Open mike 26/12/2013

Written By: - Date published: 6:08 am, December 26th, 2013 - 137 comments
Categories: open mike - Tags:



Open mike is your post.

For announcements, general discussion, whatever you choose.

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

Step right up to the mike …

137 comments on “Open mike 26/12/2013”


    “..Inequality is the result of a whole range of policies-

    – intended to redistribute income upward..”

    phillip ure..

    • blue leopard (Get Lost GCSB Bill) 1.1

      Yes, good article and see a related problem re education opportunities in this country as I mention below.

    • Draco T Bastard 1.2

      Great article by Frank Macskasy over on the daily blog about how National are purposefully bringing in lower wages.

      • Polish Pride 1.2.1

        placing downward pressure on wages is and always has been part of the standard wealth redistribution policy of the Right.
        This most commonly comes in the form of relaxed immigration policy or legislation around labor laws

  2. this one is pretty cool..

    Astonishing Photographs Of Drugs Prove Substances Look Just Like They Feel

    and yep..!..caffeine is also in there..(and very spiky it is..)

    ..and the lsd one is just so very..lsd…

    phillip ure..

  3. Adrian 3

    I always thought that that caffeine was nasty looking shit.

  4. blue leopard (Get Lost GCSB Bill) 4

    A few days ago I was talking to someone, who, a few years back had started taking lessons to learn to read properly after having spent a lifetime hiding the fact that he had come out of school without being able to do so (probably due to dyslexia). Not being able to read stopped him from being able to do many things including many types of jobs.

    He was enjoying the lessons and obviously feeling more empowered and optimistic about his future.

    I asked him whether he was still doing these lessons.


    Government cut the funds that paid for his lessons.

    I am furious.

    What advantage is there in removing the opportunity for people to learn such a necessary skill??

    I am also aware that over 40 year olds have had 2 years of student allowance support removed. Too bad if they want to retrain after having a family – they can only do so if they are prepared to take on substantially more debt.

    How is removing assistance, i.e. effectively discouraging people from education, an advantage to any New Zealander? Or New Zealand as a whole?

    It is not.

    While these types of cuts have been occurring, politicians have been waxing lyrical about needing to ‘upgrade’ one’s skills to get better paid jobs [implicitly: it is low waged peoples’ fault for being poor due to not having done so] and blathering on about the great need for New Zealand to become a high skill economy.

    This is complete and utter shite: politicians, in their well-paid jobs, are obstructing ‘upskilling’ from occurring [they are also very quick to import skilled workers while dragging their heels when it comes to supporting and encouraging New Zealanders to gain these skills. ]

    So next time English is trumpeting how ‘healthy’ the books are [which they are not] do spare a thought for all the people who have lost the opportunity to learn something new and develop their chances of earning a decent livelihood and becoming more engaged and more part of this society.

    And who wants to be part of a society where obstructions are placed in the way of people in less fortunate circumstances from getting an education?

    No wonder people aren’t voting.

    • and in other age-related assistance cut-off news..

      ..if you are going to get glaucoma..make sure you do it before age

      ..;cos..if you get glaucoma after age 60..

      ..the govt/health services will just tell you .. to go blind..

      ..and can i ask..why the fuck aren’t greypower all over issues like this..?

      ..why aren’t they doing their job..?

      ..w.t.f. do they do all day..?

      ..phillip ure..

      • blue leopard (Get Lost GCSB Bill) 4.1.1

        Good questions

        I’m getting really cross.

        Who the hell supports these policies?

        And is the main opposition party going to stick to what Cunliffe won the leadership on or simply vacillate and water it down?

        • weka

          You don’t need to be able to read to clean toilets or dig ditches. If you really can’t get your shit together enough to part fund your own education then maybe you are better suited to menial work. Not everyone can be part of the knowledge economy. It’s natural that some people do better than others, and there are natural stratas in human societies that need to be respected.

          “Who the hell supports these policies?”

          People who think like what I just wrote, even if they don’t formulate it so bluntly. And the middle classes who are now afraid that they will be next so support whatever gives them short and medium term gain. Plus the many in the middle classes who lack any useful or meaningful understanding of class and so are more easily led by State and MSM funded prejudice.

          • blue leopard (Get Lost GCSB Bill)

            @ Weka

            Yeah, sadly I think you are probably quite right there.

            There is a real paradox in the way of thinking you so accurately give an example of.

            When low wages are the issue blame is placed on people for not having pursued an education yet when education is the issue and serious obstacles are being placed in the way of people getting an education there is this message that ‘maybe they are better suited to ‘menial’ jobs anyway (like you have given in your example).

            Both issues get ‘rationalised’ away (closer to ‘irrationalised, really isn’t it?) by the two different arguments and neither issue is addressed.

            The people who think like that need to get it together and realise that there is an increasing amount of government subsidisation of low waged workers and that increasing the obstacles to people gaining an education leads to less chances for people to get out of the poverty rut.

            In both cases – low wages, and low education opportunities – it costs the taxpayer. Either in the rent/ health/ wage subsidies or welfare benefits, not to mention the effects of a whole swathe of New Zealanders who are not reaching their potential.

            Wouldn’t it be better to have people studying than stuck on the dole for years on end losing all motivation and hope? Wouldn’t it be better for people to be on a wage that covered their costs without government assistance? Wouldn’t it be better for the government to be encouraging education rather than creating major obstacles and keeping them in a poverty trap?

            • weka

              “In both cases – low wages, and low education opportunities – it costs the taxpayer. Either in the rent/ health/ wage subsidies or welfare benefits, not to mention the effects of a whole swathe of New Zealanders who are not reaching their potential.”

              Except the obvious solution there (for selfish people) is to privatise and/or cut funding to those areas of govt spending. Problem solved.

              “Wouldn’t it be better to have people studying than stuck on the dole for years on end losing all motivation and hope? Wouldn’t it be better for people to be on a wage that covered their costs without government assistance? Wouldn’t it be better for the government to be encouraging education rather than creating major obstacles and keeping them in a poverty trap?”

              Maybe bl, but I’m not convinced by the education for everyone as a solution to unemployment argument. The problem in the past was that education was prioritised for certain classes of people and denied others. Then there was the drive to get everyone into tertiary education because that would improve employment opportunities. But it doesn’t matter if eveyone in NZ has a degree if there still aren’t enough jobs to go around. That tertiary drive also coincided with messing with the apprenticeship schemes and doing things like making all nursing training a degree course. That reduced educational opportunities, by reducing diversity and making education more expensive for the individual and government.

              I guess it really depends on what you mean by education. Personally I think we should accept permanent unemployment and shift to a supportive state whereby people on the dole and other benefits are able to supplement their income, and are also supported to use their time in the way that they see fit – it might be formal education, or it might be voluntary work. Or it might be sitting at home writing poetry, or helping a mate fix his car. Or people getting together and growing food or providing childcare for the neighbourhood or extended whanau. Lots of ways that people can meaningfully spend their time.

              btw, I think the situation your friend was in is heinous and there is absolutely no excuse for a country like NZ to not be providing free, extenstive literacy support for all people that live here that need it.

              In terms of the poverty trap/employment issues, this is tricky. In an ideal world I would support what most here talk about in terms of solutions to that. But AGW/PO/GFC issues are arriving pretty fast and we simply won’t have enough resources for everyone in NZ to live a comfortable middle class life style. Much of the narrative seems driven by chasing the middle class dream, but I’d like to see a discussion of what are basic human rights, and what are the basic human needs in NZ that can be met sustainably. We can do broad strokes pretty easily (housing, food, healthcare), but when we get down to the nitty gritty, it’s not that straightforward. Then there is the small matter of convincing the middle classes and the consumer working class that they will have to reduce their footprint and lifestyles…

              • blue leopard (Get Lost GCSB Bill)

                (I’ve been interrupted …will respond to this though Weka)

              • Draco T Bastard

                Then there was the drive to get everyone into tertiary education because that would improve employment opportunities. But it doesn’t matter if eveyone in NZ has a degree if there still aren’t enough jobs to go around.

                The problem was that we left the job to “the market” which, inevitably, failed to create the work that those tertiary educated people should have been doing. To create those jobs you actually need the government to step in and fund them – just as the US and the UK does although the UK doesn’t do as well as the US. Those jobs are in R&D.

                All the market will produce is more service sector jobs and there’s even a limit to those because of the needed ratio of people who need services to those who supply them must be high. Also, as productivity increases and “the market” fails to produce high paying jobs then wages in the service sector will continue to drop as less people get employed in high paying jobs.

                Personally I think we should accept permanent unemployment and shift to a supportive state whereby people on the dole and other benefits are able to supplement their income, and are also supported to use their time in the way that they see fit – it might be formal education, or it might be voluntary work.

                A Universal Income.

                • weka

                  “A Universal Income.”

                  Yes, as an ideal. However I’m increasingly of the opinion that we no longer have the possibility of intelligent state level change before the full force of AGW/PO/GFC hits. By contrast, changing approaches to the unemployed seems somewhat doable.

                  “Those jobs are in R&D.”

                  Someone still has to clean the toilets though, and there is no need for a degree education for that. Plus there are more jobs needed than R and D could usefully supply. Lots of other jobs that don’t need a 3 year degree to be learnt and done well.

                  • Draco T Bastard

                    Someone still has to clean the toilets though, and there is no need for a degree education for that.

                    But there is in developing machinery to remove the need for someone to clean toilets.

                    Plus there are more jobs needed than R and D could usefully supply.

                    Incorrect. R&D is a job and a necessary one. It is R&D that will research and develop our economy to be sustainable.

                    Besides, a society where there is only work is a rather boring society – we need time to relax and socialise as well.

                    • weka

                      I don’t think it is possible to replace all jobs with machines (and am yet to see a machine cleaned toilet that works well).

                      “Incorrect. R&D is a job and a necessary one. It is R&D that will research and develop our economy to be sustainable.”

                      Please reread what I wrote, because I didn’t way that R and D is not a necessity.

                    • Draco T Bastard

                      I don’t think it is possible to replace all jobs with machines

                      Not yet but that’s why we have R&D.

                      Please reread what I wrote, because I didn’t way that R and D is not a necessity.

                      No, you said that it won’t supply all jobs but I disagree. If people don’t have a job then they should be in R&D or Arts & Craft rather than being shunted onto the unemployment benefit. The only way that this can happen though is if the government funds it. My preferred scenario would be for people to continually switch between R&D and practical work while engaging in continual learning.

                    • weka

                      But not everyone on the dole is going to want to do R and D or be suited to it. (And you didn’t say Arts and Craft first time round). Why limit to R and D or Arts and Craft?

                      I suppose it also depends on what you mean by R and D, and why you would separate it out. For instance, many gardeners I know practice R and D, but not formally. Are you suggesting that people on the dole could formalise that somehow rather than becoming gardeners themselves?

                    • blue leopard (Get Lost GCSB Bill)

                      It is actually a little hard to understand what point you are trying to make, Weka.

                      First you supply arguments that prize Idiots would say, then you start promoting accepting unemployment, that education has been ‘tried before’ and failed [?] and toilet cleaning requires no education.

                      You really are starting to sound like our dear leaders, wanting everyone dumbed down and cleaning toilets.

                      Having read previous comments of yours I doubt that this is what you are intending. So what are you meaning?

                      I am well aware there are important jobs that are absolutely necessary like growing food for instance or – I’ll humour you – cleaning toilets and that these jobs may not require PHD’s or anything like that, however this is not a good reason to pay low wages or to accept decreasing job opportunities or to obstruct education opportunities for these people but this government has done so Please remember that adult education funds were stopped completely. [Unsure if it was completely or severely cut]

                      Obstructing education for others who may not be capable of physically demanding jobs and leaving them on welfare is a truly unenlightened approach that successive governments have been taking.

                      As others have mentioned, there is actually more to education than an issue of employment – I guess I did start that line off – however I did ask [somewhat rhetorically] what advantage is there in obstructing people from education – how is it serving anyone or NZ as a whole? By which I meant I see no advantage and conversely many advantages to encouraging education.

                      [DTB & co below provided a few advantages to leaving people in the dark; namely advantage for those who are at the top of the [shit] heap.]

                      You have the ability to write and reason and express yourself because someone taught you these things and somewhere along the line someone taught you the value of reasoning. I very much dislike that there are a fair few New Zealanders who are being obstructed and I would go so far as saying they are being discouraged from the opportunity to do just that.

                      The more people who are educated or trained in skilled work, the more likely that new ideas and new ways of doing things will arise. Limiting education is a fast-track to a limited and blinkered society – which is exactly what we appear to be developing at present.

                    • weka

                      Well I agree with much of what you write on these issues bl. And no, what you think I am saying is not what I am saying. What I am saying is what results when you put the issues you raise into the context of AGW/PO/GFC. There IS no recovery from those things, we are on a hiding to nothing if we ignore that fact. The things you are arguing for are all good and true, I just don’t believe they are possible now in the timeframes we have left.

                      To pick up the point of promoting unemployment, I think there are sound radical strategic reasons for doing so, as a response to the very power structures you abhor. Getting everyone a good education and a good job will perpetuate the power structures and increase our AGW and Peak Everything problems.

                      I do count myself very fortunate to have the critical thinking mind and expression skills I have, but they didn’t come from formal education. I suppose part of this discussion for me is that I don’t rate tertiary education that highly, in its present form. I do agree with you on the absolute necessity of equity of access, but I also believe that we would all be better off with less academia and more community based skills and knowledge learning.

                      AFAIK adult education (‘night classes’) funding has been cut. Hard to see that as anything other than the rightwing neoliberal power and control agenda. I’m just not looking to the govt for solutions to these things now. We have many, many skilled people in our communities to learn from. Time we developped new models of how to do that. If we get Labour/GP govt next year I would love to see education overhauled. Won’t be holding my breath though.

                      My point about cleaning toilets is that there are lots of jobs that don’t need formal education (but do need skill and training). I just dislike this whole idea that tertiary education is ‘higher’ than other things. (We should of course pay toilet cleaners really well, given the nature of the job). My mother was a nurse for many years, started in the 1950s. She learnt how to do that by working in a hospital and afaik got paid for it. Now if she were 18 again, she would have to spend 3 years at polytech and come out with a $15,000 debt to pay back before she could get a job as a nurse. There are definitely some advantages to society of the professionalisation of nursing education, but there are losses too.

                    • Draco T Bastard

                      Why limit to R and D or Arts and Craft?

                      I, personally, can’t think of any limits to those.

                      But not everyone on the dole is going to want to do R and D or be suited to it.

                      I think people will surprise you and that’s fine anyway – they just get to do the jobs that people who do want to do R&D are no longer doing.

                      For instance, many gardeners I know practice R and D, but not formally. Are you suggesting that people on the dole could formalise that somehow rather than becoming gardeners themselves?

                      A system where what they do is recorded, what they find out is shared and what they do is formally recognised.

                      To pick up the point of promoting unemployment, I think there are sound radical strategic reasons for doing so, as a response to the very power structures you abhor. Getting everyone a good education and a good job will perpetuate the power structures and increase our AGW and Peak Everything problems.

                      The present system is the problem and it needs to be removed. I’m not someone who is fond of getting an education to meet the requirements of a job. I think people should get and education that matches their interests and then be encouraged/supported into working to those interests.

                      My mother was a nurse for many years, started in the 1950s. She learnt how to do that by working in a hospital and afaik got paid for it. Now if she were 18 again, she would have to spend 3 years at polytech and come out with a $15,000 debt to pay back before she could get a job as a nurse.

                      Two things:
                      1.) Nursing has changed a bit since the 1950s so it’s better to get them trained before they do the practical stuf
                      2.) We’re the ones that want nurses so why are they the ones that have to pay for the training?

                    • weka

                      The last bit I completely agree with. The rest is a bit too abstract for me sorry.

                    • blue leopard (Get Lost GCSB Bill)

                      Cheers for the clarification Weka,

                      I can see what you mean regarding the GFC and you have a point. Hopefully not an insurmountable problem – yet definitely a challenge. Have been suspecting that is why people are accepting the lies of this government – expecting the numbers to be bad and not really being discerning as to whether there has been damage and debt created by this government as it is all being ‘put down to’ the financial crisis and/or earthquake.

                      I did not assume that it was formal training that lead to your ability to think – just that it is likely that someone has influenced you in that way. I do not know, but suspect reasoned thinking is something we are taught – is not something that we just develop of our own accord. Might be parents, friends, books or teachers (T.V unlikely!).

                      It is not my experience that University perpetuates power structures, despite there being a commonly held view to the contrary. Being taught to reason and question undermines blind following of our accepted power-structures, although that will depend on the subject – technical subjects not so much! – I am in little doubt that this aspect is why ‘higher’ learning is not being encouraged for all socio-economic groups.

                      I do also including skills training (polytech-style) in my references to education it may not be quite as focussed on reasoning, that comes into it, however learning new skills always deepens one’s understanding of how one’s society/environment functions in one way or another and broadens one’s horizons.

                      Bit of another annoyance for me re what you relay about the nursing! I have heard that myself and how there is less on-the-job training and more courses which one pays for (where one used to be paid for such training) – viewed as bit of a scam by my elders – probably quite correctly so!

              • karol

                Yes, pressuring everyone to get a uni education in order to get a good job was a bit of a con nd/or ill thought out.

                But education should be available to those who wan it – and not necessarily for any direct relevance to getting a job – education to participate in society and democracy.

                Adult education and the Workers Education Association did a great job once – education in the broadest sense.

                • Colonial Viper


                  “Education” is far more than just job training.

                  We are in a time where we need to be re-emphasising the arts, culture, history and community, as a way of transforming peoples’ lives and giving them a renewed voice.

                  • Tracey

                    ““Education” is far more than just job training.”

                    Not anymore in NZ

                  • weka

                    “We are in a time where we need to be re-emphasising the arts, culture, history and community, as a way of transforming peoples’ lives and giving them a renewed voice.”

                    Yes, and I’d put civics and how to grow and cook your own food high on the list of things most people should learn.

                    • Colonial Viper

                      Practical do it yourself and applied skills for improving home, family and community life are of utmost importance, yes.

            • blue leopard (Get Lost GCSB Bill)

              @ Weka,

              I’m not convinced by the education for everyone as a solution to unemployment argument.

              I am not talking of a one solution fits all approach – unclear how you get that from what I write. If any solution offered has to fix all problems for all people, we really will get nowhere – and might I suggest this might be why nothing is improving. No one section of societies’ issues are addressed because someone has decided that a solution has to fix all problems for all and therefore no problems are being addressed!

              Karol’s comment picks up what I was saying – ‘for those who want an education’ was the operative clause for the point I was trying to make.

              I am not promoting some sort of forced education idea, I am well aware that some people are not into higher learning and others are. There are possibly more who are into some form of training (as opposed to ‘higher learning’) yet have not been in a good set of circumstances to consider it an option. I have the impression that there are more people who would benefit from [some form of] education than who take it up. Those programmes on TV that show people in prisons who have finally made the plunge and are thriving is an example of this.

              We hear on a regular basis that ‘we must upskill’, blah blah ‘knowledge economy’ blah blah. What utter rot this talk is. There is no serious attempt to make education available to all who want it I get more help to go into seasonal work than I ever have going into study. Is that what taxpayers want? People who can and will study but cannot agree to the debt therefore get a couple of extra hundred dollars each year to go into seasonal work and when that dries up end up back on welfare? Or is it better that people go into minimum wage jobs and get supplements for their wages, accommodation, additional help with difficult weeks etc?

              It is a bit tricky offering ‘what someone else would say’ to the options taxpayers have. Sure there are some that will argue the point to cut welfare completely – but is this really a serious option? Haven’t you noticed the complete dearth of political parties offering this as a choice at election time? Too many landlords and business people advantaged by this welfare system for that to be a winner. Add this to the many people who really do know the advantage to society in having welfare and all parties know such a policy would be a fast-track into the opposition benches.

              I am inclined toward DTB’s response re your comments of ‘its been done before’. I don’t really think there has been any real effort at addressing the interests of the people for a long long time – mostly it has been corporate interests wrapped up in huge amounts of spin – which works all too effectively in a society that increasingly appears to denigrate intelligence and learning.

              Yes I daresay the GFC is affecting the way people feel about helping people out of poverty-traps. This is sad, however because the GFC wouldn’t have been able to occur had wealth disparity been knocked on the head from the outset. The problem we have in general and the GFC in particular is damaging policies that go against peoples’ interests are being pushed through because some ‘persons’ have huge political clout due to the vast sums of money they have available to them. Read up on how the debt of those banks were allowed to get so large – there used to be rules about how much debt a bank took on. Find out why commercial banks and investment banks protective separation was removed (separated from the high risk investment banks so ordinary people’s money was safer) and the reasons shadow banking came into existence. I think you will discover that people with too much clout from having more money than sense or compassion are behind such phenomena.

              Not having the money is just not the issue – how the money is being shared out is the issue.

              I’m unclear why anyone would ‘agree to unemployment’ there are plenty of things to be done, so why are so many people doing things for free or not got jobs at all while others are overworked or have money coming out of their ears and are finding ever more complex ways of how to invest their wealth risk-free or have got such large incomes that they spend much time pretending they haven’t got anything in order to avoid paying their large tax-bills?

              This comment has got far too long and I haven’t even got onto the Universal wage …

              • Draco T Bastard

                If any solution offered has to fix all problems for all people, we really will get nowhere – and might I suggest this might be why nothing is improving. No one section of societies’ issues are addressed because someone has decided that a solution has to fix all problems for all and therefore no problems are being addressed!

                One section is being addressed – the profiteers. All policies for the last thirty years have been to address the falling rate of profit.

                • blue leopard (Get Lost GCSB Bill)

                  I stand corrected one section of society are having their interests addressed.

                  Jolly marvellous! I feel so much better knowing that. 😐

                  [do I need to add a /sarc here…..]

              • Colonial Viper

                Well educated unemployed people with loads of student debt and no jobs to be found. Not helpful. Debt is a major way the financial elite use to demand compliance from countries, cities and individuals, forcing them to work compliantly at the capitalist coal face earning for shareholders and bond holders.

                Yes the money must be shared about more evenly, but that won’t solve the fundamental medium term problem: the material and energy resources we have built our global civilisation on are rapidly depleting.

                • blue leopard (Get Lost GCSB Bill)

                  ??This comment of yours really surprises me CV

                  The medium term problems of resources won’t be solved unless those who have captured this system have less clout.

                  Those who have captured this system have done so through having oodles more wealth than the rest of us and are using the power that wealth brings them for political purposes for their own private gain.

                  Wealth disparity is a very serious issue

                  • Colonial Viper

                    I agree with your remarks: wealth disparity is a very serious issue.

                    But in a neolib cum neo-feudal reconfiguration, formal education is no answer, just a diversion, and a way of loading up the young with debt.

                    The end result gives the established and wealthy more clout over the young and indebted.

                    • weka

                      I agree and I think we are past the point where we can solve this problem politically. In an ideal world we would work towards free and equal access to education of all kinds. However if we focus on resource disparity we lose sight of the fact that resources are finite and dwindling. While I think that destroying the power structures that create and perpetuate inequity is important (and I don’t think this should stop), I do have to wonder if the real solutions to poverty at this point aren’t at the local level. With the education issue, we could spend alot of effort trying to get a left wing govt to reinstate free education and broaden out what the means again. Or, we could support local communities to educate themselves in the context of Peak Everything.

                      Bl, having said that, I appreciate your dilemma of seasonal work and the need for educational opportunities to find ways out of that trap. Do you see other ways as well as conventional education?

                    • Draco T Bastard

                      So what we need to do is to get rid of that debt and the way to do that would be to change the banking system so that such debt cannot be built up at all.

                      Get rid of the hold that the rich have over everyone else and we can start to be a community again.

                    • blue leopard (Get Lost GCSB Bill)

                      “But in a neolib cum neo-feudal reconfiguration, formal education is no answer, just a diversion, and a way of loading up the young with debt.”

                      Just a diversion? How can you say this? Hasn’t your name a number of letters behind it? Was it really merely a diversion for you?

                      Perhaps you have a particular subject in mind? I have only ever found learning (self taught from decent books or formal) as extremely enhancing to my life and thinking.

                      I have met SO many people who have degrees and discourage others from doing the same. They do not appear to realise what the learning has done for them – yet it has done rather a lot.

                    • weka

                      “So what we need to do is to get rid of that debt and the way to do that would be to change the banking system so that such debt cannot be built up at all.

                      Get rid of the hold that the rich have over everyone else and we can start to be a community again.”

                      Good luck with that. And in the meantime?

                    • blue leopard (Get Lost GCSB Bill)

                      “And in the meantime?”

                      Go to Uni or polytech or read some good books


                    • weka

                      “I have met SO many people who have degrees and discourage others from doing the same. They do not appear to realise what the learning has done for them – yet it has done rather a lot.”

                      Fair point. Myself, I’ve been to polytech twice. The first time was great (and free) and I learnt some pretty decent practical skills that I still use 25 years later. The second time cost me alot on many levels. It was much more academic, and much of that was a waste of my time (it did enhance my thinking skills because it was so bad that I had to develop more critical thinking to cope. So I guess your point stands, although I think most people believe education should be a positive experience). I didn’t graduate from the second course.

                      I wonder if you hear so many graduates being discouraging because for many tertiary education lacks so much and costs so much (at the undergrad level at least. I gather post-grad can be more rewarding).

                    • weka

                      “Go to Uni or polytech or read some good books”

                      Already cram as much into my brain as will fit 😉

                      Plus, while the bankers run the world and Draco is figuring out how to take them down, I can’t afford tertiary education and so am getting on with other means (which proves your point and mine I guess).

                    • Draco T Bastard

                      Draco is figuring out how to take them down,

                      This is a democracy so perhaps we should vote the fuckers out.

                      Put simply, vote for a political party that will remove their hold over us. This means not voting for political parties will keep things the same.

                      And in the meantime?

                      Keep learning, keep teaching others how they’re being ripped off by the banks and the capitalists.

                    • weka

                      “This is a democracy so perhaps we should vote the fuckers out.”

                      By that argument, we can carry on with neoliberal governments like we have for the past 30 years. Voting holds the line, but I doubt it will effect the real change needed. Plus we don’t have time to shift NZ far enough left to effect that change even were it possible. We need additional strategies.

                    • Colonial Viper

                      BL. I stand by my comments. You’re thinking of a kind of education which barely exists any more, not the kind of education today which merely teaches people how to serve the system, instead of critiquing and changing it.

                      As for having a particular subject in mind: I’ll answer with a question. At your local university which faculty has been the most progressive and effective in fighting against the neoliberal agenda? Choose that subject – if it exists.

                    • “..At your local university which faculty has been the most progressive and effective in fighting against the neoliberal agenda?..?


                      phillip ure..

                    • Colonial Viper

                      Weka I agree completely: Parliamentary politics can help hold the line and perhaps make a couple of incremental improvements (maybe). Its extra-parliamentary activity mostly focused at a local level which can make a big difference.

                      Therefore I would ask you to consider using a far wider definition of “politics”. In a pervasive corporate consumer culture, the mere act of making a gift instead of buying it, of going to Church or your favored place of contemplation instead of the Westfield shopping slum, these are in of themselves value statements with an undoubted political dimension. 95% of the real politics happening in this country has nothing to do with MPs.

                    • Colonial Viper

                      Philip Ure: exactly. So this is where I feel BLs idea of gaining another qualification or studying another subject, formally at least, will come to nothing.

                      No 4 year NZ university degree can even touch what you can learn on The Standard in 6 months.

                    • weka

                      Nice to be on the same page CV 🙂 That’s pretty much my definition of politics too.

                      One of the things I’d like to see on ts is a broadening out from central govt and party politics to discussion of how to be effective at the local level as well (and I don’t mean Local Govt). We have a wealth of resource here in authors and commenters, perhaps that can be applied. Although I guess next year will be dominated by the election.

                    • blue leopard (Get Lost GCSB Bill)

                      @ CV I question your framing of what I’ve been writing about re education – Are you referring to my “Go to Uni, read a book” comment? I thought Weka’s comment about “what should we do in the meantime” was rather funny and the response was an attempt at humour (hence the smiley face) Think it might have fallen flat.

                      Any course of study that teaches research methods – statistics and/or reasoned thought and justifying one’s reasoning, and creating a confidence in a students’ own line of reasoning helps against the neo-liberal agenda because quickly one can see that there is a lot of false logic, assumptions – unjustified memes – lack of research that is being pressed upon us through our media sources and in our communities – media studies teaches one to be ‘objective’ as does any subject that teaches the tools of the trade – because once you learn them you see through the tricks that such trades use in order to be effective.

                      Framing the question as seeking out “a faculty that has been the most progressive and effective in fighting against the neoliberal agenda?” is therefore a question designed to make the reader conclude “there are none” : i.e. there may be no one department that has taken on an activist approach toward the shite we are being fed – however there are many faculties that are teaching critical thinking skills that will lead to the same place.

                      The strength neo-liberalism has is it’s ability to con – the ability to send out false information and false logic on matters of our society – if one is learning established information – historical context, how to apply statistics correctly, media study – even marketing – one starts easily being able to see through the bullshit we are being fed. I would guess that the worst subject would be economics, they may still teach certain techniques such as supply and demand that have been thoroughly undermined in a manner that they no longer function as expected – however I view that there are many subjects that teach the skills one requires to be immune to being conned.

                      I would take it that those with power in the world at present would far rather that people did not learn the skills that University or any form of learning provide because an educated public would not be as easily fooled, easily manipulated and compliant as our polls suggest we are.

                      I think you really take for granted what an education has given you and your message appears to be that it is and was a waste of time. Is this what you are meaning to convey??

      • mac1 4.1.2

        What one Grey Power president did in 2011.

        It seems that the government of the day listened and did nothing.

        2014 is election year and this should be an election issue.

        Thanks for the reminder, Phillip Ure.

        • phillip ure

          @ mac..chrs..

          ..this one really pisses me i’ll be bringing it up regularly over the next yr..

 me it couldn’t be a clearer example of how this govt just doesn’t fucken care..

          ..60 yrs old..? glaucoma..?..need a simple operation to save yr sight..?

 no money to pay for private..?

          ..then get fucked..!..go blind..!

          (and on a cynical/political note..lab/grns would harvest grey-votes by promising to fix this..and other arbitrary cut-off dates for help..)

          ..and how could that not be a better example of new zealand life in 2013..after 30 yrs of randite/neo-lib policies..

          ..the ‘labour’ party wants to increase the pension age to make workers work to the age of 67..

          ..and yet if any of those workers develop glaucoma @ age 60…the govt says ‘tough shit!’..

          ..this is the current state of our shredded social contract..

          ..and do labour already have policies to fix this..?

          …if not..why not..?

          ..not at all tardy in rushing out that pension age or gst raise promise/

          ..can i just say slowly..?..that it would seem/going on actions/words to date..that..


          ..that new year policy-announcement had better be good..

          ..phillip ure..

          • karol

            Crap. So now I’m over 60, but I also have been told I need to get regular checks for glaucoma because my mother had it – strong chance I’ll get it, but it needs to be caught early.

        • RedbaronCv

          Has to be brain dead doesn’t it. Anybone with poor eye sight will require a lot eatra in supporting services which cost money…

          • karol

            Agreed, Redbaron. And I checked online: the people most likely to get glaucoma are the people over 60 years – and treating it early gets the best results.

            And South East Asian people are one of the ethnic groups most likely to get it, plus 3 times more women get it than men

            – who made the decision to stop funding glaucoma treatment to the over 60s again?

    • Draco T Bastard 4.2

      How is removing assistance, i.e. effectively discouraging people from education, an advantage to any New Zealander? Or New Zealand as a whole?

      It serves the rich and powerful because people who aren’t well educated don’t know enough to take apart the lies that they’re being told. Basically, it helps the few to become richer at everyone else’s expense.

      • blue leopard (Get Lost GCSB Bill) 4.2.1

        +1 DTB

        Which is one of the major reasons I am railing against the as-least-as-possible-knowledge (or unknowledge) economy that we appear to be developing.

        My comment above appears to have been deviated into framing it into an argument re jobs, yet this is o.k because jobs for all would be one of the many benefits created by a society that stopped believing the utter shite we are being fed.

      • KJT 4.2.2

        It also means that the children of the poor cannot compete with their overprivileged brats for the good jobs.

        Also the reason for cheap, 3 R’s basic job education for the poor and a real education for the rich.
        The real reason why they want to fuck up State education.
        Another way of entrenching privilege.

      • Paul 4.2.3

        George Carlin

        “But I’ll tell you what they don’t want. They don’t want a population of citizens capable of critical thinking. They don’t want well-informed, well-educated people capable of critical thinking. They’re not interested in that. That doesn’t help them. That’s against their interests. They don’t want people who are smart enough to sit around the kitchen table and figure out how badly they’re getting ****** by a system that threw them overboard 30 fucking years ago.

        “You know what they want? Obedient workers ­ people who are just smart enough to run the machines and do the paperwork but just dumb enough to passively accept all these increasingly shittier jobs with the lower pay, the longer hours, reduced benefits, the end of overtime and the vanishing pension that disappears the minute you go to collect it.”

        A prophet of our times.

        • blue leopard (Get Lost GCSB Bill)

          yes, ‘they’ appear to be doing a marvellous job of it in New Zealand….

    • Tracey 4.3

      “a 2007 report by PricewaterhouseCoopers for the Adult Community Education organization. It concluded the estimated national economic gain of this type of adult education is in the range of $4.8 billion to $6.3 billion. Not bad for a government investment of just $16 million per year.”

      Johnathan Coleman waxing lyrical in 2007

      By waxing lyrical I mean lying to the electorate

      • karol 4.3.1

        Wow. interesting that the stats are out there.

      • blue leopard (Get Lost GCSB Bill) 4.3.2

        Great link Tracey,

        …and he went on to vote the removal of the funds for these adult learners…


        Where are these peoples’ heads at??

        • Colonial Viper

          Firstly, they’re not interested in nation building or strengthening the social or economic fabric of the country.

  5. tricledrown 5

    Ironic when Clark govt were looking at closing down small rural night classes because of poor attendence Blinglish ripped into the govt saying if you close these night classe down you will damage the social cohesion of these communities .
    Blinglish’s hypocracy soon as he gets his hands on the till he cut all night school funding.
    Just another double dipping double dealing dipstick.

    • chris73 5.1

      Got a link for that?

      • Paul 5.1.1

        Right wing trolls like you never feel the need to support outlandish opinions with either reason or supporting evidence. Do you suddenly believe in the need for it?

      • North 5.1.2

        Might this do Piss73 ?

        Or this Piss73 ?

        Got a link to refute any part of what Tricledown@5 had to say above Piss73 or are you just being dishonest again ?

        You ain’t ? Well never mind…….maybe Blinglish can give us one.

        Oh hang on……….from the Stuff article above………”Mr English did not return requests for comment last week.”

        There are only a few days of this year left in which to stop being your usual dumbfuck self Piss73.

        • chris73

          You still haven’t explained what you meant by this North:

          “You’re a nutter Piss73. Give the missus a serious seeing to when she got home late with the Maccers dinner and no dipping sauce didya ?”

          Will you ever explain it or are you just a coward?

          • bad12

            If you cannot figure that out Chris73 you need to go back to school, i suggest you start at kindergarten…

            • chris73

              In that case I’d like to know why he thinks I would give my wife a hiding (assuming thats what hes referring to) and why he thinks accusing someone of violence towards women is ok simply because he disagrees with my views

              • North

                Piss73………good of you to say “(assuming thats what hes referring to)” – [apostrophes please].

                Some Very-Un-Crosby-Textor like acknowledgment there Piss73. Still 5 days left to complete the reformation.

                But please Piss73, back to the matter of the “link”. Coward ?

          • blue leopard (Get Lost GCSB Bill)

            How about acknowledging that Bill English is indeed the political point scoring fixated double-dealer that Tricledrown was describing.

            Funny how this ‘just opposing for political point scoring’ is what National in parliament regularly accuse every other party of doing. Hypocrites.

          • North

            There are certainly some tacks in the boots you borrowed to walk 20 miles to vote Tory what, Piss73 ?

            Get over the vacuity defining your skull cavity insufferable cargo-cult snob you.

            Zooming round in the Vitara you acknowledge you’re stuck with while asprayshuns to the Land Cruiser or whatever you wanked on about remain unrealised on Planet Key.

            While the missus trudges home on foot with the Maccers sans dipping sauce, quelle horreur.

            Let it go KeyStoned Kupapa.

            • chris73

              Its a very simple question:

              Do you think accusing someone of bashing their wife is acceptable

              Yes or No

              • North

                You are now hardout charging that that’s what I said Piss73 ? So you’ve gone back on “(assuming thats what hes referring to)”. Please Piss73…….make up your mind. Pick your line of bullshit and stick with it for much longer before you tack off. The duration of one thread is way too quick.

                Very Un-Crosby-Textor of you Piss73.

                • chris73

                  Being that you won’t answer my original question as to what you meant when you posted this:

                  “You’re a nutter Piss73. Give the missus a serious seeing to when she got home late with the Maccers dinner and no dipping sauce didya ?”

                  I can only assume you were saying I commit violence on my wife

                  But what really happened is you posted something you didn’t mean to (maybe got a bit over-excited) and instead of owning up to it you just dance around the subject instead of coming out and saying it was a thoughtless and dumb comment

                  But by all means continue your attempts at obfuscation

                  • felix


                    You keep insisting that he answer your “original question” but apparently his question came before yours.

                    Perhaps you should answer first, just so it doesn’t look like you’re being hypocritical.

                    Also, your interpretation is entirely your own. I’ve never heard anyone use “seeing to” as a description of violence.

                    • chris73

                      Seriously? Well ok then (just so I’m mot accused of being a hypocrite)

                      “You’re a nutter Piss73. Give the missus a serious seeing to when she got home late with the Maccers dinner and no dipping sauce didya ?”

                      – No I did not

                      Also, your interpretation is entirely your own. I’ve never heard anyone use “seeing to” as a description of violence.

                      – It doesn’t really make sense then does it: come home late (bad) and without sauce (bad) is more likely a set up towards domestic violence

                    • felix

                      Only in your mind are those things a logical precursor to violence. No-one else seems to be making the connection.

                      (except you, pretty much daily).

                    • Te Reo Putake

                      When I first saw the comment I thought it implied Chris was capable of violence. I still do. Given his occasional macho posturing and what I recall is an expressed liking of guns and the military, that’s not to big a leap to make, but it didn’t need to expressed like that.

                      The way I read the comment was that the ‘no dipping sauce’ would be an excuse for anger, followed by a ‘seeing to’. It didn’t occur to me then that the violence might be sexual, but it does now.

                    • chris73

                      To Te Reo Putake:

                      Thats fine to think that based on comments I’ve made as long as you realise I’ve never and would never abuse my wife

                      After seeing what my mom went through its something I would never do and as such I may be a bit touchy around the subject

                    • felix

                      “Thats fine to think that based on comments I’ve made as long as you realise I’ve never and would never abuse my wife”

                      Why should anyone realise that? “You” are nothing but a pseudonym on a blog. You can say you’ve never driven drunk or kicked a dog or injected meth into your penis if you like, but none of those statements are testable so none of them count.

                      Same goes for being married, being in the military, or any of the other stories you tell. None of it is testable so none of it counts for anything.

                      Keep protesting “your” innocence all you like but it does seem like protesting a bit much for someone who doesn’t really exist in any meaningful way.

                    • blue leopard (Get Lost GCSB Bill)


                      I acknowledge that you have successfully diverted the conversation after having been proven completely wrong, however this conversation is really getting bizarre.

                      Perhaps you could have provided a link to the comment that you are quoting of North and then perhaps North might have had the good grace to explain it?

                      I have to agree with TRP and Tracey (below) what you quoted sounded like an accusation of violence, and I think it is perfectly sane to not to want to be accused of wife bashing and really that wish requires no further explanation about background etc. It should be honoured.

                      Felix, what are you trying to prove here? That you are prepared to argue a point no matter how ridiculous it is?

                    • felix

                      Nope, I’m trying to prove exactly what I wrote: That no-one gets to make unverifiable claims online about their real lives from under the cloak of pseudonymity and have them taken seriously.

              • Murray Olsen

                I don’t think accusing someone of bashing their wife is acceptable.
                I don’t think someone bashing their wife is acceptable.
                I don’t think neoliberal economics are acceptable.
                I don’t think a Labour party that still only goes as far as promising a few crumbs while people like Goff, Parker, and Mallard are cheerleaders for neoliberalism and Rogernomics is acceptable.

                Chris73, I think you spout a load of rubbish and have no idea why you bother, but I have no reason to suspect that you bash your wife.

                Merry Christmas.

                • veutoviper

                  Murray, thank you so much for expressing what I have been thinking about this very sorry ongoing saga. I have felt really sad about this saga, but did not want to get involved.

                  Give it away people, you and we – and the TS – do not need it. Chris may have different views to most of us here, but let us not descent to the Sewer’s standards for interaction.

    • blue leopard (Get Lost GCSB Bill) 5.2

      Interesting – good to have reminders like that one Tricledrown

      It just seems like politicians have lost the plot and no longer consider the interests of New Zealanders as their main focus, rather pathetic point scoring seems to be what they believe their role in society is.

      What a complete waste of money it is paying such misguided airheads.

      I used to reserve some respect for politicians, acknowledging how hard it is to please everyone – however I am fast losing this attitude. Let’s face it, it is not rocket science to address the main needs of society; they are simply refusing to do it.

      • North 5.2.1

        Yes Blue Leopard you’re right – look at the current nutting on about the “stronger economy”. Designed to conceal that ShonKey Python is a repatriated robber baron whose “business” is to deliver NZ to the mostly foreign sometimes domestic super rich.

        Begs the question “Whose fucking economy ?”.

        Oh don’t worry, no answer needed. Especially when eagerly assisted by dumbfuck cargo-cultist soldiers/trolls the likes of Piss73.

        To whom honest acknowledgment is as quaintly silly a concept as it is to the government funded lie machine Crosby Textor.

        • Draco T Bastard

          Begs the question “Whose fucking economy ?”

          That is a question all parties on the left need to keep asking and then finish with the point that it’s our economy and not that of the rich or the politicians.

          • blue leopard (Get Lost GCSB Bill)

            Yes DTB & North

            That is a good question. I shall be repeating that question from time to time (read ad infinitum) me thinks.

  6. New Years Resolution for 2014: Wake up to the Methane Bomb

    “From 2007 (location d on Figure 13) the mean atmospheric methane exceeded 1785 – 1795 ppb and increased at a much faster rate than the atmospheric carbon dioxide. This confirms that in 2007, the subsea Arctic Ocean methane clathrate gun began to fire a continuous volley of methane into the Arctic atmosphere (Figure 13, position d) and that we are now power diving into extinction by the Mid 21st Century unless we take immediate and drastic action to remove large volumes of methane from the atmosphere.”

  7. tricledrown 7

    C73 I listened to parliament the day he made his plea.
    Cult 73
    The Cult of greed who think theyare more deserving than those in need.

  8. bad12 8

    Can i come out of hiding now, is that christmas thing over, if i hear a supposedly mature adult paid 100’s of 1000’s of dollars to read the news tell me that ‘there is only one more sleep to Santa’ again i swear i will not be responsible for my actions…

    • karol 8.1

      Ti’s OK, bad, the MSM is back to business as usual – lots of reports about bashings, crime and violence. I guess the good will season is already done!

      Oh, but good news is, lots of Boxing Day sales. And foodbanks and City Mission work will disappear from the news – t’is only attended to seasonally so the comfortable folks can feel charitable at Christmas.

      • chris73 8.1.1

        Don’t forget Jesse Ryders (hopefully) triumphant return to the international cricket stage

        • chris73

          So thats not working out too well at the moment…

        • millsy

          If scoring 20’s and 30’s were key to winning international cricket matches then Ryder would be first pick in my batting line-up.

      • bad12 8.1.2

        i see it all as a puke-stain on the history of humanity, having bought into a couple of gross fantasies perpetrated by the system all these men, and sometimes woman, then begin to exhibit guilt traits masked by acts of wanton violence usually spurred by that other ‘must have’ at this time of year, alcohol,

        Perhaps there is need for a denialist movement where people who want to turn away from such a consumerist atrocity can gather together to teach each other to simply ignore the day,

        Bishop Bad’s Denialist Church of the one and only original sin coming to a town near you…

  9. captain hook 9

    lot of stuff coming out of area 52 today.

  10. Will@Welly 10

    The rich – “Look, all those people, getting all that free food and being entertained, at places like the City Mission. Wonderful. They are sooo lucky. And here we are at home, the butler and the keep slaving away for hours just to feed us dears for lunch. Oh, where’s the bolly, luv, I need a top up.”
    Yes, overnight the plight of the poor will disappear from the face of society as the media focuses on the “Boxing Day” sales, as if this is a great benefit to the nation. Most of that will go on the credit card, only exacerbating the country’s debt.
    Wouldn’t it be nice if Councils around the country organised community events that brought people together, in a sharing/caring environment.

    • Colonial Viper 10.1

      Its been a great year financially for the top 20% of households. Can we not be pleased for the middle and upper class of the nation who deserve our thanks and admiration?

  11. tracey 11

    just listening to j colins on radio. despite coming fron a party that says you cant define poverty she says her grandmother raised 7 children alibe in rural nz in the 20s ” i poverty” so one minister can defibe poverty.

    collibs mother was denied secondary school to help on the farm and ensured her own children got education. i note collins law degree was free with no loan…

    interestibg how nat mps use the hardship poverty card to nake it seem like they ubderstand while kicking ladders away right left and ctre.

    • that collins has turned into an uncaring rightwinger..

      ..who doesn’t give a flying fuck about those one in four new zealand children currently living in the miseries of poverty..

      ..says what about her..?

      ..phillip ure..


  12. tracey 12


    i took “seeing to” to mean sex. either way the comment was imo appalling and has no place.

    • chris73 12.1

      Either way I’d just like to know why he said it, people can say what they like about me and thats fine but to drag my wife into it and accuse me beating her (which is how I took it) is way below the belt

      • felix 12.1.1

        You’re the only person here who has written about beating your wife.

        And you do it with monotonous regularity.

  13. tricledrown 13

    Collins mother would have not been able to give her a good education.
    Without labour govt reforms.

  14. tracey 14

    selective amnesia is a common trait of those wholean to the right

  15. North 15

    Has no place Tracey ? Agreed.

    What has no place ? A comment on which you stamp your meaning and then launch it as mine ? The meaning is yours. I agree. No place.

    This is the hoary old chestnut Piss73 trots out every time he’s in a tight spot. For the most recent instance have a look at 5 to above. Sneeringly demands a link , gets it, uh oh, hoary old chestnut time again.

    Piss73 – what was it Harry Truman said about kitchens and heat ?

  16. Rogue Trooper 16

    “The Happiest Christmas of All” from His Master’s Voice
    …and they will call him Immanuel (meaning ‘God with us’) Matthew 1:23.

    Maybe… we shall live again

    All the best for the coming year, John.

  17. tracey 17

    whatever north

    if someone cant dialogue with someone they disagree with without resorting to nasty fiction they have to accept how that makes them look. playing the person not the ball achieves nothing but perpetuates the bs. violence toward women is real and serious and not to be belittled by childlike outbursts on a forum.

    • North 17.1

      Whatever Tracey. Indulge yourself with more of YOUR meaning if it makes you feel good. I never owned YOUR meaning. Do I speak loudly enough for those ears of yours way up there on that high horse ?

      • infused 17.1.1

        North, your a fucking moron. Simple as that. You abuse everyone. Trying to mash how simple minded and uneducated you really are

        • North

          Mash ??? Chur !!!

          Let us (including the hair triggered Tracey) not forget that you Confused, Piss73, Tighty Righty, BM, SS-Lands et al have made a bloody career on TS out of demonising and scandalising. Aggressively prosyletising for hatred against the poor for their insistence (by their mere existence) on sabotaging ShonKey Python’s Brighter Future (ahem).

          Variously lazy, fat, live-off -takeaways, irresponsible, plenty of jobs if you want them, stop the underclass breeding, etc etc etc ad absurdum. Scum the lot of them.

          This quote from the old boy on Dads Army is so apposite re you and your mates Confused – “………they do not like it up ’em!”

          Tough for you, hypocritical wee soldiers of the Prime Mournister. Grow up and learn to take some of your own medicine without clutching your pearls in the mortified style of Dame Edna Everidge.

          I’m prepared to punt Confused……..don’t flirt with “simple minded” and “uneducated”. Those particular horses might kick you back very hard.

          • BM

            Been on the White mans fire water again, north?

            Do yourself a favor, bro and stick to the milk don’t want you going all Jake the Muss like and getting yourself in trouble.

          • infused

            You should probably pass around your gear so we can both get on the same high so I can understand you.

  18. Naturesong 18

    While the newspapers and other media outlets bang on about and how your successful christmas depends on you consuming massive amounts of food and buying loads of shit for people I like to take a moment every year and play Tim Minchin’s White Wine in the Sun

    It’s always how this atheist has felt (since I was 15 and old enough to drink with my parents), and have never been able to articulate properly, until Tim came along and said it more perfectly than I ever could.

  19. rich the other 19

    Global Warming/ climate change ,BUGGER.
    Stuck in the ice, it must have been warmer 100 year ago

    ”The 30-year-old vessel is part of the Australasian Antarctic Expedition, a voyage organised by a group of scientists to mark the 100-year anniversary of a similar trip by Australian explorer Sir Douglas Mawson.

    “After all day yesterday pushing through dense pack ice we came to a point where we could go no further, the ice sheet was unbroken and several metres thick. Today has been frustrating, by this afternoon we were only a few kilometres west of where we had been 24 hours previously.”

    Help is on the way.
    This lot must believe their own Bull.

  20. Paul 20

    Saw this excellent article which could be linked to to great post Karol made the other day on ‘Not the Brighter Future.’

    “Brainwashed by the cult of the super-rich.”

    Some key quotes from this article for us in New Zealand.

    “What we’ve been realising for some time now is that, for all the team sport rhetoric, only two sides are really at play in Britain and beyond: Team Super-Rich and Team Everyone Else.”

    “The rich are not merely different: they’ve become a cult which drafts us as members. We are invited to deceive ourselves into believing we are playing for the same stakes while worshipping the same ideals, a process labelled “aspiration”. ”

    ” The adulation of royalty is not a harmless anachronism; it is calculated totem worship that only entrenches the bizarre notion that some people are rich simply because they are more deserving but somehow they are still just like us.”

    “Cults rely on spectacles of opulence intended to stoke an obsessive veneration for riches.”

    “Cue the predictable charge of “class envy” or what Boris Johnson dismisses as “bashing or moaning or preaching or bitching”. Issued by its high priests, this brand of condemnation is integral to the cult of the rich. We must repeat the mantra that the greed of a few means prosperity for all. ”

    “Cultish thinking means that the stupendously rich who throw small slivers of their fortunes at charity… … become instant saints.”

    “The cult of the rich propounds the idea that vast economic inequalities are both natural and just: the winner who takes most is, like any cult hero, just more intelligent and deserving, even when inherited affluence gives them a head start.”

    “The demonising of the poor is the flip side of the cult of the rich.”

    ” It is time to change it through reality checks, not reality shows.”

    • Flip 20.1

      As commentators on the article pointed out it is a complex problem. But a rally cry is needed and this is it. One solution to inequality is to make capital’s return worth less and labour’s return worth more. A person’s very existence can be valued in providing a universal basic income. Society is wealthy enough to do this. The evidence is the excessive consumption and wealth. Wealth needs to be redistributed more evenly.

  21. Tracey 21

    Thanks paul

    I continue to be amazed at how the constant dangling of the carrot of more money is enough for people to vote against their own best interests. In some case for decades.

  22. Tracey 22

    Thanks paul

    I continue to be amazed at how the constant dangling of the carrot of more money is enough for people to vote against their own best interests. In some case for decades.

Links to post

Recent Comments

Recent Posts

  • Close Tiwai Point
    Tiwai Point's electricity contract is up for renewal. And as usual, they're sticking their hand out, demanding a government subsidy, and threatening to close if they don't get one:The owners of the aluminium smelter said on Wednesday that there were seeking talks with the Government amid a strategic review which ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    8 hours ago
  • How volcanoes influence climate and how their emissions compare to what we produce
    Climate Explained is a collaboration between The Conversation, Stuff and the New Zealand Science Media Centre to answer your questions about climate change. If you have a question you’d like an expert to answer, please send it to Everyone is going on about reducing our carbon footprint, zero ...
    SciBlogsBy Guest Author
    10 hours ago
  • ACT: Backed by Nazis
    So, it turns out that the ACT Party - which previously called itself "the liberal party" - is financed by Nazis:ACT Party leader David Seymour says his party will not return a donation from Mike Allen, a Christchurch businessman who sells mock "Make America Great Again" hats to fund advertising ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    11 hours ago
  • Counting Barretts
    Just in case you don’t have a seven-year-old boy in your house (in which case this will be obvious) a well-known brand of breakfast cereal here in NZ is currently coming with All-Blacks stats cards. Perfect for finding out your favourite rugby player’s height, number of caps, and how much ...
    SciBlogsBy Marcus Wilson
    11 hours ago
  • Bullying their critics
    Over the past month we've heard some horrific stories about bullying in the police. The police's response? Try to bully people into silence:The police have told a whistleblower to retract his statements to RNZ about being bullied or face legal action. The demand came just hours after Police Commissioner Mike ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    15 hours ago
  • Member’s Day: End of Life Choice, part 5
    Today is a Member's Day, which should see the final part of the committee stage of David Seymour's End of Life Choice Bill. The big question today is the referendum clause: will it be necessary, or can the bill pass without it? While the majorities for his amendments during the ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    15 hours ago
  • There is no ‘gendered brain’
    One of the key arguments used by trans ideologists is that some male-bodied people (ie men) are women because they ‘feel’ they are women.  To make this hocus-pocus sound a bit more credible, some will argue that such men have a ‘female brain’.  But this is thoroughly anti-scientific too. . ...
    RedlineBy Admin
    15 hours ago
  • Canada’s electoral system is broken
    Canadians went to the polls today in parliamentary elections, and appear to have re-elected blackface wearer Justin Trudeau. Unfortunately, they use first-past-the-post, and they've provided a perfect demonstration of how unfair this system is:PartySeats% Seats% VoteLiberal15746.4%33.1%Conservative12135.8%34.4%Bloc Québécois329.5%7.7%New Democratic Party247.1%15.9%Green Party30.9%6.5%Other10.3%2.4% [Results from Elections Canada] Yes, the Liberals got fewer votes ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 day ago
  • Measles: the quackery that is homeopathic “vaccination”
    A few days ago, a friend sent me a link to a health-related FB page that had published a post from a homeopathist, offering homeopathic “vaccination”¹ against measles (using something called a “Morbillinum nosode” at a “potency” of 200C, which I’ll explain shortly). I followed the link, left a comment ...
    SciBlogsBy Alison Campbell
    1 day ago
  • Colombia: 20th anniversary of La Gabarra massacre
    by Gearóid Ó Loingsigh This year marks the 20th anniversary of the La Gabarra massacre. The community organised an event to remember the most well-known of the horrendous heart-breaking events that befell the communities of this area of the municipality of Tibú: the massacre carried out on August 21st 1999. ...
    RedlineBy Admin
    1 day ago
  • A prediction
    There was another police chase in Christchurch this morning, resulting in a crash which killed one person and injured five more. Because someone died, the chase is being investigated by the Independent Police Conduct Authority. And based on previous reports by the IPCA, we know how it will go: the ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 days ago
  • Climate Change: The Zero Carbon Bill
    Just a month ago we saw the biggest protest in a generation as people marched to demand stronger action on climate change. A core demand of the protesters was to strengthen the Zero Carbon Bill's target to net-zero by 2040. So what is the government's response? Judging by the ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 days ago
  • Zombie ants, updated
    Back in 2010, I wrote about the strange tale of the zombie ants, which do the bidding of their fungal overlords. (They’re not an isolated example; a range of parasites change their hosts’ behaviour. See here and here for example – though as you’ll find, the toxoplasmosis story may be ...
    SciBlogsBy Alison Campbell
    2 days ago
  • Paying For Our Pakeha “Guilt” And “Privilege”.
    Shouldn't That Be: "Wrong White Crowd"? Rather than apportion guilt, would it not have been wiser for the makers of Land Of The Long White Cloud to accept that the Pakeha of 2019 are not – and never will be – “Europeans”? Just as contemporary Maori are not – and ...
    2 days ago
  • A Bodyguard of Truths.
    One, Two, Many Truths: With the collapse of “actually existing socialism” in 1991, the universities of the West found themselves saddled with a new mission. With their ideological competitors now soundly defeated they were no longer required to demonstrate the superiority of capitalist values. Their job now was to cement ...
    2 days ago
  • A call to unionists
    by the Council of Disobedient Women   We call on the Council of Trade Unions to show some fortitude and take a stand with your sisters. Unionists know that there is a material world, otherwise workers could simply identify out of poverty. They could declare themselves Well Paid. Why stop ...
    RedlineBy Daphna
    2 days ago
  • Sophistry and bullshit
    I spent some time reading the Regulatory Impact Statement and Bill of Rights Act advice for the government's odious control order scheme today. I am not impressed with either of them. Starting with the RIS, it is built on some pretty questionable assumptions. For example:Unless individuals have been convicted of ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 days ago
  • I’m so fly, I’m #NoFly!
    #NoFly: Walking the talk on climate change, by Shaun Hendy. BWB Texts, 2019. Reviewed by Robert McLachlan In June 2018, Swede Maja Rosén founded We stay on the ground with a pledge not to fly in 2019, and a goal of persuading 100,000 other Swedes to join her. In August, ...
    SciBlogsBy Guest Author
    2 days ago
  • Punishing the young
    We all know that NZ First is a party of and for old people who hate the young. But they've topped their previous pedophobia with a proposal that all young people be forced to do 100 hours community work:NZ First wants all young people to do 100 hours of community ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    3 days ago
  • Journalism, clickbait, & ideas of classical beauty – but not science
    A couple days ago the NZ Herald published a story with the headline, “Science says Bella Hadid is world’s most beautiful woman“, and followed up with the ridiculous statement that Supermodel Bella Hadid has been declared as the world’s most beautiful woman following a scientific study into what constitutes as ...
    SciBlogsBy Alison Campbell
    3 days ago
  • Is Simon’s Smile Sustainable?
    A Sustainable Proposition: With as much as 18 percent of the electorate declaring itself “undecided” about who to vote for, there is obviously plenty of space for a party like former Green Party member, Vernon Tava's, about-to-be-launched "Sustainable NZ Party" to move into. The most hospitable political territory for such ...
    3 days ago
  • What the actual Hell?
    Keir Starmer has hinted that Labour might vote in favour of the Johnson government's shoddy deal, with the proviso that a second referendum is attached:Speaking to BBC One’s The Andrew Marr Show, he said: “We will see what that looks like but it makes sense to say that by whatever ...
    3 days ago
  • Hard News: Dealer’s Choice, an oral history from Planet 1994
    In 1994, I was the editor for an issue of Planet magazine focused on cannabis, its culture and the prospects for the end of its prohibition. Part of that issue was an interview with 'Ringo', an experienced cannabis dealer.I recently posted my essay from that issue, and I figured it ...
    4 days ago
  • The invasion of women’s sports by men: some facts
    Dr Helen Waite, sports sociologist and former elite athlete, on the invasion of women’s sport by men and the anti-scientific and misogynist ideology used to rationalise it.   ...
    RedlineBy Admin
    5 days ago
  • Remainers starting to sound like fascists
    As Brexit comes to a grisly conclusion (perhaps) people on all sides are saying intemperate and uwise things.  Some, like the Daly Mail, have been doing it for years.People as normally level headed as Jon Lansman are calling for automatic deselection of MPs who vote against a (likely) Labour three ...
    5 days ago
  • Labour MPs supporting Johnson’s turd-sandwich deal?
    I find this unbelievable:
    I've got one source saying more Labour MPs than expected are mulling whether to vote for the deal - including names who were not on the letter to Juncker and Tusk— Emilio Casalicchio (@e_casalicchio) 17 October 2019 I've compiled a list of possible reasons why Labour ...
    5 days ago
  • Why do we need control orders again?
    On Wednesday, the government was loudly telling us that it needed to legislate to allow it to impose "control orders" - effectively a parole regime, but imposed without charge, prosecution, conviction or real evidence - on suspected terrorists because they couldn't be prosecuted for their supposed crimes. Today, it turns ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    5 days ago
  • Bullshitting the Minister
    On Monday, the Hit and Run inquiry heard from NZDF's former director of special operations, who claimed that the defence Minister knew everything about the Operation Burnham raid. Today, the inquiry heard from that (former) Minister - and it turns out that he didn't know nearly as much as NZDF ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    5 days ago
  • Speaker: Extinction Rebellion is not a cult (but ecstasy for the people)
    Yoga gurus and cult leaders – I’ve seen a few. Two weeks ago, I unknowingly joined an alleged new-age cult at the Kāpiti coast, together with a giant kraken and some neatly dressed pensioners who would make any book club proud.They were among the two hundred people of all ages ...
    6 days ago
  • We need to bring the police under control
    The last decade has seen a trend of increasing weapons availability to police. Assault rifles. Tasers on every hip. Guns in cars. And following the march 15 massacre, pistols on every hip, all over the country. At the same time, its also seen an increase in the abuse of force: ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    6 days ago
  • If you can’t measure it, does it exist?
    In the last couple of weeks, I’ve been busy preparing for our summer paper on Science Communication. Looking for something amusing about ‘risk’ in science, I came across this neat cartoon about why so many people come knocking on my door (or phoning me, or emailing me) desperately wanting ...
    SciBlogsBy Marcus Wilson
    6 days ago
  • Swinson’s swithering
    Jo Swinson is doing even worse at this Being Sensible lark that I'd thought.  I've just become aware of the following utterance
    .@KayBurley presses Lib Dem leader @joswinson on whether she would agree to a #Brexit deal 'no matter how bad a deal it is' as long as it had ...
    6 days ago
  • Women’s rights, trans ideology and Gramsci’s morbid symptoms
    by John Edmundson The International Socialist Organisation (ISO) have recently reposted a February article, by Romany Tasker-Poland, explaining ISO’s position in the “trans rights” debate.  It is available on their website and on their Facebook Page.  The article sets out to explain why “socialists support trans rights”.  It reads more ...
    RedlineBy Admin
    7 days ago
  • We need to take guns off police
    Today's IPCA report of police criminality: a police officer unalwfully tasered a fleeing suspect who posed no threat to anyone:The police watchdog has found an officer unlawfully tasered an Auckland man who broke his ankle jumping off a balcony to escape arrest. [...] To avoid arrest, the man jumped over ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    7 days ago
  • “Bringing kindness back”
    "Auckland City Mission: 10% of Kiwis experiencing food insecurity", RNZ, 16 October 2019:About half a million people are experiencing food insecurity, according to new research from the Auckland City Mission. Food insecurity, or food poverty, is defined as not having enough appropriate food. The City Mission said over the last ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    7 days ago
  • Press Release: “Fake News” from Auckland City Council CCOs Board Chairs re pay and performance b...
    Media Statement for Immediate Release 16th October 2019 “Fake News” from Auckland City Council CCOs Board Chairs re pay and performance bonuses for top managers Despite comments from Auckland City Council CCOs Board Chairs re pay and performance bonuses for top managers—Herald Newspaper Tuesday Oct 15th–there is very little evidence ...
    Closing the GapBy Tracey Sharp
    7 days ago
  • Ever-So-Slightly Bonkers: Simon Bridges Plays To His Base.
    Would You Buy A Used Propaganda Video From This Man? Bridges and the National Party’s strategists have discovered that the ideas and attitudes considered acceptable by today’s editors and journalists are no longer enforceable. The rise and rise of the Internet and the social media platforms it spawned means that ...
    7 days ago
  • Asking for food
    There is plenty of evidence of the way the business mentality has permeated every level of society since the recrudescence of market liberalism 35 years ago. You only need to think of how citizens in need of help from their government, their state, their country, are now routinely described as ...
    Opposable ThumbBy Unknown
    7 days ago
  • Forty years of change in the jobs Kiwi do and the places they call home
    John MacCormick Over the last 40 years, New Zealanders – and people in other countries – have experienced big changes in the jobs they do and where they live and work. These changes include: a decline in manufacturing jobs an increase in jobs in ‘information-intensive’ industries (which are better paid ...
    SciBlogsBy Guest Author
    7 days ago
  • Protecting Fresh Waterways in Aotearoa/NZ: The Strong Public Health Case
    Nick Wilson, Leah Grout, Mereana Wilson, Anja Mizdrak, Phil Shoemack, Michael Baker Protecting waterways has the benefits of: (1) protecting water from hazardous microbes; (2) minimising cancer risk and other problems from nitrates in water; (3) avoiding algal blooms that are hazardous to health; (4) protecting mahinga kai uses (cultural ...
    SciBlogsBy Public Health Expert
    1 week ago
  • Massey University triggered to rebrand
    by The Council of Disobedient Women In a press release today Massey University announced it has decided to rebrand and reorientate after struggling to be a University for grown-ups. For some time the University has wanted to be a safe play space for wee-woke-misogynists who have been really badly triggered ...
    RedlineBy Daphna
    1 week ago
  • Swinson backing calls for a second referendum (again)
    After a brief dalliance with 'hard Revoke' it looks like the Lib Dems are changing ground on on Brexit, with leader Jo Swinson reverting to calling for a second referendum on Johnson's deal.The party has tabled an amendment to the Queen’s speech requesting that any deal brought back from Brussels ...
    1 week ago
  • An odious bill
    The government has decided that someone has done Something Bad. But despite their belief, there seems to be no evidence that they have actually broken the law. So the government's solution is to pass a retrospective law allowing them to be punished anyway, on a lower standard of proof. If ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • National is now the party of climate arson
    So, Judith Collins has done a Facebook rant about climate change, peddling the same shit National has been shovelling for the past twenty years: the impacts are overstated, there's no need to do anything about it, and its too hard anyway (oh, and its so unfair that people who peddle ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • The environmental footprint of electric versus fossil car
    Climate Explained is a collaboration between The Conversation, Stuff and the New Zealand Science Media Centre to answer your questions about climate change. If you have a question you’d like an expert to answer, please send it to There is a lot of discussion on the benefits of ...
    SciBlogsBy Guest Author
    1 week ago
  • “Manifest” by Andrew Bird – A Song For The Times.
    I came across this song quite by accident. If it isn't one of Greta Thunberg's favourites - it should be.Video courtesy of YouTube.This post is exclusive to Bowalley Road. ...
    1 week ago
  • Passing the buck
    Last month, NZDF's shoddy coverup of what it knew about civilian casualties in Operation Burnham began to fall apart, with the revelation that a report on the matter, which NZDF claimed not to have, had been sitting in an NZDF safe for the past nine years. Yesterday, the man responsible ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • India a major player in Earth observation satellites
    While many imagine that countries like the USA and Europe dominate space activities, in fact India is now a major player on this stage. It launches satellites for its own purposes and also commercially, and has constellations orbiting our planet and returning data of vital importance to that nation in ...
    SciBlogsBy Duncan Steel
    1 week ago
  • The rot at the top (2).
    Thanks to a report from the Acting Inspector General of Intelligence and Security following a complaint by Nicky Hager, we have come to find out that the SIS illegally spied on Mr. Hager on behalf of the NZDF after publication of Hager’s 2011 book, Other People’s Wars. The NZDF justified ...
    KiwipoliticoBy Pablo
    1 week ago
  • Common misconceptions about “Global Warming”
    COMMON MISCONCEPTIONS ABOUT GLOBAL WARMING MYTH 1: Global temperatures are rising at a rapid, unprecedented rate. FACT: The HadCRUT3 surface temperature index, produced by the Hadley Centre of the UK Met Office and the Climate Research Unit of the University of East Anglia, shows warming to 1878, cooling to 1911, ...
    An average kiwiBy
    1 week ago
  • A climate of tyranny
    For the past week, Extinction Rebellion has been peacefully protesting in London to demand action on climate change. The British government's response? Ban their protests:Police have banned Extinction Rebellion protests from continuing anywhere in London, as they moved in almost without warning to clear protesters who remained at the movement’s ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • Collins crushes climate
    An essay by Judith Collins MP reported on Carbon News yesterday seems to show an alarming shift in attitude within the National Party. Collins argues against the Zero Carbon Bill, the Paris Agreement, and downplays the magnitude of climate impacts. The Paris Agreement was adopted in December 2015 and ratified ...
    SciBlogsBy Robert McLachlan
    1 week ago
  • More disappointment
    When they were running for election, Labour promised to overhaul the Employment Relations Act and introduce fair pay agreements to set basic pay and conditions on an industry level, preventing bad employers from undercutting good ones. They followed this up by establishing a working group, which reported back in January ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • What do these mother-child studies really say about fluoridation?
    A list of indicators of bad science – many of these are found in articles promoted by anti-fluoride activists. Anti-fluoride activists have been pouring money into a scaremongering campaign warning pregnant women not to drink fluoridated water. They claim fluoride will lower the IQ of their future child. Fluoride ...
    1 week ago
  • Losing Labour’s Mills-Tone.
    Nothing Left To Say: Labour's pollster, Stephen Mills, remains swaddled-up in the comforting myths of the 1980s. As if the experience of Roger Douglas’s genuinely radical post-Muldoon policy agenda was literally a once-in-a-lifetime thing – as much as the party could possibly absorb for at least the next 50 years.MEMO ...
    1 week ago
  • Speaker: Disability and the Royal Commission of Inquiry into Historical Abuse
    The Royal Commission on abuse in care is very significant for the disability community. For many decades last century, thousands of disabled children, and adults who managed to survive, were locked away from families and communities. This was not for anything they had done, but for the perceived threat their ...
    1 week ago
  • Spain is not a democracy
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • UK Conservatives hate democracy
    With an unfair voting system, uneven electorates and an un-elected upper house, the UK's "democracy" is barely worthy of the name. But now the government wants to make it worse:The government has been accused of suppressing voters’ rights with the potential disenfranchisement of tens of thousands of people after plans ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • What is wrong with our building industry?
    Back in the 90's and early 2000's, the building industry was building leaky homes which should never have been granted consent. Now it turns out they've been building dodgy office blocks as well:New imaging technology has revealed hundreds of major buildings nationwide have defective or missing concrete or reinforcing steel. ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • Local bodies
    Local body election results were released over the weekend, to joy or despair depending on where you live. In Auckland, Phil Goff trounced John Tamihere, who is muttering darkly about running for Parliament again (but which party would want him?) Wellington is now a wholly-owned subsidiary of Weta Workshop, except ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • A future of government
      How could government evolve over the next decades? Reports of democracy’s imminent demise are greatly exaggerated.  However, satisfaction with political systems in many countries is low, so there is much to do for governments of all political stripes to improve relevance and trust. Digital technologies are seen as one ...
    SciBlogsBy Robert Hickson
    2 weeks ago
  • Speaker: Catalonia, interrupted
    Two years have now gone by since the Friday afternoon when my university-student son and I headed out of our Barcelona flat to a nearby primary school, designated as a polling station for the vote that was to be held the following Sunday: the referendum on Catalonia’s independence from Spain ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Sage Decisions Unwisely Over-Ruled.
    Overruled: The joint decision of Finance Minister, Grant Robertson (Labour) and his Associate Minister, David Parker (Labour) arguably the two most powerful ministers in Jacinda Ardern’s government, to grant OceanaGold the consents which Land Information Minister, Eugenie Sage (Greens) had earlier denied them, offers bitter proof of how hard fighting ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Government may ban voting in effort to get more people to do it
    More than double the number of people who will vote in this year’s local body elections have tried marijuana or urinated somewhere they shouldn’t have. As local elections look set for the lowest turnout in decades, with many regions falling well short of 40%, the Government is exploring a number ...
    The CivilianBy admin
    2 weeks ago
  • Woman: Deleted.
    A Statement on Abortion Law Reform by the Council of Disobedient Women   On the eve of bringing an end to antiquated, anti-women abortion laws Green MP Jan Logie intends to write women out of the Bill. With a stroke of the pen, the woke are aiming for total erasure ...
    RedlineBy Daphna
    2 weeks ago
  • The Hollowest of Men Ride Again… SURPRISE!
    Musings continue apace about “the experienced businessman!” soon to be taking up a National Party MP position. Or to be more accurate, being parachuted into a seat to shut down their former MP Jamie-Lee Ross, who despite his own shortcomings shed at least some more light on the inner workings ...
    exhALANtBy exhalantblog
    2 weeks ago
  • Barbaric
    The Ugandan government wants to murder gay people:Uganda has announced plans to impose the death penalty on homosexuals. The bill, colloquially known as “Kill the Gays” in Uganda, was nullified five years ago on a technicality, but the government said on Thursday it plans to resurrect it within weeks. The ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • Is this study legit? 5 questions to ask when reading news stories of medical research
    Hassan Vally, La Trobe University Who doesn’t want to know if drinking that second or third cup of coffee a day will improve your memory, or if sleeping too much increases your risk of a heart attack? We’re invested in staying healthy and many of us are interested in reading ...
    SciBlogsBy Guest Author
    2 weeks ago
  • Fighting Monsters.
    Freedom Of Speech? The Säuberung (cleansing by fire) was the work of the German Student Union which, on 10 May 1933, under the watchful eye of the Nazi Reichminister for Propaganda, Joseph Goebbels, consigned 25,000 books to the flames in a ritual exorcism of “un-German thought”. According to the logic of the ...
    2 weeks ago
  • The next wave of kaupapa Māori politics: its constitutional, it must be.
      “There can be no such thing as kaupapa Māori political parties or politics in Aotearoa” (Willie Jackson, Labour Party (2017). Māori TV, General/List Election Special) I begin with that claim because at the time, I was confounded at first that it fell out of Willie Jackson’s mouth, and then ...
    EllipsisterBy Ellipsister
    2 weeks ago
  • Night lights of NZ from orbit
    New Zealand has prided itself for decades with regard to its lack of pollution, and all will be aware that the ‘100% Pure New Zealand‘ meme is under threat through land, water and air pollution of various causes. There is another type of contamination that the country also faces: light ...
    SciBlogsBy Duncan Steel
    2 weeks ago
  • Reporters deliver uplifting news to fleeing Japanese residents: they won’t miss any rugby
    New Zealand’s media is doing its part in Japan, reassuring those in the path of the storm that they won’t miss any rugby while away from their flooded homes. New Zealand sports reporters stationed in Japan for the Rugby World Cup have had the rare and heartwarming opportunity to inform ...
    The CivilianBy admin
    2 weeks ago
  • Government in contentious discussions about whether to put surplus on red or black
    Regional Development Minister Shane Jones is the only Cabinet member in favour of putting it all on green. As Finance Minister Grant Robertson finds himself with an enormous $7.5 billion surplus, the Government has begun intense, at times contentious conversations about whether to put the money on red or black at ...
    The CivilianBy admin
    2 weeks ago
  • Jordanian teachers’ successful strike has lessons for here
    by Susanne Kemp At the start of September close to 100,000 school teachers went on strike in Jordan.  They demanded a 50% pay rise.  A pay rise actually agreed to by the regime back in 2014. In early October, however, in the face of government repression and threats, the teachers’ ...
    RedlineBy Admin
    2 weeks ago
  • Why some people still think climate change isn’t real
    Climate Explained is a collaboration between The Conversation, Stuff and the New Zealand Science Media Centre to answer your questions about climate change. If you have a question you’d like an expert to answer, please send it to Why do people still think climate change isn’t real? David ...
    SciBlogsBy Guest Author
    2 weeks ago

  • Minister of Finance and Sport and Recreation to visit Japan and Vietnam
    Finance Minister Grant Robertson departs tomorrow for events and meetings in Japan and Vietnam.  While in Japan, he will discuss economic and fiscal issues including meeting with the Minister of Finance, Taro Aso, and Minister of Economic and Fiscal Policy, Yasutoshi Nishimura. He will meet with the Minister of Education, ...
    10 hours ago
  • Dashboard tracks housing progress
    The Government’s Housing Dashboard released today confirms record numbers of state houses are under construction and shows the Government build programme is gaining momentum.  “After nine years of inaction, and a hands-off attitude from the previous government we’re starting to see things move in the right direction for housing,” says ...
    11 hours ago
  • Ministerial Statement on the International Convention Centre fire
    Mr Speaker, I wish to make a ministerial statement relating to the Auckland fire. The Government is closely monitoring the situation with the fire at the NZ International Convention Centre and is thankful that everyone is now safe. Firefighters are doing an incredible job managing the fire and bringing it ...
    13 hours ago
  • Government invests in Te Reo, environmental data research
    The Government is investing in ambitious research that will digitise Te Reo, grow the low-carbon protein efficient aquaculture industry, help interpret environmental trends, and large data sets says Research, Science and Innovation Minister Megan Woods. The four projects range from teaching Siri to speak Te Reo to crunching large environmental ...
    18 hours ago
  • Government announces next steps as part of a comprehensive plan to fix skills gap
    A new education-to-employment brokerage service to strengthen connections between local employers and schools. Funding for more trades focused ‘speed-dating’ events to connect schools with employers. Promotional campaign to raise profile of vocational education. The Government is taking action to increase the number of young people taking up vocational education and ...
    19 hours ago
  • Corrections Amendment Bill passes third reading
    A Bill to improve prison security and ensure the fair, safe, and humane treatment of people in prison while upholding public safety has passed its third reading. Corrections Minister Kelvin Davis says the Corrections Amendment Bill makes a number of changes to ensure the Corrections Act 2004 is fit for ...
    1 day ago
  • Ngāi Tahu CEO appointed to NZ-China Council
    Minister for Māori Development, Nanaia Mahuta, has selected Arihia Bennett MNZM, Chief Executive Officer of Te Rūnanga o Ngāi Tahu, as the Te Puni Kōkiri appointed representative on the New Zealand-China Council. The New Zealand-China Council (the Council) was established in 2012 as a New Zealand led and funded organisation ...
    2 days ago
  • Southern Response claims move to EQC
    Responsibility for processing the small number of Southern Response claims still to be settled will be transferred to EQC by the end of the year. “As claim numbers reduce, it no longer makes sense for the Crown to have two organisations processing the remaining Canterbury claims,” Grant Robertson says. “Since ...
    2 days ago
  • Bowel screening starts in Whanganui
    Health Minister David Clark is encouraging Whanganui residents to take up the opportunity for free bowel screening, which can detect cancer early when it’s easier to treat.   Over the next two years 12,000 Whanganui locals, aged 60 to 74 will be invited to participate in the National Bowel Screening ...
    2 days ago
  • Pacific Peoples Minister to attend Our Ocean Conference in Norway
    Minister for Pacific Peoples Aupito William Sio, heads to Oslo today to represent New Zealand at the sixth Our Ocean Conference, which is being hosted by the Norwegian Government from the 23-24 October. “The Our Ocean Conference mobilises real action on issues like marine plastic pollution and the impacts of ...
    3 days ago
  • Government announces 27 percent increase in Trades Academy places
    Two secondary-school initiatives are being expanded as part of the Government’s plan to see more young New Zealanders take up a trade to help close the skills gap.   This includes the largest single increase in Trades Academy places in recent years. Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern and Education Minister Chris ...
    3 days ago
  • Speech to the New Zealand Institute of International Affairs, Pacific Futures Conference: Connection...
    Session 4: Pacific Connectivity – Youth, Media and New Opportunities   Kia ora tatou katoa and Warm Pacific greetings to one and all. Representatives of Tainui, the local people of the land, or manawhenua – the indigenous peoples of this area – have welcomed you this morning in accordance with ...
    5 days ago
  • Methane reducing cattle feed one step closer
    The Government today announced its support for a project that could substantially reduce agricultural greenhouse gas emissions from cattle. The announcement was made as part of Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern’s and Agriculture Minister Damien O’Connor’s visit to Nelson’s Cawthron Aquaculture Park. The Cawthron Institute will receive $100,000 from the Government’s ...
    6 days ago
  • Bill to refresh superannuation system passes first reading
    Social Development Minister Carmel Sepuloni has welcomed the first reading of the New Zealand Superannuation and Veteran’s Pension Legislation Amendment Bill. “Every New Zealander has a stake in New Zealand Superannuation and Veteran’s Pension,” says Carmel Sepuloni. “They are our most common form of social assistance – nearly 800,000 New ...
    6 days ago
  • Government announces next steps in fight against measles
    Babies in Auckland aged six months and over can receive a free vaccination and children will all have access to vaccines, Associate Minister of Health Julie Anne Genter announced today at Papatoetoe High School.   The move comes as part of Government efforts to step up the fight against measles. ...
    6 days ago
  • Speech to the New Zealand Institute of International Affairs, Pacific Futures: Connections, Identity...
    ***Check against delivery*** Good morning. It is a pleasure to be here, and to have the honour of opening this important conference on behalf of the New Zealand Institute of International Affairs. Let us take the opportunity to acknowledge all the people who have helped make today possible, including our special ...
    6 days ago
  • Police trial new response to high risk events
    Police Minister Stuart Nash says the safety of frontline officers and members of the public will be the focus of a new trial of specialist Police response teams in three of our largest urban centres. Police have this morning released details of an initiative to be trialled in Counties Manukau, ...
    6 days ago
  • New awards celebrate fisheries sustainability
    The Minister of Fisheries is calling for entries for a new public award to celebrate innovation in our seafood sector. “I have established the Seafood Sustainability Awards to recognise and celebrate those throughout industry, tangata whenua and communities who demonstrate outstanding dedication and innovation towards the sustainability of New Zealand’s ...
    6 days ago
  • More progress for women and we can do more
    Minister for Women Julie Anne Genter welcomes leaders in the private sector taking action on closing their gender pay gaps to ensure a fairer workplace for all New Zealanders. Ms Genter today launched a new report, Addressing the gender pay gap and driving women’s representation in senior leadership, from the Champions for ...
    6 days ago
  • Proposals to curb environmental damage help our coasts and the oceans
    Government Ministers today welcomed the release of a marine environment report highlighting the four key issues affecting our oceans, estuaries and coastlines.  The release underlines the importance of government proposals to combat climate pollution, ensure clean freshwater, protect biodiversity, make land use more sustainable, and reduce waste and plastic.    Environment ...
    6 days ago
  • New mental health facility for Waikato
    The Government has approved funding for a new acute mental health facility for Waikato which will provide better care and support to people with mental health and addiction issues. Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern and Health Minister Dr David Clark announced the $100 million project to replace the aging Henry Rongomau ...
    7 days ago
  • 500 new te reo Māori champions in our classrooms
    The Government is making progress on its goal to integrate te reo Māori into education by 2025, with over 500 teachers and support staff already graduating from Te Ahu o te Reo Māori,  Associate Education Minister Kelvin Davis announced today. Kelvin Davis made the announcement at an awards ceremony in Waikanae today, for ...
    7 days ago
  • Minister James Shaw welcomes 2018 Census first release
    Statistics Minister James Shaw has welcomed the first release of 2018 Census data. The first release of data today, 23 September, includes key data on population, regional growth, the number of homes and the size of different ethnic groups in New Zealand. Data from the 2018 Census will support the ...
    7 days ago
  • Driving transparency, ethics and accountability in government use of algorithms
    Minister for Statistics James Shaw today announced a public consultation on a proposed algorithm charter for government agencies. The charter has been developed by the Government Chief Data Steward in response to growing calls for more transparency in government use of data. Computer algorithms – procedures or formulas for solving ...
    7 days ago
  • New Zealand and the Netherlands working together on climate change
    Agriculture Minister Damien O’Connor, Climate Change Minister James Shaw and visiting Dutch Prime Minister Mark Rutte co-hosted a business roundtable in Auckland this morning focused on working together to address climate change.  “The Netherlands is an important partner for New Zealand. We share a strong agricultural history. Sustainable agribusiness and ...
    7 days ago
  • Protecting fairness for workers and businesses
    The Government is taking action to build an inclusive economy where more of us receive our fair share at work and businesses can compete on great products and services, not undercutting wages and conditions, Immigration and Workplace Relations and Safety Minister Iain Lees-Galloway says. Two consultations launched today seek feedback ...
    7 days ago
  • Indigenous Freshwater Fish Bill Passes
    The future for New Zealand’s threatened indigenous freshwater fish looks brighter with the passing of the Conservation (Indigenous Freshwater Fish) Amendment Bill in Parliament today said Minister of Conservation, Eugenie Sage. “Until now, our freshwater fish legislation has been 20 years out of date. We have lacked effective tools to ...
    1 week ago
  • Kiwis to take part in world’s biggest earthquake drill
    At 1.30pm tomorrow, hundreds of thousands of Kiwis will join about 65 million people around the globe in ShakeOut, the world’s biggest earthquake drill. The annual drill is to remind people of the right action to take during an earthquake which is to Drop, Cover, Hold, and to practise their ...
    1 week ago
  • Rising wages and low inflation supporting Kiwis
    Kiwis are benefiting from higher wage growth and low inflation under the Coalition Government. Stats NZ data out today shows the rise in the cost of living remains low, as annual Consumers Price Index (CPI) inflation fell to 1.5% in September from 1.7% in June. “The low inflation comes as ...
    1 week ago
  • NZ economy strong amid global headwinds
    New Zealand’s economic strength and resilience has been recognised in a major update on the state of the global economy. The IMF’s latest World Economic Outlook released overnight shows a reduced global growth forecast over the next two years as issues like the US-China trade war and Brexit take hold. ...
    1 week ago
  • Keeping New Zealanders safer with better counter-terrorism laws
    Justice Minister Andrew Little has today introduced a new Bill to prevent terrorism and support the de-radicalisation of New Zealanders returning from overseas. The Terrorism Suppression (Control Orders) Bill gives the New Zealand Police the ability to apply to the High Court to impose control orders on New Zealanders who ...
    1 week ago
  • Improved succession and dispute resolution core of Ture Whenua changes
    A Bill that proposes targeted changes to simplify the processes for Māori land owners when engaging with the Māori Land Court has had its First Reading today. “The approach taken by the Government is to ensure that the protection of Māori land remains a priority as we seek to improve ...
    1 week ago
  • Speech to CTU Biennial Conference
    Let me first thank all the new unionists and members in the room. There is nothing more important to improving people’s working lives than people making the decision to care, to get on board and help, to take up the reins and get involved. Congratulations to you. You bring the ...
    1 week ago
  • Minister ensures continued Whenuapai flight operations
    Minister of Defence Ron Mark has signed a certificate exempting the activity of engine testing at Whenuapai Airbase from the Resource Management Act 1991. The Act gives the Minister of Defence the power to exempt activities for the purposes of national security.  The certificate will mean the recent Environment Court ...
    1 week ago
  • NZ joins Coalition of Finance Ministers for Climate Action
    Finance Minister Grant Robertson has announced New Zealand will join the Coalition of Finance Ministers for Climate Action while attending APEC meetings in Chile. The objective of the 39 member Coalition is to share information and promote action to tackle climate change. It was formed in April this year, in ...
    1 week ago
  • Feedback Sought – Section 71 – Lyttelton Parking
    Feedback sought– Lyttelton commercial zone parking  The Associate Minister for Greater Christchurch Regeneration, Poto Williams, is seeking feedback on a proposal to remove on-site car parking requirements for new developments in the Lyttelton commercial zone.  The proposal, by Christchurch City Council, asks that powers under section 71 of the Greater ...
    1 week ago
  • Feedback Sought – Section 71 – Hagley Oval
    Hon Minister Poto Williams Associate Minister for Greater Christchurch Regeneration   MEDIA STATEMENT       Tuesday 15 October 2019 Feedback sought – Hagley Oval The Associate Minister for Greater Christchurch Regeneration, Poto Williams, is seeking feedback on a proposal about Hagley Oval. The proposal was developed by Regenerate Christchurch ...
    1 week ago
  • CTU speech – DPM
    Ladies and gentlemen, NZCTU President Richard Wagstaff, members of respective unions – thank you for the invitation to speak to you today. This might be preaching to the choir, but the importance of trade unions in New Zealand’s historical arch is difficult to understate. And it is my belief that ...
    1 week ago
  • Police Association Annual Conference
    "Let’s start by acknowledging that it has been a huge year. " Police Association Annual Conference James Cook Grand Chancellor Hotel Wellington Nau mai, haere mai. Tēnā koutou, tēnā koutou, ka nui te mihi, ki a koutou katoa. President of the Police Association, Chris Cahill; Members of the Association and ...
    1 week ago
  • New Zealand announces a further P-3 deployment in support of UN sanctions
    Minister of Foreign Affairs Winston Peters and Minister of Defence Ron Mark have announced the New Zealand Government’s decision to again deploy a Royal New Zealand Air Force P-3K2 (P-3) maritime patrol aircraft to support the implementation of United Nations Security Council (UNSC) resolutions imposing sanctions against North Korea. New ...
    1 week ago