Open mike 24/03/2023

Written By: - Date published: 6:00 am, March 24th, 2023 - 142 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 …

142 comments on “Open mike 24/03/2023 ”

  1. Jenny are we there yet 1

    We have received what may well be our final warning before it is to late to act.

    Countdown to better, more effective decarbonisation.

    Some good news on the climate change mitigation front

    We have an announcement by the Prime Minister of a pending announcement.
    What will this announcement be?
    When will this announcement be made?
    Will we be getting better, more effective climate action?
    Will we be getting more "Bang For Buck"?
    Or will it be more hot air?
    All questions will be answered. (one way or the other)

    Chris Hipkins has made an announcement of an announcement.

    "I am not going to make that announcement today."

    TVNZ, Tuesday morning, 21/03/2023, Prime Minister Chris Hipkins is queried by TVNZ presenter Matt McLean, about the climate change decarbonisation measures Hipkins had canceled the week before.

    Hipkins replied to Mclean, that the decarbonisation measures he had cancelled were not cost effective. The Prime Minister told Mclean, that the funding he had cut from the cancelled reforms, he would "reinvest" that funding into more cost effective decarbonisation measures.

    The Prime Minister was pressed by Mclean – What are these more cost effective decarbonisation measures? Hipkins replied that he would not be making that announcement today.

    1NEWS Tue, Mar 21

    @ 1:54 minutes

    McLean: …You've dropped policies that deal with climate change and you haven't made up the shortfall, or announced any way to make up the shortfall. Where are you going to be able to do that?

    Hipkins: Well, if you take the two announcements that I made last week, they were actually very ineffective in terms of the level of carbon emissions that they reduced for the cost. There are cheaper ways of doing, ah, of reducing carbon emissions than that. So we have got an opportunity to reinvest that money.

    Mclean: So where?

    Hipkins: In programs that are cheaper at a better cost of living impact.

    Mclean: Where?

    Hipkins: Well I am not going to make that announcement today, than a better cost of living impact that reduce carbon emissions by more than the ones that have been dropped.

    So, you know we have got to work through a process to make sure. And we got to keep looking at it. There are ideas that come up that we explore, and that we decide actually this isn't going to be the most effective way of reducing our carbon emissions there are better ways of doing it. We have to keep doing that on an ongoing basis. That is the nature of being in government. Good ideas don't always turn out to be the best ideas. You just have to keep looking to make sure you are doing things the best way possible.

    Mclean: You've said that scrapping those policies was to sharpen the government's focus on the cost of living. You have said that you have to deal with the here and now challenge right in front of New Zealanders….

    @ 3:19 minutes

    Hipkins: …..It is possible to reduce carbon emissions and still have cost of living front and centre of government's focus. We have to look at how we can reduce carbon emissions in the most cost effective way possible. That is what a responsible government will do. The programs that I announced that we were not going to proceed with last week, weren't particularly cost effective. There was a very large price tag for them and a relatively small contribution they were going to make to our overall emissions reductions. We have other programs that actually have a much smaller price tag that make a much greater contribution to our carbon emissions reductions including some of the State Sector decarbonisation work, some of the industry decarbonisation work we are doing that are delivering much better bang for buck.

    In the transport space, it is challenging, there is no question about that. We have got some initiatives that have proven to be incredibly successful. We have got one of the highest uptakes of electric vehicles in the world. That's because of this government's initiatives to encourage that.

    Mclean: And yet we are still waiting on you to announce when you are going to make up these shortfalls from….

    When will Chris Hipkins make that annnounced, announcement?

    No time line was given.

    When will Chris Hipkins walk the talk that he will put the funding from the decarbonisation measures he 'dropped' last week into more cost effective measures "that make a much greater contribution to our carbon emissions reductions"?

    When will Chris Hipkins stand by his word that he will announce these bigger more cost effective decarbonisation measures?

    Next week? Next month? Next year?

    My assessment on Chris Hipkins delivering on keeping to his word ,and making this announcement?

    Unlikely, to highly unlikely. Cough (Corporate Lobbyists), Cough (Vested Interest), (and that old fave. BAU)

    To keep Hipkins to his word I am starting This countdown:

    On Tuesday March 21 Chris Hipkins announced that he will making an announcement naming better more cost effective decarbonisation measures, where he will be putting the money he cut from last weeks "ineffective" measures.

    Friday, March 24, Day three – and counting.


    Grasping the nettle

    Why We Can't Just Do It: The Truth About Our Failure to Curb Carbon Emissions

    …..Our collective impasse in addressing climate change is the fault not just of greedy oil executives. Policy makers want to avoid any decision that would result in economic hardship. So, they punt in favor of business as usual, and as a result the pathway to averting climate doom narrows that much more.

    • Jenny are we there yet 1.1

      One week on, Since Chris Hipkins announced that he would be making an announcement about what the better decarbonisation policies he will putting the money from the decarbonisation policies he canceled. No action on that yet. But its only been one week since Chris Hipkins announced a coming announcement of where this money he cut from the canceled climate programs will be going. So I guess he has still got some leeway.

      How about that other policy issue he mentioned in his announcement of an announcement?

      Chris Hipkins said he was dropping climate mitigation measures to focus on the cost of living.
      Has there been any action on that issue since he announced it?

    • Jenny are we there yet 1.2

      Day eight and counting, since Chris Hipkins announced that he will be making an announcement, (at some unspecified time), of where he will be putting the money he cut from climate mitigation projects into better performing projects.

      On the 21st of March Chris Hipkins told Matt Mclean that the money he cut from the climate mitigation measures, the week before, will be going into even better decarbonisation measures. Chris Hipkins said he would not be making that announcement now, of where that money would be going, but hinted that the money he took from the canceled climate mitigation projects will go into helping private industry cut their emissions.

      "…..some of the industry decarbonisation work we are doing that are delivering much better bang for buck." Chris Hipkins, Matt McLean interview 21/03/2023

      A report out today shows that on the whole, most of our big private companies are doing pretty poorly.

      When Chris Hipkins finally makes his announcement of where this spending will go, it will be interesting to see how much of it will go to subsidise private industry to cut their emissions. Not least how this money will be used by these companies, with what projected result. It will also be interesting to see if any punitive measures like fines etc. will be imposed, if the companies who take this subsidy don't meet their projections.

      • Jenny are we there yet 1.2.1

        Jenny are we there yet

        24 March 2023 at 6:24 am

        We have received what may well be our final warning before it is to late to act.

        Countdown to better, more effective decarbonisation.

        Some good news on the climate change mitigation front

        We have an announcement by the Prime Minister of a pending announcement.
        What will this announcement be?
        When will this announcement be made?
        Will we be getting better, more effective climate action?
        Will we be getting more "Bang For Buck"?
        Or will it be more hot air?
        All questions will be answered. (one way or the other)….

        Now for the bad news;

        Day 9 since the PM said he would announce where he would put the money he cut from canceling climate mitigation measures he said were "ineffective" into measures he said would, "reduce carbon emissions by more than the ones that have been dropped"

        No sign at all of these new “better” decarbonisation measures

        Instead the government has just announced more new fossil fuel extraction measures.

        'Irresponsible': Government allows new planet-heating fossil fuels to be found

        Olivia Wannan14:23, Mar 29 2023

        The Government is offering companies another opportunity to search for new reserves of oil and gas, despite scientific warnings the world has enough.

        Climate activists said the move was “disturbing” and “completely irresponsible” – and vowed to fight efforts to search for and dig up fossil fuels…..

        At this stage it looks like the government has no intention of honouring the PM’s words of “better” decarbonisation measures.

        • Jenny are we there yet

          Day 10 (and counting, still no announcement)

          The phrase for the day is 'Word Salad'

          From Wikipedia

          \word salad, or schizophasia

          "confused or unintelligible mixture of seemingly random words and phrases",[1]…..

          …The words may or may not be grammatically correct, but are semantically confused to the point that the listener cannot extract any meaning from them.

          ."So, you know we have got to work through a process to make sure. And we got to keep looking at it. There are ideas that come up that we explore, and that we decide actually this isn't going to be the most effective way of reducing our carbon emissions there are better ways of doing it. We have to keep doing that on an ongoing basis. That is the nature of being in government. Good ideas don't always turn out to be the best ideas. You just have to keep looking to make sure you are doing things the best way possible." Chris Hipkins

          Whatever Chris Hipkins' proposed, announcement will be “…at how we can reduce carbon emissions in the most cost effective way possible.” It is extremely unlikely that the emissions reductions he announces will compensate for the increase in our emissions from the new fossil fuel projects his administration has just approved.

          Trying to reconcile these two different realities creates a stress which leads to a cognitive dissonance which ends in a jumbled utterance of words with no meaning.

          Word Salad.

  2. bwaghorn 2

    I thought election advertising was limited to the election period, this stuff is all over stuff

    • Sanctuary 2.1

      It is what happens when far right really rich people fund you to a point you are wondering how to spend all that cash.

    • Mac1 2.2

      I see National only rate themselves as a four star party!

      • Incognito 2.2.1

        Luxon is still rising

        • Jenny are we there yet

          And Jesus said to the invalid, pick up your bed and walk I command you. John 5:8

      • Nic the NZer 2.2.2

        3/4 stars actually. And if you know how these rating systems work. 1/4 stars you can't put because its insulting. 2/4 stars is for below average. 3/4 is what everybody gets. 4/4 stars, now come on nobody (party) is perfect.

    • Incognito 2.3

      It is them Stuff swingers and those polls. Did you notice the same ads on the Granny site? I bet you didn’t.

    • Mike the Lefty 2.4

      All MPs are allowed to advertise their services on media, just like any business person. They can also make comments to media, write columns in newspapers etc. and this is generally not considered to be advertising as per the current election campaign legislation. Of course some push the boundaries, particularly Simeon Brown.

    • Jenny are we there yet 2.5

      “By their deeds you will know them." Matthew 7:16

      Some politicians on the other hand need to continually tell you us great they are, otherwise we wouldn't have a clue.

  3. Sanctuary 3

    Seriously, that trans right dude on RNZ saying we should ban whatever the hell that woman calls herself because "We beat the Nazis back in the 30s and 40s"

    Actually, "we" didn't beat the Nazis. Our grand and great grandparents beat the Nazis. Our racist, bigoted, homophobic grand and great grandparents who you'd loath today.

    Honestly, the rhetoric is just nonsense.

    • Visubversa 3.1

      Of course it is nonsense – but it has gives people an excuse to be more committed in their ignorance. A whole bunch of my left wing friends are now sporting Facebook pics in the colours of the toy department of a cheap department store. One of them has never heard of autogynephilia – they think it is all about being nasty to people like Carmen and Georgina.

      I posted a copy of the Australian Jewish Association's statement on the recent events and even that was not acceptable.

      • Sanctuary 3.1.1

        Auckland Pride director Max Tweedie has gone utterly bonkers on twitter over this and Kim Hill's follow up interview with Kellie-Jay Keen-Minshull. The complete inability of large sections of the rainbow community to handle any sort of contrary opinion is deeply disturbing.

        Hysterical and absolutist demands that interviewing, publishing or discussing anything that disagrees with their party line be forbidden or else you face being circumscribed, slandered and threatened does immense harm to their credibility and cause, because it polarises people who otherwise would not be bothered by all this public airing of identity dirty laundry.

      • weka 3.1.2

        And now the pink blue fist has been raised by New Zealanders.

        • Sanctuary

          If you open any story on Stuff there is a little graphic bar somewhere in the story that asks you "How does this story make you feel?" with some little emoji faces for Angry, Don't care, sad, concerned, happy and love. At the bottom of the page is an endless stream of AI generated click bait for everything from weight loss fads to how to win on the lottery to ex-Hollywood stars who have normal jobs. If you listen to the PM doing his stand up on a Monday the press gallery is driven by the need to frame a headline, not to report the news – it is about gotchas, narrative framing etc. The need to generate an emotional response is the main function of the MSM these days.

          Given the MSN is now utterly uninterested in facts and only concerned with elliciting an emotional response for click bait it seems a complete own goal to rush off to court and demand huge counter demonstrations for someone who in Australia has been measuring her crowds in the dozens. Kellie-Jay Keen-Minshull understands the MSM environment way better than Max Tweedie does. Her main grift is probably from views of her ridiculously grandiose Youtube videos. The best policy would have to shrug, say it is a free country, and let her meetings fall flat on their face and be barely reported. Now, the media are lapping it up. Unreasoned emotion is the psychomagnotheric slime their ratings thrive on. The media will be gagging to report on angry activists confronting the minister, the failed court bid, and angry scenes outside a meeting that would have otherwise attracted a miserably small bunch of right wing and/or elderly fringe merchants with suspect personal hygiene.

          To paraphrase Oscar Wilde – "The Rainbow activist community galloping after Posie Parker: the illogical in full pursuit of the irrational."

          • weka

            I'd guess there is a Streisand effect happening. My social media is a bubble, but not a complete one because I intentionally follow people who have different views from me. There are NZers looking at some of the stuff the TRAs are doing and going wtaf? I would guess quite a lot of them. The fucked up thing about this is that because TA progressives refuse to talk the issues through, the public the polarisation, and if they already agree that transitioning children isn't ok, they will go and stand beside the conservatives on the whole thing and that will fuel actual transphobia. MSM are utterly complicit in this, and they will flip the other way as soon as that gets them more clicks.

            • tsmithfield

              I agree with you re the Steisand effect. When will people learn that the best strategy is just to ignore people like Posie Parker?

              People like that derive their oxygen from the commotion and protests that they generate. So, not providing that oxygen in the first place will mean they continue to remain obscure and inconsequential.

              • weka

                As Tweedie pointed out on KH, Melbourne changed things from the TRA side, KJK was already getting a lot of media coverage here because she was about to arrive. If they had ignored her, and if there were no big protests against LWS, then there would have been much smaller amounts of media coverage of LWS. But those would have been much more positive for KJK and GC politics.

                • Shanreagh

                  I had intended to go to see her in Wellington on Sunday. I am not now. The crowds that I saw in Hobart advancing on the supporters and the lack of any police action has made me realise that it will actually be dangerous for me.

                  I sense there will be other women who may make the same decision and this will then be used by the Trans lobby to say she/women's rights issues have no support.

                  Of course when you frighten people away with violent shows of strength people will be afraid.

                  The whole thing is a crock.

                  Caused by No Debate, caused by left wing men not supporting women on sex based rights.

                  The legislation comes into force in NZ on 15/6/2023.

                  At least LW men support us when

                  • we argue for the kind of safe spaces that work for us
                  • we report the abuses of women that will inevitably follow unless we give organisations like Rape Crisis centres the right to appoint bio females if bio females are the ones coming into the centres
                  • support the formation of specialised centres for Transwomen to be sheltered etc. but these should not be at the expense of bio women.
                  • support the rights of bio women in sport

                  Will you at least do that?

                  • weka

                    I agree that many will be put off by Hobart out of safety concerns. Canberra was much better handled by the police afaik, although I haven't watched to the end yet.

                    Auckland will probably set the scene for Wellington, in terms of how the police manage things. I've been told by Ak people that the Ak site is not the best for LWS but let's see how the police do.

                    I will probably put a post up on the weekend for those that can't attend

              • Shanreagh


                People like that derive their oxygen from the commotion and protests that they generate. So, not providing that oxygen in the first place will mean they continue to remain obscure and inconsequential.

                Why do you say that tsmithfield?

                People like that includes me and many other bio women who have found our sex based rights to safe spaces ignored.

                Why do you agree with this?

                The concerns are not 'obscure and inconsequential' unless you think that the ability of women to be treated and sheltered by other women is 'inconsequential'? That the rights of women in sport to compete against other women is 'inconsequential'.

                Why do you think this?

                Are women not able to keep hold of their sex based rights?

                Why not?

                This right is here


                At least join women in fight for safe spaces and for women to be treated by other bio women.

                • tsmithfield

                  I haven't even bothered to take much notice of what Posie Parker is going on about.

                  I was just making a general observation of how people with controversial views depend on those with diametrically opposite views making a public fuss about it that draws attention to the person that otherwise wouldn't be warranted.

                  • Shanreagh

                    KJM would have probably drawn bigger crowds that she will now that some women as too frightened to go by the threat of opposition protests and possible lack of competent policing as shown in Hobart.

                    Then the trans movement will say she is not supported and they have 'won'. As if shutting down ideas is winning.

                    Have you actually looked at the arguments/concerns?

                    I am going to donate to her campaign for enhanced security. Perhaps the police have said they cannot guarantee her safety. She appeared to have two security standing out around her in Hobart and she has been advised to hire 10 here in NZ.

                    • tsmithfield

                      It is a fraught area for me to stick my toes into tbh.

                      As a white stale male I am probably going to be uninformed whatever I do, and likely to cop it from either side if I dare say anything on this issue LOL. I prefer to read with interest what the likes of you and Weka have to say on the topic.

                    • tsmithfield

                      Despite my previous comment, I will give you my perspective on the issue for what it is worth.

                      Firstly, I don't have any idea about Possie Parker as to whether she is deliberately trying to stir up the pot for the sake of her own publicity, or whether she is genuine in what she believes. You and Weka would know more about that.

                      Probably my concern would not be so much her views, but whether she is just trying to create angst amongst the trangender community for the sake of creating angst.

                      So far as trans rights etc are concerned, it is a very difficult issue to make sense of.

                      Personally, I think someone's rights to be recognised as a specific sex should at the very least require that person to have the bits normally associated with that sex. So, a transitioning male who hasn't had appropriate operations should not be able to go into women's changing rooms, for instance. That just seems gross to me.

                      Secondly, obviously males who have transitioned to female after puberty have huge advantages so far as sports go when competing against born females. And I think world sporting bodies are beginning to recognise this in their rules.

                      Finally, I am very concerned about children being able to transition from one gender to another. And this should be approached with extreme caution. Often children don't really know what they want when they are young, and could suffer irreperable damage if they decide later they made a mistake.

                  • Shanreagh

                    @tsmithfield. Thank you for your two replies below this.

                    I know why I always think you are a good guy.

                    The point you have raised are those that concern many of us in various ways.

                    I don't think she is trying to create angst as giving knowledge. She is aiming at women as we are the ones, she perceives, as having the most to lose.

                    Had the trans activists not tried to stop her then it would have been a low key event. Speak Up For Women had some public meetings in public venues. Activists tried to stop them and the issue had to go to court where SUFW had their right to hold public meetings in council venues upheld. Again these were info sharing meetings.

                    I saw some of the people outside the Wellington SUFW venue and they were rabid/intolerant, quite frightening really.

                    It seems to be a point that trans activists want to control the narrative. They also have the naive view that if you are ask questions you are 'agin us.

                    Untransitioned males in female changing rooms, gross

                    Agree on the sports side as well.

                    Sir Seb Coe has said in international sports Transfemales will not be able to compete against bio women.

                    PP/KJM perhaps not so relevant here in NZ as the self ID has been voted in & comes into force on 23/6/23. We are at the policy writing stage here.

                    If it protects the rights of groups to appoint staff most suited to their clientele and to allow bio females to meet for therapeutic purposes if they want then at first glance that would be good. I would want the Corrections people to be able to use their present approach that does not allow transfemales convicted of sex crimes to be placed in open female prisons.

                    We will see how it impacts on bio women but as a user of counselling services in the past including sex segregated groups to work together I would draw the line at having to share these with a male.

                    Thanks again.

          • woodart

            "how does it make me feel"? confused actually. since I dont have skin in this game, the shrieking from all parties(media included)has overtaken the content of the argument. all I hope, is that somebody takes a "bring back buck" sign to any protest.

      • Anker 3.1.3

        “And somehow, in all of this, we have found ourselves in the extraordinary situation where men like Green MP Ricardo Menendez-March are telling women they cannot speak about concerns for their personal safety, or have a voice at this table”.

        This quote from Rachels article captures it perfectly for me.

      • tWiggle 3.2.1

        I found this article presented some of the nuances in the transgender sport debate in NZ.

        • Shanreagh

          I get that.

          It does not change my mind from this – that bio women competing against bio women is the fairest. Otherwise it falls into the trap in equity of if you treat unequal people equally you are treating people unequally.

          Perhaps we could have a category like they have in the Masters Games for age, for trans people? Or have a handicap system where track athletes start back further, and swimmers dive on a count system.

          From here

          ‘World Athletics president Sebastian Coe told a news conference that the decision to exclude transgender women was based on “the overarching need to protect the female category”.’

          To be possibly rude it is about time the trans community did the mahi to set-up their own safe spaces, Refuges, athletic categories instead of coat tailing on those of bio women. I for one would help them just as I do with women based charity work.

          • tWiggle

            Actually the article says that bio women with hormonal conditions benefitting androgen production, etc, are also under restrictions.

            To expand, the ban is for transgender women who have undergone male puberty, and is at international level only. So bio men may soon be able to participate if they didn't experience male puberty. Currently no transgender women compete in swimming at this level.

            • bwaghorn

              They should blanket ban all transgender men/women, because the before pubity carve out opens the door for some psychopathic patent/state gaming's it.

              • weka

                you might want to rewrite that because it doesn't make immediately apparent sense.

                • bwaghorn

                  There are leaving the door open for males that have transitioned before pubity to be able to compete as woman , I'd bet there's people that could would game that in some way,

                  Although why they would allow someone so young to transition is beyond me.

                  • weka


                    I see it as a stepping stone. It needs to be extended to other levels of sport including high school.

                    If they're trying to be fair to boys who will use PBs and then cross sex hormones, I suspect this will come undone as the dangers of PBs become more well known.

                    Mostly I don't think they realise how insulting it is to women to be told we're just men with less testosterone.

            • Shanreagh

              How many men now don't experience male puberty? Or are you talking way down the track? (as it were! ha ha)

              • tWiggle

                Young trans teens who are taking puberty blockers to limit development of their secondary sex characteristics. If transitioning to trans women they are bio men, according to your terminology.

                • weka

                  they are biological men, who've artificially blocked puberty and then use cross sex drugs and maybe surgery to alter some sex characteristics.

    • Descendant Of Smith 3.3

      However I have family today dealing with extremely upset children who are getting swastikas and other shit handed to them by other students.

      This hadn't happened previously to them and is only happening as a consequence of the visit and the publicity around this.

      It isn't the adults paying the price for her coming here. I have no doubt either that she knows her views and PR activities create this sort of reaction. As far as I'm concerned she is just using the media to engender such negative responses towards people who are seen as different. This isn't about women's rights as some would make it – it's about bigotry and hatred using women's right as a means to spout it.

      There is no need for her to be here.

      One of them has never heard of autogynephilia – they think it is all about being nasty to people like Carmen and Georgina.

      We do not need her here to have that discussion and raise those issues. I'm firmly on the side of trans-gender males should not have access to women's spaces – I cannot for the life of me how she is helping that discussion.

      Been around long enough to see women's toilets being the default for conversion to the disability toilets and the repeat of this some 30-40 years later with transgender issues. The pattern never changes.

      • Anne 3.3.1

        As far as I'm concerned she is just using the media to engender such negative responses towards people who are seen as different. This isn't about women's rights as some would make it – it's about bigotry and hatred using women's right as a means to spout it.

        Well said DoS. As I said a couple of days ago "she is an imposter" who is using the 'rights of women' campaign to further entrench ultra right-wing political views. She reminds me of the Nazi's modus operandi of the 1930s.

        She was moaning earlier today that "nobody cares about women". I bet the majority of Nzers would find that a very offensive statement to make.

        Edit: can’t find the link online where she made the claim. It was there there this morning.

        • Shanreagh

          Really I think she is right about nobody cares about women, I don't find factual statements like these offensive.

          Women were given short shrift with a side of rudeness at the hearing of submissions on the BDM self ID bill.

          We have male politicians ( Robertson, Michael Wood) opining about the world view without turning their minds to whether they have been party to this world view by supporting the No debate ideology.

      • weka 3.3.2

        We do not need her here to have that discussion and raise those issues.

        Do you know what No Debate is? KJK exists because gender lobbyists instituted No Debate, and liberals enforced it. If she wasn't needed to have the debate, the debate would have happened already. Why do you think it didn't happen in the long years during which self ID was being brought in?

        That's shit that kids are getting given swastikas. What's the connection with KJK?

        • Descendant Of Smith

          It has been well publicised and I have no doubt you are aware of the reporting given this is an area of interest to you.

          I'd never heard of her prior to this so have no idea whether she has direct connections or things are just running parallel with right wing fascists taking advantage of similar views. Likely a bit of both from a quick glance at her other conservative views and who she has associated with in the US.

          What I do know is the the kids handing out the swastikas to gay and transgender kids are doing so because of the associations they have seen with her and Nazi's in recent days. Rightly or wrongly that is the way it is and I'm quite annoyed these kids have to put up with this.

          I'm also not sure which things you are referring to that were not debated. I've seen things such a gender ID go to select committee and amendments made and seen these things debated and supported by both Labour and National. Losing the debate is different from not having it. There's loads of legislation I think is really shitty.

          I've tended to stay out of the discussions here about these issues even though for many of them I have family directly affected – both on the liberal side and then there is the conservative parts of the family who are anti anything liberal side. Likely no different from any other family. That in part due to the comments here about mansplaining etc. I've been quite content to let women have their space.

          There is far more openness and debate about these issues than there was for instance in the 80's. If we'd told my manager back then his secretary was gay he would have sacked her and the other staff member she was living with and no-one would have batted an eyelid.

          Still it's interesting that she speaks on behalf of women's rights as to own space but at the same time is anti-abortion and anti-contraception which I see as anti-women's rights. Human beings can definitely be contradictory at times.

          • SPC

            I know she has support from conservative groups opposed to abortion and contraception, but I've not seen any information about her being in agreement.

          • weka

            No debate was an intentional strategy to stop public debate. It's why there's been fuck all MSM coverage of the actual issues. Yes there was debate about the BDMRR, but it was largely within specific circles. There was no widespread debate in NZ, which is why most people don't know what the issues are.

            It has been well publicised and I have no doubt you are aware of the reporting given this is an area of interest to you.

            No, I wasn't aware, which is why I asked. Was this in NZ?

            What I do know is the the kids handing out the swastikas to gay and transgender kids are doing so because of the associations they have seen with her and Nazi's in recent days. Rightly or wrongly that is the way it is and I'm quite annoyed these kids have to put up with this.

            She holds a rally, it is protested by genderist, Nazis who hate women and genderists turn up, she takes a full day to repudiate the Nazis, all hell breaks loose in the MSM, and it's her fault that kids are handing out swastikas in schools?

            It is annoying. And serious in terms of rising fascism, which is an issue already in NZ quite separate from KJK or genderism.

            Not quite as annoying as having your breasts and uterus removed, ending up life long disability and dependence on medical treatment that doesn't know what to do.

        • SPC

          In KJK's case, is her campaign against self ID or recognition of the transition to transgender identity process that came before self ID?

          She and JKR et al may have blocked self ID in the UK, but the former process remains intact.

          Those who oppose self ID here and in Oz, Canada and in the EU will support her in that matter, but in the wider cause as well?

          • weka

            she basically wants males to stay out of women's spaces, and she thinks it's wrong to transition children and teens.

  4. Tony Veitch 4

    I have yet to hear anyone, particularly anyone with even a tentative connection with education, come out in praise of the refurbishment of National Standards v2.0 ('23 election edition).

    The Principals Federation are very clear this would be a backward step to the almost a decade of decaying standards under the Key/English catastrophe! 22 mins long but a good listen.

    • tsmithfield 4.1

      Probably because it would mean that a lot of teachers would have to do something about their own deficiencies in a core subject they are a supposed to teach.

      From the article:

      "One participant wasn't able to work out the basics of 7 plus what equals 10. A teacher in a professional development environment couldn't work out that 7 plus 3 equals 10," Whyte said.


      "If something new was added to the timetable – maybe Harold the Giraffe and the truck came along to do Life Ed – then they would shift maths to that time so that maths was the subject that was dropped that day," Whyte said.

      Good grief. Maths is one of the corner-stones of education. And if teachers feel so inadequate in that aspect themselves that they try to avoid teaching it, then we truly are stuffed.

      • Peter 4.1.1

        Julie Whyte said, "A teacher in a professional development environment couldn't work out that 7 plus 3 equals 10."

        If that's true, that's appalling. How could an adult be employed as a teacher who couldn't work that? It's also instructive.

        How did that person get through school? How did that person get to be a teacher? How could they get a University degree? If that story's true.

        • Sanctuary

          I employed a 16 year old who couldn't work out basic maths, only after talking to her did it dawn on me she didn't know the order of operations in mathematics.

          • arkie

            Earlier this week several regular commenters demonstrated they also were unaware of the order of operations. It doesn't represent a failure of education.

          • Craig H

            12 or so years ago, I employed a 15 year old who couldn't calculate change for a $9.90 item from $10, or use a calculator to work out the answer (the POS software could do it at time of ordering if payment was made then, but for orders placed by phone, payment was at pick-up, so change had to be calculated manually at the time). I found it easier to teach her how to use a calculator than to do arithmetic, but it was an 'interesting' discovery.

            If I assume that would have been arithmetic of an 8 year-old (say), then she should have learnt that ~20 years ago.

            • Peter

              Brother went to the US in the mid 70s. Going to speedway events he was astounded that people taking money at the gate couldn't work out the change to give and used whatever the cash registers or whatever they had back then to work it out.

              We scoffed and laughed at those in the 'Big Smoke' being so dumb. Of course over the years we watched our so-called (at the time) 'world leading education system' copy all the ways of America. "It's from the USA, it's gotta be brilliant." Here we are all these years later, we've caught up to them.

        • Anne

          Nope I don't believe it. In order to make a point someone called Julie Whyte told a porky. That is unprofessional coming from a professional.

          • tsmithfield

            Do you have any evidence at all to support that claim? Surely it would have already been challenged if untrue.

            Here is more about the research from Massey University. She looks like the real deal to me.


            • Anne

              I made no claim as such. I said "I don't believe it" and I don't as it has been apparently reported.

              Someone has likely twisted an interchange. For example if the question was framed in some sort of mathematical hieroglyphic it would not be the teacher didn't know the answer, but rather they didn't understand the question. For example, why should a teacher of history have to be cognizant with the minutia of some mathematically expressed simple equation?

              • tsmithfield

                For example, why should a teacher of history have to be cognizant with the minutia of some mathematically expressed simple equation?

                If they are too thick to know the answer to 7 + what = 10 then they are too thick to be teaching at all IMO. I don't care what subject they teach. It is not like they are being expected to solve advanced calculus or the like.

                • Anne

                  So you never even read my 1146am response? Either that or you didn't understand it.

                  Not like you tsmithfield. I normally have much respect for your comments.

        • tWiggle

          Firstly, the study interviewed a small group of teachers who self-identified as anxious about teaching some parts of the maths curriculum.

          Secondly, they probably were at primary school at the same time as my son. The educational model for teaching reading, for example, would have been whole-word recognition, not phonetics or rote chanting of spelling words.

          My son went to a Decile1 primary school in a very snooty part of town. It was only at the mid-point of his SECOND year that they bothered to tell us he had reading difficulties. He's a bit dyslexic, not that the school identified that as the issue.

          How could we know, when they gave him homework before that time with, for example, pages of GRAMMAR questions in year 2? We assumed that school had taught him to read, the same way everyone in my primer 2 class had basic literacy. Certainly, an aware teacher should have been setting appropriate home study.

          His self-esteem took a serious knock in the 2 years at that school. He had learnt to fake it through his school day. Imagine if those maths-anxious teachers had a similar experience at a crucial stage in maths learning.

          As most teachers are female, especially at primary level, maths anxiety could also be due to cultural expectations. Our culture reinforces the perception that girls are bad at maths, and it becomes a self-fulfilling prophecy.

          But that's not the case in other cultures. For example, previously in Japan, boys were considered as slow at maths, and their sisters were expected to give them extra tuition to help them, poor things.

          One reason: Japanese women were in charge of family finances, controlled the pay-packet and made the big purchase decisions. Sometimes they even bought property without consulting husbands. Hence it's not surprising that girls got taught sums early by Mum, and boys were thought weak at all that number stuff.

          Finally, teacher training used to be a rigorous 4 year practical training course, where you were paid a stipend, low, but enough to keep a family if you had to, with free fees. The dynamics of that training, more an apprenticeship than a university course, had plenty of opportunity to iron out individual weak points, and produced a high calibre of trainees.

          • tsmithfield

            It is hard to underestimate the value of a good teacher.

            One of our sons (over twenty years ago) was having difficulty reading in primary school. A teacher noticed that his eyes were not tracking to the beginning of the next line.

            We had him checked out, and he needed an eye operation to fix the problem.

            • Visubversa

              One of my brothers was spotted as not picking up the reading process. What he was doing, was what he had done for the last 4 or so years while he was being read to regularly, which was memorising the books. My mother was horrified – she had trained as a teacher herself and we are all read to from a very early age. My brother knew exactly what was on what page – he just had not grasped that those marks on the page meant something! Within a fortnight he was reading properly but it may not have turned out so well if the teacher had not been so alert.

              • tWiggle

                Must have seemed like magic to him the moment he twigged, Visubversa. Perhaps he'd already trained up a superb oral memory by then. Cool story!

          • Belladonna

            I agree about the self-fulfilling prophecy about 'girls being bad at maths' – which is further reinforced by girls who are good at maths are certainly not going down the primary teacher training route (they can earn much higher salaries in other areas).

            It's the girls who are 'good' at English who get directed to primary teacher training. And, in my opinion, it's the teaching methodology at fault there (the disaster which is balanced literacy), rather than the incapacity of the teaching force.

            Of course, it changes in secondary school – in order to teach maths you need a maths undergraduate degree. But, by then, it's far too late for the kids who aren't self-starting learners at the primary level.

            The actual content of the primary curriculum around maths tuition is also not helpful for kids who don't instantly 'get' it. Teaching multiple ways to get a result is interesting/informative for kids with a naturally strong mathematical bent – it's just confusing for kids who are struggling (now I have to try and figure out 4 ways to get the answer, rather than just learning one).

            Having been down the route of a parent with a kid who struggled – the school system was basically useless. They were only set up to repeat the things which already hadn't worked. And were perfectly happy to shuffle the kids down to the 'bottom group' where they could continue to fail, quietly. Private tuition (a retired teacher with a grab bag of techniques to try until one clicked with the student), was what got us through to high school.

            Having said all that. I don't see that the National Party strategy would do anything to fix the issues. If the current teaching model isn't working (and results seem to suggest it is not); then repeating more of the same, isn't going to fix the problem.

            • tWiggle

              Maths in primer 3 for me was a dusty book with tiny font. We were expected to calculate how many oz in 4 stone 5 lb and how many pence in £2 10/_ 4d.

              Maths in primer 4 was a gorgeous fat textbook with pictures of sets and lots of visuals on how to add, subtract and multiply 10 apples or 5 fish. I remember well my huge excitement, elation almost, at opening the first few pages.

      • tWiggle 4.1.2

        And if you read the follow-on to that article, the current government has worked on educational issues too. Note the end statements:

        ' "People who are looking for an instant, overnight, what's the magical solution are ultimately going to be disappointed," Education Minister Chris Hipkins says.

        Because turning around our dire reading, writing and maths rates is a challenge that will take years.'

        Hipkins has skin in the game. His mother was a teacher and now is chief researcher at the NZ Council for Educational Research. I am quite sure she's been bending his ear on ed issues for years.

        • tsmithfield

          Yeah. Fair enough. But the article does highlight a huge problem IMO.

          I have nearly two year old twin grand-children. If I have anything to do with it, they sure as hell are going to know the answer to 7 plus what = 10 by the time they get to school. And also the fundamentals of modern cosmology and quantum physics LOL.

      • Tony Veitch 4.1.3

        Frankly, I don't believe it.

        • tsmithfield

          I am sure there will be a post on this topic fairly soon. So I will comment more there. I do support National's plan to the extent that I think there needs to be more emphasis on those core topics that are vital for future success.

          But, I also realise it is nowhere near a complete answer, and there are other deeper factors that need to be resolved, but are much more difficult problems to solve.

      • Phillip ure 4.1.4

        And 'good grief!' to you.. Smithfield..(@ 4.1)..

        One anecdotal does not a case make..


      • Tony Veitch 4.1.5

        tsmithy, if you look at the three graphs displayed in this tweet, the decline in standards for reading, maths and science began around 2009, coincidental with the introduction of National Standards.

        • Phillip ure

          Yes those unfortunate children suffered 10 years of national standards…that is where yr slipping standards..kicked in.

          And the bloody tories want to do it all over again..?

          Eff them..!

          And work has been going on for the last four years on a new curriculum..

          And it is nearly completed/ready to be rolled out..

          And the bloody tories want to bin all that…for their simplistic-shite/rerun of national standards..?..

          Double eff them..!

    • Stephen 4.2

      There is nothing new in Nat’s latest education policy. Only ideas that have been tried and failed.

      Following their law and order work, it would be good to see if they had anything new to offer.

  5. Ad 5

    German government is proposing to reneg on banning combustion engine vehicle sales by 2025. That would kill the EU agreement coming up in a few days.

    Something for their Greens to bring the government down with I'd say.

    • tsmithfield 5.1

      Yes. This is the problem the world has to deal with. There needs to be co-ordinated action that ignores national self-interest.

      We can wring our hands as much as we like about our own emissions. But, if other much bigger countries aren't going to take the issue seriously, then we are just pissing into the wind.

      • Drowsy M. Kram 5.1.1

        "Pissing into the wind", or into ‘someone else's‘ behaviour-fuelled cyclone?

        UN climate report shows world is flying blind into the storm
        [20 March 2022]
        In its latest report, the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) describes a world of long-foreseen impacts arriving now with shocking power. Human suffering — especially among the poor — will increase rapidly in the coming decades. The symbolic limit of 1.5 degrees Celsius will almost certainly be breached.

        I'll give up my lifestyle when you pry it from my lukewarm, dead hands?

        UN conference hears litany of water disasters linked to climate crisis
        [23 March 2023]
        Humanity faces a difficult truth – climate change is making our planet uninhabitable,” said Guterres on Thursday. “As countries hurtle past the 1.5C limit (2.7F), climate change is intensifying heatwaves, droughts, flooding, wildfires and famines, while threatening to submerge low-lying countries and cities and drive more species to extinction.

        The reluctance to Act is quite fantastic. Too little, too latte – such a sham(e) sad

        COP 27 Recap: The Good, The Bad, And What’s Next After The Climate Conference [16 December 2022]
        Even without progress on strengthening global mitigation commitments and fossil fuel reductions, individual nations could have accelerated their own decarbonization efforts. The Glasgow Pact at COP 26 asked all nations to “revisit and strengthen” their climate pledges before the end of 2022. Unfortunately, only around 30 nations, representing 20% of global emissions, have actually updated their pledges.

        • tsmithfield

          I agree with you.

          The problem is that we could cut all our emissions to zero tomorrow, and it would mean nothing if the rest of the world continues on as if there is no existential problem.

          • Drowsy M. Kram

            The problem is that we could cut all our emissions to zero tomorrow, and it would mean nothing if the rest of the world continues on as if there is no existential problem.

            So is that a good reason not to cut emissions in Aotearoa New Zealand? Because if it is a good reason, then its a reason every country and, indeed, every individual can use to continue BAU – which, as I've previously indicated, suits me personally.

            The problem isn’t that 'we' can't cut emissions – the problem is we’re too good at convincing ourselves that global warming is someone else’s responsibility/problem.

            • tsmithfield

              I think we should be putting as much effort in as other countries are to the problem.

              The issue for me is, that if we go much harder than other countries, then we will suffer economically because other countries aren't bearing the same amount of cost. And even if we do, it will make piss all difference to the problem.

              I think we should be aggitating for urgent climate action as a part of a world collective with the point of emphasing the urgency of the problem and the need for co-ordinated action.

              The big problem is that, unless there is collective action, the problem will just get worse, whatever we do.

              Seeing prominent industrial nations such as Germany renegging on their promises is highly discouraging.

              • Drowsy M. Kram

                I think we should be putting as much effort in as other countries are to the problem.

                You make a good case for half-hearted efforts to mitigate global warming. Perhaps no amount of effort will stop the problem getting worse. What I can do is make my own ecological footprint smaller – better than nothing?

                Seeing prominent industrial nations such as Germany renegging on their promises is highly discouraging.

                I can't do anything about Germany's per capita greenhouse gas emissions, which are significantly lower than NZ's.


                Prior to the pandemic blip, Germany's per capita GHG emissions decreased by 37% (from 1990 to 2019), while NZ's increased by 14%.


                All the best to future generations of human passengers on spaceship Earth.

                • tsmithfield

                  Prior to the pandemic blip, Germany's per capita GHG emissions decreased by 37% (from 1990 to 2019), while NZ's increased by 14%.

                  From what I have seen, the Germans pay lip service to this sort of thing and fudge a lot. For instance, when I was over there, they were making a big song and dance about shutting down their nuclear power industry.

                  It turned out that they had switched to buying a lot of their power from France who generate 70% of their power from nuclear.

                  So, Germany was putting on a pious badge about being clean and green with respect to nuclear, when in fact, it was pure hypocrisy.

                  • Drowsy M. Kram

                    For all their pious badge-wearing and "pure hypocrisy" (nothing like "100% pure"), the Germans appear to be doing significantly better (although still not good enough) than Kiwis when it comes to reining in their greenhouse gas emissions – it fair does one's head in.

                    UBA forecast: 2022 greenhouse gas emissions down by 1.9 percent
                    Increase in coal and fuel consumption – more renewables and overall lower energy use curb the effects
                    Germany’s greenhouse gas emissions (GHG) fell slightly by 1.9% in 2022. GHG emissions were around 746 million tonnes – some 15 million tonnes less than 2021. Overall, emissions in Germany have fallen by 40.4% since 1990.

                    Perhaps Germany is not the best choice of comparator country to deflect from NZ's woeful record of (not) reducing GHG emissions.

                    There's no deflecting global warming, and There Is No Planet B.

                    • tsmithfield

                      Well, I'll tell you a good place to start in NZ that is easy for the government to do. Why doesn't the government immediately subsidise solar power for NZ homes? That extra power would likely mean we don't need to have coal-powered electric cars when the Huntly power station is burning coal.

                  • Drowsy M. Kram

                    Well, I'll tell you a good place to start in NZ that is easy for the government to do. Why doesn't the government immediately subsidise solar power for NZ homes?

                    Well, you sure can tell me. The Greens have policy on solar power – far from perfect, but it's something. Not much from other parliamentary parties according to this article, although Te Pāti Māori seems keen.

                    The Māori Party would establish a new dedicated $1bn-scheme, Pūngao Auaha, that is responsible for supporting Māori-owned community energy projects, and for funding the complete fit-out of marae, kura and papakāinga housing developments with solar energy and insulation. Individual whānau would also be able to apply for funding for solar and insulation installations. The scheme will be responsible for funding projects that create jobs in Māori communities and bring down energy costs for thousands of whānau.



                    So, subsidising solar would be "a good place to start". And then?

                    Our climate change policies are a mess [21 March 2023]
                    The Emissions Trading Scheme was always a neoliberal, market-based, get-out-of-jail-free plan. Time to lead the way with Tradable Energy Quotas instead

                    Hmm, some interesting comments on that article – food for thought.

              • Phillip ure

                @ smithfield..

                D'yareckon we should try to get down to the developed world average of 18 tonnes a year..?

                Down from our average beating current level of 23 tonnes a year…?

                Those two figures pretty much dismiss your concerns about us 'going much harder' on this

                We are the ones dragging the chain…

                Countries like germany have cut their emissions by a significant amount…
                And the netherlands are halving the number of their extractive animals..

                Us..?…not so much..

                • tsmithfield

                  It depends. If the Netherlands is cutting out inefficient farms then it is probably a good thing. But if they are cutting out farms that produce food for the planet at a lower carbon footprint than other countries, then it is a bad thing, because the slack will be picked up by less efficient countries.

                  That is why things need to be looked at as a whole rather than in isolation.

                  • Phillip ure

                    @ smithfield…the cuts in netherlands are focused on the animal-extraction farms..

                    Not those growing real food…

                    And there is a case to be made that animal-fatteners are not actually farmers .

                    They are just animal-fatteners .

                    Buy them young…fatten them up..send them to the slaughterhouse…

                    How in anyone's effing dreams can that be described as farming..?

                    The current head of federated farmers… isn’t a farmer…he is an animal-fattener

                    And you seem to be quite relaxed about our current high emissions..?

                    • tsmithfield

                      Not at all. As I pointed out above, there is stuff the government could be doing right now to avoid having to burn coal to run the Huntly Power station. Shame on the government for not sorting this out sooner.

                      All they need to do is subsidise solar technology for NZ homes. Especially for batteries which are the expensive part, but would smooth out the supply.

                • tsmithfield

                  The other thing about Germany is that they started from a very high position so far as emissions go. That is because they used to have a lot of coal-powered generators that they shut down.

                  Compared to us, where a lot of our power is renewable anyway, it means it is much harder for us to get similar results.

                  • Phillip ure

                    Are you just ignoring the fact that our emissions are almost a third higher than the developed world average..?

                    And this comes from the animal extraction industries..

                    And we can either be smart..and start moving away from animal extraction..

                    Or face the economic chaos of the world no longer wanting our expensive cruelty-based flesh..with large environmental footprint..from the bottom of the world..

                    The writing is on the cowshed wall…

                    And it says clearly that in no way is the status quo tenable…

                    Animal extraction is a sunset industry..

                    The message is that simple..

                    • tsmithfield

                      Are you just ignoring the fact that our emissions are almost a third higher than the developed world average..?

                      Not at all. Remember, my opening comment was:

                      I think we should be putting as much effort in as other countries are to the problem.

                      So, if we aren't doing that, we need to be.

  6. Incognito 6

    Question of the day:

    Does active engagement on an active political blog site constitute political activism?

    Asking for a friend.

    • Sanctuary 6.1

      On a political continuum from 0 – no engagement – to 10 – frothing activist who turns up everywhere – it would be a solid 2.

    • Shanreagh 6.2

      If this friend works in the PS and this is about signing up to the code of conduct then I would say yes.

      Perhaps coming on TS with a cast iron nom de plume may be Ok. But then I do not trust any site to have the complete ability to protect passwords/people's names/noms de plume.

      The usual rule of thumb is that if the fact that you come onto TS was published on the front page of a newspaper or other MSM and it was potentially an embarrassment then don't do it.

      Many PS don't go onto any place where their neutrality can be called into question.

      • Belladonna 6.2.1

        I think it's also a continuum. The more senior you are in the Public Service, the greater your opportunities to influence government policy, and the less you should express your own political views (except, of course, at the ballot box).

        So, I doubt that someone working at a junior level in a ministry, would be called out for anonymous commentary on social media (though making radical posts on your personal Facebook or LinkedIn page, is likely to raise the ire of HR). Whereas a senior Manager or Head of Department, should almost certainly refrain from comment on political issues (fine to discuss the prospects of the All Blacks, praise a theatre performance, or share your cat photos).

        I know that we had regular briefings when I worked in local government over how to navigate this continuum.

        And, one of the joys of no longer working there, is that I can express my opinions about local government.

        • Craig H

          I generally agree with that, but suggest that anonymity isn't really required either unless someone is sufficiently senior to potentially interact with ministers. The Public Service Commission's 2023 election advice is available here – section 3 (starts page 9) goes into this in reasonable detail.

          • Belladonna

            I agree that it shouldn't be necessary in an ideal world.

            Anonymity is really to protect the individual.

            Regardless of the law, actively expressed social or political opinions can get you into trouble, both in the workplace and outside.

            You should assume that all social media posts under your name will be accessible (one way or another) to the rest of the world.

            Your employer may wish to disassociate themselves from your political views (more likely in some employment situations than others, and depending on whether your political views align with those of your employer). You really can get fired, both in the government environment and the business one, for 'bringing your employer into disrepute'.

            You may not want to have active political discussions in your workplace – especially if there is a diverse range of political opinions – in the interests of getting the job done. That's a lot easier if your 'political' and 'personal' social media identities are separate.

            And, doxing is a real risk outside the workplace. There's a reason that most Standardistas use a nom-de-plume.

      • Anne 6.2.2

        I can't speak for the Public Service today, but at least up until the 1990s the PS I knew liked to have a bob each way when it came to political membership.

        The department where I worked was tolerant of staff who belonged to the National Party but woe betide anyone who joined the Labour Party. What was the difference I hear you ask? Because it was considered kosher to work for National in one's spare time but decidedly un-kosher to work for Labour. Talk about double standards!

        Of course there was no internet or social media but I suspect there's not a lot of difference in attitude in some sectors of the PS.

        • Craig H

          I had the joy of my local MP, who I campaigned for, becoming a minister in my public service area, so I thought it prudent to declare a conflict of interest. Was agreed that I had done the right thing in declaring it, but also that there was no need to stop being involved outside work, just obviously avoid any work dealings with the now minister.

          • Anne

            I did the same Craig H.

            Was honest about my active membership of the Labour Party. I also ensured that my work life and political life were separated. That meant I did not participate in any crossover discussions unless they were benign.

            When Rogernomics came along in the 1980s my department was one of the first to be restructured in part because it was small in size. My bosses believed I was "running to the new government telling tales out of school". Nothing I said could convince them it was not true. Things went downhill and I eventually resigned in 1992. I never received an apology.

            You would be surprised which department it was but best not to mention it. Suffice to say it has been in the news a lot in recent times. 😉

    • weka 6.3

      Depends entirely on how the active engagement is done, but sure. Blogs are part of the political landscape. Arguments can be made here as well as a street corner or in parliament.

    • Stephen 6.4

      As a teacher, therefore a public servant, am I as constrained as someone who works in the MoE?

    • bwaghorn 6.5

      I doubt I qualify as an activist, just grumpy man with a ph😁

    • Stuart Munro 6.6

      It's a question of quality.

      If said engagement is original, well-informed, and enlightened, I think so.

      Low-end snark not so much – though Bierce's observation on the force of ecphrasis must be borne in mind:


      Oily, smooth, sleek.

      Disraeli once described the manner of Bishop Wilberforce as "unctuous, oleaginous, saponaceous." And the good prelate was ever afterward known as Soapy Sam. For every man there is something in the vocabulary that would stick to him like a second skin. His enemies have only to find it.

  7. gsays 7

    I have been enjoying the exposure of lobbyists activities highlighted by Guyon Espiner's work on RNZ.

    Hearing the PM on the radio assuring us that his Chief of Staff, Andrew Curtain, had cut ties with his lobbying firm, before a bottle return scheme was axed. A scheme, coincidentally, unfavored by Curtin's previous paymasters.

    As was said on RNZ's The Detail, publishing MP's diaries sheds little or no light on lobbyists and their secretive efforts to undermine democracy. Encrypted messages to officials and advisors reeks of sneaky and underhand.

    All lobbyists companies should be open about their client list and their engagements with officials.

    That, and a 2 year 'cool off' period before MPs and the like retire to 'spend more time with their family'.

    • Belladonna 7.1

      I definitely think that we need more boundaries around lobbying. Saying that they have no more access than any other Kiwi – is demonstrably untrue.

      And, it's clear to me that this is another manifestation of the 'old boys' club – with behind the scenes decision-making and back-scratching.

      The recent comments (on a different topic) on the disinfecting glare of publicity – are relevant here as well. Requiring lobbyists to make client lists freely available. Require Ministers and their staff to openly declare any contacts with firms and the topic.

      Yes, individual parts may indeed be commercially sensitive – and redacted (e.g. the location of the plant proposed). But Kiwis should be entitled to know that firm X has employed lobbyist Y, in relation to topic Z. And Ministers should be prepared to demonstrate that they have engaged in balanced consultation – following being lobbied. e.g. Minister A and his staff have reached out to community group B and action group C, and professional group D – in relation to the issue raised by lobbyist Y, before making a decision.

      I also think there needs to be a halt on the revolving door between politicians and their staff and lobby firms. A mandatory stand-down period of 2 years, or an election cycle – whichever is the longer. So that senior politicians can't engage current lobbyists as their chief of staff (or any other role) – and parliamentary staff and/or politicians can't resign and become lobbyists. Regardless of the actuality of corruption (and there must be some influence, otherwise why would anyone bother) – the perception of corruption and undue influence is just too great.

      • Do we have the same rules for the Tobacco Lobby the Banking Lobby the Oil and Gas Lobby the Farming Lobby?

        Why were these questions not attended to in earlier Governments…… ?

        Tui "there were no lobbyists" Oh Yeah!! Pull the other one devil

        Perhaps some need to remove a large mote from their eye?

        It seems to be a problem when the Left do it imo, where others get out of clink free!!
        ( Or wear a different hat.)

        • Belladonna

          We don't seem to have any rules for any lobbyists – and the firms are apparently remarkably ecumenical in their approach to clients (if you have the cash, we have the access)

          I see that as a problem, regardless of which parties are in government.

          This is not a right/left issue – it's an open or closed government issue.

          Perhaps you need to remove the mote from your own eye.

          Better rules around influence improves the transparency of government, regardless of which parties are in power.

          The examples that Espiner has provided hardly seem like left wing causes being lobbied for – more like big business.

          Tech giants, Hollywood film studios, big pharma and multinational energy companies are using local lobbying firms to gain access to senior ministers and sensitive government information.

          [Quote from OP]

          Is your sole argument that it's a Labour government, so of course we must trust that they won't be influenced?

          In which case, you should be all for closing the loophole, smartish, before a National government comes to power (it will happen eventually)

  8. Red Blooded One 8

    Just for some balance from what we see here regularly on the Keen Minchin situation. I can't speak or won't argue for the author. She speaks for herself.

    • weka 8.1

      her opening is that if you believe in the concept of biological femaleness then you are automatically a bigot. Not really anywhere to go after that because it's just a failure of an argument.

      • Shanreagh 8.1.1

        Agree. I really can't get with any group that says the way to win an argument/make progress in our society is to cancel/deny/make difficult to express the rights and being of others.

        So for me today a couple of bright spots

        • the Court case coming in for allowing KJM in
        • the press release from Sir Seb Coe about women in sport.

        As I say this is truly ironic as many woman I know implicitly support the trans movement from a base of knowledge about being sidelined and not wanting to wish this experience on others.

        Everyone deserves to be safe though and it is pie in the rainbow sky to say that people will not take advantage of female spaces as males armed/emboldened with a piece of paper.

        NZ law says part transitioned is OK. How will that work out. Doesn't seem to be any expectation on continuing the transition.

        • AB

          Everyone deserves to be safe though and it is pie in the rainbow sky to say that people will not take advantage of female spaces as males armed/emboldened with a piece of paper.

          Any ideas on practical options for ensuring that? It's surely something we could all support. It would be great to come up with something that does not invalidate the very existence of trans people – or worse, involves tacitly allying oneself with the evangelical far right – who seem to harbour murderous intent towards trans people.

          • RosieLee

            Easy. Female women only spaces as now. Male spaces also. Middle category for "whatever".

      • tsmithfield 8.1.2

        Weka, Shanreagh, I have had a look at Posie Parker's views as per Wiki etc. I find myself in agreement with most of her stated views.

        My biggest question mark is whether she is just another Lauren Southern who I also agreed with in many respects (i.e. she was a stated feminist, apparently standing up for women's rights in Islamic society etc). And, apparently, she had legally registered herself as a male to make a mockery of the legislation that allowed that.

        But, in the end, I decided that she was really a professional stirrer who was more interested in creating controversy than actually solving problems, and actually, quite racist as well. For instance, her stunt in Luton where she claimed Allah to be a gay God in a Muslim area.

        The aim there was to stir up conflict with those who obviously had strong views in that respect, while at the same time, aiming to appear she was standing up for women's rights and freedom of speech. And also, aimed to cause logical conflicts with those who on one hand were supporting minorities such as the gay community, gender equallity etc and and at the same time supporting the rights of religious minorities such as the Islamic community.

        You would probably know more about Possie Parker's genuine motivations than me.

        • weka

          It's clear to me that KJK genuinely cares about women's rights within the scope of her own politics. So I disagree with analyses that she is simply grifting or shitstirring and I've not seen a good argument for them.

          She does have an ability for the in your face rhetoric and she is charismatic. She knows how to disrupt. But there is a pretty clear consistency to her underlying messages about women's and children's rights.

          • tsmithfield

            Thanks Weka. I hadn't formed any view so far as that goes, hence the question.

            But, I think that the media are trying to frame it that way, which is quite shameful really. Hopefully those providing the venues have the courage to stand up for freedom of speech.

    • Francesca 8.2

      Transwomen are transwomen.

      Its just magical thinking to believe that you can change your sex.

      Male /female is a binary, its how we manage to continue the species, like it or lump it.

      I ,like most other women are perfectly happen to extend the usual courtesy and decency I'll use the pronouns ,I won't dead name, but please, please don't expect me to pretend something I know to be false.

      All the frocks , hormones ,orchidectomies , mastectomies, boob jobs and fake penises and makeup in the world will not change the fact that men are men, women are women, and they can present and behave any damn way they like.Out and proud

  9. Adrian 9

    Can someone answer this for me please. If a woman transitions to male and wishes to compete in representative sport does he have a case for being banned for needing to take testosterone?

    • Alan 9.1

      Good question, as far as I am aware there have been very few cases of females transitioning to male and seeking to participate in elite sport. It seems the trend is all the other way.

      • hetzer 9.1.1

        I must be simple. " if a woman transitions to male" What are you talking about? A woman cannot be a man ffs. She can have a false cock, wear her hair short and have mens clothing, but she remains a woman with a false cock wearing mens clothing. Whats difficult about that to understand?

        • weka

          and yet trans men exist. I suspect you object to this beyond the semantics.

          • hetzer

            Not at all Weka. I have no objection to individuals who identify as members of the opposite sex. All power to them, if that is their need and desire. Hopefully it gives them happiness. Doesnt change their sex though.

    • Belladonna 9.2

      The question really doesn't arise.

      Someone who has gone through puberty as a woman will *never* have the physical development that someone who has gone through puberty as a man has.

      It doesn't matter how much subsequent testosterone the trans-man subsequently takes. He will never be able to successfully compete at a representative level against men who have gone through male puberty.

      We see this (in reverse) in the multiple situations where very average male sportsmen have transitioned to female – and magically entered the top levels of women's representative sport.

      The biological playing fields are not equal.

      I guess it might be possible to be a representative player at something like snooker – which doesn't require physical strength/stamina. But the issue doesn't seem to have arisen – probably *because* there is no physical advantage.

      Despite all of this – the USDA has actually addressed this issue – by allowing specific medical exemptions.

  10. tWiggle 10

    Up to each sport to decide. Any sport at elite level will test anyway for banned hormones, levels outside a specific range, etc. However there's no issue with trans men having an unfair advantage, to date. Perhaps in ultramarathons?

    The issue with trans women is balancing fairness with inclusion at elite level.

    Each sport should decide for itself how to fairly regulate transgender women competing in women’s sport, rather than follow the blanket bans proposed in dozens of U.S. states, sports scientists said on Wednesday.

    Is there a way to achieve both fairness and inclusion in sport?

    None of the experts interviewed support a blanket ban on trans athletes, which is in line with a recent study. But experts, like Lundberg, say the regulations should be determined on a sport-by-sport basis, especially when safety is a factor, like in rugby.

    "We don't have this easy fix or easy regulation that can be applied," said Lundberg. "You basically have to choose or prioritize either inclusion or fairness. They don't go hand-in-hand right now."

    "And in most sports, it's going to be problematic to include transgender women and achieve fairness. That's what the current research suggests," he said.

    Once again, the solution is dialogue and consensus.

    • Shanreagh 10.1

      Well there is a way and that is to have men/women/trans.

      Or as I suggested earlier handicaps for track and swimming. As an early developer I was handicapped in many of my running races until my mid teens until my peers caught up with me in size/stamina. I started several metres behind the rest.

      I have seen counting for handicaps so that swimmers start on a count instead of a all start together. I am sure you could work out a system for field events as well.

      As far as track & field I thought that for elite sport the decision had been made.

      I would hope that lower grades will also work on finding ways to include trans athletes without pushing women away from the sport.

      Women leave competitive sport at lower grades/ages generally too early, perhaps some of the gnarly netballers playing up to age 50 in club netball would be an exception.

      If you had unrestricted entry by transwomen ie without handicap I suspect women may not go on to higher competitive sport or leave it even earlier than we do now.

      The Lia Thomas swimming was an absolute fiasco. It will have cast a pall over women & swimming.

      Looking back I think I was handicapped on longer distances. I am pondering would it work to have handicaps for sprints?

      We had handicaps for giving people a race who might have been in older age groups who would have been racing against 1 or 2 people. If they were handicapped they could go in races with younger ones in greater numbers. Much more fun than racing against 1or 2 others

  11. tWiggle 11

    Sorry, I should have said …balancing fairness with inclusion at each level of competition.

  12. Adrian 12

    I phrased my note badly, not as in having a case to be banned but has any trans male objected to being banned for testosterone and would they have a case for exemption for having to have testosterone?

    • Visubversa 12.1

      Well as the testosterone levels that men claiming to be women have to get down to is about twice the average for women, a woman claiming to be a man would have to take quite a lot of it to hit that level.

      There are bugger all women playing competitively in men's sport and as much of the men's intrusion into women's sports is driven by autogynephilia, which does not have much of a female counterpart, as well as opportunism it is not presenting as an obvious problem.

      • SPC 12.1.1

        No the intrusion into women's sport is driven by "opportunism" – to take from those born women sports scholarships and professional sport monetary reward. It's a form of grifting.

    • Nic the NZer 12.2

      A lot of sports have an open category rather than a men's category. Even if its called a men's category women can often participate with an exemption if they are good enough (Note, not Rugby or most combat sports).

      It's just a question of the drug testing regime then and these can be quite different per event. If there is consistency with women's sports then competitors can be expected not to be taking testosterone during competition.

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