Open mike 25/03/2022

Written By: - Date published: 6:00 am, March 25th, 2022 - 247 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 …

247 comments on “Open mike 25/03/2022 ”

  1. Dennis Frank 1

    Labour bites the bullet. Will it spit it out?

    Cabinet will on Monday consider the next steps in developing a plan for Aotearoa to realise its international obligations around Māori self-determination. Māori Development Minister Willie Jackson will take a paper to Cabinet with recommendations about developing a draft plan to implement the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples (UNDRIP).

    New Zealand signed up to the Declaration in 2010 through then-Māori Affairs Minister and Māori Party co-leader Pita Sharples, under a National-led Government. New Zealand is one of 148 countries that support the Declaration. Canada last year backed the Declaration with legislation and will have a plan in place by next year.

    If New Zealand enacts the plan by the end of this year it will be the first country in the world to do so.

    Is this govt up to making history? Timidity has characterised it so far. Reluctance to discuss co-governance has been prolonged. Seymour has therefore called Labour's bluff by getting ACT to adopt a referendum policy. If Luxon is smart he'll say National will wait till Labour produces something real.

    • Hongi Ika 1.1

      National don't have any policy I am aware off.

    • DB Brown 1.2

      Timid as in calling a lockdown faster than most everyone else.

      Timid as in calling a terrorist a terrorist, not a 'disturbed individual'.

      Timid as in changing gun laws.

      Timid as in standing up to Trump.

      Timid as in raising the minimum wage while the business community claim the sky is falling.

      Timid as in letting the clownvoy bury itself in its own stupidity before moving on it.

      Timid as in still operating while being under attack by mealy mouthed nobodies for the entire duration.

      Unlike those BRAVE tax cutting Nats, with their fiscal holes and their homeless MIQ visitors and their rivers of refugees and their unprecedented levels of whinging. And ACT the dog whistling dork sidekick, and their incel fan club.

      • Tony Veitch (not etc.) 1.2.1


      • Dennis Frank 1.2.2

        Timid as in comparison to the first Labour govt. You know, the one that built plenty of state houses because the poor had nowhere to live? Notice how timid this current govt has been in explaining why it can't replicate that performance.

        No, you may respond, they're actually being brave in copying National while pretending they aren't. As in their economic policy, for example. I call it deceitful rather than brave, because they pretend they're helping the poor.

        Six months since Stuff reported this:

        Earlier this month, Finance Minister Grant Roberston commented that he “still wants house prices to keep rising, but at a slower rate”.

        So why is he operating the exact opposite of an economic policy to help the poor? Because Labour are full of shit, right?

        • Ad

          Labour has put more into marae housing than anyone.

          Labour has also put out a fairly audacious model of Maori co-governance with 3 waters.

          Labour in its previous term put $3 billion into the provinces – and if you track it most of it went to Maori business.

          You apparently are a supporter of the Green Party, the laziest and least effective political party we've had since Social Credit.

          Nothing the Greens want will ever happen unless they persuade Labour that it is worth it.

          Start there.

          • Dennis Frank

            whataboutism, deployed to evade the point… 🙄

            • Incognito

              Irony much? Wasn’t the point “timidity”?

              Discuss, without emojis, if you can.

            • Ad

              You started with a critique on Labour's response to Maori co-governance.

              Face up to the consequence of your own point and be prepared to lose, again.

              Labour have also devolved several $$billion in health care expenditure to Maori health organisations than any previous government.

              Labour have also passed the legislation for a specific, delegated, funded national Maori health organisation.

              Labour have also gone through the public service tooth and nail to ensure that they more than comply with their Treaty partnership obligations. Plenty of faults some will have, but all account for their Treaty measures in Select Committee.

              It is high time Green supporters like you got off your high fucking horse and demonstrate how their single useful initiative in 2 terms – the Carbon legislation – will form co-governance frameworks for Maori. But they won’t because it is a neo-liberal palimpsest about to be blown away by global events,

              Labour are the superior government partners to Maori, compared to any other party in Parliament.

              Forgot to mention: Labour have a massive and broad Cabinet and Maori caucus, which is strong and active. That’s co-governance at the heart of power.

              The Greens can hold their Maori caucus in a phone booth and still have room for 4 Golriz Gharamans to slide in.

              Labour will have no problem whatsoever demonstrating deeper Maori self-determination.

              The Greens can't.

              • Dennis Frank

                I'm not here to defend the Greens. I agree with the principle of co-governance and have said so often enough previously. I haven't noticed any public statements from the Greens supporting Labour's stance but they could be waiting for policy, right?

                My initial framing (@#1) was sceptical, not critical. I believe Labour's steadfast refusal to acknowledge the principle is due to timidity – but it could also be due to pragmatism. Their pakeha neoliberals feature that as their primary collective trait, so it's feasible. And liberals aren't famous for taking stands on principle.

                Your huffing & puffing on behalf of Labour awaits the verdict of history – it will all have been worth it if they reach consensus on the proposal(s) Willie is about to present to them. If they prove themselves brave rather than timid, I'll give them credit for it. Then it's just a matter of whether they legislate it or defer it for public verdict in the election campaign…

                • Ad

                  Not only is the policy out there in black and white, it is deep into the middle of institutional reform.

                  Why the Greens fail to support the 3 Waters policy is beyond belief.

                  Intitutional reform done well is near-imperceptible to the politically ignorant eye and impossible to reverse. That's why you Dennis can't see it.

                  Whether you give credit to Labour for anything, well that amounts to nothing.

                  As expected you have failed to provide any alternative model for any public institution.

                  And you failing to defend Labour from the Orewa-scale shitstorm that Act is about to throw down, is again pretty typical of the Greens.

                  You have brought no criticism of the myriad evidence and examples I've provided, so your opinion is utterly worthless.

                  You want to bring up Maori self-determination again, next time bring a fact with you.

                  • Dennis Frank

                    Look, if Labour were willing to cite their delivery on policies that accord with the co-governance principle (as you appear to be suggesting) then they would say so. Can you provide any such evidence of them doing that? I thought not.

                    That's why I'm sceptical. They're so timid they're even too scared to make such claims lest they give racists a target.

                    You have brought no criticism of the myriad evidence and examples I've provided

                    That's due to you missing my point again. Why would I want to criticise Labour delivery that seems worthwhile??

      • Louis 1.2.3

        yes DB Brown.

      • Kiwijoker 1.2.4


      • Patricia Bremner 1.2.5

        Yes DB, yesdevil Jacinda and C/o should be deaf, such is the cacophony.

        Some well off are gong to really squeal when they have to consider the planet and others first. To quote Dennis “They will be clutching their pearls.”

    • Blade 1.3

      Labour are in a no win situation here. I heard Luxon the other day during a radio interview. He was talking about Three Waters and a Maori Health Authority organisation – both would be heading south under a National government. Luxon went on to say '' we are all New Zealanders.'' Unfortunately no one has had a word with Luxon and told him most Maori only consider being a New Zealander an add-on to being Maori. That is a fatal flaw in his understanding of race relations.

      • Hongi Ika 1.3.1

        Maori are te tangata whenua always will be, just like Indians will always be Indians and Cjinese will always be Chinese, and New Zealanders secound as they come from New Zealand.

        • RedLogix

          I am emphatically not a second class New Zealander

          • Ad

            Come back to New Zealand.

            All is forgiven 🙂

            Anyway done you have some distant East Coast Maori lineage?

            • RedLogix

              Yes – that's the ironic stupidity of this racist divisiveness. And it isn't all that distant – my paternal grandfather.

          • Hongi Ika

            Red no one said you were a Second Class Citizen, you can identify as Tangata Whenua if you feel like it or Tangata Titiriti whatever takes our fantasy.

          • Blade

            ''I am emphatically not a second class New Zealander.''

            No, you aren't a second class citizen, but in modern New Zealand, er, I mean Aotearoa, you and all other Europeans ( and those not classed as Maori) will be treated increasingly as second class citizens.

            That's a problem for Luxon. ACT is already feeling the heat.

            I don't think Luxon understands that to stop this incessant bs and funding around Maori, he will need to pass policy making him the most hated man in New Zealand.

            Here's an example of what Luxon will face should he be prepared to stand up for all New Zealanders.


            • Drowsy M. Kram

              Māori longevity is second class. If being "treated increasingly as second class citizens" is a ‘concern’, might an extra 5+ years of life (on average), compared to those bloody first class Maaris, be some consolation?

              Some may consider the 7-year disparity between the average life expectancy of Māori and non-Māori to be (at least partly) an outcome of systemic racism.

              And some sensitive souls will perceive the 'pale, stale, male' epithet to be racist, ageist and sexist.

              But one example cuts deeper than the other. Being non-Māori is definitely the healthy 'choice' in NZ, and that’s not choice, imho.

              Ethnic inequities in life expectancy attributable to smoking [NZMJ, 2020]

              Contribution of smoking to the life expectancy gap—Māori
              Among Māori men, 2.1 years (28.4%) of the 7.4 year gap in life expectancy was attributable to the higher mortality rates from smoking attributable deaths. Among Māori women, the contribution from smoking attributable deaths was 2.3 years (32.9%) of the 7.0 year gap.

              Drivers of inequity
              Factors contributing to the pervasive and persisting ethnic health inequities are multifaceted and complex. Three main pathways have been identified: (i) differential access to the determinants of health or exposures leading to differences in disease incidence, (ii) differential access to healthcare and (iii) differences in quality of care received. These pathways are driven by different levels of racism, particularly institutionalised and personally mediated or interpersonal racism.

              • Incognito

                Blade and (other?) ACToids appear to fear that they will be dragged down and treated the same way as Māori have been (and live shorted lives on average) instead of hoping that Māori will be treated more equally compared to (and live as long as) their Pākehā brothers and sisters here in NZ. In other words, according to them, it is a zero-sum situation, and a dollar spent on Māori is therefore not spent on Pākehā. This overly simplistic argument seems to have lot of sway with many especially with neo-liberals.

                • Blade

                  ''Blade and (other?) ACToids.''

                  I have never voted ACT. I class them as the arse end of socialism. They are a socialist party. It's just they expect a return on other peoples money they dish out… unlike Labour.

                  Me thinking I will be dragged down and my life expectancy shortened because Maori get millions of dollars to help them not help themselves, never crosses my mind. However, accountability and self help does cross my mind.

                  If you have anyone working in the health industry, many will tell you Maori make their lives a misery. Missed appointments, abuse, turning up outside visiting hours with half the hapu, theft… and worst of all, failing to follow medical advice.

                  Hospitals give Maori their own whanau rooms, they have hospital liaison teams, the departments are all named in Maori…karakia is on demand….and still their mortality rate is poor…even with their own Hauora healthcare. I'm tired of hearing Maori spokespeople in the media being asked to describe the typical racism and poor service in healthcare Maori face and not being able to. They go off on some strange odyssey.

                  My suggestion for finding poor health indicators: start with vape shops and KFC. I did a tally at a KFC drive through while waiting for my order.blush 20 cars; 11 identifiable as Maori. There's a non colonial health problem for you. KFC family packs – between $40-$70. Lucky there's food banks and WINZ to visit when the dollars run out.

                  In another incident, I picked up discharge papers and a script from my local hospital lying in the gutter. The discharge papers were for a young Maori woman who had been in hospital with sepsis( a killer condition).

                  The discharge papers said it was imperative she take and finish her course of antibiotics. I had a hell of a job tracking her down. Finally got her phone number and rang her. I gave her my address and she said ''oh, ok, thanks'' Never heard from her again.

                  You have two problems, Incognito:

                  1- Accepting the fact reality trumps ideology ( most of the time).

                  2- Explaining how a solid core of Maori who look after themselves and were able to roll up for Covid vaccinations without government funding; a free hangi and karakia, were able to do so all by themselves?

                  I'm more than prepared to discuss the other side of the coin from my own personal experiences…but not while people offer excuses for Maori failure.

                  • DB Brown

                    Strange you sound just like a nurse I've heard describing Aboriginals. At the time she sounded veeeeery racist. She's not, but she sure had some racist reading materials to get her fired up.

                    It's amazing how easily some fall for the manipulation of others. Clever people finding the bias they seek because personal experience sees the trees cover the woods in frustration. It's understandable perhaps, but it's not accurate.

                    Did you ever wonder why there might be such striking similarities in the behaviours of two colonised people?

                    On both side of the Tasman dog whistling media and their fanboys continued to rain judgement upon others as 'failures' in their limited world view. This does NOTHING for reconciliation, and merely fans the flames.

                    But maybe you want that?

                    And while the trappings of redress are being ever so slowly and begrudgingly rolled out the dysfunction of many generations of abuse are not so easily healed.

                    This whole pull yourself up by your bootstraps stuff is nonsense. We pushed them down. You keep kicking.

                  • Incognito

                    Me thinking I will be dragged down and my life expectancy shortened because Maori get millions of dollars to help them not help themselves, never crosses my mind.

                    Interesting. How does this square with this:

                    … you and all other Europeans ( and those not classed as Maori) will be treated increasingly as second class citizens.

                    What does it even mean when you say that you will be treated as second class citizen?

                    You’re incorrect that no efforts are made to help Māori help themselves. This is exactly where it is heading! Yet, you and others are flipping your lids in epic unhinged rants. You don’t want to help a drowning man until and unless he learns to swim and saves himself. Bloody poor excuse that he couldn’t swim. \sarc

                    • Blade

                      ''Did you ever wonder why there might be such striking similarities in the behaviours of two colonised people?''

                      Yes, and I have also seen the striking similarities when colonial powers get the boot, or leave a colonised country.

                      ''On both side of the Tasman dog whistling media and their fanboys continued to rain judgement upon others as 'failures' in their limited world view.This does NOTHING for reconciliation, and merely fans the flames. ''

                      ''But maybe you want that?''

                      Then we both have a problem don't we.

                      No, I want historical grievances settled. I want accountability from Maori…and I want the government(s) to know that their way of doing things may not be good for all.

                      ''This whole pull yourself up by your bootstraps stuff is nonsense. We pushed them down. You keep kicking.''

                      Why do you think we spend millions on Maori.? Where does the money go. Why does nothing improve? Does that ever cross your mind? Or does your liberalism stop you from seeing beyond the noble savage who has been hard done by by Colonel Colonial?

                      A cure would be giving Maori a taste of a favela slum. That would clear the sinuses and focus the mind. For Labour, 20 years in the wilderness may focus their minds on future liberal kowtowing to minority groups without accountability.

                      Of course that's fantasy stuff. But I look forward to your korero as things become worse in all regards for New Zealand, particularly race relations.

                    • Blade

                      @ Incognito

                      ''What does it even mean when you say that you will be treated as second class citizen?''

                      I won't, I'm Maori. But if you don't have Maori blood, or believe you are Maori…like all those taonga wear Pakeha, I'm afraid the future isn't bright for you in Aotearoa.

                      Let me give you just one benign example:

                      My cousin is doing a prelim six month course to ready her for a full polytech social workers course. All Maori in the course received a $400 education support package. Guess what Pakeha got?

                      This is happening up and done the country. Free computers, cell phones etc. As Billy TK said '' it's not easy being a Maori nowadays.''laugh

                      I don't consider I'm ranting. I'm just offering an opposing view many on this blog take exception to.

                      I just want fairness for everyone. In times past, little time was wasted on Maori and their aspirations. Now we have done a 360, and Pakeha are now in the same situation of Maori circa 1950s

                      Something has to give?

                    • Incognito []

                      You won’t explain what you mean? Okay, that’s helpful \sarc

                      And yet you’re repeating your same allegations, without support or explanation, such as this ominous “the future isn’t bright for you in Aotearoa” and this inconsistent and confused gem:

                      Now we have done a 360, and Pakeha are now in the same situation of Maori circa 1950s

                      A “360” isn’t what you think it is and the second part of your ‘sentence’ is something you may have plucked from a dystopian site somewhere on the dark web. Though I’m sure you can vividly remember what it was like being Māori (or Pākehā) in NZ in “circa 1950s”.

                • Drowsy M. Kram

                  Fearful and constitutionally incapable of putting themselves in 'feral' shoes – I don’t envy their predicament.

      • DB Brown 1.3.2

        You speak for most Maori do you? Or maybe, after hearing you for only one day, you are here to rubbish them. I think you are scum, and a coward.

    • Muttonbird 1.4

      Not content with the theft from Maori by force and deception over the two centuries of White Settlement, ACT now wishes to tear up the only document preventing them from stealing what little Maori have left.

      • Blade 1.4.1

        Yep, just like tribes used to do to each other by ''right of conquest.'' I do hope that ACT, in their rush to steal the last of Maori owned lands, don't take Maori as slaves, or worse, reinstate the smoked head trade.

        • Blazer

          Only problem with your theory…Maori were not conquered.

          They signed a treaty guaranteeing them…rights.

          • Blade

            Which version of the treaty did they sign… or understand? And what of those tribes who didn't sign the treaty? They are now fair game for ACT …and maybe National?

            • Descendant Of Smith

              Yeah cause Europeans never did conquest or get conquered?

              (Anyone would think it isn't happening right now somewhere in Europe?)

              And regardless of which treaty was signed there is ample evidence of the treaty being breached and of much of this breaching done through the courts and legislative systems. It is one of the reasons we can have a good robust Waitangi tribunal examination and remedy – because Maori were not really conquered in battle – they were mainly deprived of what they owned through means that left behind lots of evidence of wrong-doing.

              None of your points are actually relevant – you are doing racist dog-whistling at it's worse. I'm jut a little surprised you didn't hark back to cannibalism as well to go full racist.


            • Blazer

              What do you mean 'they'?

              You just stated that 'you' are…Maori!

              Surely you mean…'we'!laugh

              • Blade

                Yes, correct, if I was agreeing with everything Maori were doing. Also, I can repair to my Scottish heritage…and maybe my drop of Spanish blood and TRY to see things from their view points, The Scots were very tribal laddie. I have a great Scottish coat of arms?

                But shame on you, Blazer, for not knowing we are a multi racial society full of diversity and candy floss.

                Your correct response should have been the old liberal standards – uncle Tom, or ''you are filled with self hate.''

                I like the self hate trope.cheeky

        • Patricia Bremner

          Or Blade, Europeans quoting the bit in the Bible about slaves and enacting that again!! See how silly the reverse sounds?

          We are in different times. We signed up to a Treaty. Then we signed up to an agreement regarding indigenous people. Now we live by it. Nobody said it was going to be easy or even comfortable, as we all acknowledge our ethnocentrism.

      • AB 1.4.2

        It would be a mistake to imagine that ACT really cares about democracy or national unity. Mostly it represents the interests of people who fear that any formal recognition of things Maori or a Maori worldview might impair their ability to privately enrich themselves at the expense of the planet and other people. The main concern is that natural resources and revenue streams that they might, or already do, profit from become inaccessible to them.

        For a party that for years colluded in a little rort that gave them an electorate seat and thereby distorted the proportionality of parliament, to get on their high horse about democracy is a bit funny. These days of course they would win it legitimately, courtesy of the parade of four reckless Covid clowns inhabiting the National Party leadership.

  2. Blade 2

    A really interesting discourse on China and a little on the Ukraine from former Aussie PM, Kevin Rudd. Rudd, who speaks Mandarin, and is President and CEO of Asia Society, has a new book out called ''The Avoidable War.''

    His interview with Mikey starts at 7.00.

    [lprent: That is interesting – somewhere along the line the automatic audio feature failed. I will have a play with this weekend. ]

  3. Francesca 3

    An interesting commentary on how Russia/India ties have been strengthened with the rubles for gas dictate, possible consequences of the move,and the swift(heh, no pun)rollout of the alternatives to SWIFT

    India, one of the major economies and the largest democracy in the world has already been trading with Russia under Rouble – Rupee exchange agreements for many decades. Indian banking and finance lawyers privately say that India’s finance ministry along with Reserve Bank of India (RBI) and Bank of Russia is “racing against time” in exploring options to “internationalise” Russian version of the SWIFT version – SPFS, starting with India as a launch base outside Russia (being helped by the fact that India has reservations in dealing with China’s CIPS – China’s version for SWIFT – though it is ready to accept expansion of China’s UnionPay card payment system subject to restrictions)

    • Ad 3.1

      Yeah nah.

      India are despite historic Russian ties, at least as vulnerable to US economic sanction as China.

      Russia is playing against India since Russia has very strong links to Pakistan, and is a major arms supplier to Myanmar, and is a formal strategic partner with China.

      India may be unable to avoid sanction under the Countering America's Adversaries Through Sanctions Act (CAATSA) if it continues to purchase Russian arms of a certain caliber.

      It's also a member of QUAD, which is about to understand why it was formed just in time for this scale of global instability.

      India will be expected to act like a responsible great power seeking to uphold what remains of a rules-based international order. That's the one on which New Zealand among others depend for their continued existence.

      Looking the other way on Russian misbehavior—or worse, appearing to endorse it—would show that New Delhi is not a reliable like-minded democratic partner. They will be punished for it.

      • Blazer 3.1.1

        In summary, India will be expected to do what it's told!

        At the forefront of U.S foreign policy is maintaining the status of the U.S Dollar as the worlds reserve currency for international trade.

        Ever since the Bretton Woods Agreement in 1944 this has been the backbone of American prosperity.

        Along with their dominance at the IMF, it has been a foundation, that is now under serious threat.

        Even the Saudis, who have a petro dollar reinvestment arrangement in exchange for security guarantees are becoming increasingly rebellious.

        The BRIC countries have been accumulating gold for years and they have the desire and intent to move away from dollar denominated debt.

        The U.S achieved its role by being a consistent creditor to the world,now it is a debtor, subsidised by the rest of the world.

        • RedLogix

          In summary, India will be expected to do what it's told!

          In summary India will be expected to not cheerlead for the naked aggressor in the most dangerous conflict since the end of WW2.

          The moment Putin threatened first-strike nuclear action on NATO if they directly interfered, he became a pariah. As long as he remains in power Russia will be isolated – and any nation who supports them even covertly – will be at high risk of being tainted with the same brush.

          • Blazer

            A completely unnecessary conflict…!

            Ukraine misread the situation.

            Zelenskyy: Western nations share ‘responsibility’ for casualties | Russia-Ukraine war News | Al Jazeera

            • RedLogix

              You really should read past the headline of your links

              • Blazer

                I read the whole thing…he wants no fly zones.

                The point is Zelensky expected alot lot more support than was forth coming.

                • RedLogix

                  So now it's the US fault for not wanting to immediately escalate the conflict into nuclear conflagration?

                  Is there nothing you cannot twist into making the US the root cause of all evil in the world?

                  • Byd0nz

                    ‘US the root cause of all evil in the world?’

                    well it is, and future history will show this.

                    The US has only experienced a few years of peace, (about 13) and not even consecutive years. To talk peace and US in the same sentence means you need to spell peace, piece , coz it’s always about getting a piece of someone else’s land or resources.

                  • mikesh

                    Although there were warnings, particularly from Biden, that Russia was about to invade, Zelenskyy seems to have made no attempts (though I'm not really sure on this point) to organize talks with Putin, talks which may have avoided the devastation that this war has caused. Now, even if they succeed in defending Ukraine, the price they will have paid will be enormous.

                    Zelenskyy seems to have relied on NATO support. That would have to be seen as a mistake.

      • Francesca 3.1.2

        India , of course may be looking for different partners, and doesn't have a particularly benign view of its previous colonial owners

        They certainly seem to have a vibrant and diverse media .This talk show is entertaining , lively and instructive

  4. Dennis Frank 4

    Why Putin has history with Ukraine:

    Putin is not the first Russian ruler to deny Ukraine’s right to exist. On the contrary, Ukraine denial is a common thread running through Russian history that stretches back hundreds of years and remains widespread in today’s Russia. However, few have ever embraced this doctrine of denial as fervently as Putin, who has made clear that ending Ukrainian independence is a sacred mission which will define his place in history.

    The current war is merely the latest and most dramatic stage in this long-term campaign. Putin’s first bid to end Ukrainian independence came in 2004 and saw him personally visit Kyiv on the eve of the country’s presidential election to campaign for the pro-Kremlin candidate.

    This hubristic intervention backfired disastrously, enraging millions of otherwise apolitical Ukrainians and helping to spark mass pro-democracy protests that came to be known as the Orange Revolution. Ukraine’s embrace of democracy and historic turn towards the West in the years following the Orange Revolution infuriated Putin and further convinced him of the need to reassert Russian control over the country.

    Putin has made no secret of his Ukraine obsession. Indeed, he has repeatedly sought to explain why he believes Ukrainian statehood is both an accident and a crime. In a 7,000-word July 2021 essay entitled “On the Historical Unity of Russians and Ukrainians,” Putin argued that Ukrainians were in fact Russians and dismissed the entire notion of a separate Ukrainian identity. “I am confident that true sovereignty of Ukraine is possible only in partnership with Russia,” he concluded.

    In a series of lengthy anti-Ukrainian diatribes delivered on the eve of the current war, Putin went even further, condemning the entire country as an illegitimate “Anti-Russia” that could no longer be tolerated.

    Putin’s personal attacks on Ukraine have been accompanied by years of relentless Kremlin propaganda designed to dehumanize Ukrainians. Since 2014, Russian TV audiences have been spoon-fed a daily diet of grotesque lies depicting Ukrainians as the modern-day successors to Hitler’s Nazis. The Russian public has been primed to see Ukraine as part of Russia and encouraged to view any Ukrainians who disagree as traitors or Nazis. The entire notion of Ukrainian identity has been demonized and equated with the worst criminals of world history. Unsurprisingly, all the available evidence indicates strong Russian public support for an invasion that has shocked and appalled audiences elsewhere around the world.

    Meanwhile, accounts of arrests in areas under Russian occupation appear to confirm pre-invasion fears over the existence of Kremlin “kill lists.” A growing number of elected officials, journalists, activists, former military servicemen and religious leaders have been abducted by Russian forces in a sinister echo of Stalin-era terror tactics.

    [Peter Dickinson is Editor of the Atlantic Council’s UkraineAlert Service. This article is based on an address delivered by the author to Swiss members of parliament at the Federal Palace in Bern on March 15.]

    The writer binary-frames two outcomes: genocide or Russia defeated. The third obvious contender is negotiated peace. His bleak outlook rules that out. His thesis that compromise is impossible is based on Putin's inner world-view, as revealed here.

    Can Putin be stopped? The first step is to recognize the terrible reality of his destructive intentions. As Yale historian Timothy Snyder recently tweeted, “When Putin says that there is no Ukrainian nation and no Ukrainian state, he means that he intends to destroy the Ukrainian nation and the Ukrainian state. Everyone gets that, right?”

    Well, no, everyone doesn't! Everyone assumes that peacemaking is feasible because Putin can be forced to compromise – call this a faith-based view! At what point will the evidence to the contrary become overwhelming??

    • RedLogix 4.1

      Your last paras nails it. In my view Putin inner world view of a Rus moral superiority is not much removed from Hitler's more openly expressed claims for the Ayrian people.

      Yet the perverse outcome of his paranoid delusions is that a few weeks ago the EU was content to trade their way into normalising relations with Russia, and NATO was a wobbly defensive entity that few saw much future purpose for.

      All that has changed in a moment. Now the EU and NATO really do want to crush Putin – and if this means crushing Russia to do so – they will. However long it takes.

      All that negotiations can achieve now is to temporarily freeze the conflict.

      • Blazer 4.1.1

        ' NATO was a wobbly defensive entity that few saw much future purpose for.'


        One does wonder if that was the case, why Ukraine was so fervent about wanting to join this 'wobbly' pact.

        It seems that Zelensky has relied on NATO to support him full bore against Russian interventions ,and the primary reason he would not entertain Russias demands.

        • RedLogix

          Your persistent victim blaming here is repellant.

          • Blazer

            Open both your …eyes.

            'Earlier this month when The Intercept’s Ryan Grim was able to get a word in edgewise at a White House press briefing amid the throngs of mass media reporters demanding to know why Biden still hasn’t started World War 3, Press Secretary Jen Psaki gave a very revealing answer.

            “So, aside from the request for weapons, President Zelensky has also requested that the US be more involved in negotiations toward a peaceful resolution to the war. What is the U.S. doing to push those negotiations forward?” asked Grim.

            “Well, one of the steps we’ve taken — a significant one — is to be the largest provider of military and humanitarian and economic assistance in the world, to put them in a greater position of strength as they go into these negotiations,” Psaki answered, completely dodging the question of whether the US was actually doing anything to help negotiate peace.

            Blinken has made no effort to talk to Lavrov…at all.

    • Peter 4.2

      "Putin argued that Ukrainians were in fact Russians and dismissed the entire notion of a separate Ukrainian identity. “I am confident that true sovereignty of Ukraine is possible only in partnership with Russia,” he concluded."

      So as a true megalomaniac, his life mission is to put the world to rights and that's what he's doing now. His 'getting a life' is to ensure that lots of other lose theirs.

    • Mike the Lefty 4.3

      Adolf Hitler often said that if you tell big lies and tell them often enough, then eventually they become the truth.

      You can see who Putin gets his inspiration from.

  5. Sanctuary 5

    The media discourse around Seymour's latest racist brain fart highlights an aspect of MMP that needs wider consideration.

    Let's face it – under FPP Seymour would be an obscure "controversial" backbencher from Epsom at best, ACT would not be a party in parliament and the Maori party would be largely ignored and would oscillate between zero, one or two seats on the opposition benches. The public debate would be between the two "broad church" main parties spokes persons who between them would represent the vast bulk of voters.

    Instead, an extremist party – ACT – whose core support is 1-2% (their current number of MPs is Judith's gift to the nation) sets the media "noise" and is debated with by the Maori party, who have similar levels of support. So we are having a race debate dominated by the representatives of two parties that between them do not represent 95%+ of voters.

    • Belladonna 5.1

      All of which, from the perspective of the right, would be said about the Green Party as well.
      The representation of these elements of society, which were being totally ignored by both of the 'main' parties in the FPP era, was the strong driver to proportional representation.

      The Left had an unprecedented in MPP level of popular support following the last election – an outright majority for Labour, with support from the Greens taking them close to 2/3 of parliament.

      • Sanctuary 5.1.1

        The main driver of the move to MMP was public outrage at the arrogant wielding of unbridled executive power between 1975-91 and a desire to punish both main parties by knobbling them electorally.

        • Descendant Of Smith

          I think at the time it also represented a desire for a more population reflective diversity in parliament.

          In those of a political bent there may have been anger etc but I think the vast majority who supported it just wanted to see more of themselves there. This was also occurring elsewhere in NZ – Puao Te Ata Tu for instance recognised that social welfare staffing did not reflect the people that that government department was serving and needed to do so.

          There was a maturing of the political system – a natural evolution. Opponents of MMP like to cast it as only an angry response but that is dismissive and self-serving. The diversity has definitely increased as has the range of views. I continue to think this is a good thing.

          • Dennis Frank

            it also represented a desire for a more population reflective diversity in parliament

            Correct. That's why I voted for it. Sanctuary's punishment explanation probably motivated plenty of others but I'd known the left & right were both wrong for half my life by then…

          • Sanctuary

            Diversity was definitely a major selling point of MMP at the time, but I would argue simple political anger at the subversion of the democratic will by abuse of executive power in collusion with parts of the bureaucracy was the main reason MMP won. People had had enough of Treasury running the country via a simple majority of cabinet.

            I agree that MMP represented a maturing of our electoral system and I think after 25 years we should be mature enough to acknowledge the obvious flaws of MMP. Several aspects of the electoral system need reform, and we also need to acknowledge that MMP is a system designed to prevent radical change.

            This means (for example) doing much about the housing crisis is impossible since both our main parties need to dominate the middle ground to govern – and since two thirds or so of New Zealanders still own their own home (and they probably make up 80% of active voters) no major party is particularly interested in altering the status quo if that means upsetting that decisive voting bloc.

            The real tragedy of the Greens is their complete inability to grasp the nature of MMP politics. Their MPs often fail to make the transition from activist to member of parliament, two quite different roles. So they agitate and froth mouthing lazy platitudes and epithets on behalf of the excluded instead of rolling their sleeves up and making the system work to create new status quos that include their constituency – a status quo the electoral system will then work to protect.

            • Peter

              One of the funny things for the Greens (I wouldn't call it a real tragedy) is all those outside it who keep telling them what they should do.

            • Belladonna

              This means (for example) doing much about the housing crisis is impossible since both our main parties need to dominate the middle ground to govern – and since two thirds or so of New Zealanders still own their own home (and they probably make up 80% of active voters) no major party is particularly interested in altering the status quo if that means upsetting that decisive voting bloc.

              However, this would be true under a FPP system as well. Both of the major politicial parties have one eye on the next election at all times. They know perfectly well that the swathe of central voters will 'punish' any radical change at the ballot box.

              And given that the last radical change was the 4th Labour government of Lange and Douglas bringing in a wholesale privization of the state sector [yes, I'm over-simplifying] – middle NZ (and their allies) are rightfully wary of any move towards radical solutions.

              • Just Saying

                Wow I can post without too much of the usual techno palaver again.

                Belladonna, I'd be happy if it was just one eye on the next election. How I see it is that actually, both eyes are on the next election, with a need to give some appearance of following the agenda of the party. The justification is that actually governing in accord with that agenda in a manner that would bring more than cosmetic change would cause it to lose the next election Which would bring a worse outcome in regard to that agenda etc.

                Which is stalemate. Hence the rise and rise of the shallow, careerist 'leftist' politician, and politics as mere game becoming ever more prevalent. The public (who are interested) are reduced to fantasy and cheering on 'our' team, as if that team was relevant beyond the game. In fact parliamentary teams bear about as much relation to the actual lives of supporters and to their personal and collective nation-state and physical environment aspirations, as do the All Blacks to their fans.

                There are certainly those closer to the game and therefore with personal real-world interests, but for most, its just a daydream.

            • Ed1

              Diversity yes, but more diversity of political opinion than of either gender or ethnicity. The examples of the Social Credit party getting over 20% of votes and only 2 out of 92 seats in 1981, and Values which gained over 5% in 1978 with no seats. Many who disliked the policies of either Social Credit or Values still saw the election results as unfair. It probably helped MMP that National (Muldoon) gained power in 1978 with 39.8% of votes and 55 seats compared to Labour (Bill Rowling) with 40.4% of votes and 40 seats (Social Credit retained 1 seat won shortly before in a by-election, despite getting 16.1% of votes). It still took until 1996 to get the first MMP election . . .

    • DB Brown 5.2

      Some media have always leapt for the loudest soundbite, even back when it wasn't called a soundbite. They so love controversy, the worst the better the bottom line, which is the bottom line.

      Some would say bottom line feeders.

      MMP didn't create the hunger for a tantalising headline. Greed does that.

      • Belladonna 5.2.1

        Think it's a little unfair to characterize this as 'Greed'

        Bad news sells papers – this is just as true in the digital age as it was in the print era.

        • DB Brown

          Well, if they make persons of little consequence or rare opinion seem of more import than they are by magnifying their nonsense – to sell papers… call it what you will.

          I did mention it was not new.

          "Bad news sells papers" That's not an excuse for magnifying idiot opinions though, is it.

          • Belladonna

            'Idiot' opinions is a matter of perspective.
            Truly 'idiot' opinions (e.g. Flat Earth, tinfoil helmets, creationism) don't get traction in the mainstream media.

    • mikesh 5.3

      It is high time we rid ourselves of the threshold. Doing so would mean that the actual support for each party would be reflected in the number of parliamentary seats that it gained. In that case there would be no need for special arrangements like the one in Epsom.

      Voters would be also be encouraged to vote for their preferred party instead of passing it over, thinking that it had no chance of reaching the threshold anyway; or voting for some other party just to make sure that party got over the 5% mark.

      We should also look for some formula that would get rid of overhangs.

  6. Sanctuary 6

    I expect the people will rise up and replace the current government in Honiara, with the new authorities then requesting police assistance from Australia and NZ, in 3, 2, 1…

  7. pat 7

    "For Tokomaru Bay, this is the second severe flood in less than a year.

    The town was hit by extensive flooding in June last year, which left Hatea-a-Rangi School students out of their classrooms for eight months while repairs were completed.

    Tamariki had only been back on site for a few weeks before water went through the school for a second time.

    Hatea-a-Rangi Board of Trustees chair Lillian Ward said the students were once again 'school-less'.

    "It has really devastated us … our children especially – they were so proud to move into what they called a 'brand spanking new school'.

    "It took eight months to fix the school after 20 June. We wouldn't have a clue what the timeframe will be on this one but … this time around it is more devastating," she said."

    "Houston, we have a problem"

    • Belladonna 7.1

      Flooding twice in 2 years. Sounds like it's built on a high-risk area of the floodplain.
      Time to re-locate.

      • pat 7.1.1

        Yes , it may be wise to relocate….which of course takes resources, much like the constant repairs.

        Finite resources.

    • Ad 7.2

      Managed retreat. Same for Westport.

      • DB Brown 7.2.1

        Yep. Get the housing and other stuff nature will trash out of there. Harsh but…* Take a whip to our forestry managers to create buffer zones and alternate plans for forest slash (rather than leaving it to smash bridges and coat riparian zones in rain events).

        I suggest they work together in creating boilers that make (mostly) power and charcoal. Use the charcoal to scrub flue gases and organic waste streams then use the spent charcoal as fertiliser/soil amendment/carbon sequestration. Then, we might stop bitching about forestry if it actually heals soil, cleans air, and punches above its weight with regards to carbon. Right now forestry is greenwashed pest species monocultures that can destroy landscapes well beyond their allocation.

        Locals might turn the floodplains into annual cropping land. Old school. No fertiliser required. A few earthworks here and there to let the floodplains flood, under direction…

        *One could stand and fight, but they'd need to take on the oil industry, the transport industry, the industry industry… it's a fair sight bigger job than building a seawall. And now that rain arrives in 'biblical' proportions we'll need more than thoughts and prayers to, pardon me, weather the storm.

    • pat 7.3

      "Let’s start with some basics, for the sake of those of my readers who haven’t waded their way through the fine print of the paper. The central idea of catabolic collapse is that human societies pretty consistently tend to produce more stuff than they can afford to maintain. What we are pleased to call “primitive societies” – that is, societies that are well enough adapted to their environments that they get by comfortably without huge masses of cumbersome and expensive infrastructure – usually do so in a fairly small way, and very often evolve traditional ways of getting rid of excess goods at regular intervals so that the cost of maintaining it doesn’t become a burden. As societies expand and start to depend on complex infrastructure to support the daily activities of their inhabitants, though, it becomes harder and less popular to do this, and so the maintenance needs of the infrastructure and the rest of the society’s stuff gradually build up until they reach a level that can’t be covered by the resources on hand."

      • Dennis Frank 7.3.1

        evolve traditional ways of getting rid of excess goods

        Op-shops serve this purpose well. However the problem lies upstream from them. The problem lies in garages all over the nation. You can tell by the cars parked in front of the garage door because they no longer fit inside. Consumer crap!

        • Puckish Rogue

          My wife and I frequent op shops quite regularly, unless its for a specific item of clothing, some of the finds we've made make your head spin

          A tagged Benetton dress at 200 pounds for 15 dollars is pretty hard to pass up though the nz made 2XL Swandri in pristine condition for 130 was my favourite

          Savemart, if you're prepared to do a bit of travelling, has really good clothing.

          • Sabine

            Best find i had was a Trelise Cooper Leather Jacket for 75 NZD. Was a nice affordable present for someone.

            • Puckish Rogue

              Amazing what some people will throw out.

              I guess everyone has different priorities

              • joe90

                My expensive brand hunter SO is obsessed with pre-worn clothes shops. Goes through the racks like a dose of lactulose and it's look at this, look at this, it's only $22. It's a $200 garment.

                • Puckish Rogue

                  Makes perfect sense to me.

                  An icebreaker top needed a, small, black patch so I got a an ice breaker merino top (thats basically going to be sweated in and bush bashed) for cheap

                  I've got a macpac duck down puffer jacket for cheap (no stains) but the holy grail for me (since I got the Swanni) will be a Swazi jacket (Tahr or similar)

        • Sabine

          Or like in my neighbour case the garage was transformed into a room for the daughter and her child who are homeless and did not cope well one of our rundown homeless motels.

        • Belladonna

          Major reasons that cars are not in garages around here: Garage turned into a bedroom (sometimes for a family); in older houses, modern cars are too wide to fit in – can't open the car doors); too many cars at the house to fit into the garage (e.g. 3 people with cars living there, only 2 garage spaces).
          Not really seeing the 'garage filled with crap' as a significant factor (though, ironically, it is for me – as my basement is damp – so out-of-season clothes, sewing fabric, christmas decorations, etc. actually are stored in the garage – though, in addition to, not instead of, the car)

          My Mum is a great de-cluttering minimalizer. Unfortunately, that means that she relies on me to either supply whatever it was that she's gotten rid of (extension power cord, navy blue reel of cotton), or transport her to buy a new one…..

          • pat

            Dennis missed (?) the more important aspect of the section he quoted…" usually do so in a fairly small way"…..I dont think 8 billion can be considered small, or even 5.1 million….more population demands more intensive systems.

            • Belladonna

              Also that living minimalist lifestyles pre-supposes either a very short and easily accessible supply chain (your blacksmith down the road forging you a new knife); or access to a highly-developed and extensive supply chain (you can hop online and order the new Cat7 cable, which will be manufactured in China, shipped to NZ, and delivered to your door).

              When you don't have security over either of these things, retaining stuff 'just in case' becomes a more valid strategy. 'I'm going to store this 'old' Cat5 cable just in case I need one, and can't get a replacement'

              I know that we're building and retaining a lot more supply inventory at work than we used to (3-6 month buffer).

              • pat

                and there are too many things that need to be kept 'just in case'…a lot of wasted production which makes the problem worse.

                We have been operating at the extreme limits of our capacity, an accident waiting to happen….and it is.

    • Sanctuary 7.4

      The amazing thing about that item is that almost all private homes in Tokomaru Bay had their foundations elevated after cyclone Bola in 1988, so flooding of private property has been limited. Yet here we are, in 2022, building a school which doesn't meet a requirement that should have been obvious to anyone with eyes to observe unique aspects of the local built environment. Unfortunately, the failure to use curiosity and intuitive reasoning to inform planning decisions appears to be a recurring characteristic of much of the infrastructure building in New Zealand.

      The other question is the ongoing viability of the current agriculture model in a region whose transport infrastructure is poor, easily degraded and expensive to repair and where the environment is subject to very high levels of erosion. Again, these are questions that have been asked – and unanswered – for at least fifty years.

    • weston 7.5

      In times past houses and buildings that were flooded were simply cleaned dryed out and reinhabitated so whats changed ?.Building methods and materials have changed , so now instead of a solid tongue an groove floor normally made from quality timber and which can stand being wet and dry again for a hundred years ! we use particle board which is cheap and fast to install but turns back into sawdust in no time if it gets wet .

      compounding the problem is the universal use of plaster board wall linings which again is fast to install and relatively cheap but is just paper glued on to a thin veneer of plaster and doesnt like getting wet !!.

      Its like we all live in fairy land where nothing bad or adverse ever happens !?Modern building methods were supposedly evolved because this was deemed "progress " but what kind of progress is it when a house can be made completely unlivable with a single inundation of water requiring huge sums to remedy ?? Something is very wrong .

      • DB Brown 7.5.1

        Very good points.

      • joe90 7.5.2

        we use particle board

        Not any more.

        compounding the problem is the universal use of plaster board wall linings

        Are you suggesting we go back to fibrous plaster and sap-wood sarking and scrim, or is there another affordable miracle lining material that doesn't mind getting wet?

        • DB Brown

          Really, we've stopped with the particle board? That is good news if it is so.

          Gib board is relatively benign. Some outfit has started recycling it too, at least in Auckland. It is useless in water. But, our houses shouldn't be in water…

          "Its like we all live in fairy land where nothing bad or adverse ever happens"

          That. A pressing need for architects, planners, engineers et al to remove ones head from ones ass.

          Many of our buildings are inefficient power drains unfit for purpose. But when the desirable outcome is flash, rather than function…

          Housing should be efficient, resilient, planned with knowledge of sun and wind and tide. Knowledge of the catchment, the history… So that it is a shelter from the storm, not a liability.

          One time we raced out after a cyclone to ‘save’ some isolated islanders, who, when we arrived asked, ‘why are you here?’

          They, and their houses, survive cyclones. All the western buildings were liabilities, with iron sheets flying about in the storm.

          Function over flash. The above was taught in uni (Environsci 101), I’ll try find a link to the event.

        • weston

          Well if the alternative is having to rebuild or otherwise repair something of vital intrinsic necessesity as our home then yeah maybe we should or we could improve on the old ideas ..what about building a reinforced mould with all of the wiring pluming etc fitted on top of one of those modern concrete insulated floors and filling the whole thing all the internal walls and maybe the roof too with some type of concrete mix it would fucking near last forever could concievably be cheap and impevious to floods ?

          • DB Brown

            I think governments and their training institutions should send engineers architects and permaculture people to places historically and currently ravaged by weather and learn from their indigenous folks pronto.

            Better design. In line with nature, but not necessarily primitive. Best of both worlds could be achieved with good planning and open minds.

            The scary thing is we keep seeing stuff we didn't imagine only a few years back. We need to imagine worse winds and rain than we've ever seen, and design like our buildings are subject to that.

            That rain the other morning in Auckland that was a record… I have a 4 metre section of gutter on a greenhouse, 150 mm (cleared, I checked) downpipe that, at one point, could not divert the amount of water falling on a mere 16 sq m. It started overflowing along the length of the gutter. That’s a LOT of water.

            We could instead reverse greed, corporate control, CO2 levels, LOL!

    • Belladonna 7.6

      In a case of serendipity – this came through a feed from another site.

      Referencing the US school situation, with ageing school buildings, combined with climate change and increases in natural disasters (floods being the most common and the most costly) – with 2021 at an all-time-high – up from the previous all-time high in 2020.

      • pat 7.6.1

        It is essentially insurance….we spread the risk and use our resources to make good our losses, if those loses exceed our ability to make good the model ceases to work.

        And insurance (a major component of the financial system) is teetering on the edge of viability.

        Again, nothing to do with money.

  8. Puckish Rogue 8

    An interesting bottom line.

    Whether I agree with it or not I do like it when a minor support party does something like this because whats the point of being in power if you don't try to instigate changes you believe in

    The Green Party could take note…

    'Revealed exclusively to 1News, party leader David Seymour says it would be a bottom line if forming a Government with National.'

    ACT proposes that the next government passes legislation defining the principles of the Treaty, then ask the people to vote on it becoming law.

    The Treaty Principles Act would say:

    1. All citizens of New Zealand have the same political rights and duties
    2. All political authority comes from the people by democratic means, including universal suffrage, and regular and free elections with a secret ballot
    3. New Zealand is a multi-ethnic liberal democracy where discrimination based on ethnicity is illegal.

    [Links required for all the bits & pieces that you copied & pasted – Incognito]

  9. Descendant Of Smith 9

    Pity then ACT voted against prisoners being able to vote. Only the Greens wanted all prisoners to be able to vote.

    "Prisoners serving sentences of less than three years are set to vote at this election, after Parliament partially removed a blanket ban on prisoner voting rights.

    All prisoners were banned from voting in 2010, prior to then prisoners with sentences of three years or less could vote.

    Today, Parliament voted with Labour, the Green Party and NZ First in favour, while National, ACT and Jami Lee Ross voted against allowing prisoners serving sentences of three years or less to vote."

    And where do permanent residents fit in – they are allowed to vote currently. What of their political rights and duties – how will they differ? Will they still be able to vote?

    • Puckish Rogue 9.1


      Prisoners lose all sorts of rights when they go to prison. Voting should always be one of them.

      • Descendant Of Smith 9.1.1

        I care little that you don't think prisoners should be able to vote just pointing out the inconsistency in saying all New Zealanders as if he means it when the evidence is that he doesn't.

        • Puckish Rogue

          Its not inconsistent at all.

          Go to prison you lose your right to vote, stay out of prison you vote.

          No matter who you are.

          • Descendant Of Smith

            Doesn't happen now. And remand prisoners haven't been convicted of anything and may never be to boot.

            Prisoners as a matter of principle should always have a say on who governs them – it is those lawmakers who decide to take away their liberty and through what means. I'd argue that they should be first in line for voting rights.

            • Puckish Rogue


              Prisoners already get enough special treatment.

              This is not about prisoners rights, its about people wanting to signal how progressive they are.

              The more you make prison like the outside world the less of a deterrent prison becomes, its enough of a joke already.

          • McFlock

            ISTR having this argument before.

            The role of prison is to protect society from the currently dangerous and to rehabilitate them so they are no longer dangerous. The phrasing in the Crimes Act of "is liable to" also suggests a repayment of debt.

            So I'm not sure how relevant the right to vote is to those purposes, at least any more than a general right to breathe.

            I can see how it might disenfranchise people in demographic groups who are over-represented in the prison population, however. Especially if it is merely a step in the American slide from "no voting while in prison" to "no votes after release from prison".

            • Puckish Rogue

              'Especially if it is merely a step in the American slide from "no voting while in prison" to "no votes after release from prison".'

              Good thing I haven't said anything remotely like that then isn't it.

              • McFlock

                to clarify, yeah. Not you.

                I just can't see any other point to disenfranchising current prisoners (not even a plan I can disagree with – I just don't see an angle), so I do believe that was the longer term goal in 2010.

                It's bounced around quite a bit, though.

                • Puckish Rogue

                  Think of it this way then, if voting rights are so important for prisoners and prisoners are clambering for them (if they are they haven't moaned to me about it) then consider it an incentive to not commit crimes in the future

                  I'm absolutely not being facetious at all

                  But seriously what ticks me off the most about this is people are doing this because its easy, its simple.

                  Voting rights for prisoners yeah lets do it, lets make them feel a part of the community and they'll re-enter society so much easier

                  Maybe they will, maybe the idea of voting and taking part in a democracy is just the spur these guys (and girls) need to inspire them to change

                  But there are far more worthy and needed issues that can be done that will integrate the crims back into society far more successfully than voting will

                  More money into rehabilitation and finding the staff to run it, more money into numeracy and literacy as above, more money into mental health and addiction issues as above, more money trades training as above, more money into understanding that women aren't actually punching bags would also be good

                  Fantastic, job done?

                  Nope, not by a long shot.

                  The crims now out of prison, where will he/she go…back to the same cesspool of crime and drugs and poverty and hopelessness they came from most likely

                  Work a minimum wage job getting up early or…knock over a house or two and sell some drugs (yes that comes from the crims mouths)

                  Instead lets give all crims the vote and we can collectively pat ourselves on the back for doing a good thing and ignore all the other issues

                  • McFlock

                    Now I'm the one who said none of that.

                    Voting is a right. Doesn't matter if we choose to exercise it, it's a right we are free to choose to exercise.

                    Removal of this right for prisoners without a decent reason is removal of a right without good reason. It doesn't matter if it's a big deal to prisoners or not.

                    It's not patting ourselves on the back for doing a good thing, it's a basic minimum of ensuring people in society don't have their rights pointlessly removed.

                    If there's a point to it, fine. Especially a compelling reason of how it's for the good of society or protecting people. Sure. If they do something bad, their base character bars them from office, because they might corrupt the office or draw it into disrepute simply by someone of such poor character being able to hold that office. Fine.

                    But there's no compelling reason to remove the right to vote from prisoners, is there?

                    • Puckish Rogue

                      True, that started out as a reply and then morphed into a rant aimed at well no one really

                      On the other hand I see no compelling reason to give the vote to someone that chooses to ignore the laws and rules of the country either and since prison is, unfortunately, all too brief it is only a temporary removal of a right

                    • McFlock

                      The compelling reasons are:

                      • that it's a right
                      • that the preservation of that right is essential for the functioning of a democracy
                      • that this right is no different to any other right irrelevant to the justification for imprisonment: should we remove all rights from prisoners, legalising slavery, murder, and torture as long as the victims are prisoners? Why this right but not those?

                      It doesn't matter if the removal is "temporary". It's still an arbitrary removal of a right without justification, and could easily lead to an acceptance of permanent removal of that or any other right.

                  • Drowsy M. Kram

                    …and since prison is, unfortunately, all too brief…

                    Punitive Pucky – 'lock 'em up and throw away the key'?



                    Otoh, it’s a dirty job, but someone’s gotta do it.

                  • Drowsy M. Kram

                    Calls for (more) punitive sentencing, and incarceration conditions, tap into something primal (an eye for an eye), so following this approach will satisfy some, but it is flawed, imho.

                    Exploring alternatives requires an open mind, and considerable resources to implement effectively.

                    Reducing prison population, reducing recidivism rates and helping reintegration into communities

                    Custodial Sanctions and Reoffending: A Meta-Analytic Review [Sept 2021]
                    Based on a much larger meta-analysis of 116 studies, the current analysis shows that custodial sanctions have no effect on reoffending or slightly increase it when compared with the effects of noncustodial sanctions such as probation. This finding is robust regardless of variations in methodological rigor, types of sanctions examined, and sociodemographic characteristics of samples.

                    The criminal justice system is broken.
                    New Zealand has one of the highest incarceration rates in the developed world. Around 9000 people are in prison at any one time. That’s just under 200 prisoners per 100,000 people, compared to somewhere between the 30 and 60 in the Nordic countries. This is worse than it used to be: the rate was just 83 in 1980.

                    The logic behind imprisonment is that it keeps people safe by deterring crime and rehabilitating offenders. But when you dig deeper, there’s little evidence that it actually works that way.

                    About 60 per cent of New Zealand prisoners will reoffend, and 40 per cent will be reimprisoned within two years of being released. Numerous international studies show that prison only deters offending in certain limited cases — mainly white-collar crime by white middle-class men.

                    Instead of protecting society by reducing overall harm, prison exacerbates many existing social problems.

                    Generations of disadvantage: a view from the District Court bench. Ethel Benjamin Law Foundation Commemorative Address 2018
                    It is even worse for young offenders in prison. More than four out of five prisoners under the age of 20 have been in state care.

                    Those in youth justice residences are 10 times more likely to have a mental health disorder than youth generally. As a recent study concluded – rather chillingly – in New Zealand youth justice residences, “some form of psychological need was the rule rather than the exception.
                    The pattern repeats in the adult jurisdiction. More than a third of offenders have a mental illness, while nine out of ten prisoners have a diagnosable lifetime mental illness disorder.

                    The prevalence of neurodisabilities is equally high amongst adult offenders: 95% of female prisoners, and almost half of all prisoners have a traumatic brain injury, and as many as 70% of prisoners have significant literacy problems, a strong marker of future criminal offending.

                    Overall, Māori are six times more likely to be imprisoned than non-Māori.

                    Prison Policy Initiative
                    The strongest predictor for recidivism: poverty

                    • KJT

                      A rather thoughtful prison officer I knew, said most of the prison population would be avoided if we helped youngsters with literacy, a stake in society, job opportunities, mental health and education, before they offended. I.E. Addressed poverty!
                      Sending them to “crime University” usually results in a lifetime of disaffection and recidivism.

                      Interesting that the only crimes where prison has evidence of a real deterrant effect, is on White collar crime. They type of criminal that is least likely to be imprisoned.

                    • Puckish Rogue

                      Yeah it's not hard to work out what the issues are, a couple of weeks in the wings and you realise just how messed up a lot of them are

                      I would also add in somehow reaching the mum as well because Foetal Alcohol Syndrome is no joke and very prevalent in prisoners

                    • Incognito

                      I’m detecting a sub-text with some here that many in prison are messed up and cannot make good decisions & choices to save themselves, which is indeed an issue and in fact, it is the issue. This would be (another?) reason why those people should not have a say in elections that may possibly influence outcomes for all of us law-abiding citizens and upstanding members of society, God forbid. For example, prisoners might vote for the ‘wrong’ political party!! Thus, voting should be reserved for those who have shown that they’re worthy of exercising this right. You can guess how one can show/prove his/her ‘worthiness’. To Hell with democratic principles and Human Rights, meritocracy rules! And keeping up appearances …

                    • Drowsy M. Kram

                      Dementia doesn’t change your right to vote.

                      If you are living with dementia, you have a right to vote.

                      That’s the case whether you live at home, in a residential care facility or a secure dementia unit. Everyone with dementia has a right to vote, regardless of capacity. [my emphasis]

                      Expressing the opinion that citizens in prison should be deprived of their right to vote is fine. But if citizens are actually being deprived of that right then (as McFlock said) there should be a decent/compelling reason. Punitive impulses do not a decent/compelling reason make, imho.

          • mikesh

            Go to prison you lose your right to vote, stay out of prison you vote.


      • mac1 9.1.2

        Part of the injustice of removal of inmate's voting rights was that sentenced criminals who avoided jail time still could vote.

        A prisoner with a vote is still potentially engaged fundamentally with society.

        Losing one's liberty and being fined or otherwise sanctioned is most understandable when dealing with a criminal. But what has removal of an adult's voting right got to do with fair punishment?

        • Puckish Rogue

          Where'd punishment come into it?

          • mac1

            What other reason, then?

            • Puckish Rogue

              To me its rather simple.

              You have chosen, in breaking the law enough to be incarcerated, that you do not want to follow the laws of the country.

              So while you're in prison you do not get to participate in the running of country, including the creating of laws, until you are out of prison.

              Want to vote, stay out of prison.

              • mac1

                Why stop at incarceration? All who do not follow the rules of the country should be so sanctioned.

                Tax evaders, speeders, red light runners, non-indicators, those who fail to check the rear vision mirror regularly- fair cop.

                Can we introduce a property ownership qualification, as well?

                And minimum education standards?

                And sex, age and mental acuity?

                Over the top?

                What we're debating here is why you want to limit the vote to the incarcerated, because you would limit that basic human right.

      • Incognito 9.1.3

        To me, it comes across as vindictive without any other reasonable purpose. Even more so when you consider that general elections are typically held every three years. For example, somebody serving four years in prison may be excluded once from participating in the democratic process just like all of his/her other fellow Kiwis. I thought we were ‘one people’!?

        • arkie

          Agreed, it makes a mockery of the historic goal of our democratic system: universal suffrage.

          The removal of the franchise of prisoners is a mark on our storied record:

          • 1853 – British government passes the New Zealand Constitution Act 1852, granting limited self-rule, including a bicameral parliament, to the colony. The vote was limited to male British subjects aged 21 or over who owned or rented sufficient property and were not imprisoned for a serious offence. Communally owned land was excluded from the property qualification, thus disenfranchising most Māori (indigenous) men.
          • 1860 – Franchise extended to holders of miner's licenses who met all voting qualifications except that of property.
          • 1867 – Māori seats established, giving Māori four reserved seats in the lower house. There was no property qualification; thus Māori men gained universal suffrage before other New Zealanders. The number of seats did not reflect the size of the Māori population, but Māori men who met the property requirement for general electorates were able to vote in them or in the Māori electorates but not both.
          • 1879 – Property requirement abolished.
          • 1893 – Women won equal voting rights with men, making New Zealand the first nation in the world to allow women to vote.
          • 1969 – Voting age lowered to 20.
          • 1974 – Voting age lowered to 18.
          • 1975 – Franchise extended to permanent residents of New Zealand, regardless of whether they have citizenship.
          • 1996 – Number of Māori seats increased to reflect Māori population.
          • 2010 – Prisoners imprisoned for one year or more denied voting rights while serving the sentence.

      • weston 9.1.4

        Why exactly do u think prisoners should lose the right to vote puck ?

        • Puckish Rogue

          You have chosen, in breaking the law enough to be incarcerated, that you do not want to follow the laws of the country.

          So while you're in prison you do not get to participate in the running of country, including the creating of laws, until you are out of prison.

          • weston

            Seems excessivly punitive to me dont we want them to retain a sense of belonging to the community ? What are we afraid of by letting them vote ?or is it just that "bread an water " thing ?

          • Incognito

            Breaking one law or even a couple of laws doesn’t mean complete and utter rejection of all society and doesn’t justify that society, in return, rejects all human rights of the convict. They’re convicted and sentenced to prison time, not to lose other human rights as well – it’s unlawful.

            • Puckish Rogue

              'They’re convicted and sentenced to prison time, not to lose other human rights as well – it’s unlawful.'

              Are you sure thats what you really think?


              18Freedom of movement

              • (1)Everyone lawfully in New Zealand has the right to freedom of movement and residence in New Zealand.

                (2)Every New Zealand citizen has the right to enter New Zealand.

                (3)Everyone has the right to leave New Zealand.

                (4)No one who is not a New Zealand citizen and who is lawfully in New Zealand shall be required to leave New Zealand except under a decision taken on grounds prescribed by law.

          • Robert Guyton

            Those who break the law, Pucky, but don't get caught, can still vote, alright?

          • weston

            Hey puck sorry to ask u that question so far down the thread i hadnt realised you,d already run the gauntlet so to speak cause this morn i was reading from the bottom up trying to have a rest from the armchair generals !!

  10. mac1 10

    Why give them back the vote after release? They flouted the laws. Why link it to time in prison?

    Unless it's punishment?

    • Puckish Rogue 10.1

      • Incognito 10.1.1

        Moronic reply

        • Puckish Rogue

          The question got the reply it deserved

          • mac1

            Thank you, my woke-baiting, virtue-hating friend. End of debate- no, too strong a word, end of exchange.

            • Puckish Rogue

              I'm not your friend and if you think you can do better, join me and have a go yourself, theres plenty of roles all over NZ:


              • Incognito

                BS argument, again, it is not about doing a better or worse job as Correction Officer. It’s about prisoners’ voting rights being taken away, unlawfully, may I add.

                • Puckish Rogue

                  'It’s about prisoners’ voting rights being taken away, unlawfully, may I add.'

                  I wish it was.

                  I would take it away from those that already have it but its about giving it back to those that don't have it.

                  [By default, you cannot not have a basic human right, which would contravene the BORA.

                  If you want to play silly board games here I suggest you’d take the weekend off. This is your warning – Incognito]

                  • Incognito

                    Mod note

                  • Puckish Rogue

                    Sorry I'm not really sure how to reply to this because the double negative is a bit confusing.

                    • Incognito

                      Don’t be a dick in your comments and play stupid semantics games. The default state of a living in NZ is being free (i.e. not in prison unless convicted) and having voting rights (citizens and permanent residents).

                      I’ve warned you and am very close to revoking your commenting privileges here. As such, it is (much!) better if you don’t reply at all and simply take heed, which is why it was called a “warning” in the Mod note to you.

                • Jimmy

                  I think if someone has done something bad enough to be sent to prison for (and I believe its has to be pretty bad these days to get prison time) then they obviously do not care about breaking laws, then as part of the punishment, they should not get to vote or have a say in society.

                  I think I actually agree with Puckish Rogue.

          • Incognito

            You’ll get the treatment you deserve, if you keep this up.

            • Puckish Rogue

              We both know how this is going to end so you may as well just ban me now.

              • Incognito

                Aren’t you a Correction Officer? So, why don’t you self-correct your debating skills and behaviour here and lift your game?

                If it ends the way you want, you’ll get what you wish for.

                • Robert Guyton

                  Pucky's just being silly – give him the Spanish archer.

                  • Incognito

                    He may be silly, but is he stupid? That may be the key difference.

                    • Robert Guyton

                      I think it's stupid for someone to drive moderators close to expelling them. So, yes 🙂

                    • Incognito []

                      It’s never an easy call when I first wear my commenter hat and next my Moderator one. It seems to confuse people here so much that they cannot follow simple suggestions or guidelines and they seem to think that I want to ‘win’ by using any means, which would be grossly unfair, of course. Actually, it says a lot more about those confused people than about me – I just enjoy a good game of sparring.

                    • Ed1

                      It has been a silly thread – Puckish has repeatedly asserted that the ban on voting is justified, without giving any reason. How does the ban help rehabilitation,; why is it justified – and if the ability to vote is withdrawn, what else could be withdrawn? The assertion that it is illegal has been shown to be false, but also keeps getting repeated.

                      My view is that the ability to vote is one way of telling a prisoner that he or she are still New Zealanders; that they have a mind, and can make a difference; it is a recognition that they can make a difference without drugs, violence, or generally breaking laws. If removing the ability to vote is justified; where should the line be drawn – making meals cheaper by only requiring minimum nutritional needs are met? Penal labour gangs with menial work to demonstrate degradation? Removal of the ability to take education courses? I cannot see how the ability to vote reduces the likelihood of rehabilitation, or creates any significant problem for prison authorities; it just seems a petty restriction that in practice is unlikely to make much difference at all to the overall composition of parliament.

                    • Incognito []

                      PR raised many good points but it was sad to see his self-strangulation with regard to the voting rights of prisoners.

    • Sabine 10.2

      Yes, indeed Prison is punishment. Oh my. And if people don't want to get deprived of their freedom and be incarcerated they better not break the law. Who knew?

      • Incognito 10.2.1

        Missing the point, it’s not about incarceration, it’s about voting rights. Keep up.

  11. Bazza64 11

    Item in this morning’s Herald. An Otago shopper ordered some non-perishable grocery items from Amazon Australia & saved 35%. 5 days to deliver. Maybe a one-off special but could be a good option for shoppers struggling to meet their weekly budget & if enough people did it might be a wake up call for our super ?markets.

    [Link required – Incognito]

  12. Anne 12

    Matthew Hooton claims Labour has "re-branded" Jacinda Ardern. Can't say I've noticed any change. She looks the same and she speaks the same. I suspect its another load of Hooton bullshit.

    I don't do Herald subscription so if anybody can provide the link I wouldn't mind reading the article. Thanks.

    • mac1 12.1

      Heh, National has done more than 'rebrand' their leader. They've changed the product five times since Ardern became PM.

      English, Bridges, Muller, Collins, Luxon. Lest we forget.

  13. Ad 13

    Almost worth doing a post on Larry Fink's latest letter to shareholders, particularly since BlackRock controls US$10 Trillion in assets. None of which are in Russia.

    Larry Fink’s Chairman's Letter to Shareholders | BlackRock

    Those countries such as ourselves that have relied for the last 40 years on a free-trade rules-based order will need to draw ever closer to the more powerful countries and markets closest to us.

    Fink also has useful things to say on the differing near-term and longer-term impacts on Net Zero goals from the current crises.

    Fink as Chair has more financial power than all but the largest global government heads. So his advice is worth tracking.

  14. Hongi Ika 14

    The Perrenial Racist Winston Peters has come out against the Co-Governance Maaori Model, showing his true colours again. Seymour Guns and Winnie vying for the racist votes.

  15. Red lion seratus 15

    How bout stark contrasts : the first place getter an emblem of denialism, the old order & share bloody minded 'do what I want ': spark up the diesel burning Ford Ranger. The number two position , the future now, hitech & efficient: able to travel 350km for the price of a couple of lagers.Silicon wizardry hits the tarmac in the form if The Tesla. What greater sign of the denial vs acceptism could we get?

  16. Dennis Frank 16

    National resets all over the place…

    National will begin the formal process of selecting a candidate to run in Tauranga next week. Party President Peter Goodfellow said nominations would open next Tuesday. "Our local members are looking for a candidate who is passionate about fighting for the issues that matter to communities across Tauranga. Like addressing the crushing cost-of-living crisis, restoring local democracy, and delivering better transport solutions to get the city moving," Goodfellow said.

    He didn't explain why Tauranga is currently static. Could the retiring MP, a simple chap called Simon, be to blame? Nah, situation too complex.

    National leader Christopher Luxon said the party is trying something different as it looks for a candidate to run in the Tauranga byelection

    Gosh, that sounds horribly like an intellectual challenge to his cohorts. Imagine the dismay. Conservatism is all about doing the same shit all the time. Trying something different is radical to any conservative. Talk about cat amongst pigeons. Female Nats entering an orgy of pearl-clutching will have to fight off male colleagues trying to clutch them too. Distract them with resets!

    "We have reset our candidate selection processes. We did that over Christmas" … Luxon said the party wanted to "reset" some of its "core processes" – and not just candidate selection. He said this included a "reset around code of conduct and dispute resolution", which was done over the summer.

    But there's more!

    Luxon said over the summer the party rolled out "National 101", a course for people interested in candidacy

    Now you might think he meant National 1.01 – you know, conservatives are traditional, blah blah blah. However the punctuation mark keeps failing to show up every time it gets mentioned. So I suspect they are trying to innovate – widening their recruitment pool to include the punctuationally-challenged. Most of the younger generations, in other words. Older Nats will struggle with all this new stuff…

  17. Jimmy 17

    Heard on Newstalk ZB, that someone has just taken delivery of a new Tesla and received the $8,625? rebate, and two days later have listed it for sale at close to the full retail price saying "why wait 8 months for delivery". So he gets to pocket most of the $8,625 rebate if he can sell it close to retail price.

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    More Than A FeildingBy David Slack
    7 days ago
  • Some “scrutiny” II
    Last month I blogged about the Ministry of Justice's Open Government Partnership commitment to strengthen scrutiny of Official Information Act exemption clauses in legislation", and how their existing efforts did not give much reason for confidence. As part of that, I mentioned that I had asked the Ministry for its ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    7 days ago
  • Gordon Campbell on why the Biden “peace plan” for Gaza is doomed
    After months and months of blocking every attempt by the UN and everyone else to achieve a Gaza ceasefire, US President Joe Biden is now marketing his own three-stage “peace plan” to end the conflict. Like every other contribution by the US since October 7, the Biden initiative is hobbled ...
    WerewolfBy lyndon
    1 week ago
  • Raised crossings: hearing the voice of vulnerable pedestrians
    This is a guest post by Vivian Naylor, who is the Barrier Free Advisor and Educator at CCS Disability Action, Northern Region, the largest disability support and advocacy organisation in Aotearoa New Zealand. She also advises on AT’s Public Transport and Capital Projects Accessibility Groups. Vivian has been advocating and ...
    Greater AucklandBy Guest Post
    1 week ago
  • Leaving on a Jet Plane
    So kiss me and smile for meTell me that you'll wait for meHold me like you'll never let me go'Cause I'm leavin' on a jet planeDon't know when I'll be back againOh babe, I hate to go“The true measure of any society can be found in how it treats its ...
    Nick’s KōreroBy Nick Rockel
    1 week ago
  • Bernard's mid-winter pick 'n' mix for Tuesday, June 18
    The election promises of ‘better economic management’ are now ringing hollow, as NZ appears to be falling into a deeper recession, while other economies are turning the corner. Photo: Lynn Grieveson / The KākāTL;DR: The economy and the housing market are slumping back into a deep recession this winter, contrasting ...
    The KakaBy Bernard Hickey
    1 week ago
  • Scrutiny week off to rocky start
    Parliament’s new “Scrutiny” process, which is supposed to allow Select Committees to interrogate Ministers and officials in much more depth, has got off to a rocky start. Yesterday was the first day of “Scrutiny Week” which is supposed to see the Government grilled on how it spends taxpayers’ money and ...
    PolitikBy Richard Harman
    1 week ago
  • The choice could not be more stark’: How Trump and Biden compare on climate change
    This is a re-post from Yale Climate Connections by Barbara Grady Illustration by Samantha Harrington. Photo credits: Justin Lane-Pool/Getty Images, Win McNamee/Getty Images, European Space Agency. In an empty wind-swept field in Richmond, California, next to the county landfill, a company called RavenSr has plotted out land and won ...
    1 week ago
  • Differentiating between democracy and republic
    Although NZ readers may not be that interested in the subject and in lieu of US Fathers Day missives (not celebrated in NZ), I thought I would lay out some brief thoughts on a political subject being debated in the … Continue reading ...
    KiwipoliticoBy Pablo
    1 week ago
  • Bernard's mid-winter pick 'n' mix for Monday, June 17
    TL;DR: Chris Bishop talks up the use of value capture, congestion charging, PPPs, water meters, tolling and rebating GST on building materials to councils to ramp up infrastructure investment in the absence of the Government simply borrowing more to provide the capital.Meanwhile, Christopher Luxon wants to double the number of ...
    The KakaBy Bernard Hickey
    1 week ago
  • You do have the power to change things
    When I was invited to come aboard and help with Greater Auckland a few months ago (thanks to Patrick!), it was suggested it might be a good idea to write some sort of autobiographical post by way of an introduction. This post isn’t quite that – although I’m sure I’lll ...
    Greater AucklandBy Connor Sharp
    1 week ago
  • Turning Away – Who Cares If We Don't?
    On the turning awayFrom the pale and downtroddenAnd the words they say which we won't understandDon't accept that, what's happeningIs just a case of other's sufferingOr you'll find that you're joining inThe turning awayToday’s guest kōrero is from Author Catherine Lea. So without further ado, over to Catherine…I’m so honoured ...
    Nick’s KōreroBy Nick Rockel
    1 week ago
  • Dissecting Tickled
    Hi,Tickled was one of the craziest things that ever happened to me (and I feel like a lot of crazy things have happened to me).So ahead of the Webworm popup and Tickled screening in New Zealand on July 13, I thought I’d write about how we made that film and ...
    David FarrierBy David Farrier
    1 week ago
  • New Zealand Webworm Popup + Tickled!
    Hi,I’m doing a Webworm merch popup followed by a Tickled screening in Auckland, New Zealand on July 13th — and I’d love you to come. I got the urge to do this while writing this Webworm piece breaking down how we made Tickled, and talking to all the people who ...
    David FarrierBy David Farrier
    1 week ago
  • What China wants from NZ business
    One simple statistic said it all: China Premier Li Qiang asked Fonterra CEO Miles Hurrell what percentage of the company’s overall sales were made in China. “Thirty per cent,” said Hurrell. In other words, New Zealand’s largest company is more or less dependent on the Chinese market. But Hurrell is ...
    PolitikBy Richard Harman
    1 week ago
  • Review: The Worm Ouroboros, by E.R. Eddison (1922)
    One occasionally runs into the question of what J.R.R. Tolkien would have thought of George R.R. Martin. For years, I had a go-to online answer: we could use a stand-in. Tolkien’s thoughts on E.R. Eddison – that he appreciated the invented world, but thought the invented names were silly, and ...
    1 week ago
  • 2024 SkS Weekly Climate Change & Global Warming News Roundup #24
    A listing of 35 news and opinion articles we found interesting and shared on social media during the past week: Sun, June 9, 2024 thru Sat, June 15, 2024. Story of the week A glance at this week's inventory of what experts tell us is extreme weather mayhem juiced by ...
    1 week ago
  • Sunday Morning Chat
    After a busy week it’s a good day to relax. Clear blues skies here in Tamaki Makaurau, very peaceful but for my dogs sleeping heavily. In the absence of a full newsletter I thought I’d send out a brief update and share a couple of posts that popped up in ...
    Nick’s KōreroBy Nick Rockel
    1 week ago
  • The Book of Henry
    Now in the land of Angus beef and the mighty ABsWhere the steaks were juicy and the rivers did run foulIt would often be said,This meal is terrible,andNo, for real this is legit the worst thing I've ever eatenBut this was an thing said only to others at the table,not ...
    More Than A FeildingBy David Slack
    1 week ago
  • Fact Brief – Is ocean acidification from human activities enough to impact marine ecosystems?
    Skeptical Science is partnering with Gigafact to produce fact briefs — bite-sized fact checks of trending claims. This fact brief was written by Sue Bin Park in collaboration with members from the Skeptical Science team. You can submit claims you think need checking via the tipline. Is ocean acidification from human ...
    1 week ago
  • Happiness is a Warm Gun
    She's not a girl who misses muchDo do do do do do, oh yeahShe's well-acquainted with the touch of the velvet handLike a lizard on a window paneI wouldn’t associate ACT with warmth, other than a certain fabled, notoriously hot, destination where surely they’re heading and many would like them ...
    Nick’s KōreroBy Nick Rockel
    1 week ago
  • Still doing a good 20
    Hello! Here comes the Saturday edition of More Than A Feilding, catching you up on the past somewhat interrupted week. Still on the move!Share Read more ...
    More Than A FeildingBy David Slack
    1 week ago
  • Coalition of the Unwilling?
    What does Budget 2024 tell us about the current government? Muddle on?Coalition governments are not new. About 50 percent of the time since the first MMP election, there has been a minority government, usually with allied parties holding ministerial portfolios outside cabinets. For 10 percent of the time there was ...
    PunditBy Brian Easton
    2 weeks ago
  • Of red flags and warning signs in comments on social media
    Somewhat surprisingly for what is regarded as a network of professionals, climate science misinformation is getting shared on LinkedIn, joining other channels where this is happening. Several of our recent posts published on LinkedIn have attracted the ire of various commenters who apparently are in denial about human-caused climate change. Based ...
    2 weeks ago
  • All good, still
    1. On what subject is Paul Henry even remotely worth giving the time of day?a. The state of our nationb. The state of the ACT partyc. How to freak out potential buyers of your gin palace by baking the remains of your deceased parent into its fittings2. Now that New ...
    More Than A FeildingBy David Slack
    2 weeks ago
  • The looting is the point
    Last time National was in power, they looted the state, privatising public assets and signing hugely wasteful public-private partnership (PPP) contracts which saw foreign consortiums provide substandard infrastructure while gouging us for profits. You only have to look at the ongoing fiasco of Transmission Gully to see how it was ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • The Illusion of Power: How Local Government Bureaucrats Overawe Democratically-Elected Councillors..
    The Democratic Façade Of Local Government: Our district and city councillors are democratically elected to govern their communities on one very strict condition – that they never, ever, under any circumstances, attempt to do so.A DISINTEGRATION OF LOYALTIES on the Wellington City Council has left Mayor Tory Whanau without a ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Lowlights & Bright Spots
    I can feel the lowlights coming over meI can feel the lowlights, from the state I’m inI can see the light now even thought it’s dimA little glow on the horizonAnother week of lowlights from our government, with the odd bright spot and a glow on the horizon. The light ...
    Nick’s KōreroBy Nick Rockel
    2 weeks ago
  • Weekly Roundup 14-June-2024
    Another week, another roundup of things that caught our eye on our favourite topics of transport, housing and how to make cities a little bit greater. This Week in Greater Auckland On Monday, Connor wrote about Kāinga Ora’s role as an urban development agency Tuesday’s guest post by ...
    Greater AucklandBy Greater Auckland
    2 weeks ago
  • The Hoon around the week to June 14
    Photo: Lynn Grieveson / The KākāTL;DR: The podcast above of the weekly ‘hoon’ webinar for paying subscribers features co-hosts and talking with:The Kākā’s climate correspondent about the National-ACT-NZ First Government’s moves this week to take farming out of the ETS and encourage more mining and oil and ...
    The KakaBy Bernard Hickey
    2 weeks ago
  • Climate policy axed in broad daylight, while taxpayer liabilities grow in the dark
    In 2019, Shane Jones addressed the “50 Shades of Green” protest at Parliament: Now he is part of a government giving those farmers a pass on becoming part of the ETS, as well as threatening to lock in offshore oil exploration and mining for decades. Photo: Lynn GrievesonTL;DR: Here’s the ...
    The KakaBy Bernard Hickey
    2 weeks ago
  • Rage Bait!
    Hi,Today’s newsletter is all about how easy it is to get sucked into “rage bait” online, and how easy it is to get played.But first I wanted to share something that elicited the exact opposite of rage in me — something that made me feel incredibly proud, whilst also making ...
    David FarrierBy David Farrier
    2 weeks ago
  • Bernard's Dawn Chorus and pick 'n' mix for Friday, June 14
    Seymour said lower speed limits “drained the joy from life as people were forced to follow rules they knew made no sense.” File Photo: Lynn Grieveson / The KākāTL;DR: My six things to note in Aotearoa-NZ’s political economy around housing, climate and poverty on Friday, June 14 were:The National/ACT/NZ First ...
    The KakaBy Bernard Hickey
    2 weeks ago
  • Friendly but frank talks with China Premier
    It sounded like the best word to describe yesterday’s talks between Chinese Premier Li Qiang and his heavyweight delegation of Ministers and officials and Prime Minister Christopher Luxon and New Zealand Ministers and officials was “frank.” But it was the kind of frankness that friends can indulge in. It ...
    PolitikBy Richard Harman
    2 weeks ago

  • New support for agricultural emissions reduction
    The Government and the Bank of New Zealand (BNZ) are together committing an additional $8 million towards AgriZeroNZ to boost New Zealand’s efforts to reduce agricultural emissions. Agriculture Minister Todd McClay says the strength of the New Zealand economy relies on effective and affordable emission reduction solutions for New Zealand’s ...
    2 hours ago
  • Transformative investment in cancer treatments and more new medicines
    The coalition Government is delivering up to 26 cancer treatments as part of an overall package of up to 54 more new medicines, Health Minister Dr Shane Reti and Associate Health Minister David Seymour announced today. “Pharmac estimates that around 175,000 people will benefit from the additional treatments in just ...
    22 hours ago
  • More support for drought-affected communities
    The coalition Government is providing more financial support to drought-stricken farmers and growers in many parts of the country to help with essential living costs. “Rural Assistance Payments have been made available in 38 districts affected by dry conditions to help eligible farmers and growers whose income has taken a ...
    1 day ago
  • Job seekers to report on progress after six months from today
    A new requirement for people on Jobseeker Support benefits to meet with MSD after six months to assess how their job search is going gets underway today. About 20,000 Jobseeker beneficiaries with full-time work obligations are expected to attend MSD’s new ‘Work check-in’ seminars over the next 12 months, Social ...
    1 day ago
  • New cops means more Police on the beat
    The decision to deploy more Police on the beat in Auckland CBD has been welcomed by Police Minister Mark Mitchell and Associate Police Minister Casey Costello. Starting from 1 July, an additional 21 police officers will be redeployed in Auckland City, bringing the total number of beat police in the ...
    2 days ago
  • Government takes action to address youth crime
    The Government is introducing a new declaration for young offenders to ensure they face tougher consequences and are better supported to turn their lives around, Children’s Minister Karen Chhour announced today. The establishment of a Young Serious Offender declaration delivers on a coalition Government commitment and supports the Government’s target ...
    2 days ago
  • Reserve Bank chair reappointed
    Professor Neil Quigley has been reappointed as Chair of the Reserve Bank of New Zealand Board for a further term of two years, until 30 June 2026.  “Professor Quigley has played a key role in establishing the new Board after the commencement of the new RBNZ Act on 1 July ...
    5 days ago
  • School attendance increases
    School attendance data released today shows an increase in the number of students regularly attending school to 61.7 per cent in term one. This compares to 59.5 per cent in term one last year and 53.6 per cent in term four. “It is encouraging to see more children getting to ...
    5 days ago
  • Record investment in public transport services
    The Government has announced a record 41 per cent increase in indicative funding for public transport services and operations, and confirmed the rollout of the National Ticketing Solution (NTS) that will enable contactless debit and credit card payments starting this year in Auckland, Transport Minister Simeon Brown says.“This Government is ...
    5 days ago
  • GDP data shows need to strengthen and grow the economy
    GDP figures for the March quarter reinforce the importance of restoring fiscal discipline to public spending and driving more economic growth, Finance Minister Nicola Willis says.  Data released today by Stats NZ shows GDP has risen 0.2 per cent for the quarter to March.   “While today’s data is technically in ...
    5 days ago
  • Women continue to make up over 50 per cent on public sector boards
    Women’s representation on public sector boards and committees has reached 50 per cent or above for the fourth consecutive year, with women holding 53.9 per cent of public sector board roles, Acting Minister for Women Louise Upston says. “This is a fantastic achievement, but the work is not done. To ...
    5 days ago
  • Government supporting Māori business success
    The Coalition Government is supporting Māori to boost development and the Māori economy through investment in projects that benefit the regions, Regional Development Minister Shane Jones and Māori Development Minister Tama Potaka say. “As the Regional Development Minister, I am focused on supporting Māori to succeed. The Provincial Growth Fund ...
    5 days ago
  • Better solutions for earthquake-prone buildings
    Building and Construction Minister Chris Penk has announced that the review into better managing the risks of earthquake-prone buildings has commenced. “The terms of reference published today demonstrate the Government’s commitment to ensuring we get the balance right between public safety and costs to building owners,” Mr Penk says.  “The Government ...
    5 days ago
  • Prime Minister wraps up visit to Japan
    Prime Minister Christopher Luxon has just finished a successful three-day visit to Japan, where he strengthened political relationships and boosted business links. Mr Luxon’s visit culminated in a bilateral meeting with Japanese Prime Minister Kishida Fumio followed by a state dinner. “It was important for me to meet Prime Minister Kishida in person ...
    6 days ago
  • Major business deals signed on PM’s Japan trip
    Significant business deals have been closed during the visit of Prime Minister Christopher Luxon to Japan this week, including in the areas of space, renewable energy and investment.  “Commercial deals like this demonstrate that we don’t just export high-quality agricultural products to Japan, but also our world-class technology, expertise, and ...
    6 days ago
  • Strategic Security speech, Tokyo
    Minasan, konnichiwa, kia ora and good afternoon everyone. Thank you for the invitation to speak to you today and thank you to our friends at the Institute for International Socio-Economic Studies and NEC for making this event possible today.  It gives me great pleasure to be here today, speaking with ...
    6 days ago
  • National Infrastructure Pipeline worth over $120 billion
    The National Infrastructure Pipeline, which provides a national view of current or planned infrastructure projects, from roads, to water infrastructure, to schools, and more, has climbed above $120 billion, Infrastructure Minister Chris Bishop says. “Our Government is investing a record amount in modern infrastructure that Kiwis can rely on as ...
    6 days ago
  • Making it easier to build infrastructure
    The Government is modernising the Public Works Act to make it easier to build infrastructure, Minister for Land Information Chris Penk announced today. An independent panel will undertake an eight-week review of the Act and advise on common sense changes to enable large scale public works to be built faster and ...
    7 days ago
  • NZ enhances North Korea sanctions monitoring
    New Zealand will enhance its defence contributions to monitoring violations of sanctions against North Korea, Prime Minister Christopher Luxon announced today.  The enhancement will see the New Zealand Defence Force (NZDF) increase its contributions to North Korea sanctions monitoring, operating out of Japan. “This increase reflects the importance New Zealand ...
    7 days ago
  • Speech to Safeguard National Health and Safety Conference
    Good afternoon everyone. It’s great to be with you all today before we wrap up Day One of the annual Safeguard National Health and Safety Conference. Thank you to the organisers and sponsors of this conference, for the chance to talk to you about the upcoming health and safety consultation. ...
    7 days ago
  • Ōtaki to north of Levin alliance agreements signed
    Transport Minister Simeon Brown has welcomed an important milestone for the Ōtaki to north of Levin Road of National Significance (RoNS), following the NZ Transport Agency (NZTA) signing interim alliance agreements with two design and construction teams who will develop and ultimately build the new expressway.“The Government’s priority for transport ...
    7 days ago
  • Improvements to stopping Digital Child Exploitation
    The Department of Internal Affairs [Department] is making a significant upgrade to their Digital Child Exploitation Filtering System, which blocks access to websites known to host child sexual abuse material, says Minister of Internal Affairs Brooke van Velden.  “The Department will incorporate the up-to-date lists of websites hosting child sexual ...
    1 week ago
  • New vaccine research aims to combat prevalent bovine disease
    A vaccine to prevent an infectious disease that costs New Zealand cattle farmers more than $190 million each year could radically improve the health of our cows and boost on-farm productivity, Associate Agriculture Minister Andrew Hoggard says. The Ministry for Primary Industries is backing a project that aims to develop ...
    1 week ago
  • Making it easier to build granny flats
    The Government has today announced that it is making it easier for people to build granny flats, Acting Prime Minister Winston Peters and RMA Reform Minister Chris Bishop say. “Making it easier to build granny flats will make it more affordable for families to live the way that suits them ...
    1 week ago
  • High Court Judge appointed
    Attorney-General Judith Collins today announced the appointment of Auckland King’s Counsel Gregory Peter Blanchard as a High Court Judge. Justice Blanchard attended the University of Auckland from 1991 to 1995, graduating with an LLB (Honours) and Bachelor of Arts (English). He was a solicitor with the firm that is now Dentons ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Health workforce numbers rise
    Health Minister Dr Shane Reti says new data released today shows encouraging growth in the health workforce, with a continued increase in the numbers of doctors, nurses and midwives joining Health New Zealand. “Frontline healthcare workers are the beating heart of the healthcare system. Increasing and retaining our health workforce ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Government to overhaul firearms laws
    Associate Justice Minister Nicole McKee has today announced a comprehensive programme to reform New Zealand's outdated and complicated firearms laws. “The Arms Act has been in place for over 40 years. It has been amended several times – in a piecemeal, and sometimes rushed way. This has resulted in outdated ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Government delivers landmark specialist schools investment
    The coalition Government is delivering record levels of targeted investment in specialist schools so children with additional needs can thrive. As part of Budget 24, $89 million has been ringfenced to redevelop specialist facilities and increase satellite classrooms for students with high needs. This includes: $63 million in depreciation funding ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Major health and safety consultation begins
    A substantial consultation on work health and safety will begin today with a roadshow across the regions over the coming months, says Workplace Relations and Safety Minister Brooke van Velden.  This the first step to deliver on the commitment to reforming health and safety law and regulations, set out in ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Growing the potential of New Zealand’s forestry sector in partnership
    Forestry Minister Todd McClay, today announced the start of the Government’s plan to restore certainty and confidence in the forestry and wood processing sector. “This government will drive investment to unlock the industry’s economic potential for growth,” Mr McClay says. “Forestry’s success is critical to rebuilding New Zealand’s economy, boosting ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Government cancels forestry ETS annual service charges for 2023-24
    Annual service charges in the forestry Emissions Trading Scheme (ETS) will be cancelled for 2023/24, Forestry Minister Todd McClay says. “The sector has told me the costs imposed on forestry owners by the previous government were excessive and unreasonable and I agree,” Mr McClay says. “They have said that there ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Speech to the LGNZ Infrastructure Symposium
    Introduction Thank you for having me here today and welcome to Wellington, the home of the Hurricanes, the next Super Rugby champions. Infrastructure – the challenge This government has inherited a series of big challenges in infrastructure. I don’t need to tell an audience as smart as this one that ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Government boosts Agriculture and food trade with China
    Trade and Agriculture Minister Todd McClay and Food Safety Minister Andrew Hoggard welcomed outcomes to boost agricultural and food trade between New Zealand and China. A number of documents were signed today at Government House that will improve the business environment between New Zealand and China, and help reduce barriers, including on infant formula ...
    2 weeks ago
  • NZ and China launch Services Trade Negotiations
    Trade Minister Todd McClay, and China’s Commerce Minister Wang Wentao, today announced the official launch of Negotiations on Services Trade between the two countries.  “The Government is focused on opening doors for services exporters to grow the New Zealand’s economy,” Mr McClay says.  As part of the 2022 New Zealand-China Free Trade Agreement Upgrade ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Prime Minister Luxon meets with Premier Li
    Prime Minister Christopher Luxon met with Chinese Premier Li Qiang at Government House in Wellington today.  “I was pleased to welcome Premier Li to Wellington for his first official visit, which marks 10 years since New Zealand and China established a Comprehensive Strategic Partnership,” Mr Luxon says. “The Premier and ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Government and business tackling gender pay gap
    The coalition Government is taking action to reduce the gender pay gap in New Zealand through the development of a voluntary calculation tool. “Gender pay gaps have impacted women for decades, which is why we need to continue to drive change in New Zealand,” Acting Minister for Women Louise Upston ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Funding Boost for Rural Support Trusts
    The coalition Government is boosting funding for Rural Support Trusts to provide more help to farmers and growers under pressure, Rural Communities Minister Mark Patterson announced today. “A strong and thriving agricultural sector is crucial to the New Zealand economy and one of the ways to support it is to ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Latest data shows size of public service decreasing
    Spending on contractors and consultants continues to fall and the size of the Public Service workforce has started to decrease after years of growth, according to the latest data released today by the Public Service Commission. Workforce data for the quarter from 31 December 23 to 31 March 24 shows ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Speech to the Law Association
    Thank you to the Law Association for inviting me to speak this morning. As a former president under its previous name — the Auckland District Law Society — I take particular satisfaction in seeing this organisation, and its members, in such good heart. As Attorney-General, I am grateful for these ...
    2 weeks ago
  • 25 years on, NZ reaffirms enduring friendship with Timor Leste
    New Zealand is committed to working closely with Timor-Leste to support its prosperity and resilience, Foreign Minister Winston Peters says.   “This year is the 25th anniversary of New Zealand sending peacekeepers to Timor-Leste, who contributed to the country’s stabilisation and ultimately its independence,” Mr Peters says.    “A quarter ...
    2 weeks ago

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