards growing language, culture and identity initiatives to deliver on our commitment to Te Reo Māori in Education  Funding for natural environment and climate change initiatives to help farmers, growers and whenua ...
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  • Government delivers critical infrastructure
    New hospital funding for Whangārei, Nelson and Hillmorton 280 more classrooms over 40 schools, and money for new kura $349 million for more rolling stock and rail network investment The completion of feasibility studies for a Northland dry dock and a new port in the Manukau Harbour Increased infrastructure ...
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  • A health system that takes care of Māori
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  • Investing in better health services
    Biggest-ever increase to Pharmac’s medicines budget Provision for 61 new emergency vehicles including 48 ambulances, along with 248 more paramedics and other frontline staff New emergency helicopter and crew, and replacement of some older choppers $100 million investment in specialist mental health and addiction services 195,000 primary and intermediate aged ...
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  • A Secure Future for New Zealanders’ health
    Landmark reform: new multi-year budgets for better planning and more consistent health services Record ongoing annual funding boost for Health NZ to meet cost pressures and start with a clean slate as it replaces fragmented DHB system ($1.8 billion year one, as well as additional $1.3 billion in year ...
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  • Cost of living package eases impact on households – 2.1 million Kiwis to get new targeted payment
    Fuel Excise Duty and Road User Charges cut to be extended for two months Half price public transport extended for a further two months New temporary cost of living payment for people earning up to $70,000 who are not eligible to receive the Winter Energy Payment Estimated 2.1 million New ...
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  • Budget highlights underlying strength of economy in face of global headwinds
    A return to surplus in 2024/2025 Unemployment rate projected to remain at record lows Net debt forecast to peak at 19.9 percent of GDP in 2024, lower than Australia, US, UK and Canada Economic growth to hit 4.2 percent in 2023 and average 2.1 percent over the forecast period A ...
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  • Budget 2022: A secure future in difficult times
    Cost of living payment to cushion impact of inflation for 2.1 million Kiwis Record health investment including biggest ever increase to Pharmac’s medicines budget First allocations from Climate Emergency Response Fund contribute to achieving the goals in the first Emissions Reduction Plan Government actions deliver one of the strongest ...
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  • Budget 2022: A secure future
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  • Health Minister to attend World Health Assembly in Geneva
    Health Minister Andrew Little will represent New Zealand at the first in-person World Health Assembly since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic, to be held in Geneva, Switzerland, from Sunday 22 – Wednesday 25 May (New Zealand time). “COVID-19 has affected people all around the world, and health continues to ...
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  • New efforts to counter illegal timber trade
    New Zealand is committing to trade only in legally harvested timber with the Forests (Legal Harvest Assurance) Amendment Bill introduced to Parliament today. Under the Bill, timber harvested in New Zealand and overseas, and used in products made here or imported, will have to be verified as being legally harvested. ...
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  • Deaths in New Zealand lower than expected so far during the pandemic
    The Government has welcomed the release today of StatsNZ data showing the rate at which New Zealanders died from all causes during the COVID-19 pandemic has been lower than expected. The new StatsNZ figures provide a measure of the overall rate of deaths in New Zealand during the pandemic compared ...
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  • New law helps secure New Zealand’s maritime domain
    Legislation that will help prevent serious criminal offending at sea, including trafficking of humans, drugs, wildlife and arms, has passed its third reading in Parliament today, Foreign Affairs Nanaia Mahuta announced. “Today is a milestone in allowing us to respond to the increasingly dynamic and complex maritime security environment facing ...
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  • Trade and Export Growth Minister to travel to Bangkok for APEC
    Trade and Export Growth Minister Damien O’Connor is set to travel to Thailand this week to represent New Zealand at the annual APEC Ministers Responsible for Trade (MRT) meeting in Bangkok. “I’m very much looking forward to meeting my trade counterparts at APEC 2022 and building on the achievements we ...
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  • Government welcomes historic pay-equity deal
    Settlement of the first pay-equity agreement in the health sector is hugely significant, delivering pay rises of thousands of dollars for many hospital administration and clerical workers, Health Minister Andrew Little says. “There is no place in 21st century Aotearoa New Zealand for 1950s attitudes to work predominantly carried out ...
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