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Open Mike 27/09/2018

Written By: - Date published: 6:01 am, September 27th, 2018 - 207 comments
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207 comments on “Open Mike 27/09/2018”

  1. Ed 1

    Interesting article about increasing elitism in rugby.

    “But it’s awkward if we want keep up the pretence that rugby remains a game for all New Zealanders. A reliable source told me that when St Kentigern played King’s College this year, more than 20 of the starting 30 players came from outside Auckland. The source hazarded a guess that few of them, if any, were full fee-paying.

    Think about that for a minute.

    We have long been accustomed to wealthy schools raiding low-decile Auckland schools for talent, but this points to a much larger talent-scouting footprint. There is also something deeply ironic about a school effectively paying for rugby talent to use the 1st XV as a marketing shop window to attract fee-paying students who are then subsequently locked out of, or face significant obstacles, on the route to their own rugby glory by the next influx of recruits.

    NZ Rugby are aware of this ever-increasing plutocracy but are faced with a delicate balancing act. On the one hand they continue to laud the 1st XV production line that keeps churning out professional-grade talent, while on the other turning a blind eye to the glaring inequities of that system.

    In plain sight clubs are dead, dying or merging because schools are failing to keep kids in the game. At many of these schools you are either on the pathway to professionalism or a road to nowhere. There is little in between.

    It is killing rugby as a recreational pursuit.”


    • tc 1.1

      Been that way as far as I can recall Ed, which shows how defecto the practice is. It’s not just rugby also.

      It’s what the ‘elites’ do and don’t expect the NZRU to give a toss, they’re masters in elistism and double standards as the grassroots game withers.

    • Herodotus 1.2

      It is killing rugby as a recreational pursuit.”
      No what is killing rugby for boys 10-13 are clubs that play boys well above the weight restrictions (knowingly) and AR not enforcing weight limits. And the contact say between an under 11 restricted of 35-40 kg child trying to tackle an over weight 45+ kg child. And these boys run and tackle fair but hard.
      Also (IMO no fault of anyone or organisation) limited high school opportunities for those “smaller” boys. As many schools have few teams which tend not to cater for the under 15 restricted and 6th grade(under 60kg) though lack of numbers to make up teams, and these boys only opportunity is to play up.
      Also not just the elites many high schools within Auck do it, out of zoners who are talented somehow make the ballots.
      I have been to Y6,7 & 8 tournaments where high school staff have attended for scouting proposes. Not always from the schools that would instantly come to mind for many.

      • solkta 1.2.1

        I think what is/what will kill Thugby is the slow decline of toxic masculinity.

        • Tuppence Shrewsbury

          I bet you have a limp handshake

          Have you not observed the success of the Women rugby teams in New Zealand? the increasing crowds and viewer numbers?

          What a pathetic comment. Still harbouring a personal resentment against the athletes in high school solky?

          • solkta

            I bet you have a limp handshake

            Thanks for providing an example. Do you not understand that Rugby is social engineering? Oh that’s right, you don’t call it that when right wing authoritarians manipulate culture and identity.

            • Tuppence Shrewsbury

              Rugby is social engineering? if you don’t like it, don’t engage with it or people who do.

              It’s ok for people to do and enjoy things you don’t. you shouldn’t need to take it away from them to make your self feel better. Stop projecting

              • solkta

                Toxic masculinity has done a lot of harm to a lot of people so yes i will speak out about it and encourage other men to be more than what their social conditioning might otherwise allow for.

              • Draco T Bastard

                Rugby is social engineering?

                Yes it is. People who don’t like rugby have always been looked down on in our culture.

                • JohnSelway

                  People who don’t like rugby have always been looked down on in our culture.

                  [citation needed]

                  (basically that horse shit. I don’t like rugby but looked down upon….yeah, na…)

                  • Draco T Bastard

                    How have you managed to avoid the sneers when you tell people, who’ve just opened with an enthusiastic reference to the rugby the night before, that you don’t like rugby and didn’t watch it?

    • millsy 1.3

      This is more of a reflection of rugby’s slow decline over the past 18-20 years more than anything else.

      • Kevin 1.3.1

        As well as an increase in opportunity for other sports.

        When I was at primary school in Southland in the early 70’s, I had the choice of rugby and… rugby. That was it.

        One of the stalwarts of the local Gore Wanderers Football Club decided that year to coach a football team at my school. 30 Mins of rugby was the end of my career, fortunately, and it was football from then on, thankfully.

        Now kids are spoilt for choice which is a good thing when it comes to sport

    • Tuppence Shrewsbury 1.4

      So kids who would other wise be unable to afford the private education get plucked from a low decile area thanks to their natural ability.

      sounds like the systems working

  2. Ed 2

    People know who the White Helmets are.

    “ In ending all funding to the White Helmets, the Dutch government did not wish to be confrontational towards the other neo-conservative governments who are funding and exploiting the propaganda from the White Helmets. Their report was therefore diplomatically phrased. Funding for the White Helmets may have “inadvertently” fallen into the hands of armed extremists, while unacceptable contact between the White Helmets and extreme jihadists was “inevitable” in the areas they operated.

    Thanks to social media, there is an awareness among the UK’s general population of who the White Helmets really are, that belies the solidarity of the entire political and media class in maintaining the official fiction. Even the arch government supporting Daily Telegraph in reporting the story of White Helmets’ admittance to the UK, has a majority of readers’ comments pointing out the true nature of the White Helmets. “


    • Bill 2.1

      I’m sure it will end well.

      Irony fully intended 😉

    • Jenny 2.2

      It seems that Ed is not the only so called Leftist to support a genocidal bombing campaign against Idlib.

      “ugly” but “inevitable”

      David Duke, the former leader of the Ku Klux Klan (and a vocal supporter of both Trump and Gabbard) has also been tweeting in support of Russia and Assad’s bombardment of Idlib. He claimed this was in order to “protect the real children of Idlib”, implying that those children who are targeted by Assad and Russia’s aerial bombings are ‘fake crisis actors’ and deserving of death, for the crime of misinforming the American public.

      Vijay Prashad, a prominent academic in leftist circles has joined the chorus by using dangerous and stereotypical portrayals of Idlib. In his latest article, Prashad writes that it’s ” intolerable to the government in Damascus to allow an enclave of al-Qaeda rebels inside the country – which is why the main battle is to be there, in Idlib.” He calls the military campaign against Idlib by Assad and his allies, “ugly” but “inevitable”. Further normalizing this horrific scenario, Prashad ends his piece by advising everyone in Idlib to “cut a deal now before the terrible slaughter starts. This bombing is not the first salvo in the final battle but the last attempt at a negotiation.”

      No! Idlib is Not a ‘Terrorist Enclave’
      Sina Zekavat – September 24, 2018

      • Jenny 2.2.1

        ….absent from Gabbard, Duke and Prashad’s [and Ed’s] image of Idlib is the popular and peaceful mass anti-war, anti-dictatorship and anti-extremism rallies that have been taking place every Friday for the last three weeks. Each rally has been organized under a specific popular slogan. The first rally on September 7th was organized under the slogan of #خيارنا_المقاومة (“Resistance Is Our Choice”), the second rally on the 14th under the slogan of ‎⁧‫#لا_بديل_عن_إسقاط_النظام‬⁩ (“No Alternative to the fall of the regime”), and the last one on the 28th #نظام_الأسد_مصدر_الإرهاب “(the Assad regime is the source of all terrorism”). On two occasions the Salafist group Tahrir al-Sham (HTS) has attacked the popular protests with guns, attempting to end the rallies by dispersing the crowd, but people have remained united and responded with the slogan “this is Idlib! (regime) thugs leave leave leave!”.

        Thousands of men and women from all ages have been joining these popular rallies with exceptionally beautiful and expressive handmade signs and banners. Many of the protest signs have been focusing on media’s false portrayal of Idlib as a “terrorist enclave”, the very irresponsible and reductionist image that majority of western experts and politicians from all political backgrounds have been perpetuating. “We want freedom, we are not terrorists.” One signs read. “This is our land, we will not get out of it,” says another. Letters of solidarity have also been exchanged between Idlib’s rallies and Gaza’s weekly March of Return.

        No! Idlib is Not a ‘Terrorist Enclave’
        Sina Zekavat – September 24, 2018

    • Jenny 2.3

      People know who the White Helmets are.


      An early shift at the factory, Ed?

      Or, maybe you are one of those who, “don’t realise they are being used as pawns”?

      How Syria’s White Helmets became victims of an online propaganda machine
      The Russia-backed campaign to link the volunteer rescuers with al-Qaida exposes how conspiracy theories take root: ‘It’s like a factory’
      Olivia Solon – The Guardian, December 18, 2017

      The Syrian volunteer rescue workers known as the White Helmets have become the target of an extraordinary disinformation campaign that positions them as an al-Qaida-linked terrorist organisation.

      The Guardian has uncovered how this counter-narrative is propagated online by a network of anti-imperialist activists, conspiracy theorists and trolls with the support of the Russian government (which provides military support to the Syrian regime)…..

      …..The same propaganda machine scooped up fringe anti-American activists, bloggers and researchers who believe the White Helmets are terrorists, giving them a platform on state TV and amplifying their articles through social media.

      There is no evidence to suggest that these activists and bloggers are knowingly spreading disinformation, although the stories are often thinly sourced.

      Scott Lucas, professor of international politics at the University of Birmingham, describes the overall campaign as “agitation propaganda” but said that some of its participants don’t realise they are being used as pawns.

      “The most effective propaganda is when you find someone who believes it then give them support – you don’t create them from scratch,” he added……

      ……..The White Helmets play two roles within Syria. The first is their rescue work: providing an ambulance service, fire service and search and rescue in conflict areas where infrastructure has been decimated.

      The second role is the documentation of what is taking place within the country via handheld and helmet cameras.

      “This is the thing that has annoyed not just the Assad regime and Russian authorities but a lot of the propagandists who work in their orbit,” said Amnesty International’s Kristyan Benedict, a crisis response manager who specialises in Syria.

      Their footage has helped organisations like Amnesty and the Syria Justice and Accountability Center corroborate testimony they receive from people in Syria via phone, Skype and WhatsApp. It allows them to check the aftermath of airstrikes to see whether civilians were targeted and whether there was any military presence or checkpoints.

      “That’s really been damaging to the war narrative of Syria and Russia,” said Benedict.

  3. Ed 3

    New Zealand Labour could learn from this.

    • cleangreen 3.1


      Yes I am all on board with this taking back our country plan as the elite are picking our bones daily and China are a threat to our sovereignty also by buying our infrastructure and placing politicians inside our government to take control one day.

      They hold to much power over us ‘no thanks to John Key and Judith Collins’.

      Bring back our sovereignty and our country to us.

      • greywarshark 3.1.1

        Can’t Cleangreen. We lost the chance to have sovereignty at our fingertips back in 1984 when we didn’t protest repeatedly at Roger Douglas, Treasury quislings, et al and they went ahead to hollow us out instead of pruning the unsustainable growth from unfinancial methods that were pulling us back.

        Now we have to find a way to hold onto what we feel is important culture and limit as much as we can the fellow travellers with boundless capitalism who have moved into places of authority, and who often are not even NZs, and they also aren’t all Chinese please note. We live in a global world with top positions that foreign people who fit the neolib profile can move into and be well-cushioned. Poor immigrants and refugees are not free to choose global destinations.

        They get corralled in refugee (concentration) camps where they are concentrated, and have time to concentrate on the lack of decency of behaviour in the world. NZ being in the Chinese purview may be an advantage in the long run, who knows. If they can raise their game, the USA may have to improve their standards so they can continue to crow about how wonderful they are.

  4. Ngungukai 4

    Trump is accusing China of potentially meddling in the upcoming mid-term Elections ?

  5. Ffloyd 5

    Is there any talk of raising Super any time so. Live out of town and petrol cost is killing us.

    • cleangreen 5.1

      100% Fflyod we agree.

    • mac1 5.2

      Grey Power is currently advocating for this with government.

      As for petrol costs, using an EV will cut fuel costs by 80%. An $11000 Leaf using 1 kw/h per 7 kms means the money is recouped quickly. 10000 kms at 1000 litres of 91octane petrol costing $2400 as opposed to 1400 kw/h at 30 c or less than $500 per annum. At damn near $2000 per annum difference, it makes sense.

    • ianmac 5.3

      What a great plan was the winter Electricity Grant. My older brother is just hanging on living alone and feeling the cold down south. This winter the Grant allowed him to properly heat his living area. Great.

  6. Ffloyd 6

    I’m wondering if teachers get all they want from Govt if they should get paid for all the school holidays unless they can prove that they spend them doing school related things on a daily basis.

    • mickysavage 6.1

      I am married to a teacher and two of my kids are teachers. Holidays are spent recuperating from the stresses of the job for a short time and then preparing for the next term.

      They also work crazy hours.

      Government should be giving them a good pay rise.

      • marty mars 6.1.1

        + 1

        I want teachers to be paid more and to regain the social status they once (imo) had.

        And I have just started homeschooling my 11 year old because he and us are not convinced that the school learning environment is the best place to learn for him. He was homeschooled until 7 when he then said he wanted to go to school – we’ll do it for a few years until high school I think but the key thing is we will listen and do what is best for him (and us). Lucky in some ways because I work overnight shifts I’m home during the day so my wife can work during the day. This is how low income people get through btw

        • francesca

          Interested in this Marty.
          What were the hoops you had to jump through and do you receive any curricular program or help.?
          Are there any home school type groups where you live?
          Can see that this might benefit children who don’t fit in to the regular school system, and also ease the pressure on already overstretched teachers

          • marty mars

            You need to get an exemption – helpful support was received and as they said they want to know that we know the curriculum, why it is the way it is and how we’ll support it via learning.

            Start right workbooks are one thing we use.

            We have other homeschoolers around so resources are shared in some ways. For instance group activities – luckily the old school my boy went to is open to other children attending stuff – taiaha practice for instance – it is only a 2 room school though.

            One 9f the real benefits for me is I get to spend quality time with my b9y helping him learn – I love that.

            • Molly

              AFAIK, homeschooling does not require a curriculum – especially not knowledge and application of Te Whariki.

              If that is now a requirement there has been a fundamental change in the exemption process that I am not aware of, and a bit dismayed about, because many old school homeschool advocates fought against this for many years, for the benefit of homeschool students.

              My children are older and at various techs, but there is a great resource in the homeschool community. Particularly with those who use the opportunity to find specific ways to meet the needs of their children, and deliver great learning opportunities.

              School at home, is often a primary method that gets abandoned when families realise that it misses the chance for better life-long love of learning. That said, I know I few families that persisted up to university level with programmes.

              • Molly

                For those considering home education:

                Just had a look at the updated exemption form, and note that the reference to curriculum is generic, and relates to your own learning plan. Which is good, but does make it seem that your exemption is contingent on a planned programme, where there are many very successful unschooled students.

                Rob Williamson, who was head of the ERO review office, IIRC, was once a school principal, and provided great insight into the review for home educators. He was very impressed with the progress of unschoolers, and preferred reviewing them to those that went with structured programmes.

                Also there is a note about records. Records are not required by the MoE, and if possible don’t tie yourself down to a particular method. As you are teaching your own child, your methods – and consequently your means of measuring progress – will change. Sometimes rapidly. You are not in charge of a classroom of thirty students, and will be able to have a grasp of what level your child is on and what help they need, primarily because you are working with them on a day to day basis.

              • Yes you don’t have to create a new curriculum.

                “they said they want to know that we know the curriculum, why it is the way it is and how we’ll support it via learning.”

                Sorry if that was confusing. I was trying to say that they require knowledge of the NZ curriculum etc

                • Molly

                  Thanks marty.

                  “I was trying to say that they require knowledge of the NZ curriculum etc”
                  Except that is not true. And if that is the advice being given and required of new applications, then there has been a fundamental change in the application process. Which I think is one of those supposedly “small” concessions, that cost a lot in the long run.

                  • Thanks Molly
                    We’ve just got the exemption approved last week. My wife had conversations with the staffer assessing our application and we had to redo bits. So it is 2nd hand info in some respects as I didn’t have the conversations.

                    • Molly

                      The Ministry will ask for further information, but we did have some stalwarts for many years that ensured that the Ministry staffers did not overstep the requirements of the exemption process.

                      I was involved with some of the regional and national committees for some years, and did notice that the natural change of guard in some respects, have resulted in homeschool advocates who are more compliant and aware of “relationships” with the Ministry, rather than advocating for home educators – particularly those who did not ascribe to their own philosophy of home education.

                      I believe a lot of this is due to inexperience, and a lack of interest in the history of home ed in NZ.

                      Congrats on getting your exemption regardless. Those that choose home education as an additional choice, rather than a solution to all the challenges of childhood, seem to have students that can traverse both school and home ed with ease, and do really well.

                  • greywarshark

                    Why aren’t home schoolers expected to teach to the NZ curriculum.? What are they supposed to be learning? And how do we keep some control on children havisng a positive and open education. I have met a cult member and decided this is someone I don’t want to know or trust.

                    • Molly

                      According to a study I read many years ago, IIRC, any changes to the education system takes about twelve years to be adopted by the institutional system. That transition is very disruptive for students in the transition period, and our education system and access to resources has been changing fairly continually over the last couple of decades.

                      There are a wide variety of home educators – a trait that is found in schooled parents, although I would say that there are a few that make their way to home education after their children struggle at school and they are unable to access support.

                      The Te Whariki curriculum is no guarantee of a good education, and many students thrive without reference to it. I can understand your concerns, and there may be some children that have less than adequate education at home, but unfortunately that is also true of some school attendees.

                      The ERO does conduct reviews on exempted families, and the concern rate is very low. So low that the number of reviews was reduced as budgets were restrained.

                      The state subsidises many religious schools which promote ideas I find worrisome. Equating home education with cultism is wrong, extremism exists in many forms and many places. Many home educators provide high quality education for their children, and that includes those who had no intention of homeschooling until their child ran into difficulties at school that could not be accommodated with the current resource allocation.

                      Don’t make the error of lumping them all together because of one meeting with one individual. Families cover the range from religious to secular, high income to beneficiary. Just like everyone else.

            • francesca

              Good on you.
              I’m sure your boy will thrive away from the stress that formal schooling can be.
              No one knows your boy like you do, and you’ll be able to pick up and develop his interests in a way no strapped for time teacher would be able to
              All the best

        • shadrach

          We know a few couples who home schooled their children, and one of our daughters close friends was home schooled. If our experience of these (now) young adults is anything to go by, you have made a good call. Good luck with your son!

      • greywarshark 6.1.2

        We have long had teachers in our family. My sister has just retired. I notice that the spokesperson for teachers is emphasising conditions, she would agree that much could be done here.

        The closing of special schools and sprinkling the children around regular schools causes difficulties for teachers with many children for instance. More teacher aides, more hours, making sure that the wraparound system works etc. These are more important than high wage rises and teachers would probably accept 3% for three years wage rises if the conditions were looked at.

        My feeling is that special schools should be used again, with schools including special needs children in appropriate classes once or twice a week unless the child is too disruptive. For instance a child that makes odd noises all the time may be a reason to exclude from a learning classroom but be involved in some sporting one at the school, and the learning part take place in the special school.

    • mac1 6.2

      I was a teacher and my answer to the point about holidays was two-fold. The holidays are actually for the kids, as both teachers and students need recuperation time. And preparation time.

      Secondly, I’d just say that if you think that teachers get it cushy with all that holiday time then why not become a teacher. Watch people back off from that proposition! People do remember how it was, and they were, at school.

      Of course, that has its own downside- the amount of people who feel entitled to pronounce infallibly upon teaching because they went to school. A bit like diners knowing all about food preparation- from composting and growing plants and animals, about plant, animal and human health, about cooking and food presentation- because they eat food.

      “Holidays” are also when sports and cultural trips happen. That’s not a holiday, believe me.

      For me, now retired, the money was important. It had to be as my health was affected by the stress of teaching and I had to retire before reaching retirement age. But, much more important was doing the job- the education of our young is a vocation, a calling, a mission. Teachers would be much happier if the issues which frustrate good teachers in their teaching were better addressed. At least, that was the thinking during my time ‘at the chalk face’.

    • Grantoc 6.3


      Teachers are paid for school holidays. In effect this means that teachers get something like 10 – 12 weeks paid annual leave; whereas most of the rest of the salaried population receives typically 4 – 5 weeks annual leave. So compared with most, teachers receive a significant paid benefit (annual holidays) that others can only dream of.

      Teachers may rightly claim that they frequently work during their holidays. The fact is though that these days all kinds of salaried staff in all kinds of sectors do the same – despite receiving considerably smaller annual holiday entitlements.

      • Molly 6.3.1

        Teachers may rightly claim that they frequently work during their holidays. The fact is though that these days all kinds of salaried staff in all kinds of sectors do the same – despite receiving considerably smaller annual holiday entitlements.
        That is a problem with our employment practices, not a reason for teachers to forego holidays.

        What is your solution? To not pay teachers while schools are closed?

        Does this take into account the extra time teachers take during term time, including weekends to provide students with extra benefits outside the 9-3 school day?

        We don’t value the benefit of good education enough, and we blame the teachers for failures of education policy while expecting them to pick up the shortfall.

        • Grantoc


          My point is that when considering the employment terms and conditions of teachers; it is important to understand that they receive 10 -12 weeks paid annual leave; a much more generous benefit than that received by other workers. This equates to up to say 6 – 8 weeks of additional pay.

          My other point is that many salaried staff in other sectors work in their holidays, while using their annual holidays to recuperate.

          Its fine and its understandable to acknowledge that teachers do the same – however lets not be too sanctimonious abut teachers in this regard. They work no more or no less than many others during their holidays, in general.

          BTW I am not suggesting that we not pay teachers when they are not at school. I am suggesting that we recognise the value of this benefit to them when discussing terms and conditions.

          Whether or not teachers are paid enough is another matter; and one that is being negotiated.

    • ianmac 6.4

      I joke to teacher friends about “being on holiday again! And just having a 9 to 3 job! And getting paid all those thousands to look after a few little kids! What a job!”

      We know that it is really a very hard job. Many young people start out with optimism but crumble under the weight.
      There is a very high fall-out. Wonder why?

      • Yes ianmac, Principals in 6 schools Rotorua are finishing up this year. Burnout, age and general workload have contributed.
        Years ago, as a senior teacher with a normal workload of two trainee teachers, a team of 7 teachers, a responsibility for children with special needs and those with special abilities, the library and the resource room, a class of 32 form 2 children in an intermediate, paid a huge $32000 a year, I relate to their work loads!!
        A friend of my husband dropped by our home to watch the All Black Test, and joked about the holidays coming up. But after the game, as I’m still toiling making resources for a Social Studies unit, he admits… “maybe the hours are different to the usual perception!!” Just saying.!!!!
        I have enjoyed my retirement, and think of all those who had less than the Actuaries expected 12 years!! I’ve had17!!! Still going strong, though awaiting a hip operation.

    • SaveNZ 6.5

      Why shouldn’t teachers have a decent break. In the old days, less paperwork, no student loans, no work during the holidays for teaches to justify getting paid and viola, we had one of the highest rates of literacy in the world!

      • SaveNZ 6.5.1

        I have kids and I’d prefer their teachers to come back refreshed after the holidays and have a real break from the school, even more important now that they can’t seem to retain any teachers any more…

    • Herodotus 6.6

      Something the uneducated have missed
      Should a teacher take unpaid leave, leave (sick or paid) for a “School” Friday and Monday there are 4 days taken into account, as teachers are “paid” for 365 days/year.
      I am sure most other organisations do not deduct 4 days for unpaid absences for missing only 2 days contact/work time.
      If holidays are not paid for then perhaps overtime rates should apply for hours worked outside 8:00 – 4:00 and paid for working lunchtime duties?

  7. marty mars 7

    And the unravelling begins.

    This will of course be met with the usual putinbots saying “what about…” – they are funny useful idiots.

    An investigative journalism website has published what it says is the real identity of one of the Russian intelligence officers suspected of the Salisbury nerve agent poisoning.

    The Bellingcat group claims the man who was named as Ruslan Boshirov is actually Colonel Anatoliy Chepiga.

    British officials have not commented. The BBC understands there is no dispute over the identification.


    British investigators also believe one of the pair is Chepiga, the Guardian understands.

    Chepiga, a veteran of the war in Chechnya, was awarded the country’s highest state award, hero of the Russian Federation, in December 2014 when Russian officers were active in the Ukraine conflict.


    • veutoviper 7.1


      I saw the Bellingcat claims earlier this morning and was going to post a link to their site here – and then run for the hills before the explosion … LOL

      So here is the link to their claims which are much more detailed than the BBC or Guardian articles.


      While the narrative is interesting, I am not convinced by some of the photo comparisons – ie I don’t believe the person in the first passport photo is the same person as the person(s) in the 2nd and 3rd ones, but these latter ones could be of the same person.

      • marty mars 7.1.1

        Thanks ☺ I was just getting the ball rolling.

        I’m not convinced 100% yet but there are a lot of people trying to find out and they will – I feel a bit fearful for these two because at some point it will have to be tied off and vlad does that emphatically imo.

    • Bill 7.2

      When the National Party and fellow travelers wanted a story picked up by mainstream media, but felt that they couldn’t do a direct feed – for reasons of credibility, or to avoid charges of partiality or to avoid the risk of the news or information being seen as tainted because of the source, they’d often enough feed Whaleoil to get the ball rolling.

      And then mainstream would pick up on what Whaleoil was writing about and promote it as though it came from a well connected, but independent source.

      It was a pretty central plank of what Hager outlined in “Dirty Politics” – a way to get awkward and/or not necessarily true or accurate information into the public domain.

      Bellingcat plays that same role on a larger stage and Eliot Higgins is no more an independent investigative journalist than is Cameron Slater.

      • marty mars 7.2.1

        Good to know your angle thanks.

      • Stuart Munro 7.2.2

        “Eliot Higgins is no more an independent investigative journalist than is Cameron Slater”

        Not even close. When the liars fall back on smears you know they have nothing else.

        Sure he gets tip offs – same as Russia has pretty much taken over Assange’s feed – which was certainly not his intention in creating wikileaks. But Higgins did indeed start from a base of independent data journalism, and it was his success in that role that made him useful to those sources.

        Bellingcat blew the lid off the Russian lies about MH17, and he has never been forgiven for it by the Russian trolls.

        The publishing of truth, not the source of it, is fundamental to journalism. The Putinistas prefer opinion, because opinion can say anything, and the truth does not serve their geopolitical ends.

    • Siobhan 7.3

      Waiting for actual evidence makes one a Putin Bot? really.

      I realise that you may not be aware of the powers that be ever lying to the public before, or, infact, being wrong, but you know, it could happen..

      Its all quite fascinating, and the odds of us ever finding out the real story are about nil…. however my next question would be, how could a ‘highly decorated colonel’ make such a balls up of an easy task, especially if it was ordered from the ‘highest level’ and especially as he was tasked with a job ‘normally’ assigned to someone of lower rank.?

      “The source, speaking on condition of anonymity, expressed surprise that at least one of the operatives engaged in the operation in Salisbury had the rank of colonel. Even more surprising was the suspects’ prior award of the highest military recognition.

      In our source’s words, an operation of this sort would have typically required a lower-ranked, “field operative” with a military rank of “no higher than captain.” The source further surmised that to send a highly decorated colonel back to a field job would be highly extraordinary, and would imply that “the job was ordered at the highest level.”

      • marty mars 7.3.1

        Yep I couldn’t believe a highly trained operative could stuff it up either – I tend to go for the keystones cops idea of these operatives as in thick a and clumsy and overconfident or it could be that life isn’t like the movies.

        People can self select if they think they are Putinbots, as I said above I’m not 100% convinced yet.

        • McFlock

          Not sure how much of a stuff up it was. The point was made.

          But either way operators have perishable skills. Like pilots or doctors. Just because you’re the dog’s bollocks today, after a year sitting at a desk you won’t be as good as someone more junior who does the work every day.

          Saw a thing once which argued that (based on the reports at the time and the duration of his expiry) Lincoln might actually have had a good chance of surviving being shot in the head at Ford’s Theatre. the wound wasn’t immediately fatal and the first surgeon on scene was a battlefield surgeon, and the documentation suggested that he’d started a pretty solid assessment and treatment plan. Then along came the Surgeon General and a rich doctor-politician, neither of whom had touched a wound in decades, and the first thing they did was probe the wound by sticking a rod in to find the bullet. Repeatedly, because everyone needed their own look-see.

          The theory was that the prodding either pushed the bullet into somewhere Lincoln needed to live, or jiggly probe rods killed him directly. If the most junior doctor there had been left to do his job, Lincoln might have lived.

        • greywarshark

          I’m a crime and mystery fan and in one of my books the perpetrator of the crime was a contracted individual for someone who had been given the job from someone else who had some strategic goal that required the victim’s death. Something went wrong with the crime, and then sorting it all out was the problem for the brilliant investigator.

          It seems similar with the Salisbury story. The giveaway that it was a minor player involved in the dirty work was the throwing away the remaining toxic stuff. Very messy housekeeping that, and would only be done by a rather thick and not efficient assassin.

    • mauī 7.4

      I find it more than a little weird that it took 6 months to identify that there were two Russians in the area at the time of the poisoning, and hey they must have done it because Russians.

      Then in a couple weeks bingo they find out their real names. Is this a keystone cops investigation that is going to drip feed evidence to the public over months and years? What do we find out in another couple of weeks? a witness comes forward saying he spotted a Russian by a door handle? FFS

      • joe90 7.4.1

        Leaks, huh.

        The Federal Security Service of the Russian Federation began checking on the fact of the leakage of personal data of “Salisbury tourists” Alexander Petrov and Ruslan Boshirov. We are talking about the publication of their questionnaires for obtaining foreign passports and data on the crossing of the Russian border.

        As a source familiar with the situation told Rosbalt, the search for Russian Ministry of Internal Affairs employees who sold to journalists (or other persons) questionnaires and other documents for Petrova and Boshirova, which contain personal data, is currently being conducted.

        “Serious measures will be taken against the persons who provided this information,” the source said.


      • Ed 7.4.2

        Joe suffers from Russophobia.
        Be kind.

      • marty mars 7.4.3

        Hardly surprising – you always seem to have so many doubts on some things but not others – funny that.

    • cleangreen 8.1

      Yes Cinny ;

      But it seems now that the Democratic party was being assisted by a large Billionaire
      (George Soros) him hating Trump and now by him donating $250 Million Dollars to several lobby groups setup now to destroy the Kavenough family, so all is skewed now in pure politics so it seems that truth will be the first casualty of this new US internal war. Soros was convicted as a criminal under Obama’s government a few years ago incidentally. (George Soros) payback perhaps?

      George Soros was another insider trader as John Key was so we dont care for his morals either thanks.


      • Cinny 8.1.1

        Crikey that’s an even messier situation then, thanks for the info CG, much appreciated.

        • veutoviper

          Be a bit cynical in believing everything out there re Soros, as there is a lot of fiction mixed with fact in the many articles about him – possibly including in his Wikipedia entry. Nevertheless the latter gives a feel of the situation.


          • greywarshark

            I believe that this Kavanaugh is a conservative being promoted to be in the judicial lifetime panel that is tops in the USA? And that people are desperate to get someone whose judgements are not pre-set in concrete.
            Another problem of an inflexible and inadequate USA constitution that needs work to make it fit for the 21st century, but probably shouldn’t get it astoo few have any ideals and standards these days. All the people can do is try these limited guerilla tactics on the build-up of the Right’s control.

        • Dukeofurl

          be very careful about the credibility of what CG is pushing regards US. Its like CG watches Fox news to get the links and talking points of the day.

          eg the Goege Soros ‘conviction’
          “PARIS — George Soros, known as one of the world’s savviest investors, should have realized that he risked violating insider trading laws when he pocketed more than $3 million from dealing in shares of the French bank Société Générale two decades ago, Europe’s highest human rights court ruled on Thursday.”

          It was 2002 , it was France – yet concern troll CG links it to Obama . go figure… and see how a concern troll works.

          • greywarshark

            We do need to watch our accuracy of things we put here. If recalling from memory state – I think but not sure. I don’t want to read assertions and then find its fudged rubbish.

            • Dukeofurl

              Very true. We all mistakes with links or basic premise or not linking when we should to provide veracity.
              When it becomes a pattern its a worry.

              And no calling out fake news isnt censorship, as its worth remembering this from the site policy over what actions could lead to banning.

              ‘As guidelines to consider. Publishing facts that are manifestly false is relevant to our decision, but clearly stated opinion is not.

  8. marty mars 9

    Jacinda – some people just don’t believe the bullshit. You may try to convince people but many have assessed and decided that these ‘deals’ are not in the countries best interest.

    “Ardern said in New Zealand the benefits of globalisation and the removal of trade barriers had not always been shared so trade “could be said to have lost a bit of its social licence”.

    “That’s some of our early experience and some of the discussion around the [trans-Pacific Partnership Agreement]. We came away from that absolutely committed to rebuilding the trade agenda and making sure it delivers prosperity for all New Zealanders.”


    • SaveNZ 9.1

      unfortunately Jacinda and Labour are captured by the hard right MBIE types who funny enough when those oil and gas explorations are abolished, quite a few will be out of a job, so I guess HUGE self centred push for the MBIE types who have few skills in the modern world to keep the old ways of trade, trade, trade, oil, gas, TPPA going… nobody even the biggest supporters in government think NZ got. a good deal from CPTPP and even the best scenario figures show loses of Jobs in NZ from globalism.

      Globalism is a system of taking resources from the poor local to the rich international with a cut to the multiple middle men and government/councils and no gloss or spin changes that.

      Once the power balance changes, even the middle men and government/council will be cut out so they can join the poor at the poor house in a decades time.

  9. Sacha 10

    About Madame Boag’s involvement in releasing Derek Handley’s emails: http://politik.co.nz/en/content/politics/1440/

    Well known National Party identity Michelle Boag appears to have been involved in what now looks like a campaign by the Opposition to discredit the Prime Minister over the Derek Handley affair. Acting PM Winston Peters alluded to the connection in Parliament yesterday where he described Boag as Handley’s adviser.

    But with a highly skilled political operator like Boag in the background, National’s questions in Parliament now take on a new light.

  10. Herodotus 11

    Prime had a doco on XTC, forgot how good they were.

    • marty mars 11.1

      Nice – good band.

      • greywarshark 11.1.1

        I have started putting up numbers of links to images. I have decided to only leave one that would open and the others have to be clicked. I think that is a good idea rather than taking up large parts of a post with numerous consecutive ones.

        The way to limit the opening is to put the ( bracket in front of the link, but leave the end part off.

  11. Ad 12

    Hopefully NZ Labour’s people organising the conference can make it as unintentionally entertaining as UK Labour’s one, as reviewed here in The Guardian:


  12. Dirty people trying to bring down the government.

    “Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern has confirmed an investigation into how a report which details the incident between Meka Whaitiri and a staffer was leaked to media.”


    • chris73 13.1

      Well obviously its someone from inside Labour trying to take down Jacinda

      • marty mars 13.1.1

        Yeah right lol – bit silly that one chris please try hard er.

        • chris73

          I will say this, and its completely serious, I didn’t think politics could get more interesting once Sir John left but I’m pleased to say it has

          • marty mars

            These leaks are getting too much imo we need some fingers.

            • chris73

              Be honest here, arn’t you just the slightest bit more interested in whats happening in parliament because of all the shenanigans happening?

              I know I am

              • No Chris i really just want them to get on and govern for the good of the citizens especially the vulnerable and those disadvantaged in society. I hate the bullshit point scoring from dumbarse politicians.

                • chris73

                  Then tell the Labour ministers to stop being dumb asses, Nationals only point scoring because Labour MPs are messing up

                  • Sure they are Chris – nothing to do with simon and his band of merry wanksters eh. Nothing to do with the successful government and the long cold dark road ahead for the gnats. Lol you’re getting a bit delusional mate.

                    • chris73

                      National have , finally, worked out that theres never going to be one single issue that takes the government down. It’ll be by the death of a thousand cuts

                      As long as they don’t attack Jacinda directly (because attacking Jacinda is obviously sexist) but just keep pointing out where the government is failing they’ll get there eventually

                      However tomorrow is Friday so Mega Fightery is probably hoping some more bad news will drop and it’ll take the heat of her…maybe something new or maybe more to come on Derek

                    • Why are you fucking with her name. Do you realise most can’t even pronounce Māori names or words even half correct in this country. Stop doing it please – it is racist and harmful.

    • SaveNZ 13.2

      Probably the whole parliament is full of hard right employees and consultants, trying to bring down the government as they work for them.

    • greywarshark 13.3

      A few things went through my mind at Ms Whaitiri’s problems.

      1 The news item I heard this morning said that the staffer was new.
      2 Ms Whaitiri’s press secretary had not done her job to make sure her boss was in an official photoshoot, This was important as it was in Ms Whaitiri’s electorate. The image would have gone into official records as well as the news, and you need to be known and recognised and shown to be on the spot doing your job. Her absence would have raised questions, and would have left her invisible in the record of that event.
      3 This was a major mistake. It appears that the press secretary was not
      effective, and not experienced enough for the job. Who employed her?
      The State Services Commission or…?
      4 Her arm was grabbed from behind. That raises questions. Was she walking away from questions, or did Ms Whaitiri run to catch her and grab her arm to
      confront her about this?
      5 Do we know absolutely that the bruise on the arm was caused by the pollie, or did she walk into a door knob, or has a heavy-handed partner?
      6 I wonder if Ms Whaitiri played netball. A pakeha woman player I know commented on how physical the Maori girls were when she played a few decades ago.

  13. greywarshark 14


    Good luck with that. And if AirNZ now increase their flights or do anything that puts this in jeopardy they will be noticed! They say they won’t but those who have lived long have learned not to believe everything they here.

    On Radionz this morning I heard a virtuous sounding fisheries person say how good it is to close down a fishery for a while so it can build stocks even though it is going to lose them millions. I thought hello, what’s this, very unusual to hear that sort of comment. Then I found it was someone from Sealords. WTF?

    Then Russel Norman gives some facts. The quota system which worked as a first step to stabilise fishing, is now out of date and being rorted, the Min of Fish has been hooked and we have been rooked. Areas with small fish should have been avoided to ensure the continuing yield was maintained, under reporting, falsified weights declared. Usual.

    Thank god someone cares enough about NZ and its resources to keep an eye on them for us all. We have opened up our doors to privateers and economic home invasion who have a condition that makes them sort of magnetic, attracting money to their bodies. More, more is the message from the brain paralleling the continuing hunger of Prader-Willi syndrome.

  14. chris73 15

    Jacinda can consider herself quite lucky over the timing of the leaking


    ‘After the report was leaked, there was friction between the Prime Minister’s office and New Zealand media with her in New York when it was suggested there would only be one question each allowed at her daily press briefing because of interest from international media.

    Initially it was suggested there might be time after the press conference for a ‘truncated” standup with New Zealand media depending on time.

    But only one representative of international media turned up in the end and the limit on the number of questions from New Zealand media was removed.’

    I mean not only is that pretty embarrassing, like having a party and no one turning up, but shes also managing to annoy her cheerleaders (sorry the NZ MSM)

    • Dukeofurl 15.1

      You sound surprised that media standups are ‘managed’ ?

      Sounds like they were being practical about the circumstances ( international media in NY would have not get later standups like the locals would )
      In the end the questions filled the time available

      • chris73 15.1.1

        True but it wasn’t the international media that got Jacinda elected and has allowed her to interview for a UN position, it was the NZ media so they should feel a bit aggrieved that having got her to this position shes now basically taking them for granted

        We all know the media have quite the puffed up belief in their own self importance so they won’t like this sort of behaviour


        • greywarshark

          Oh drop the harrassment and sarcasm Chris73 do something positive.
          Leave Jacinda alone what did she ever do to you – or are you annoyed that she hasn’t done something for you that you wanted. You have to stand in line as there is so much to do after Natiional’s leaky government period.

          • chris73

            “Leave Jacinda alone what did she ever do to you”

            I withdraw and apologize, I didn’t realise that what I was saying was having a personal effect on Jacinda and I hope she can get over the terrible things that’ve been said about her on here and that she can move forward and get on with her life

            • AB

              I’m picking your belittling of her as a silly girl who got accidentally elected and doesn’t really know anything useful, will backfire on you.
              Because you dislike her politics, you are absurdly under-rating her.

              Many on the left did the same to Key. Personally, though I despised Key, despised everything he stood for and despised pretty much everyone who supported him, I never under-rated his effectiveness.

              I don’t mind if you continue to get it ridiculously wrong and can’t see her appeal to people who aren’t hard-right ideologues like you. That fact is that although she is only very mildly left of centre, she has a freshness and a genuineness that has wide appeal, especially to women, who are absolutely sick of being led by the same old, same old conservative men. Myself, I would prefer Corbyn, but she is doing absolutely fine.

              Keep getting it wrong buddy – you will be left in the dust.

              • BM

                I underate her because she did nothing in the nine years of opposition except flounce around as the Labour spokesperson for left-wing women aren’t all angry man-hating militant lesbians.

                As helpful as that may have been for the Labour party, I personally don’t think that is the necessary skill set required to be a decent PM.

                • Incognito

                  Your views are typically myopic. That is, you only see what you want to see, which isn’t all that much, and you believe that’s all there is to it.

                  Did you mean unde-rate or under-ate? That sentence was like a train wreck. Your language skills are severely lacking too, which is not all that uncommon for people with myopic views.

                • Stuart Munro

                  Just shows you’ve got no idea.

                  Good governance doesn’t consist in relentlessly critiquing everything a government does wrong, even when, like the Key kleptocracy, it never did or had any intention of doing anything right.

                  Voters’ political bandwidth is not infinite; you must find issues that resonate or you’re wasting your time.

                  There’s a bit of a nasty/nice conflict going on, and soft power is difficult to defeat with bile and belligerence.

                  The Tahr cull is a better play – the general public won’t fall in love with that anytime soon – the Gnats should play it up, even though the politically aware know they’d poison or mutilate them all at the drop of a hat if there were a $2 coin to be had from it.

    • alwyn 15.2

      It appears to be a case of Ardern and her cheerleaders believing their own publicity.
      The old “I’m really, really important and the whole World wants to talk to me” syndrome.
      Well bad luck.

      The remainder of the press were at a local Starbucks where the Fisheries Minister from the Marshall Islands was going to have a latte.
      There is a rumour that the sole representative of the World press who turned up was a young student doing an internship at the Smallville Examiner, a twice-weekly paper in a little town in Kansas. He gave his name as a Mr Kent. His only question was to enquire where the Starbucks was as he was new in town and lost.

      • chris73 15.2.1

        Theres nothing wrong in looking for international press, anything that helps NZ exporters is all good but she needs to remember who got her to where she is because they can just as easily get their noses out of joint and start to cause mischief

        • alwyn

          Of course it makes sense.
          If you expect anyone serious to turn up it helps that you have something to say.
          Our PM is simply not prepared for that. She may go down very well with the Woman’s Day type publications but not with serious International publications.
          She should have spent her nine years in Opposition working at her skills, not in preparing to take selfies with pre-schoolers.

        • Dukeofurl

          “she needs to remember who got her to where she is”

          When its a man he gets acclaim for hobnobbing with international leaders……

          save us your sneering misogyny with that ‘she needs to remember’

          Going to NY and the UN is all about international presence which has to start somewhere for a new leader.

          • Muttonbird

            Indeed. A man is ‘self-made’, but a woman ‘needs to remember who got her there’.

  15. On a positive note. I’m very pleased for Rosemary that the bad disability law is to be overturned. Good on David Clarke calling it shameful. I hope the “consultation” that follows is genuine.

    • Sacha 16.1

      What on earth have they been doing until now? https://www.radionz.co.nz/news/political/367394/govt-to-look-at-changes-to-disabled-care-pay-policy

      More ‘consultation’? Just get on with it.

      • R 16.1.1


        Assessment. Allocation of hours. Choose IF and pay who you choose. Go through a Contracted Provider who can employ a family member.


        And, this is what was happening anyway, before the shitty legislation and in some cases up untill March 2016.

        In fact, nah, I need some of the lies admitted to as well.

      • Rosemary McDonald 16.1.2

        Funny, but just this morning (early, about 5am) Peter and I were discussing the timing of the announcement of the intention to repeal the Part 4 amendment. Both of us agreed that it was likely to be a “We really, really need a good news story to offset negative shit…” media release.

        Considering the complete lack of detail and a ‘consultation’ (sigh, yet another one) period into next year, it would appear the announcement is a little premature.

        So easy to implement…just do what the (at least 274) folk who did have family as their paid carers in breach of the pre 2013 policy did.


        • Sacha

          Chief human rights commissioner David Rutherford adds:

          It is shocking. Repealing the law is great. However what about reforming the legislature and public service that allowed these people to be put through the mill. To fight and win in the courts only for the legislature to listen to those who advised law change needed.

          And those same advisors are presumably in charge of this latest round of ‘consultaiton’.

          • Rosemary McDonald

            Gold,Sacha. Thanks.

            On my phone in very isolated part of the rohe.

            Somewhat dependent on others feeding the relevant details.

        • Sacha

          Journalistic hero in this case, Kirsty Johnston chimes in.

          Health Minister David Clark and associate minister James Shaw announced the decision today, after a long campaign by families and human rights groups for fairer treatment.

          “The previous government’s Funded Family Care policy has been a nightmare for the families involved,” Shaw said.

          “We acknowledge that many families have waited a long time to see this policy changed and I want to thank them for their ongoing patience,” Clark said.

    • Rosemary McDonald 16.2

      Oh Patricia! Rosemary is a grumpy and suspicious old bag (bugger PC) and will not be happy until she a) sees all documents, discussion and cabinet papers and the like, b) same will have no nasty little blanked out bits like the RIS that came with the 2013 legislation,c) actually get to speak with the independent whatsit their appointing…or more importantly Peter gets to speak with same.

      Too cynical to even begin celebrations.

  16. Muttonbird 17

    I see the National Party are advising Derek Handley via former party president, Michelle Boag.


    National are neck deep in Dirty Politics. When will they ever learn?

    • chris73 17.1

      Considering how Labour treated him I’m not surprised hes going to National for advice

      • Muttonbird 17.1.1

        It’s a good wicket. Apply for a job, get National to sabotage it, then collect the compensation.

        Boag, ever the trougher will have collected a tidy chunk of that taxpayer payout too.

        I wonder if Handley and National have colluding on this from the start…

        • chris73

          Man I never knew just how low the National dirty tricks brigade could go.


          ‘Derek Handley met with Labour Party president Nigel Haworth to offer his services to Labour ahead of being offered the role of chief technology officer.

          That meeting, which happened before Labour came to power, resulted in a phone call from the Prime Minister’s acting chief of staff Gordon Jon Thompson, where Handley again pitched his help.’

          Its impressive to think National were planning this even before Labour came to power

          I wonder what else National will have orchestrated…

        • BM

          Hmm, if I was Handley I wouldn’t be very happy with that comment.
          I’d probably contact the site owner and ask him to remove it.

          • Muttonbird

            Wait. Does ‘BM’ stand for Boag, Michelle?

            It’s just an opinion – no need to get your gruts torn over it. Or are you afraid I know something…

            It certainly doesn’t look good having a National Party aligned operative in Boag working for Handley. Now that does look sinister!

            • marty mars

              Lol he doesnt like you i think.

              • Muttonbird

                I’ll take that as a compliment. BM is authoritarian, has obvious anger issues, and is quick to resort to abuse.

                I find it the height of irony that BM comments on the actions of Meka Whaitiri when, if his behaviour on this site is anything to go by, he himself no doubt treats those around him in a similar fashion.

          • Gabby

            Is Handy a bit of a Streisand BMmer?

        • Chuck

          Handley is donating the Govt payout to charity.

          Derek Handley and Jacinda Ardern were friendly before Ardern becoming Labour leader and then PM.

          Clare Curran was the saboteur.

          • Muttonbird

            No. The appointment was to go ahead until the opposition, bitter that they hadn’t managed to unseat Curran earlier, vindictively smashed the room up costing the taxpayer $100K.

  17. Ngungukai 18

    Michelle will be loving this, plotting how to bring down Jacindarella.

  18. greywarshark 19

    More pastoral care needed and input from Uni. and government. Much of the counselling available to students with difficulties is paid for from their own fees, and it is prioritised and appears that only urgent cases are seen immediately. In other cases, to get an appointment that is right for the student, they may have to wait – not more than six weeks!

    But vice-chancellor Grant Guilford said the use of the word “evicted” was inaccurate.
    “The student in question was not evicted. None of our students would be evicted from a hall,” he said.

    “When we have a suicide attempt in a halls of residence then usually the student is returned directly to their family or they come back to the halls. If they come back to the halls then we sit down and work through an individual care plan, and part of that care plan is usually a strong recommendation that their health is best protected by going back into a supportive family environment.
    “So that conversation occurs and then there’s an arrangement made for the individual’s family to pick them up.”

    He said occasionally the university had to “insist” that a student leave when they did not want to.

    “We’ve had a small number of occasions over the years where we’ve had to insist that a student goes for their own protection and for the protection of the others,” he said.
    “We are firm about this. Just popping someone back into a hostel room because they say they’re going to be okay isn’t good practice and isn’t good care.


    And more unfeeling attitudes to we humans being crushed by the focus on economy instead of society. Machines are an aid, they should not be used as sorting us into types they have defined, which then get input that they have defined etc. There are more interesting stories coming out of ACC about predictive mod. I think.

    Predictive modelling: Digital vs human decision-making
    How does MSD use predictive data to target at-risk citizens?

    Statistics NZ is running a Data Summit conference in Wellington today and tomorrow, and one of the agencies funding it is our biggest government social agency, the Ministry for Social Development.
    It comes ahead of the release of a stock-take of government agencies using algorithms.

    MSD’s Deputy Chief Executive for Insights and Investment Nic Blakely tells Kathryn Ryan where the ministry is at with helping our most vulnerable through predictive modelling.

    Notes: 1 MSD is Ministry of ‘Social’ Development.

    2 Work and Income https://www.workandincome.govt.nz/ – This comes under the Min. of Social Development – in case you aren’t up with the present status of government interest in helping us.
    (It doesn’t state NZ next to their name but it does say govt.nz in the heading so it is about us. They also have a pretty picture of a polished red heart which looks like stone and not one they have surgically removed from some donor.)

    And the whole basis for their work is to get NZs off the benefit and into work, so reducing annual figures. It is a pity that they don’t have an accompanying department for making jobs that will enable people to live and work in comfort.

  19. joe90 20

    Christine Blasey Ford’s prepared remarks to tomorrows judiciary hearing are powerful, and upsetting.

    I believe her.


  20. greywarshark 21


    Sinead Boucher knows how to talk the talk about the high quality of news reporting the media is aiming for, and may be prevented from bringing us because of the merger being denied. Of course if Fairfax hadn’t sold off Trade Me they would have got the return on adverts that the paper had lost which would have provided the money that they needed.

  21. Gosman 22

    Given people’s response to the thread involving Ardern invoking the memory of Mandela I thought it would be more appropriate to raise this in open mike rather than on that thread. There is a view that South Africa is currently trapped in some sort of Apartheid menatlity where the Whites benefit from the system whereas the Blacks do not. I think this is nonsense. If there are issues around people in south Africa not being able to advance they have the power to alter that in their hands. The fact is that the country has gone backwards not forwards over the past 10 years mainly because of the mindset of the people in power. It has little to do with the legacy of Apartheid.

    • marty mars 22.1

      Someone said you don’t live in NZ – is that correct?

      • greywarshark 22.1.1

        As someone said ‘Rome wasn’t built in a day’. So South Africa has to work its way through lots of problem that accumulate confusingly, some from the past, the present morass, and what about the future people sometimes ask.

        I don’t think they should be damned for being just another version of confused humans caught up in management and ethical problems. Somewhere along the way we will no doubt all get caught up in some sort of Perfect Storm that will eliminate some apparent possibilities, and then TINA. But as you say SA have opportunities still and need to concentrate on discussion and some definite goals. As we must.

        Terry Pratchett in Raising Steam has the Low King of the dwarves talk about the problems of the quarrelsome, individualistic dwarves (possibly an analogy of ourselves):

        ‘I am here to tell you, my friends and, indeed, my smiling enemies, that if we do not band together against the forces that wish to keep us in darkness dwarfkind will be diminished. We need to work together, talk to one another, deal properly with one another and not spend all our time in one enormous grump that the world isn’t entirely ours any more and, at the finish, ruin it for everyone. After all, who would deal with such as us in a world of new choices? In truth, we should act as sapient creatures should! If we don’t move with the future, the future will twist and roll right over us.’

        One aged dwarf responds on the subject of vandalistic destruction of their telegraph system, the clack towers – in short:
        ‘What are we but creatures of communication and communication accurately communicated is a benison to be cherished by all species everywhere.. discourse and compromise are cornerstones in the proper world of politics…’

        It’s a story but Terry Pratchett was a bright spark with a good knowledge about everything, and worked with similar others, and his books are full of references to our present problems that show up in the Discworld of his imagination.

      • Gosman 22.1.2

        I thought you’d know the answer to that Marty.

        • marty mars

          Nah – I always thought you did so I was surprised when someone said it. Think of the question from a Māori perspective of creating context – it even is important with our personas I find 😊. Anyway i thought I’d ask – any response is understandable.

  22. Muttonbird 24

    So no bias or any hint of wrongdoing by Curran or the PM over the CTO role.


    No smoking gun. Nothing.

    Just the National Party screwing things up for Handley, Curran, the PM, and the New Zealand public.


    They’d better move on to screwing things up for Maori (which is what they are best at), and the high country environment (they’re good at screwing that up too).

    • alwyn 24.1

      Of course you accept this. You are probably like Michael Cullen who welcomed such an enquiry about Taito Phillip Field.
      Remember him? The only MP we have ever had who was jailed for corruption in office.
      The then Government set up an enquiry that exonerated him.
      Run by an eminent QC who turned in the report the Government needed.

      At the time Michael Cullen, now the favourite of a useless Government said.
      ” It is typical of National Party members that, when faced with an independent inquiry, they immediately reject the conclusions if they do not like them. Those members come straight out of Alice in Wonderland—sentence first, then hear the evidence afterwards. That is their approach to justice.”
      and then
      “After all, the fundamental fault Mr Field committed was to work too hard on behalf of the many, many hundreds of people who come to his electorate office on immigration matters”.

      Well any Government can set up an enquiry that well say anything they want. It doesn’t mean it is necessarily accurate of course.
      This Coalition of Losers appear to have done precisely that here.

      • Muttonbird 24.1.1

        You are struggling aren’t you?

        This one is done. Dirty Politics just didn’t work this time.

        Move on to Meka Whaitiri, or Wally Haumaha. Looks like the Nats are neck deep in those issues too so maybe you’ll have better luck?

      • Dukeofurl 24.1.2

        Donna Awatere wasnt corrupt while in office ?

        Then there was nationals MP and Minister Richard Worth who was offering official appointments to ( a) woman in return for sex ( before he was rolled for other sexual escapades)

        • alwyn

          I didn’t really follow that case.
          You did notice that they kicked her out of the House I presume?
          And Richard Worth was very quickly gone from Parliament as well. As were a couple of other National members who did not maintain the high standards Key required.

          But Curran remains. So does the one who assaulted a staff member.
          So far, anyway.
          Didn’t Labour learn anything from Taito Phillip Field? They still seem only too happy to stand up for people who should be told to quit. Read the rubbish the Cullen came out with and tell me you honestly approve. Doesn’t it embarrass you?

          The party leadership seemed happy to leave Darren Hughes there after his misbehaviour as well. Goff covered his eyes and tried to pretend that nothing had happened. His deputy said she was sound asleep at the time.
          Remind you of the MP who was at the Young Labour do? Sound asleep. Never heard a thing.

          Why don’t they clean out the ratbags in their ranks? It wouldn’t be seen as weakness. It would be seen as insisting on the highest standards from people who claim the right to tell everyone else in New Zealand how they are to behave.
          Why is it so hard for them to do that?

          • Muttonbird

            Are you seriously equating what Richard Worth did with Clare Curran’s appointment efforts?

            That is a level of derangement I’ve not seen in some time. Breathtaking.

            • alwyn

              I suggest you take it up with the person who contributes under the pseudonym of Dukeofurl.
              He seems to wish to equate them. I was merely commenting on his opinion on the matter.
              Are you seriously saying that Dukeofurl is deranged? Well I suppose it takes one to know one so perhaps you are correct.

              • Muttonbird

                It’s going to be mighty entertaining to watch you try to describe how Curran is corrupt.

                • alwyn

                  I think that Curran is a liar and a fool.
                  How she ever got into the Cabinet is a total mystery.
                  I don’t believe I have ever actually described her as corrupt though.

                  People senior to her in this Government qualify though.

    • BM 24.2

      Biggest pile of bull shit ever, no one’s fooled except for a few dimwitted left wingers, such as yourself.

      The whole thing stinks like a dirty arse.

  23. Chris T 25

    Saw Ardern on Colbert

    Actually pretty impressed after the other 2 fluff ones.

    • alwyn 25.1

      Did Colbert know her name, and how to pronounce it?
      He was talking to Jemaine Clement and Bret McKenzie last night on the show and was trying to find out how her name was pronounced. He certainly seems to leave it late to find out who the people he is going to have to interview really are. In fact he had to ask his staff when she was going to be on the program.
      He also seemed to need assistance in finding out what he should ask her. Then he had no idea what the Capital of New Zealand is.

  24. Jenny 26

    Everything before ‘But’ is bullshit.

    Harking from New Zealand’s oil drilling heartland, a New Plymouth newscaster sees a new career niche for himself as a doubtcaster.

    Following hard on the heels of the MBIE costings of the loss of taxes and wages, (no mention of loss to profits), caused by the cancellation on issuing any more oil prospecting licences. (Not the stopping new oil prospecting, as some oil industry alarmists claim), comes this:

    Questioning the climate change inconsistencies
    Jim Tucker – September 27, 2018

    Far, far, far be it from me to question the existence of climate change. Only ideologues and the very brave speak out on the possibility it’s all hokum. But…….

    Not to be outdone:

    EV drivers are bludgers costing NZ roads $7m per year
    Rob Maetzig – September 27, 2018

    …….how much individual motorists pay in excise duty and RUCs depends on how much petrol they consume and how many kilometres owners of diesel vehicles travel.

    That’s unless the car is a pure electric vehicle – because they don’t pay anything at all.

    Obviously pure EVs don’t consume any petrol, and the Government has exempted them from paying any RUCs. The bureaucrats say this is intended as one way of encouraging people to buy the vehicles. This exemption will continue either until 2021 or until EVs comprise 2 per cent of our light vehicle fleet, whichever comes first.

    Energy and Resources Minister Megan Woods and Acting Associate Transport Minister James Shaw have jointly boasted that there are now 10,000 EVs on NZ’s roads. Shaw added that this was an important milestone, particularly considering that just five years ago there was only 210 EVs registered here…..

    ……now that the 10,000-vehicle mark has been reached, is it really appropriate that so many owners are being allowed to continue to pocket the millions of dollars that could be going into much-needed improvements to the roads they drive on?

    Are these sort of news articles any conicidence at a time when the oil industry are squealing like stuck pigs at even the slightest of restrictions to drill baby drill forget about the climate costs. (we can externalise these costs and pass them on to you or your grandchildren)

  25. eco maori 27

    Kia ora The Am Show EatMYlunch is a awesome cause 1 million lunches made .
    How it works is when one buy lunch from eatmylunch they pay for 2 and one lunch is given to needy children free ka pai.
    A criminal case review commission is what is needed interdependent review’s .
    These people don’t have the money to higher lawyer to correct cases were people are charged for a crime they did not commit.
    Mark I do say old guy’s matter but what they are doing to OUR World society treating it like a toilet has to STOP.
    Finally the old men tangata wai splashing in there faces.
    Duncan the tec guy was a set up from the start the timing of his release of his emails speaks clear and loud set up.
    Yes judy tec guy it is all a bit strange if one has intelligence one could see it Duncan I hear bell’s lol. Heres a link below


    Mark your poll gives a % 70 pass rate and climbing .
    Look’s live Tova having a good time in New York .
    Ka kite ano

  26. eco maori 28

    The Cafe many thanks for high lighting FREEDOM FROM HUNGER DAY and play a song of Gorge Michaels FREEDOM
    Mike Eco can see back ka kite ano

  27. eco maori 29

    Some Eco Maori Music

  28. eco maori 30

    Many thanks to the Indian Judges who have struck out laws that gave the man power to dominate wahine in Indian.
    Ka pai te Papatuanuku society is growing up becoming more humane.
    I know that Indian wahine still have a long road to walk but this is a good start Mana wahine link below Ka kite ano


  29. eco maori 31

    I beleve that Kavnaugh is guilty first it is well know the American collage party culture there are a lot of movies made about this fact and many collage city’s in the west copy this culture .
    Then he makes out hes a saint when we know what the side effects of drinking to much does to one self control and memory .
    Any decent man would step down why because he is putting undue STRESS on his Family I put my family first . link is below Ka kite ano


  30. eco maori 32

    Kia ora Newshub the star will not lose any shine when she gets back.
    That’s the way students don’t let the power’s that be treat you as a lesser being.
    Well that’s cool that the American owner of that farming station conforming to the Kiwi way of doing things ka pai
    OUR Orca have a heap of pcp chemicals in there systems I read that Canada Orca half of there deaths are because of chemical in there environment this is why Im against poisons as we don’t know the long term effects they have on us or the creatures or our environment.
    Some people just think about the now and not tomorrow that is quite plan to see.
    They have not tested for long term effects have they of chemicals .
    Elon Oil baron’s enough said.
    Mr loop hole that English lawyer tell’s me I’m correct money can buy impunity .
    That Mega Yacht is a beautiful boat there you go our boat industry’s are booming ka pai
    It’s about time that the council in Te taiwhiti is trying to find solution’s to the mess that has been caused by clear felling whole forestry’s and flooding. That problem is all the way down the coast. The positive thing about it is the Trawler’s will be pushed out deeper or they will lose or rip up there trawling gear . That happen a bit after Cyclone Bolar .
    Ka kite ano

  31. eco maori 33

    Kia ora The Crowd Goes Wild Wairangi & Storm .The Rugby & League Grandfinal will be awesome this weekend .
    One can see that I don’t know the over sea Netball team’s name’s Storm I tau toko the Silver Fern’s cool outfit Wai lol laughter is good for the wairua .
    Kia kaha te Apricots Cricket team .
    The ball skills of our Rugby and League team’s are quite awesome to watch .
    Ka kite ano P.S The League wahine team’s have some mean tackles Kia kaha

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  • Climate Change: Ban private jets
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    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
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    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • The left and violent misogyny
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    1 week ago
  • Imperialism and the iPhone
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    2 weeks ago
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  • Back it up Luxon: endorsing the destructive past is not actually the way forward
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  • Good riddance
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    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • Climate Change: D-Day
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    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
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  • Winston is right
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    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • Media impartiality
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    2 weeks ago
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    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • New Fisk
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  • More tyranny in Australia
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    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
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    2 weeks ago
  • My loyal readership of … Cam girls and Pornbots?
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    2 days ago
  • Addressing miscarriages of justice
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    3 days ago
  • Week That Was: Historic action on climate change
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    1 week ago
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  • A balanced Zero Carbon Bill passed
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    1 week ago
  • Paramedics’ status to be recognised
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    2 weeks ago
  • Week That Was: 2,000 teachers in two years
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    2 weeks ago
  • Winning an election one conversation at a time
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    2 weeks ago
  • Closer cooperation with Korean horse racing industry
    Rt Hon Winston Peters, Deputy Prime Minister, Minister for Racing Racing Minister Winston Peters met with Korea Racing Authority Chairperson Nak Soon Kim in Seoul today to discuss closer cooperation between the New Zealand and Korean horse racing industries. As part of the visit to the Seoul Racecourse, Mr Peters witnessed ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Otago to lead digital creativity
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    2 weeks ago
  • Young Otago students encouraged to take on forestry careers
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  • PGF backing Dunedin’s waterfront ambitions
    Hon Shane Jones, Minister for Regional Economic Development The Provincial Growth Fund (PGF) will support local plans to revitalise and stimulate economic development opportunities in Otago, Regional Economic Development Minister Shane Jones has announced. The four Regional Economic Development Ministers have approved an in-principle investment of $19.9 million towards the region’s ...
    2 weeks ago
  • M. Bovis eradication progress welcomed
    Mark Patterson, Spokesperson for Primary Industries New Zealand First is pleased to have received the Technical Advisory Group (TAG) report on the Coalition Government’s Mycoplasma bovis eradication efforts, which shows significant progress in the fight against the disease. New Zealand First Spokesperson for Primary Industries, Mark Patterson, says the report’s findings ...
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  • PGF boosts Otago’s engineering and manufacturing sector
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  • Minister Peters discusses Pacific challenges and denuclearisation in Seoul
    Rt Hon Winston Peters, Deputy Prime Minister, Minister of Foreign Affairs Foreign Minister Winston Peters and his South Korean counterpart, Kang Kyung-wha, discussed in Seoul today opportunities to work more closely in the Pacific and the situation on the Korean Peninsula. Mr Peters and Minister Kang confirmed New Zealand and the ...
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  • PGF supports high speed broadband for marae at Parihaka Pa
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  • Advancing Pacific Partnerships 2019 launched
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    3 weeks ago
  • PGF funding could transform Gisborne company into “beacon of employment” in two years
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    3 weeks ago

  • Food industry asked to step up fight against obesity
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    4 hours ago
  • Modern emergency care for Queenstown area
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    22 hours ago
  • Contraception important for New Zealanders
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    1 day ago
  • NZ medical staff and measles vaccines going to Samoa
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    1 day ago
  • Disability Action Plan 2019 – 2023
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    2 days ago
  • Joint Statement – Third Singapore-New Zealand Defence Ministers’ Meeting
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    2 days ago
  • Sexual Violence Legislation Bill has its first reading
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  • Streamlined business invoicing a step closer
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    2 days ago
  • More frontline biosecurity officers protecting NZ
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    2 days ago
  • NZ space economy worth $1.69 billion
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    2 days ago
  • New Chair for Royal Commission into Abuse
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    2 days ago
  • Better mental health facilities for Palmerston North
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    2 days ago
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  • More vaccines for meningococcal disease
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    2 days ago
  • Fisheries innovation projects supported
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    3 days ago
  • Government fixes culturally arranged marriage visa issue
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    3 days ago
  • Extension for Royal Commission into Mosque attacks
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    3 days ago
  • Terrorism and Trade on agenda as Foreign Minister visits the United States
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    3 days ago
  • Hoiho get extra support alongside 168 community conservation groups backing nature
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    3 days ago
  • New safety measures for modified pistols
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    3 days ago
  • Minister of Defence to visit Singapore and Thailand
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    3 days ago
  • Future secured for Salisbury School
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    3 days ago
  • Resource management reform options released
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    3 days ago
  • Criminal Cases Review Commission established
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    4 days ago
  • Racing Industry destined to be on-track
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    4 days ago
  • New Zealand firefighter support to Queensland
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    4 days ago
  • Supporting all schools to succeed
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    4 days ago
  • Reform to support better outcomes for Māori learners and whānau
    The Government’s reform of the Tomorrow’s Schools system is a watershed moment in education and an opportunity to create meaningful change for ākonga Māori and their whānau, Associate Education Minister Kelvin Davis said today. “Last year through Kōrero Mātauranga | Education Conversation, Māori teachers, parents, ākonga, whānau, hapū and iwi ...
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    4 days ago
  • Infrastructure pipeline growing
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    4 days ago
  • Tighter firearms law to further improve safety
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    5 days ago
  • New TVNZ chair & directors confirmed
    Andy Coupe has been confirmed as TVNZ’s new Board Chair. “Mr Coupe has strong commercial and capital markets experience and TVNZ has benefited from his technical knowledge of business and finance, as well as his extensive governance experience,” the Minister of Broadcasting, Communications and Digital Media Kris Faafoi said.  Andy ...
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    5 days ago
  • Hutt Road cycle path officially opened
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    5 days ago
  • Announcement of new Ambassador to Russia
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    1 week ago
  • Half Year Economic and Fiscal Update
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    1 week ago
  • Giving a Boost to Kiwi small businesses
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    1 week ago
  • Nearly three quarters of Rolleston connected to UFB
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    1 week ago
  • Historic day for landmark climate change legislation in New Zealand
    The passing of the Climate Change Response (Zero Carbon) Amendment Bill will help ensure a safe planet for our kids and grandkids, the Minister for Climate Change James Shaw said today. The landmark legislation which provides a framework to support New Zealanders to prepare for, and adapt to, the effects ...
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    1 week ago
  • Release of Oranga Tamariki Practice Review
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    1 week ago
  • Minister wishes students success in exams
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    1 week ago
  • New High Commissioner to the United Kingdom announced
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    1 week ago