Open mike 25/04/2022

Written By: - Date published: 6:00 am, April 25th, 2022 - 116 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 …

116 comments on “Open mike 25/04/2022 ”

  1. Temp ORary 1

    Up early to watch dawn service on ODT, so was glancing at sites I'd not looked at for a while. I guess this is not as bad as the RSA's (Rhodesian Services Association) cooption of ANZAC day up in Tauranga, but the ignorance of history is astonishing – especially when linked to the slogan; "Lest we Forget"

    https://twitter.com/Te_Taipo/status/1518183580794466304

    The Military Service Act 1916 required the registration of non-Māori men aged between 20 and 46. They were sorted into two divisions – the unmarried or recently married, and everyone else. Some were chosen by ballot, initially from the first division and later from the second, and sent to training camps…

    Men who objected to military service could appeal to the Military Service Board and about half of those called up did so. They could appeal on grounds of family hardship, public interest (that they were carrying out socially useful work at home) or religious objection. The boards rejected most appeals and unsuccessful appellants who refused to serve were imprisoned.

    https://teara.govt.nz/en/conscription-conscientious-objection-and-pacifism/page-1

    • Temp ORary 1.1

      Oof! "Today we wear the puppy..", but I did like that she continued on despite the flub rather than drawing more attention with correction. Eg "Centenary.. uh; Centennial" just now.

      Prayers now, which I can't be bothered with – one advantage of the Pandemic is that I don't have to pretend quiet respect for that.

      • Temp ORary 1.1.1

        What kind of clueless arsehole do you have to be to stand at the front of an ANZAC day crowd unmasked and chatting during the moment of silence between the Last Post and Reveille? Camera held on them for an uncomfortably long time too! There were enough unmasked that I am glad I didn't attend for my own safety's sake, but at least most had the grace to remain silent during the heart of the event.

        I am actually slightly nauseated. But then I am also rather hungover, so it could be a bit of that too.

        Anyway, to expand on my earlier point regarding the "Freedom" those NZers who participated in the "Great War" had:

        The opening of a national memorial in Dunedin for conscientious objectors has been held up as a celebration of courage and prompted an apology from Deputy Prime Minister Grant Robertson.

        The memorial includes an abstract depiction of Field Punishment No1, for which men were tied to posts and had their hands tightly bound behind their backs for hours at a time during World War 1.

        Opening the Archibald Baxter Peace Garden yesterday, Mr Robertson said the punishment was a gross and inhumane form of state-sponsored torture.

        ‘‘I want to say sorry {-} it was wrong.’’

        Mr Robertson said the apology was personal, rather than officially from the Government, and he acknowledged the suffering of conscientious objectors…

        Several speakers, including Mr Robertson, referred to the 1881 invasion of Parihaka, which happened the same year Mr Baxter was born.

        https://www.odt.co.nz/news/dunedin/conscientious-objectors-commemorated

        Why was this not an official governmental apology? Would that open them to claims for compensation from the tortured's descendants or something? I mean; ka pai ki Robertson for making the statement as an individual citizen, but it does ring a little hollow with his role as deputy PM.

        Only Quakers, Christadelphians and, later, Seventh-day Adventists were automatically exempted from military service. Most other conscientious objectors were imprisoned for up to two years with hard labour, and sometimes returned to prison if they still refused to go to war. Fourteen especially determined conscientious objectors were forcibly shipped overseas and faced severe punishments – they included Archibald Baxter who later wrote about his experiences. At the end of the war New Zealand was the only country to deny conscientious objectors voting rights or employment in the public service or local bodies – for 10 years…

        His son, the poet James K. Baxter, later wrote:

        When I was only semen in a gland
        Or less than that, my father hung
        From a torture post at Mud Farm
        Because he would not kill.

        https://teara.govt.nz/en/conscription-conscientious-objection-and-pacifism/page-2

  2. Ad 2

    Has anyone seen any commentary in the Australian federal election campaign about the New Bradford Plan?

    I can see Queensland Labor are pretty keen especially after the last big floods.

    Was just thinking about whether Australia would go full-noise nationbuilding to replace Ukrainian wheat production, in time.

    New Bradfield scheme on agenda as north Queensland prepares for floods (brisbanetimes.com.au)

    • Scud 2.1

      Mad Bob (Bob Katter), usually have something on the Bradford Plan as it's one of his "Pet Projects".

    • RedLogix 2.2

      Actually the scheme has been assured funding. Still subject to a business case being released in June.

      The giant $5.4 billion Hells Gates Dam project has received guaranteed funding, unlocking the agriculture sector in some of the driest parts of northern Australia.

      Key points:

      • The federal government has committed $5.4 billion to building Hells Gates Dam.
      • The 2,100-gigalitre dam is forecast to unlock agriculture in northern Australia.
      • The dam is still subject to a business case and environmental approvals.

      But the project remains subject to a business case expected in June this year, and other environmental approvals.

      More info here.

      The Federal Government has since committed $54M towards Phase 1 of the Project which includes the $30M for the first stage of Big Rocks Weir at Charters Towers. The final Business Case for Big Rocks Weir was delivered to the Department of Natural Resources, Mines and Energy and North Queensland Water Infrastructure Authority on 21 August 2020 and has had both State and Federal governments commit $60M for the construction of Big Rocks Weir.

      The remaining $24M is for the Business Case of the Hells Gates Dam, including geotechnical and cultural heritage assessments, construction proposals, enhanced economic modelling works, environmental impact and social assessment and engineering investigations. The Business Case will assess and provide further investigative works into the findings of the feasibility study completed in 2018.

      Coincidentally the latest Caspian Report covered some of the history of this plan.

      https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fGrDOR7lBQ4

  3. Ad 3

    Lovely and even-handed work by Mr Hickey this morning on the political economy of inflation and real estate capitalism.

    The dirty little secrets inside our nation of inflation (substack.com)

    • Blazer 3.1

      Hickey absolutely nails it.

      The money shot….'Neither party wants to acknowledge the real causes of our inflation: explosive housing costs driven by leveraged investment demand and super-powered by monopoly power across most of the economy.'

  4. Jenny how to get there 4

    Vote Luxon for PM and risk following Sri Lanka into economic disaster.

    If you love tax cuts be warned

    Causes of Sri Lanka’s Economic crisis

    • Lack of Foreign Reserves: Sri Lanka “has been running a trade deficit for decades.” …..
    • Hits to the Tourism Industry: …..such hits worsened the nation’s ability to repay its debt.
    • Agri-Sector Crisis: In 2021, the Rajapaksa government, with the aim of moving toward 100% organic agriculture, chose to ban chemical fertilizers. This decimated farmers’ yields,….
    • Ill-Advised Tax Cuts: In a bid to revitalize the economy, the government cut taxes. However, this had the backfiring effect of greatly impacting government revenue. The action also “prompted rating agencies to downgrade Sri Lanka to near default levels,”…..”
    • Government Mismanagement: Rather than supporting the local economy and boosting its exports, the Sri Lankan government has been borrowing vast sums of money to fund public services and imported goods…..
    • Russia-Ukraine Conflict: The ongoing conflict between Russia and Ukraine has led to a staggering “price inflation of crude oil, sunflower oil and wheat.”….

    https://www.borgenmagazine.com/sri-lankas-economic-crisis/

    While our government may not be able to control things like hits to the tourism sector by the covid crisis.

    Or rising costs of crude oil and wheat due to the war in Ukraine.

    Or making unavoidable cuts to our agricultural emissions to save the planet.

    Over the things our government can control, New Zealand would be very poorly served if we copied Sri Lanka's "Ill advised" tax cuts.

    The other thing that sunk the Sri Lanka economy was that country’s massive amount of overseas borrowing.

    The legacy of massive overseas borrowing by the Key government to bail out the financiers and billionaire investors who lost their investments after the GFC also has to be accounted for in this country.

    • Ad 4.1

      Actually it's this Labour government that has borrowed the most in many decades.

      Both our public and private sector debt is astonishingly high under this government.

      • Bearded Git 4.1.1

        You paint a misleading picture Ad. It is always better to deal in facts.

        The profligate high-spending Key/English government added a huge amount to public debt between 2008-17 after the Clark/Cullen government of 1999-2008 had massively reduced public debt. The Ardern/Robertson government, 2017-onwards, was in the process of reducing public debt as the pandemic hit when, of course, public debt was bound to balloon.

        You can see this from the 25 year chart on this site.

        https://tradingeconomics.com/new-zealand/government-debt

        The clear message being Vote Labour/Green for sound financial management.

        • Tricledrown 4.1.1.1

          good info bearded .Luxons slip ups and selfishness shown up by direct questioning from Jack Tane put Nationals policy of crumbs for the poor and huge tax windfalls for the well off and the very well off like Luxon in the spotlight. Luxons plan was as inflationary as Labours as well so own goal by Luxon.Tane should have asked Luxon if he would cut Air NZ bailout to.Luxon was fuming by the end of the interview.Tane only mentioned the tax cuts Luxon would get from his parliamentry salary $18,000 a year not the income from his 7 rental properties and other investments maybe up to $30,000 a year plus in tax cuts. While the vast majority do it hard .Then govt revenue drops and no doubt National would have to cut spending on public services like Health,education,policing, and welfare denying payments to the homeless and disadvantaged.

        • Patricia Bremner 4.1.1.2

          Excellent all round thanks Bearded Git. Selected stats can often skew the view.

        • Ad 4.1.1.3

          Your cited graph net debt exploding under Labour-Greens in 2020-2021.

          Back in 2019 Roberston sort-of still had a debt target.

          Grant Robertson blurs the line on his debt target | Stuff.co.nz

          But he’s basically given up. Net core Government debt is now $123 billion, 35% of our GDP.

          Grant Robertson urges caution after Government books bounce back from Covid – NZ Herald

          Much of that he threw at employers as wage subsidies to keep us sane in 2020.

          Treasury has warned about the implications.

          Treasury warning to Government: Trillions of dollars in 'unsustainable' debt cycle – NZ Herald

          A decently-briefed Luxon would not find it hard to show where this debt has not been good for us.

          • Poission 4.1.1.3.1

            And the books will be worse then forecast,due to the problem with falling asset values.The NZ superannuation fund lost 1.2 billion in the first two months of this year,which will have doubled in the last 2 months.

            Those ethical investments are good creators of wealth destruction.

            ACC will have a double problem with falling investment values,and increased medical costs not due to more accidents,but increased wages for health such as vehicle registration,fuel levy,income levy etc.

          • Bearded Git 4.1.1.3.2

            It "exploded" because of the pandemic as i said before,,,d'oh.

            You would have just crashed the economy would you?

            • Ad 4.1.1.3.2.1

              Shovelling an untagged $60b was not the only way to address the crisis.

              Our grandchildren are going to be paying for the set of decisions they made in a hurry in April 2020.

          • Patricia Bremner 4.1.1.3.3

            New Zealand Gross GDP 43.6% Nett GDP 11.6%

            Norway Gross GDP 41.4% Nett GDP -121%

            Sweden Gross GDP 37.3% Nett GDP 5.5%

            U K Gross GDP 104.5%Nett GDP 91.8%

            USA Gross GDP 133.9%Nett GDP 98.7

            Germany Gross GDP 69.7%Nett GDP 50.1

            Australia Gross GDP 57.3%Nett GDP 34.4
            Now NZ’s is 53% during a pandemic and a war?
            How does New Zealand compare? You decide.

            • Ad 4.1.1.3.3.1

              History is making that public debt binge and easy Reserve Bank money to make the evaluation decision pretty easy:

              Pandemic response funding

              +Reserve Bank credit availability

              +manufactured house price spike

              +global supply chain crisis

              +Ukraine War

              = local and global inflation and interest rates heading for 10% per year

              So Patricia you can decide out of the following consequences:

              $4 91 per litre petrol, $3.9 per litre diesel,

              $7 for a bag of apples,

              Mortgage payments doubling in a year,

              And the quickest and highest class separation since 1985.
              Anyone here remember October 1987?

              • Patricia Bremner

                Is it any different anywhere else?

                • Ad

                  … is not an argument in anyone's favour. Nor particularly relevant to us: it is our government that intervened the most per capita across the OECD..

                  We have 3 weeks to Budget 2022 and to the Carbon Zero budget.

                  Will the greatest and fastest debt+public subsidy in our history get us anywhere?

                  • Patricia Bremner

                    It is bad Ad, but could be miles worse. I have just read an article on Stephanie Browitt a survivor of Te Puia o Whakari White Island.

                    It is humbling and uplifting and says a great deal about the human spirit and our ability to overcome difficulties. Despair does more damage.

                    Hindsight is being clever after the fact. Luxon may think he has a handle on things, and yes he may improve with advice, but truly steam was coming out his ears and he was very red with shock at being challenged by Tame.

                    This is a double whammy, Pandemic dollars plus the oil shock/ wheat/ sunflower oil/ all combining to create difficult conditions.
                    Robertson and we are between a rock and a hard place. I don’t think the Opposition has any answers, just move the pieces and pay their piper.

                    We are a very inter related World now, and Luxon is no diplomat.

    • Nic the NZer 4.2

      Sri Lanka has been operating a fixed exchange rate to reach the present situation. NZ went through a similar currency crisis in 1984 and has floated its exchange rate since.

      The differences are NZ has a lot more space for fiscal policy interventions, the country mostly borrows in NZ currency (so if the govt wants any such debt to be repaid, or guaranteed the country has the means to make that payment).

      As a result of this the countries are not really comparable.

      • Jenny how to get there 4.2.1

        You are correct Nic, Sri Lanka and New Zealand are not directly comparable.

        But it would be foolish to ignore the lesson of Sri Lanka. Because you reap what you sow.

        The Grim reaper.

        Christopher Luxon sharpens his metaphorical scythe for tax cuts.

        You reap what you sow.

        Sri Lankan lessons: as you sow, so you reap

        Abdul Bayes | Published: April 24, 2022 21:53:25

        …..The reasons for such a sorry state of affairs of the Sri Lankan economy can be traced back to several factors.

        First, the present government of Sri Lanka went for a dramatic reduction in both personal and corporate taxes resulting in lower revenue earnings and bigger budget deficit…..

        Second, the president of the country declared in April 2021 that use of chemical fertilisers would be banned to pave the way for organic farming……

        https://thefinancialexpress.com.bd/home/sri-lankan-lessons-as-you-sow-so-you-reap-1650815303

        The takeaway lesson for New Zealand is this; If you really want to take radical measures to protect the environment and the climate, you must be prepared to tax the rich to pay for it.

        Luxon on climate change.

        'Random' [sic] government activity at huge cost is dangerous..

        Pretentious necessity

        @ 2;00 minutes ….if we look at transport, ….. we know there is a good technology and pathway to solve those emissions over the next 15 years.

        @ 2:50 minutes …we've got an Emissions Trading Scheme.

        @ 3:15 minutes ….the danger is a government that goes in with a lot of random activity at huge cost.

        @ 3:50 minutes ….The market will sort that out.

        @ 4:20 minutes …When we are talking about agriculture.
        There is no obvious technological pathway to deal with agricultural emissions.

        @ 6:05…We should be investing in roads.

        https://www.facebook.com/watch/?v=5132259673500994

        • Nic the NZer 4.2.1.1

          Unfortunately that narrative places the rich in the benefactor position of paying for a countries climate policy. Since they are paying they will ultimately determine the terms of the transition off fossil fuel. I don't think this is going to accelerate the transition. This is unfortunate as NZ can afford to fund many transitional policies as is, and wont actually face such a currency crisis as a result.

      • pat 4.2.2

        Sri Lanka floated the Rupee in 2001….as always the lender determines the conditions of the credit.

        • Nic the NZer 4.2.2.1

          Do you have a source for that claim?

          Reuters has articles describing the Central Bank devaluing to slow foreign exchange losses and the Rupee is otherwise described as a closed currency (not available outside Sri Lanka).

          • pat 4.2.2.1.1

            "Sri Lanka has a floating exchange rate system since 2001 which allowed the independent adjustment of the exchange rate according to the market forces of demand and supply. However, there could be interventions in the market for the purpose of curbing excess volatility in the exchange rate. The CBSL prescribes maximum net open position (NOP) limits for LCBs and closely monitors the activities in the domestic foreign exchange market to ensure an orderly functioning of the market."

            https://www.cbsl.gov.lk/en/financial-system/financial-markets/domestic-foreign-exchange-market

            A floating exchange rate is neither a panacea nor is it immune to manipulation.

            • Nic the NZer 4.2.2.1.1.1

              I think its floating inside Sri Lanka is how to read that. But clearly their arrangements are not providing financial stability due to the amount of foreign denominated debt the country has taken on.

              NZs situation is quite far from that.

              • pat

                Not at all…it is quite evident that the suppliers of goods from offshore no longer accept the Rupee as payment and want hard currency and Sri Lanka has run out of reserves…a situation any economy, including NZ could face,

                Confidence in a currency is tied to collateral and its obvious all confidence in the Sri Lankan economy has been lost….a floating exchange rate dosnt function when confidence is lost.

                It is a fair weather mechanism.

  5. weka 5

    Theatre company tries to put on a queer culture sex education show for teens and their parents. Called The Family Sex Show (yes, really). All hell breaks loose. Stock writes a very funny but also nuanced and intelligent post about what happened and what the problems are and in the process breaks the binary.

    https://twitter.com/wekatweets/status/1518337821831958528?s=21

    • Molly 5.1

      The Family Sex Show was advertised as suitable for 5yrs +.

      Link to the cleaned up website that now doesn’t suggest children use Google to search for “animals that masturbate” so they can draw pictures of them, can be found here:

      https://thefamilysexshow.com/tfss
      The Family Sex Show

      It’s indicative of how far they are removed from age-appropriate content, to see what still remains after they have “scrubbed” their site.

      • weka 5.1.1

        hmm, I'm seeing conflicting things about the age bracket. But yeah, that's pretty clear, and yep, their sense of what's ok is well off. But we knew that from the name. I wish I could feel some confidence that lessons might be learned.

        • Molly 5.1.1.1

          I had a good look when the story broke, and took particular notice of the recommended age for the tour venues. At that time is was definitely 5yrs+.

          Might have changed since the issue was highlighted.

          • weka 5.1.1.1.1

            I was mostly following on twitter, and as per usual there was a lot of exclammation and not a lot of backing up.

      • Anker 5.1.2

        The title "the family sex show" is a red flag for me.

        Introduction to knowledge about sex (and sex itself ) needs to be age appropriate.

        Animals masturbating? Please. As an adult I don't see why I need to know about that. What is the purpose of getting kids to google search it? It embeds the idea that you can search for things of a sexual nature on the net……..

        I am glad to hear apple a putting in a filter on their devices that filters out nudity. Good.

    • Puckish Rogue 5.2

      Always found this pretty funny…and sad

      https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wAWZyRkhL7w

  6. Ad 7

    60,000 of new irrigated land on the other side of the Queensland ranges, funded by the Morrison government. One big new dam and several major reservoirs.

    Morrison’s green light for Queensland’s Hells Gates Dam threatens Great Barrier Reef, experts warn | Queensland | The Guardian

    This is the first part of the New Bradfield Scheme that is a revised version of the big Bradfield Scheme of 1942.

    New Bradfield scheme on agenda as north Queensland prepares for floods (brisbanetimes.com.au)

    This is irrigation on a terraforming scale.

    If the Australian Federal government wants to essentially replace much of Ukraine's agricultural production, pulling all the climate change floodwater from Queensland and tunneling it through the ranges to the west, and link up with the Murray-Darling, would be the way to do it.

    • tsmithfield 7.1

      I imagine there are plenty of areas in New Zealand that could easily grow wheat. For instance, Central Otago, where they tend to have very dry, hot summers.

      Who knows, going forward, wheat production could become more profitable and less damaging to the environment than dairy production given that the set up and ongoing costs should be a lot lower I imagine.

      Further to that, there is quite a bit of grain production in that area already, so could potentially be expanded.

      https://www.odt.co.nz/rural-life/rural-life-other/grain-production-passes-1million-tonnes

      • Ad 7.1.1

        There's not a lot of wheat left growing in Canterbury now that it's almost fully irrigated. It's solid dairy as far as the eye can see,

        But it's odd going up to Houhora in the Far North and seeing what was pretty average dairy country converted into avocados.

        • pat 7.1.1.1

          Then you must have one eye closed….wheat production has steadily increased in NZ since the dairy boom began and around 80% of it is from Canterbury.

          • Poission 7.1.1.1.1

            Its also the largest pea production area in the Southern hemisphere,with the longest harvest season.

            https://www.newshub.co.nz/home/rural/2020/02/longest-pea-harvest-in-the-world-underway-in-canterbury.html

            • Blazer 7.1.1.1.1.1

              Peas are a huge growth crop.

              They are being used as gluten free substitutes in an array of new foods.yes

            • pat 7.1.1.1.1.2

              And as mentioned in the article, seed crops…a lot of seed grown here to supply offshore producers.

              But if it was so easy (and profitable) there wouldnt have been the mass conversion to dairy in the region that has occurred the past 20 years or so.

              A lot of the conversions wernt by choice….as said before, inflated property values are not only a housing problem.

              • Poission

                Canterbury produces 70% of the worlds carrot seed.Agree on the land pricing,that was a result of low livestock prices and wool.There is still with some arable farmers who use livestock when they rotate the land to lie fallow,and put it back into pasture.

          • Tricledrown 7.1.1.1.2

            With constant droughts and rivers drying up and suffering degradation from nitrogen run off , cryptosporidiam andfaecal matter. Growing grains such as wheat and sunflower would be far more enviromentaly sustainable. With high prices profitable as well. also Chinas expansionism it would be smart to reduce our dpendence on Dairy production.

            • pat 7.1.1.1.2.1

              Arable farming is inherently risky….the returns are seasonal and fluctuate…especially when compared to dairy with its consistent output and monthly cheques.

              As many cropping farmers are want to say, arable farming is a capital gain game….the capital outlay to return is considerable and dont really reflect the risks…and everyone in the chain clips the ticket.

      • Patricia Bremner 7.1.2

        My son Grant who was a Trade Cert Baker in a former life, tells me New Zealand produces flour that tends to make a heavy / wet crumb. It was mixed with Australian flour to lighten the crumb. With dry conditions and growing temperatures and improved varieties our wheat crumb may improve.

        Other valuable crops could be sunflowers for oil and hemp for clothing As dairy prices go into retreat, other farming may begin.

  7. joe90 8

    UK think tank report on Russia's imperial delusion, what went wrong, expectations and conclusions.

    The foremost conclusion is that Russia is now preparing, diplomatically, militarily and economically, for a protracted conflict

    […]

    The pattern is universal. Almost all of Russia’s modern military hardware is dependent upon complex electronics imported from the US, the UK, Germany, the Netherlands, Japan, Israel, China and further afield.57

    […]

    Finally, the Russian decision to double down is a high-stakes gamble. If Russia mobilises and eventually overcomes Ukrainian resistance then NATO will face an aggressive, isolated and militarised state. If Russia loses then President Putin has now begun radicalising the population in the pursuit of policies that he will struggle to deliver. Failure to defeat the Ukrainian state after relentlessly comparing it to the Nazi regime may have serious consequences for Putin and those around him. To frame a conflict as existential and to lose must necessarily call the suitability of a leader into question among Russia’s political elites. NATO states therefore need to consider how to manage escalation pathways that follow if Russia is not only defeated in Donbas but finds its newly mobilised and poorly trained troops, with few remaining stocks of precision munitions, unable to deliver a victory in the summer. The death of Putin’s political project is plausible, but it has already inflicted immense damage internationally and risks doing considerably more.

    https://static.rusi.org/special-report-202204-operation-z-web.pdf

    • RedLogix 8.1

      The image on the cover of that report is remarkably striking. Will read.

    • RedLogix 8.2

      Another chilling quote:

      So far, Russia’s attempts to expand its available military manpower has rested on pressuring conscripts to sign contracts of service and reducing the requirements for people to join without prior military service. For Russia to significantly increase its numbers it would need to retain its last round of conscripts and call up reserves. Both of these are politically contentious in Russia. Nevertheless, the propaganda narrative and local initiatives to rally support appear to be creating an environment in which 9 May can be used as a fulcrum to mobilise a much larger force. It appears increasingly likely that rather than use it to announce victory, the Russian government will instead use 9 May as the day on which the ‘special military operation’ is officially framed as a ‘war’

      • tsmithfield 8.2.1

        Probably scrambling up more forces by declaring war is possible. I think the biggest issue for the Russians will be arming the new troops.

        I have seen a number of videos of Russian soldiers using vintage rifles etc. And, they are having trouble manufacturing new gear to replace the existing equipment being lost due to the sanctions.

    • tsmithfield 8.3

      Thank you for that. That was a really good read, and very informative.

  8. tsmithfield 9

    Have you seen this latest video that adds quite a bit of weight to the theory going around for awhile that Putin has some serious disease such as Parkinsons or cancer.

    Certainly looks a bit weird, and not the normal way people tend to sit at a table.

  9. Dennis Frank 10

    As someone often critical of poor legislation, I appreciated this report from RNZ:

    For an insight into how drafting works, The House [Phil Smith]chatted with Cassie Nicholson (who as Chief Parliamentary Counsel is the chief executive of the PCO) and Richard Wallace (who heads the drafting team) about the art of drafting law.

    All law begins with a policy idea. Sometimes PCO is involved in that early, feeding back on how it could (and couldn’t) work. Cassie Nicholson says the entry point can vary. “Sometimes [we get] a fully formed policy paper to comment on, sometimes an idea that then we work with the agency to flesh out, but it can vary from quite detailed to a very high level idea.”

    This early work is done with the policy and legal folk inside a ministry. Nicholson says this is “because we want ministers to be making a decision on as close to fully formed policy as possible, something that can actually be built when it comes to us”.

    Wallace describes this as “testing the policy,” Nicholson calls it “kicking the tyres, (in a really gentle, friendly way) to make sure that actually we've worked through the logic and the wrinkles; we understand the anticipated flow-on consequences, both for the real world and the statute book”. No actual law is written until the policy is approved by cabinet so PCO doesn’t waste its time writing legislation that will never be law.

    I was impressed at how they incorporate the principle of reflexivity into praxis:

    Once it is approved, the PCO received drafting instructions outlining the legal effect to be achieved. Thankfully, no-one sits down and just blats out law from start to finish. Wallace says it’s an iterative process sending out drafts to government departments. “We continue doing that until we're all comfortable that we've addressed all the issues and that what we've got actually works. So we're not trying to do it on a single shot.”

    Here's an insight into the psychology that comes into play:

    Richard Wallace describes constructing law as both storytelling and puzzle solving. It is also answering hundreds of questions about what is really wanted.

    You can summarise that last sentence as stakeholder interactivity. The Q+A format drives the process of design towards optimal output – in theory. As a grouch like me would point out, results suggest the theory often gets flawed by the practice!

    The Parliamentary Counsel is not an individual but a large team… not just lawyers. They comprise publishing experts (who publish legislation), and IT and web teams (the law is published online); plus all the others that make an office run. PCO doesn’t offer legal advice to Parliament or the Government. That’s the Office of the Clerk’s team (for Parliament), and the Solicitor General at the Crown Law Office (for Government).

    Wait a sec. "Its boss describes it as “the Government's legislative advisors”. So legal advice and legislative advice are different critters. Ok, got it. A fine distinction!

    https://www.rnz.co.nz/national/programmes/the-house/audio/2018838304/painting-the-legal-jigsaw-one-piece-at-a-time

    • Ad 10.1

      Crown Law, parts of DPMC, and legal counsel within the sponsoring Departments also have strong drafting roles. Some Departments are a lot better at gaming out the operational practise of new legislation than others.

  10. Stephen D 11

    I wonder how long it’ll be before someone on the opposition’s benches tries this.

    https://www.theguardian.com/politics/2022/apr/24/angela-rayner-hits-back-at-claims-of-basic-instinct-tactics-to-distract-pm?CMP=Share_iOSApp_Other

    Or maybe the Daily Herald.

  11. Dennis Frank 14

    Didn't make the msm last year, but a noteworthy report from the leading edge:

    researchers at Google in collaboration with physicists at Stanford, Princeton and other universities say that they have used Google’s quantum computer to demonstrate a genuine “time crystal.”

    Like a perpetual motion machine, a time crystal forever cycles between states without consuming energy.

    Physics grad went huh??

    In addition, a separate research group claimed earlier this month to have created a time crystal in a diamond. “The consequence is amazing: You evade the second law of thermodynamics,” said Roderich Moessner, director of the Max Planck Institute for the Physics of Complex Systems in Dresden, Germany, and a co-author on the Google paper. That’s the law that says disorder always increases.

    The time crystal is a new category of phases of matter, expanding the definition of what a phase is. All other known phases, like water or ice, are in thermal equilibrium: their constituent atoms have settled into the state with the lowest energy permitted by the ambient temperature, and their properties don’t change with time. The time crystal is the first “out-of-equilibrium” phase: It has order and perfect stability despite being in an excited and evolving state.

    “This is just this completely new and exciting space that we’re working in now,” said Vedika Khemani, a condensed matter physicist now at Stanford who co-discovered the novel phase while she was a graduate student and co-authored the new paper with the Google team.

    A revolutionary paradigm-shifter, seemingly plausible due to replication (two teams of physicists), but we await further developments that may point to utility.

    The new time crystal demo marks one of the first times a quantum computer has found gainful employment.

    With yesterday’s preprint, which has been submitted for publication, and other recent results, researchers have fulfilled the original hope for quantum computers. In his 1982 paper proposing the devices, the physicist Richard Feynman argued that they could be used to simulate the particles of any imaginable quantum system. A time crystal exemplifies that vision. It’s a quantum object that nature itself probably never creates, given its complex combination of delicate ingredients. Imaginations conjured the recipe, stirred by nature’s most baffling laws.

    https://www.quantamagazine.org/first-time-crystal-built-using-googles-quantum-computer-20210730/

    Quanta presents a summary of that recipe on their page. It uses this triad:

    1. many-body localisation (a row of particles get stuck in synch)

    2. eigenstate order (they retain symmetry when spin-flipped)

    3. periodic driver (laser light triggers system flipping which perseveres)

    A 2015 paper described it in these words:

    when you tickle a localized chain of spins with a laser in a particular way, they’ll flip back and forth, moving between two different many-body localized states in a repeating cycle forever without absorbing any net energy from the laser.

    Thus authenticity to claim the first workable demonstration of the mythical perpetual-motion machine. Now the challenge is to invent uses that users deem valuable…

  12. arkie 15

    A climate activist, Wynn Bruce, has died after setting himself on fire outside the US Supreme Court.

    The U.S. Supreme Court had heard arguments in late February on an important environmental case that could restrict or even eliminate the Environmental Protection Agency’s authority to control pollution. The court’s conservative majority had voiced skepticism of the agency’s authority to regulate carbon emissions, suggesting that a decision by the justices could deal a sharp blow to the Biden administration’s efforts to address climate change.

    Bruce set himself on fire in an apparent imitation of Vietnamese monks who burned themselves to death in protest during the Vietnam War. His Facebook page commemorated the death of Thich Nhat Hanh, an influential Zen Buddhist master and anti-war activist who died in January.

    Thich Nhat Hanh, in a letter he wrote in 1965 to the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., had idolized those monks. Kritee cited that letter in another tweet on Bruce’s death Sunday morning.

    “The press spoke then of suicide, but in the essence, it is not. It is not even a protest,” Thich Nhat Hanh wrote of the monks, adding that “to burn oneself by fire is to prove that what one is saying is of the utmost importance. There is nothing more painful than burning oneself. To say something while experiencing this kind of pain is to say it with utmost courage, frankness, determination and sincerity.”

    https://www.denverpost.com/2022/04/24/wynn-bruce-climate-change-self-immolation/

    If it was indeed a protest then it must be witnessed. At it's end a protest is a performance, and if it is ignored then it is futile. Sadly for Wynn Bruce, and for all of us, it is seemingly easier to despair the systemic inaction of the status quo powers.

    I encourage anyone feeling despair to reach out to those around you, like action on climate change, we can all support each other through this, be it just conversation and a cuppa, advice and encouragement, all the way through to developing and honing skills in gardening and composting, to reusing and reprocessing materials; We can all work towards food and material sustainability and that really helps to feel more positive.

    • Dennis Frank 15.1

      There's context:

      In the last 13 years, nearly 160 Tibetan Buddhists have set themselves on fire in opposition to the Chinese government’s violent suppression of their country and national identity.

      Bruce belonged to Shambhala, a Boulder-born Buddhist organization. He was also a regular presence at virtual sanghas, online gatherings of Buddhists to reflect and meditate, according to other members.

      Last December, Bruce posted a quote attributed to Carl Sagan to his Facebook. “Don’t sit this one out,” it read. “Do something. You are – by accident of fate – alive at an absolutely critical moment in the history of (y)our planet.”

      In 2018, environmental advocate and civil rights lawyer David Buckel set himself on fire in Brooklyn. In a statement he emailed to multiple news outlets the morning of his death, Buckel explained that his “early death by fossil fuel reflects what we are doing to ourselves.”

      https://www.thedailybeast.com/wynn-alan-bruce-set-himself-on-fire-outside-supreme-court-in-apparent-call-for-climate-change-action-friend

      One must respect another's intent in ending their lives via such signalling. Not for us to judge spiritual motivations. The assumption that changes in public policy will result (triggered by mass realisation that they must happen) is based on a misread of mass psychology, unfortunately…

      • Incognito 15.1.1

        Are you saying that an isolated act, assuming it political, of self-immolation is not affecting public policy change or that any isolated and individual act is ineffective? Either way, it sounds your personal belief (aka reckon) rather than a generally accepted fact.

        When a single act of self-immolation catalyses a movement, as has happened in other countries, you will be hard-pushed to ignore and categorically deny its influence in each and every case.

        • Dennis Frank 15.1.1.1

          Yeah, just my take on the effect it seems to have on western countries. Your point is valid – a single immolation triggered the Arab Spring phenomenon that brought down a couple of dictators & threatened a few others.

          So I suppose a better generalisation would be that the catalysis effect is culture-dependent. The symbolism activates a shared feeling that is likely to ramp up via contagion in suitable cultural/political contexts…

  13. joe90 16

    Population transfers, summary executions, mass deportations and the beginnings of an attempt to erase a nation and it's people from the textbooks.

    But sure, it's all about de-nazification and NATO.

    /

    "Here in the Federation Council they found out that not all children" from the liberated territories of Donbass "have sufficient command of the Russian language. They will be retrained."

    https://twitter.com/md_rud/status/1514170489761148931

    On February 24, Vladimir Putin announced the start of a "special operation" and Russian troops invaded Ukraine. Immediately after that, employees of the Enlightenment group of companies, one of the largest and oldest publishers of educational and pedagogical literature in the country, were urged to remove the “incorrect” references to Ukraine and Kyiv from all school textbooks. "Mediazona" talked with the editors of the publishing house about how the "cleansing" of history, geography and literature is going on.

    […]

    So, from paragraphs that give examples of the heraldry of different states, including flags, a few years ago it was strongly recommended to remove the flag of Ukraine and replace it with the flag of any other country. If it is necessary to give an example of the capital in the chapter, Kyiv was replaced by another capital. “A couple of times I had to remove the US flag as well, but it’s simpler there, our program pays little attention to world history,” says one of the Enlightenment employees. Now editors should remove references to Ukraine wherever possible.

    “That is, we are faced with the task of making it as if Ukraine simply does not exist,” his colleague says. “It's much worse when the textbook just doesn't mention a country. A person grows up without a knowledge base about some country, and then it is much easier for him to believe what he is told about it from TV.

    The hardest part is for those who work on history textbooks: it is often impossible to remove references to Ukraine and Kyiv without compromising the content, then you have to change the wording to more “safe” ones.

    https://zona.media/article/2022/04/23/enlightenment

    google translate

  14. tsmithfield 17

    More stuff catching on fire in Russia. Now it is an oil refinery between Ukraine and Moscow mysteriously catching fire.

  15. Ad 18

    Hard to be grateful to the French for retaining Macron, but there it is.

    • RedLogix 18.1

      You can probably thank Poots for a good chunk of that outcome.

      • joe90 18.1.1

        Poots is on a roll.

        Ljubljana, Slovenia (Reuters)Slovenia's populist Prime Minister, Janez Janša, lost a national election on Sunday as the environmentalist Freedom Movement party won more votes than his SDS party, according to preliminary figures from election authorities.

        Janša, who had hoped to win a fourth term in office, conceded that he had been defeated in the vote, adding however that his SDS party had secured more votes than ever before.

        "The results are what they are. Congratulations to the relative winner," Janša said, addressing his supporters.

        The election had been expected to be tight but the official preliminary figures showed the Freedom Movement, a newcomer in the election, leading with 34.34% of the vote, far more than expected, while the SDS secured 23.83%, based on 98.20% of counted ballots.

        That would give the Freedom Movement, which campaigned on a transition to green energy, an open society and the rule of law, 40 seats in the 90-seat parliament, and the SDS 28 seats.

        https://edition.cnn.com/2022/04/25/europe/slovenia-election-environmentalists-beat-populists-intl/index.html

  16. joe90 19

    Cleaned up but unlikely to ever be forgotten.

    https://twitter.com/IAPonomarenko/status/1518213277515497472

  17. Dennis Frank 20

    Musk/Twitter saga update: https://www.reuters.com/article/twitter-m-a-musk-investors-exclusive-idUSKCN2MG0K7

    So Twitter

    kicked off deal negotiations with Elon Musk on Sunday [who] has been meeting with Twitter shareholders in the last few days, seeking support for his bid… Many Twitter shareholders reached out to the company after Musk outlined a detailed financing plan for his bid on Thursday and urged it not to let the opportunity for a deal slip away, Reuters reported earlier.

    The social media company adopted a poison pill after Musk made his offer to prevent him from raising his more than 9% stake in the company above 15% without negotiating a deal with its board. In response, Musk has threatened to launch a tender offer that he could use to register Twitter shareholder support for his bid on Sunday.

    Liberals are freaked. Dunno why, but useful insights here:

    Robert Reich, former U.S. secretary of labor and professor of public policy at the University of California at Berkeley, lamented that Musk was seeking to “control one of the most important ways the public now receives news” and “be the wizard behind the curtain” deciding what gets projected onto the world’s computer screens. Max Boot, a one-time conservative pundit now aligned with Democrats as a result of his opposition to Donald Trump, even suggested on Twitter that there was cause to worry about the future of democracy itself if Musk were to acquire the platform.

    I have no doubt that a lot of right-wing complaints of oppression on Twitter are whiny grievance politics. In a recent study led by researchers from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, for instance, two-thirds of “strong Republican” Twitter users thought it was “anti-conservative” to suspend accounts pushing the QAnon conspiracy theory about global pedophile cabals. The same study found that in the six months after the 2020 election, pro-Trump accounts were roughly five times more likely to get suspended on Twitter than ones supporting Joe Biden

    Users have been banned, suspended and otherwise censored not only for attacking specific transgender women, but for making general statements such as, “All rapists are men. In U.K. law, rape is committed by a person with a penis.” Meanwhile, tweets that appear to call for the violent rape of a mainstream, left-of-center journalist who has been accused of transphobia for writing about the complexities of gender transition for minors are allowed to stay up.

    This is less about intentional discrimination than about the instinctive progressive biases of many of the top staff at Twitter. Del Harvey, a Twitter veteran who served as the company’s vice president for trust and safety until last October, has been fairly open about her belief that preventing “harm” to “marginalized” users—women, racial minorities, LBGT people, etc.—should take priority. However noble the intent, this is a prescription for nannyism at best (especially since progressive discourse defines “harm” very broadly) and political bias at worst.

    https://www.thedailybeast.com/what-elon-musks-bid-says-about-twitters-free-speech-problem?ref=wrap

    You can see why Musk wants to clean the thing up, eh? Then there's this glimpse into the twits & their leverage on the msm…

    I do think one potentially good lesson from the Musk/Twitter saga would be to prompt a rethinking of the extent to which we have made Twitter our “town square”—given that only one in five Americans use it and 10 percent of users provide 80 percent of the content. (Notably, Twitter’s policing of election-fraud and anti-vaxx conspiracy theories has not prevented large segments of the population from embracing them.)

    Part of Twitter’s outsize importance is that it’s the playpen of choice for media and for political activists. It can be a useful tool for news gathering and discussion, but it can also create a faux consensus increasingly adrift from the real world. Too many journalists are too married to Twitter.

  18. Poission 21

    Joyful celebrations in France overnight.

    https://twitter.com/steve_hanke/status/1518377269743529985

  19. weka 22

    Can anyone explain how the proposed Rotorua Council elections would work?

    https://letstalk.rotorualakescouncil.nz/letstalk-rotorualakescouncil-nz-local-bill

    • pat 22.1

      "It's part of a larger conversation, because there are councils all around the country right now that are talking about the idea of co-governance. It's a very important kaupapa."

      In a statement on Friday, Coffey said: "This is a Local Bill, so the changes are being requested by the Rotorua District Council, not the Government. As such, the Rotorua District Council will need to consider the implications of the Bill of Rights analysis, alongside the select sommittee."

      https://www.newshub.co.nz/home/politics/2022/04/attorney-general-david-parker-deems-rotorua-council-s-proposed-m-ori-ward-restructure-discriminatory.html

      "The proposed arrangements in the Bill would make the number of council members for the Māori ward disproportionately higher than the number of council members for the General ward in comparison to their respective populations," Parker wrote in his legal analysis published on Friday.

      "As the disadvantaged group is those on the General roll, changing representation arrangements away from proportional representation therefore creates a disadvantage for non-Māori as they cannot in future elect to change rolls."

      Parker concluded: "The Bill appears to limit the right to be free from discrimination affirmed in s 19 of the Bill of Rights Act and cannot be justified."

      • weka 22.1.1

        Yes, I saw that. What I don't understand is how the voting would work. What is the at large vote? Does everyone get two votes (ward and at large)?

      • weka 22.1.2

        "As the disadvantaged group is those on the General roll, changing representation arrangements away from proportional representation therefore creates a disadvantage for non-Māori as they cannot in future elect to change rolls."

        Lol, kind of like Māori now.

        • pat 22.1.2.1

          I imagine you have a vote in your ward and an at large vote.

          As to proportion..

          "The Council is currently pursuing a law change to enable an undemocratic representation model to be implemented. The model it prefers would consist of three Māori ward seats, three general ward seats, and four at-large seats. However, adopting this arrangement would give the 19,791 citizens on the Māori roll 2.6 times the voting power of the 51,618 citizens on the general roll.

          The proposed model is not only unfair, it is also unlawful. Clause 2 of Schedule 1A of the Local Electoral Act requires representation from wards to be proportional to their electoral populations. "

          https://www.democracyaction.org.nz/rotorua_lakes_council_pushing_for_maori_co_governance

  20. joe90 24

    107 years ago the Ottoman Empire kicked off it's effort to exterminate it's two million Armenian subjects. New Zealand is yet to acknowledge Armenian suffering. For shame.

    Countries that Recognize the Armenian Genocide

    1. Argentina
    2. Austria
    3. Belgium
    4. Bolivia
    5. Brazil
    6. Canada
    7. Chile
    8. Cyprus
    9. Czech Republic
    10. Denmark
    11. France
    12. Germany
    13. Greece
    14. Italy
    15. Latvia
    16. Lebanon
    17. Lithuania
    18. Luxembourg
    19. Netherlands
    20. Paraguay
    21. Poland
    22. Portugal
    23. Russia
    24. Slovakia
    25. Sweden
    26. Switzerland
    27. Syria
    28. Vatican City
    29. Venezuela
    30. United States
    31. Uruguay

    https://www.armenian-genocide.org/recognition_countries.html

    https://www.newsroom.co.nz/a-stain-on-our-moral-record

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    In 2019, the Waitangi Tribunal released a preliminary report in the Wai 2575 inquiry, finding pervasive inequities in the New Zealand health system which systematically disadvantaged Māori, in breach of Ti Tiriti O Waitangi. It recommended the creation of an independent Māori Health Authority as one way of remedying these ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 days ago
  • Bishop wants house prices to halve vs income
    TL;DR: Housing, Infrastructure and RMA Reform minister Minister Chris Bishop gave the new Government’s most important and ambitious speech of its first 100 days yesterday, pledging to flood cities with land for homes and help give councils new revenue to pay for the water and transport infrastructure needed to build ...
    The KakaBy Bernard Hickey
    2 days ago
  • Lyin' Luxon
    All we want is a touch of truthnot cue-card words for the polling booththis ballhead man and his MacDonalds wisdomselling soap or a new tax systemSo begin the lyrics for the new single, Lyin’ Luxon (and his tobacco goons)”, from Darren Watson - released just this morning. You can check ...
    Nick’s KōreroBy Nick Rockel
    2 days ago
  • Albo gives Luxon a big invite
    Prime Minister Christopher Luxon gets his first big foreign affairs opportunity next week when he travels to Melbourne for the 50th Anniversary of Australia’s partnership with the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN). Australian Prime Minister Anthony Albanese has invited the heads of all ten members for a special summit. ...
    PolitikBy Richard Harman
    2 days ago
  • Of Mining Interests and the West Coast-Tasman Result: Look at the Split Vote
    The various New Zealand election donations have been disclosed, and one Jonathan Milne has noticed the role of mining interests in backing an independent candidate on the West Coast: https://newsroom.co.nz/2024/02/23/big-coal-company-bought-west-coast-election-campaign/ The article goes on to suggest that the independent candidate’s performance – garnering some 5903 votes – was key ...
    3 days ago
  • At a glance – Is Greenland gaining or losing ice?
    On February 14, 2023 we announced our Rebuttal Update Project. This included an ask for feedback about the added "At a glance" section in the updated basic rebuttal versions. This weekly blog post series highlights this new section of one of the updated basic rebuttal versions and serves as a ...
    3 days ago
  • Dark money has entered the New Zealand electoral scene at unprecedented levels
    Radio NZ’s Farah Hancock has analysed the Electoral Commission returns of money paid to influence the 2023 NZ General Election. Her article $2m surge in election campaign spending by third-party groups (RNZ) shows that as well as the huge donations-directly-to-the-parties imbalance, previously reported, a large amount of untraceable dark money ...
    The PaepaeBy Peter Aranyi
    3 days ago
  • I remember better days
    The school property system is BORDERING ON CRISIS according to the Prime Minister and his Education Minister.Same old crisis panic button. God only knows what they’ll press when they get a real one.The self-serving agenda here is pretty transparent: Find ourselves an out for not delivering what people expect us ...
    More Than A FeildingBy David Slack
    3 days ago
  • No, it isn’t a surprise – the government is disestablishing the Māori Health Authority (just a...
    Latest from the Beehive The mainstream news media have been grimly auguring this news for  the past few days under headings such as… Axing Māori Health Authority before hearing ‘disrespectful’ — expert (One News); Coalition Government to forge ahead with repeal of smokefree laws, Māori Health Authority this week ...
    Point of OrderBy Bob Edlin
    3 days ago
  • BRYCE EDWARDS: NZ elections are being Americanised with “dark money” flowing into campaign grou...
    Bryce Edwards writes –  Elections in the United States are dominated by big money. But what isn’t commonly understood is that most of it is raised and spent, not by the political parties and candidates for office, but by special interest groups who run their own election campaigns to ...
    Point of OrderBy poonzteam5443
    3 days ago
  • More dishonesty from Costello
    When Cancer Minister Casey Costello was caught lying to the media and to Parliament about whether or not she had requested advice on cutting tobacco excise tax to benefit the cancer industry, her explanation was to blame "confusion arising from my understanding of the differentiation between seeking specific advice and ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    3 days ago
  • LINDSAY MITCHELL: Child poverty – complex or simple?
    Question: Do you understand how the child poverty statistics are derived? Clearly some people do not. Last week the latest child poverty statistics were all over the media. But there are a number of misunderstandings that need addressing. Like this one from NewstalkZB’s John MacDonald who wrote: Living in households ...
    Point of OrderBy poonzteam5443
    3 days ago
  • CHRIS TROTTER: Tougher love
    Mark Mitchell’s gang laws will separate the liberal sheep from the authoritarian goats Chris Trotter writes – THE INTENSIFYING POLITICAL CONTROVERSY over the Coalition Government’s policy on gangs promises to be one of those sheep-from-goats moments. While the Left will veer instinctively towards the sociological, the Right ...
    Point of OrderBy poonzteam5443
    3 days ago
  • Bernard's Top 10 @ 10 am 'pick 'n' mix' for Feb 27
    A mega-documentary about the influence of China’s Communist Party in our political system that remains stuck inside Stuff’s editorial system. Photo: Lynn Grieveson / The KākāHere’s my top ten links to news, papers and reports elsewhere as at 10 am on Tuesday February 27:Today’s must-read: Whatever happened to Stuff Circuit’s ...
    The KakaBy Bernard Hickey
    3 days ago
  • The day our infrastructure deficits came home to roost
    Ugly moments of infrastructure deficit truth are popping up all over, including the revelation that Wellington’s train service will be disrupted for up to 15 years. Photo: Lynn Grieveson / The KākāTL;DR: National and Labour are bickering over who is to blame for ‘mismanagement’ of infrastructure spending on rail and ...
    The KakaBy Bernard Hickey
    3 days ago
  • It’s March Madness Time again
    We may still be in February but yesterday marked the start of March Madness, typically the busiest time of the year for transport of all modes. That’s due to a number of factors, such as: The summer holiday period is over meaning All schools and now University’s being ...
    3 days ago
  • What do you think about Christopher Luxon?
    As some of you might know Darren Watson's new track "Lyin' Luxon" will be out tomorrow.I'm going to write about that subject today so if there's anything you'd like to say about Luxon, his government, policies, his partners and investors, or what he's doing to our country then please feel ...
    Nick’s KōreroBy Nick Rockel
    3 days ago
  • A TV Hero Goes Down the Wormhole
    Note: This story includes feedback from a central character in this story — I’ve included that at the end in its entirety.Hi,When I started Webworm four years ago, it seemed like a novelty to write about people getting sucked into beliefs like QAnon. As Kiwi lingerie makers opened their third ...
    David FarrierBy David Farrier
    3 days ago
  • Climate Adam: Are food influencers wrong about climate change?
    This video includes conclusions of the creator climate scientist Dr. Adam Levy. It is presented to our readers as an informed perspective. Please see video description for references (if any). The food industry is one of the biggest drivers of climate change. So how are our diets causing disaster? Some people ...
    4 days ago
  • Funding announced for landfill improvements and farmers – but the headline grabber is news of a cr...
    Buzz from the Beehive The government has been dishing out sums of money in much the same way as the Ardern-Hipkins government has done. Four historic landfill sites will benefit from the granting of $6.6 million to clean up old landfill sites And the coalition Government is  providing support for ...
    Point of OrderBy Bob Edlin
    4 days ago
  • Yes, voters supported the scrapping of the Māori Health Authority – but Stuff reminds us of the W...
    Reinforcing the credence of an article posted here last week, Stuff yet again has been promoting the notion that “The Treaty” should over-ride the country’s democratic governance arrangements. In the article published on Point of Order under the headline Media chiefs struggle to understand democracy, Graham Adams noted that New ...
    Point of OrderBy Bob Edlin
    4 days ago
  • Executive summaries
    Here in the seaside village, we have people of all callings.We have butchers, bakers, candlestick makers. We have panelbeaters, librarians and sailors.We have novelists, poets and the guy who wrote Six Months in A Leaky Boat.And of course, we have executives. It is, you assume, for such people—our executives, living in ...
    More Than A FeildingBy David Slack
    4 days ago
  • An anti-constitutional government
    Aotearoa has a lot of problems at the moment: climate change, housing, water, rich people refusing to pay their way. So of course the government has decided to crack down on gangs, as a distraction from all of the above. Their proposals violate the freedoms of expression and association, and ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    4 days ago
  • ROGER PARTRIDGE: Has the Supreme Court lost its way?
      Roger Partridge writes –  With age comes wisdom – or so it is said. Yet exceptions abound. A notable reflection from leading lawyer Jack Hodder on the Supreme Court’s 20th anniversary suggests the Court is ...
    Point of OrderBy poonzteam5443
    4 days ago
  • BRIAN EASTON: Do we take Regulatory Impact Statements seriously?
    The Sorry Story of Earthquake-Prone Buildings * Brian Easton writes – The Treasury requires that when new or amended legislation is proposed, a Regulatory Impact Statement (RIS) be provided – ‘a high-level summary of the problem being addressed, the options and their associated costs and benefits, the consultation undertaken, and the ...
    Point of OrderBy poonzteam5443
    4 days ago
  • Bernard's Top 10 @ 10 am 'pick 'n' mix'
    Here’s my top ten links to news, papers and reports elsewhere as at 10 am on Monday February 26:Today’s must-read: How one miner’s political donation changed an electorate result. Newsroom Jonathan MilneLocal scoop: Car dealers cash in on EV subsidies for ‘company cars’ RNZ Eloise GibsonOverseas scoop: Meta pushed ahead ...
    The KakaBy Bernard Hickey
    4 days ago
  • February-24 AT Board Meeting
    Tomorrow the AT board have their first meeting of the year. it will also be the first meeting for new chair Richard Leggat. You can watch the open session on this Teams link with the meeting due to start at 10am. As usual, I’ve taken a look through the reports ...
    4 days ago
  • Mark Mitchell – Mercenary Man.
    Before Mark Mitchell was known for not being able to keep to the official party line on police numbers. Even further back, before Mitchell’s brainfart that he could stop the gangs by making them wear makeup over their tattoos. Back before he was even an MP, Mark Mitchell was a ...
    Nick’s KōreroBy Nick Rockel
    4 days ago
  • Will the RBNZ upset NZ Inc's applecart?
    After contemplating the inflationary pressures of the first 100 days of the new Government, the RBNZ may decide it needs to hike on Wednesday. Photo: Lynn Grieveson / The KākāTL;DR: Te Pūtea Matua, the Reserve Bank of New Zealand, could shock our political economy with a rate hike this Wednesday ...
    The KakaBy Bernard Hickey
    4 days ago
  • Shane Jones’ fast track is not what the Nats’ base wants to hear about
    If anybody stole the show at National’s Blue Greens Forum at the weekend at Waitangi, it was Environment Minister Penny Simmonds. When she said she had re-directed millions from staff training in Wellington to local conservation boards in the regions, she was greeted with widespread applause. She had hit the ...
    PolitikBy Richard Harman
    4 days ago
  • Ending Free Prescriptions and Elections Having Consequences
    So National won the 2023 election, and since then has set about doing exactly what it’d say it’d do – screwing over poor people and workers. One of their more spiteful election promises, the restoration of fees on prescription medicines, has yet to pass, but there is little doubt they’ll ...
    5 days ago
  • 2024 SkS Weekly Climate Change & Global Warming News Roundup #08
    A listing of 31 news and opinion articles we found interesting and shared on social media during the past week: Sun, Feb 18, 2024 thru Sat, Feb 24, 2024. Story of the week “In the tropical eastern Atlantic, it’s four months ahead of pace—it’s looking like it’s already June out ...
    5 days ago
  • Slow train of accountability for Cameron Slater
    It’s an adage, almost a cliche: ‘Justice delayed is Justice denied’, but genuinely, that has to be one’s response to news this last week: That dirty PR attack blogger Cameron Slater has (finally) been judged in the High Court to have defamed Auckland businessman Matt Blomfield. Further, that Slater’s false ...
    The PaepaeBy Peter Aranyi
    5 days ago
  • Not political in the slightest
    In one way it was phenomenally dull, in another fascinating. He had never met people with such certainty before. Jews and Catholics were less. Irish ugly, Chinese and Aborigines not even human. They did not think such things. They knew them.The Narrow Road to The Deep North Richard Flanagan Wellington ...
    More Than A FeildingBy David Slack
    5 days ago
  • CHRIS TROTTER: Democracy denied
    Political Intervention From Above: From the early-1970s on, lobbying firms and think-tanks have grown like Topsy all across the capitalist world. Had the progressive middle-class not drawn its teeth and clipped its claws, an angry working-class might have risen to meet the Robber Baron’s challenge as it did in the 1890s, ...
    Point of OrderBy poonzteam5443
    6 days ago
  • Aotearoa Divided.
    Hey, hey, heyThere's no need to panicThis is just how it isYour pulse is fast and franticAnd it feels like you'll explodePanic isn’t the right word, although sometimes I feel a bit that way when I think about things. Despair is probably more accurate. And sadness. Those are the things ...
    Nick’s KōreroBy Nick Rockel
    6 days ago
  • The Hoon around the week to Feb 23
    Luxon says Kiwis need to face the ‘brutal facts of our reality’, but the evidence shows our financial position is nowhere near as troubling as in 1991 and even if it were, the advice of the ‘financial grown-ups’ of the world is to avoid pointless austerity measures. Photo: Lynn Grieveson ...
    The KakaBy Bernard Hickey
    6 days ago
  • Hell of a week
    Hello! Here comes the Saturday edition of More Than A Feilding, catching you up on the past week’s editions.Friday: Week in review, quiz style1. What did the Atlas Network do in Aotearoa this week?a. Got a tobacco whistleblower firedb. Got Michael Bassett to ghost-write legislation c. Planted Kompromat on John Campbell d. ...
    More Than A FeildingBy David Slack
    6 days ago
  • Media chiefs struggle to understand democracy
    Graham Adams writes — Listening to Sinead Boucher speak last week at a parliamentary hearing on the Fair Digital News Bargaining Bill, it was easy to be captivated momentarily by her rhetoric about democracies requiring a strong and free media. Addressing the select committee MPs, she said: “A strong, ...
    Point of OrderBy gadams1000
    7 days ago
  • Do We Take Regulatory Impact Statements Seriously?
    The Sorry Story of Earthquake-Prone Buildings.The Treasury requires that when new or amended legislation is proposed, a Regulatory Impact Statement (RIS) be provided – ‘a high-level summary of the problem being addressed, the options and their associated costs and benefits, the consultation undertaken, and the proposed arrangements for implementation and ...
    PunditBy Brian Easton
    7 days ago

  • Government congratulates JPs on centenary
    Associate Minister of Justice Nicole McKee has extended her congratulations to the Royal Federation of New Zealand Justices’ Associations on its centenary this year. The occasion is being celebrated at the Federation’s annual AGM and Conference, which opens in Wellington today.  “Justices of the Peace (JPs) play a vital role ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 hours ago
  • Government going after gangs’ guns with FPOs
    The Government is continuing its work to restore law and order, announcing new measures that will enable police to crack down on gangs through Firearms Prohibition Orders (FPOs).  “Firearms are being illegally used by gangs to intimidate, to commit violent crime in support of their profit making, and to initiate ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 hours ago
  • Open ocean salmon farm a win for the economy
    The final approval of New Zealand King Salmon’s Blue Endeavour open ocean aquaculture project is a significant step for New Zealand’s aquaculture, and a win for the economy, Oceans and Fisheries Minister Shane Jones says.  “Blue Endeavour will be the first open ocean aquaculture salmon farm in New Zealand. It’s ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 hours ago
  • NZ – UAE trade agreement consultation begins
    Following a meeting with UAE Trade Minister Dr. Thani bin Ahmed Al Zeyoudi at the WTO Ministerial Conference in Abu Dhabi, Trade Minister Todd McClay has launched public consultation for a trade agreement between New Zealand and the United Arab Emirates (UAE).   “The UAE is a top-20 export market for ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    20 hours ago
  • Minister thanks Public Service Commissioner
    Public Service Minister Nicola Willis has thanked retiring Public Service Commissioner Peter Hughes for his 43 years of service. Mr Hughes retires today, after serving eight years as Public Service Commissioner.  “Peter Hughes is an outstanding public servant who has served many governments, regardless of their political leaning, with professionalism and ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    23 hours ago
  • Tourism data shows determination of sector
    New tourism data out today shows the continued importance of tourism to the New Zealand economy as tourism steps up to become our second-biggest export earner, Tourism Minister Matt Doocey says. “The Tourism Satellite Account shows how strongly tourism rebounded post-pandemic with total tourism expenditure in New Zealand of $37.7b ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    24 hours ago
  • Housing Minister thanks outgoing Kāinga Ora Chair
    Housing Minister Chris Bishop has today thanked outgoing Kāinga Ora – Homes & Communities Chair Vui Mark Gosche for his many years of public service. “Mr Gosche tendered his resignation as Chair yesterday evening. He will remain a member of the Board until the end of March,” says Housing Minister ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 day ago
  • New sanctions package against Russia
    Foreign Minister Winston Peters today announced a new package of sanctions as part of the ongoing international sanction response to Russia’s illegal invasion of Ukraine in February 2022.   The new sanctions are:   Implementation of the G7-plus price cap on Russian-origin oil; making explicit the prohibition on exporting restricted ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 day ago
  • Travel bans on extremist Israeli settlers
    Prime Minister Christopher Luxon and Foreign Minister Winston Peters have announced travel bans on a number of extremist Israeli settlers who have committed violent attacks against Palestinians in the West Bank.   “New Zealand is seriously concerned by the significant increase in extremist violence perpetrated by Israeli settlers against Palestinian populations in recent months. This is ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 day ago
  • NZ designates entirety of Hamas as terrorist entity
    Prime Minister Christopher Luxon and Foreign Minister Winston Peters have announced today the designation of Hamas in its entirety as a terrorist entity.   “The terrorist attacks by Hamas in October 2023 were brutal and we have unequivocally condemned them,” Mr Luxon says.    Following these attacks, then Prime Minister Chris Hipkins commissioned advice from officials about designating the ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 day ago
  • Government announces independent review of forestry ETS costs
    Forestry Minister Todd McClay has today announced an independent review into the forestry component of the Emissions Trading Scheme (ETS) Register to ensure it is efficient and cost-effective. “Up and down the country forestry owners have been raising concerns about the excessive costs that have been imposed upon them by ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 day ago
  • Access barriers to PET-CT scans removed
    New Zealanders now have the same access to PET-CT scans no matter where they live, Health Minister Dr Shane Reti says. Health New Zealand - Te Whatu Ora has approved funding an updated national set of criteria that will allow for about 1,000 more PET-CT scans a year to be ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 day ago
  • Air New Zealand and Singapore Airlines’ alliance extended
    Associate Transport Minister Matt Doocey announced today that the Government has extended Air New Zealand and Singapore Airlines’ strategic alliance for another five years. “Reauthorising this strategic partnership means that passengers flying in and out of New Zealand will continue to have access to a wide range of flights and destinations,” ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • Health system reforms need further action
    Health Minister Dr Shane Reti says the latest report into New Zealand’s health reforms shows a few benefits, but overall once again demonstrates a lack of leadership by the previous Labour government.  The Ministerial Advisory Committee (MAC) report released today was commissioned by the previous government to provide an independent ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • Parallel assessment means new medicines assessed sooner
    Pharmac is changing its process so it can assess a funding application at the same time Medsafe is assessing the application for regulatory approval. This means that medicines will be able to be considered for funding sooner in New Zealand. “Access to medicines is a crucial part of many Kiwis’ ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • Smokefree Amendment Bill Introduced
    The Government has today introduced an Amendment Bill that will repeal three parts of the previous Government’s planned changes to regulate smoked tobacco. “The Coalition Government is committed to the Smokefree 2025 goal, but we are taking a different regulatory approach to reducing smoking rates and the harm from smoking,” ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • Targeted support for young people
    Recently allocated Ministry of Youth Development funding will support more than 6700 young people to receive targeted youth development support to remain in education or transition to further training or employment and improve their wellbeing, Youth Minister Matt Doocey says.  Funding of $10.69 million will be allocated to 34 community-based ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • Reshaping the health system to bring Māori health closer to home
    Legislation that will disestablish the Māori Health Authority will be introduced in Parliament today, heralding the start of a new vision for Māori health says Minister of Health Dr Shane Reti.  “We have said we will bring healthcare for all New Zealanders closer to the home and closer to the ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • Speech to the Wellington Chamber of Commerce
    Acknowledgements Good morning. Can I start by acknowledging Simon and the team at the Chamber. Thanks for the invitation to be here today. Introduction In October last year New Zealanders voted for change. The Coalition government was elected with a clear mandate to rebuild the economy and reduce the cost ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • NZ welcomes Australia and Brazil to agreements
    New Zealand has welcomed Australia to the Inclusive Trade Action Group (ITAG) and Australia and Brazil to the Global Trade and Gender Arrangement (GTAGA) Minister for Trade Todd McClay says.  As the current chair of ITAG and GTAGA, Minister McClay hosted the signing ceremony and issued the Abu Dhabi Joint ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • Inquiry announced into school property
    The Government will conduct a Ministerial Inquiry to address problems with the school property system where the scope of property works planned was unrealistic and unaffordable. “The coalition Government has inherited a school property system bordering on crisis,” Education Minister Erica Stanford says. “There have been a number of cost escalations ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • New Chair for Guardians of NZ Superannuation
    Company director and investor John Williamson has been appointed as the new Chair of the Guardians of New Zealand Superannuation, the Crown entity that oversees the NZ Super Fund and the Elevate NZ Venture Capital Fund, Finance Minister Nicola Willis announced today.  Mr Williamson will take up his new position ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • Northland open for business as critical works to repair SH1 Brynderwyn Hills begin
    The Government is encouraging New Zealanders to support, visit, and explore Northland, as the closure and detour of SH1 at the Bryderwyn Hills begins, and critical repair work by the NZ Transport Agency (NZTA) gets underway, Transport Minister Simeon Brown says. “Many regions across the country suffered extensive and devastating ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • Government backs police to crackdown on gangs
    The coalition Government is restoring law and order by providing police new tools to crack down on criminal gangs, says Justice Minister Paul Goldsmith and Police Minister Mark Mitchell.  “Over the last five years gangs have recruited more than 3000 members, a 51 per cent increase. At the same time, ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • Northland’s new Kāeo Bridge officially open
    Transport Minister Simeon Brown has welcomed the official opening of the new State Highway 10 (SH10) Kāeo Bridge, which will improve safety and traffic flow for people heading to and from the Far North. “This is an important piece of infrastructure for the Northland region that will help members of ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • Government grants $6.6 million to clean up old landfill sites
    The Government has granted $6.6 million to clean up four historic New Zealand landfill and dump sites vulnerable to extreme weather events and coastal erosion. At the BlueGreens Forum in Paihia today Environment Minister Penny Simmonds said that the Contaminated Sites Remediation Fund grants will go towards fixing former landfills ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • Dry weather triggers extra support for farmers and growers across the top of the South Island
    The coalition Government is providing support for farmers and growers as dry conditions worsen across the top of the South Island. “Conditions on the ground across the Marlborough, Tasman, and Nelson districts are now extremely dry and likely to get worse in the coming months,” Agriculture Minister Todd McClay said. ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    7 days ago
  • Trade Minister heads to Abu Dhabi for key WTO negotiations
    Trade Minister Todd McClay travels to Abu Dhabi in the United Arab Emirates for the 13th Ministerial Conference of the World Trade Organisation (WTO) today, to take up his role as Vice Chair of the negotiations. The Ministerial Conference is the highest decision-making body within the WTO and meets every ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Appointment round for King’s Counsel announced
    Attorney-General Judith Collins today announced an appointment round for King’s Counsel will take place in 2024. Appointments of King’s Counsel are made by the Governor-General on the recommendation of the Attorney-General and with the concurrence of the Chief Justice. The Governor-General retains the discretion to appoint King’s Counsel in recognition ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Retiring Chief of Navy thanked for his service
    Defence Minister Judith Collins has thanked the Chief of Navy, Rear Admiral David Proctor, for his service as he retires from the Royal New Zealand Navy after 37 years. Rear Admiral Proctor will retire on 16 May to take up an employment opportunity in Australia.  “I would like to thank ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Indonesian Vice President to visit New Zealand
    Indonesia’s Vice President Ma’ruf Amin will visit New Zealand next week, the first here by an Indonesian leader since 2018, Deputy Prime Minister Winston Peters has announced. “New Zealand and Indonesia have a strong partnership,” Mr Peters says.  “The Vice President’s visit is an opportunity to discuss how we can strengthen ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Government boost to fight against caulerpa
    The battle to contain the fast-spreading exotic caulerpa seaweed has today received a $5 million boost to accelerate the development of removal techniques, says Biosecurity Minister Andrew Hoggard.  “The time is now to really lean in and build on the work of Biosecurity New Zealand, mana whenua, communities and local ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Minister attending Australian data, digital meeting
    Minister for Digitising Government Judith Collins is in Sydney to attend the first Data and Digital Ministers’ Meeting of 2024.  “This is a great opportunity to connect with our Australian counterparts and identify how we can work together on digital transformation,” Ms Collins says.   “Both our nations are looking into ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Appointments to Antarctica New Zealand Board
    Foreign Minister Winston Peters has appointed Leon Grice and Heather Simpson to serve on the Antarctica New Zealand board.  “Since taking office, the Coalition Government has become concerned about the direction of the Scott Base Redevelopment Project,” Mr Peters says.  “It is vital that Antarctica New Zealand has the right ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Strengthening the Single Economic Market
    Finance Minister Nicola Willis has met with Australian Treasurer Jim Chalmers to discuss the opportunities to lower business costs and increase the ease with which businesses and people can operate across the Tasman.     “I have met with Treasurer Chalmers and shared our new Government’s ambitious economic goals, our plans ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Government to address business payment practices
    The Government will repeal the Business Payment Practices Act 2023, Small Business and Manufacturing Minister Andrew Bayly announced today. “There is a major problem with large market players imposing long payment terms and routinely paying invoices late. “However, the Business Payment Practices Act is not an effective solution and would ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Greater focus on work will reduce child poverty
    Worsening child poverty rates support the Coalition Government’s focus on reducing the cost of living and getting people into work, Child Poverty Reduction Minister Louise Upston says. Figures released by Stats NZ today show child poverty rates have increased, with the rising cost of living, driven by inflation, making it ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • NZ announces new support for Ukraine
    Foreign Minister Winston Peters and Defence Minister Judith Collins have marked two years since Russia’s invasion of Ukraine by announcing further support and sanctions, and extending our military assistance. “Russia launched its illegal, full-scale invasion of Ukraine, in blatant violation of international law, including the UN Charter,” Mr Peters says. ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Finalists of Ahuwhenua Trophy announced
    Māori Development Minister Tama Potaka announced the two finalists for this year’s Ahuwhenua Trophy at Parliament yesterday.  “I am pleased to see such a high calibre of Māori dairy farms featured as finalists this year,” Mr Potaka says. The finalists for 2024 are: Wairarapa Moana ki Pouakani Whakatōhea Māori Trust ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Finance Minister to meet Australian Treasurer
    Finance Minister Nicola Willis will travel to Australia today to meet her Australian counterpart, Treasurer Jim Chalmers.    “New Zealand and Australia have an incredibly strong trade and investment relationship. The Closer Economic Relations and Single Economic Market are powerful engines for growth on both sides of the Tasman.     “I will ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago

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