Open mike 29/12/2019

Written By: - Date published: 7:00 am, December 29th, 2019 - 147 comments
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Open mike is your post.

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Step up to the mike …

147 comments on “Open mike 29/12/2019 ”

  1. bwaghorn 1

    Are the more rabid lefties turning people off?

    Bullying a silly git who turned a few books over is going to far.

    • Puckish Rogue 1.1

      Indeed, there are lessons from overseas about this:

      'After three years of leave supporters being dismissed as racist and stupid, and seeing Labour eventually get off the fence and back the People’s Vote campaign, how on earth did the party expect its leave supporters to react?'

      • TootingPopularFront 1.1.1

        The reason Corbyn was for leaving the EU was because he wanted to re-nationalise the railways, energy, water, etc., which was against EU rules, but the Blairites in the party would not allow this and insisted on siding with the LibDems (some of them getting right behind the reprehensible ant-semitism smear campaign run by all the media outlets except the mirror and the morning star that is now being used on Sanders in the US to silence him too). The inquest that the Labour Party are currently running is being controlled by the same people that wanted a second vote, so don’t expect much clarity from that either.

    • millsy 1.2

      ….but those on the right are simply allowed to fling whatever they like at the left..

      By the way, Col Wilson is NOT working class. He owns a bricklaying company. He is pretty bourgeois. He would quite happily vote those in retail and hospitality lower wages and shitty conditions if it meant he got a tax cut. The so called white working class ie tradies dont give a shit about solidarity anymore. They want the Bach, boat and BMW, and are willing to screw over their brothers an sisters to get it.

      • Patricia 1.2.1

        Agree Millsy. I think our Col is the typical impotent grumpy old Tory pakeha male who knows the world has passed him by. Vilifying younger women, especially those in power, is the only thing that makes him feel powerful again.

    • Anne 1.3

      Ani O'Brien is a kid who doesn't know what she is talking about.

      Her presumption that those who are "turning" on this dinosaur from the South are bona-fida "lefties" from Labour or the Green parties (which is what she is inferring) is likely to be nonsense born out of her own ignorance and feverish imagination.

      Assuming she is a journo, it was her own profession that caused the song and dance about a piddling gotcha-type story and alerted the international press in the first place. The culprits are more likely ne'er do wells who don't belong to either parties and are taking an opportunity to create a bigger stir.

      Good way to smear and down-grade the centre-left during the barbie season though isn't it.

      Pfft to her. Wonder if her National Party controllers wrote the piece?

      • Billy 1.3.1

        There. You are not providing room in the tent for Labour supporters with different views. Some are probably even more liberal in many ways than you, too.

        You're crazy. Stop it.

        • Anne

          Wonder if her National Party controllers wrote the piece?

          I guessed someone would not compute the inherent sarcasm. It was silly little billy. 🙄

      • weka 1.3.2

        Are you on twitter Anne? Because this played out there quite distinctly before the media picked it up. Imo she's not referring to Green or Labour party people, but the left generally.

        Suggesting she has National handlers because she critiques the left is pretty much the problem she is pointing to.

        • Anne

          That was a spot of sarcasm weka. I thought it would be obvious so didn't bother with the sarc tab.

          And no, I’m not on twitter or facebook. Have no desire to be.

          Check out my
          Funny way to point to such a problem.

          • weka

            your whole comment was sarcasm? Or just the bit about the handlers? What's the point, that she is right wing? It's still a smear /irony.

            • Anne

              weka. You're too intelligent to have to spell it out to you. I was referring to the "Nat controller" comment. It was not a genuine question but a tongue in cheek bit of sarcasm.

      • millsy 1.3.3

        I have checked out Ani's twitter feed.

        She has been banging this particular drum for some time. Loves to throw around terms like "woke", "SJW" and "working class" but never really eleborates on what policies she wants the Labour party to have.

        It only leads me to suspect further that the general idea among the establishment is that the 'working class family' should be the one depicted in Loretta Lynn's song "Coal Miner's Daughter". Nothing about unions, class conciousness, mutual banking and insurance services, soildarity (ie not selling out those in retail and hospitality). Even religion was at least questioned.

    • AB 1.4

      The people who have attacked the silly old git turning the magazines over look like identity politics devotees who are over-invested in the personality and gender of Jacinda. Their over-reaction to the silly old git has opened us all up to this bogus concern-trolling by yet another right-wing 'journalist' pretending to be of the left.

        • AB

          Joe – of course TurnArdern is saturated with misogyny. Calling it out is fine. But making threats against the guy or publishing details about him is beyond stupid.

      • Ed1 1.4.2

        I haven't seen anyone clearly from "the left"attacking "the silly old git"- when I first heard of the campaign (through social media) it was from apparent supporters of the campaign joking about it, then it was predictably picked up by the media, then the backlash. Has it been talked about on The Standard?

        I am surprised there have not been reports of threats of violence (unidentified) from the left, and calls for calm from some clearly left person. Did the campaign get things a little out of order, or is it working exactly as planned? Can anyone identify any evidence of anything that fits the description "the characteristically hysterical response of the increasingly militant and intolerant section of the Left who are determined to attribute the most horrendous of social crimes to anyone who holds opinions contrary to theirs."? Is it conceivable that someone somewhere may have pretended to be from the left and mischievously posted and extremist view? Surely not!

        • McFlock

          There was talk in the article of "threats" – which can be anywhere from boycotting his company to police-actionable threats againstl ife and limb, yet no further information beyond "threats" is available, it seems.

          I would suggest that serious threats run contrary to the vibe our current PM inspires, but who knows – there can be tossers anywhere, so actual threats are theoretically possible, I guess.

    • McFlock 1.5

      I don't think that the people calling the boomer manbaby "racist" are doing so basd on his latest activities. I gather (including from comments here) it has to do with some now-deleted tweets from March or thereabouts.

      But the basic idea "turning books gets called racism" is consistent for Speak Up for Bigots. Didn't know why the name was familiar until I saw the line at the bottom.

      • Psycho Milt 1.5.1

        …Speak Up for Bigots…

        How about if those of us who conclusively aren't women avoid posting comments like this, as a flame retardant measure? I don't think female readers of this blog really want to see two men arguing about who's an acceptable feminist and what a woman is.

        • McFlock

          Regardless of the trans argument, it seems that they are quite literally speaking up for a bigot who has a problem (among other problems) with a woman in a position of power.

          • Psycho Milt

            In her role as chair of Speak Up For Women, Ani O'Brien has gained a lot of experience of pile-ons by irate postmodernists offended that someone should hold opinions they don't agree with, so I'm willing to cut her some slack in this instance. I think the OP was wrong, in that the potential loss of the South Island racist vote isn't something that should keep Labour strategists awake at night, but I can also see her point: a lot of people aren't going to trouble themselves to delve into it far enough to find out why this prick is being called a racist, but they might well pay enough attention to decide they're seeing a working class guy being dipped in shit by smart-arse middle-class liberals. Identity politics is a bitch.

            • bwaghorn

              After looking at joe90s tweet link . Na shes fucked up . If you going to go to print calling out people for attacking someone you need to show all the reason why the one being attacked is coping it. Makes one wonder if she isnt a dishonest cur

            • McFlock

              Lord save me from conservative reactionaries and their concern for the left's share of the votes. It always ends up with the proposition that the only way the left can win an election is by actively courting bigots (of whatever flavour).

              Which is like curing thirst by drinking petrol. Rather than providing relief, it's incompatible with the basic functioning of the organism.

          • Anne

            Not just speaking up for a bigot but effectively agreeing with him.

            • Anne

              Take for example the following excerpts from the link provided:

              Now, I do not know the people involved with the protest, but as far as I can tell turning books around is about as benign as political objection can get.

              She calls that benign? Removing magazines from supermarket shelves as we saw in one TV video clip and chucking them in a corner as if Ardern is some tart not worthy of display. Call that benign?

              People should be free to protest Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern without being subjected to threats, writes Ani O'Brien.

              No they're not when they make protests intended to smear and demean.

              It is also reminiscent of those who hid books about John Key when he was Prime Minister and if I recall they were not labelled anything other than 'petty' by their political opponents.

              I don't recall that but if it happened my guess it was an isolated incident or two. This chump set up an online site asking for people throughout the country to join him in his puerile protest – a protest which is based on a lie in the first place.

              • Call that benign?

                In context, yes. For example, the context in which Don Brash gets mud thrown on his clothes and Stephen Joyce gets smacked in the face with a dildo – turning book displays around is benign by comparison.

                People should be free to protest Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern without being subjected to threats, writes Ani O'Brien.

                Seriously, you're disputing that statement? Wtf?

                This chump set up an online site asking for people throughout the country to join him in his puerile protest…

                You do get that people are allowed to do that in this country, right?

                • Anne

                  … turning book displays around is benign by comparison.

                  In the physical sense yes, but in a psychological sense? No.

                  It is all part of a campaign to deride Jacinda Ardern, to create a false sense of her supposed lack of capabilities and to fool people into believing the lies and innuendo and the fake stories that inevitably follow.

                  It is "Dirty Politics II" and we've seen the terrible toll that took on people in the firing line.

                  Stop it in its tracks I say. Hopefully, the hostility the chump in question has apparently been subjected to, might make all the other chumps think twice before indulging in similar acts.

          • weka

            "Regardless of the trans argument, it seems that they are quite literally speaking up for a bigot who has a problem (among other problems) with a woman in a position of power."

            Someone on twitter was saying this too. Can you please point to the bit you think is her defending or speaking up for Col? Because I saw her critiquing the left and not being particularly supportive of him (or them).

            • McFlock

              The bit where she conflated calling him racist with his book-turning campaign. Two different issues, but putting them together supports her argument that his critics are practising hyperbole, rather than responding rationally to each of his multiple stupidities. Thereby defending him from his critics.

              • weka

                I thought that bit was off too. My own position is that I'm concerned about strategy. Many on the left seem to think that doing the hard man stuff will help. I'm not saying this out of sympathy for Col (bar the doxxing and threats), but rather it's the many invisible people on twitter, FB, and now reading the papers who were undecided and are now shifting towards the right, not because Col is right and the left are wrong, but because of how the left are approaching the issue. This is my understanding of what OBrien is saying too. If it had just been about Col, then maybe the response was useful. But it wasn't just about him.

                • weka

                  FWIW, having seen Col around, but not followed closey what he does, I just assumed he was part of the twitter RWers who are there to shit stir for National.

                • McFlock

                  The opinion piece was a run of the mill tone argument, from my perspective. Unless they can provide decent metrics, 99% of the time "if you keep doing this you lose votes" translate to "if you keep doing this, my personal vote will go to someone else, but in all probability I would have voted for them anyway but felt a little bit bad about it".

                  But even if it were true and the left needs to tolerate social conservatism to the point of bigotry in order to win an election, that strikes me as being a suicidal "victory". I'm all for incrementalism, but pandering to the mythical Waitakere Man is active regression. How far should it go? Failing to punish racism in meetings? Sexual harrassment? Homophobic bullying? Sitting there and smiling through gritted teeth when epithets are flung around, making people visibly uncomfortable?

                  Because the yanks and the blowback into NZ have taught me that the social conservatives won't compromise. So if one group in society has to smile through gritted teeth, I'd rather it be them.

                  • weka

                    I don't think that was her argument though. If I get the time I'll ask her, Leaving aside our respective interpretations of her piece, the issue for me isn't about tolerating racists, it's about how we respond. I'm not arguing for incrementalism (I think the centre left has that covered), I'm saying that like others I'm watching lefties/progressive shift away from the left and the left saying things like 'don't let the door hit you on the way out'. At another time that might be funny, but not in a world of Trumpian politics. The solution isn't to be incremental, it's to be respectful and where possible kind. Not to Col, but to the people who are on the verge of being influenced.

                    • McFlock

                      I'm not opposed to kindness, until kindness to one person is cruelty to another.

                      The same organisation can't be a welcoming space for vulnerable groups if it's also a welcoming space for bigots against those groups.

                      So we have to have a line. And it has to be clear. "Don't let the door hit you on the way out" is as clear as it gets.

                  • weka

                    "Because the yanks and the blowback into NZ have taught me that the social conservatives won't compromise."

                    How has NZ become more liberal then? That's happening faster than natural attrition via death.

                    • McFlock

                      Because NZ conservatives are less well funded than the US – we have fewer belts of fundies and fewer corporate evangelicals.

                      But they learn from the US, and it could easily go the other way, because we also have cols in NZ. And SST, and density church, and the nats have signalled they will embrace that lot like the repugs embraced the US equivalents.

                      The downside of there being no permanent defeat is that there's no permanent victory, either.

    • Muttonbird 1.7

      Ani O'Brien is the chair of Speak up for Women. Their very existence is to oppose Greens policy.

      Seems to me they speak up for women not to protect against dominant patriarchy but to protect against transgender rights, progressive politics and specifically the Greens.

      What confuses me about people like Ani O'Brien and Ryan Bridge is that they fight against the very type of activism which enabled they themselves to freely identify and enjoy equal rights as gay people in modern society.

      Ladder-kickers much?

      • Psycho Milt 1.7.1

        Oh great, another man wants to tell women how feminists are wrong. Please just stop.

        • Muttonbird

          Well, in fact, it’s about the politics.

          But continue being the hall monitor. It suits you.

          • Psycho Milt

            Sure, your claim that these feminists aren't opposing patriarchal oppression but are instead doing some other shit you made up is totally, totally just about the politics. /sarc

            • Muttonbird

              Her opinion piece in Stuff was purely political. Her organisation defines itself as opposing particular political legislation.

              I loved the threat she made about being 'reluctantly left'. Sounds like she wants to leave because the left is too progressive and not traditional enough. Amazing that a militant gay feminist would come down on the side of tradition when it suits her! She's on the same side of the argument as Bob McCoskie, ffs.

              Don't let the door hit your arse on the way out, Ani.

              • weka

                "Don't let the door hit your arse on the way out, Ani."

                Wow. You really think it's not a problem that people are radicalising away from the left? Because from where I'm standing, we're approaching a point of crisis and the left seems to think it is assured of winning. Remember what happened in the 2016 US election?

                • Muttonbird

                  I just don't think it was a big deal. One person tweeted publicly available information and that seems to be the basis of ongoing article about the treatment of poor old Colin Wilson.

                  Ani O'Brien tried to paint all lefties as hysterical when everyone had forgotten about it.

                  That's political.

                  • weka

                    what wasn't a big deal? This isn't about a single tweet, it's an evolving dynamic over a number of weeks, largely based around leftie twitter (and in the context of a much longer dynamic of how the left are responding to the right there) that has now spilled over into the MSM.

                    OBrien didn't paint all lefties as hysterical, she pointed to a problem that increasing numbers of people are concerned about, intolerance on the left. I'm seeing it in the leftie responses to her article many of which start with undermining her rather than addressing her points.

                • Sabine

                  maybe the 'left' needs to

                  a. entice the people to vote who don't vote at all

                  b. stop running after the conservative vote as if it were better then the votes of the people who have stopped voting

                  c. grow some spine and actually stand for something more then a 50$ heating aid for some in winter that will be cut of the programm next time the no mates party wins.

                  d. understand and acknowledge that allies don't have to be on the left.

                  Heck i don't consider myself the 'left' no more then i consider myself ' right'. I consider myself without representation by all the parties.

                  Too rich to profit of labours welfare hand outs, to poor for the no mates parties tax cut hand outs, but rich enough to be fleeced to death by both parties. As for the Greens, NZFirst …..just nothing for no one other then job creation for themselves.

                  As for the 2016 election, i remember the shit i got from many here that were only concerend with the economic anxiety of the 'white male working class' as being the underdog. Cause the women workers – of color or white – fuck em, the kids? fuck em, the mexicans and brown people running away from their fucked up countries? fuck em. And so on and so on.

                  and now we are to be scared into voting for the Left cause 2016? Good grief, we are so fucked if that is why we are to vote for 'the left'.

                  • weka

                    if you believe there are enough votes on the left and in the non-vote to shift the Overton Window, and prevent rising fascism, then all power to you in getting more people voting for progressive parties. I’d love to see the non-voters enfranchised.

                    However I’m not convinced that this is sufficient, although it’s obviously necessary. I’m not arguing for the left to go after conservative voters by compromising something. I’m not even really talking about voting here. I’m saying that we need to address the things that are polarising NZ, and where people are radicalising away from liberal values or left wing politics, and where people who have no political home end up feeling valued and welcomed by the right.

                    I remember the shit storm of 2016 on TS too, and have paid a price for trying to shift the culture here. Ironically, it’s that experience as much as anything that informs my current view. It’s not one group that is polarising or radicalising, there are really complex dynamics shifting in the culture, and the old left/right paradigm doesn’t have dominance. The left still seems to be largely operating as if it does and that the left can somehow win if we just push virtue hard enough. Meanwhile, the people that are telling us there is something wrong are being shown the door.

              • Anne

                Her opinion piece in Stuff was purely political. Her organisation defines itself as opposing particular political legislation.

                That's the way it came across to me too Muttonbird and I had never heard of her nor had any knowledge of her background. But the fact it was a political piece masquerading as something else seemed clear to me.

              • Billy

                It's not that it's too progressive. You don't get it, do you? It's because it is too authoritarian. That's how you can alienate both social conservatives and social liberals – dare I say, the "libertine left" – at the same time!

                Identity politics has destroyed contemporary labour the world over. The party born of solidarity between disparate groups living and sometimes suffering under the same circumstances cannot bring itself to allow scriptural divergence from Gender Trouble circa 1990, University of Berkeley California, etc, but tolerates class humiliation every day in the form of disgust ridden car window media lectures from former pop stars and models etc.

                • Muttonbird

                  I'd say that denying transgender people their chosen identity is the authoritarian position.

                  Basically if you can't afford the treatment and surgery you are not allowed to identify as the gender you identify with.

                  It's actually a double war on a particular maginalised population.

                  But then war on the marginalised is a specialty of the right wing isn't it Billy?

                  • Billy

                    I was not aware that Ani O'Brien was denying people their chosen identity.

                    If you want to talk about this in terms of rights, Ani O'Brien is a woman who does not want to share intimate spaces with people she considers biologically male. That’s been the practical, real world example through all of this, has it not?

                    Is there not an awkward but practical solution to this? Why not build four sets of changing rooms from now on: for men, for women, and for women who desire greater privacy than many other women expect? The need for the latter may increase as the population shifts to include a more diverse group of cultural backgrounds with their own ideas of culture, sex, the body, and so forth. We didn't always have disabled toilets. From now on we might need two sets of changing rooms for women. Shouldn’t the debate for a progressive be able accommodating as many people as possible, or are you some sort of cultural supremacist, blinded by an arguably time-limited ideology?

                    More widely, I don't see how O'Brien is oppressing transgender people by refusing to recognize that gender isn't tied to sex. Not practically, as in the previous example, in respect of Ani's rights against what is a fairly recent cultural change in attitude (you'd think it was written on stone tablets).

                    • Billy

                      I meant: Shouldn’t the debate for a progressive be about accommodating as many people as possible, or are you some sort of cultural supremacist…

                      btw Would be quite amusing to have multiple women’s changing rooms labelled “progressive women” and “social libertarian and social conservative women”.

                    • weka

                      "I was not aware that Ani O'Brien was denying people their chosen identity."

                      I don't think she does. SUFW's opposition is to putting self-ID into law. Afaik they're not opposing official ID via state sanctioned assessment (which doesn't require medical transition anyway). Nor are they saying that trans ppl can't identify socially how they choose, although obviously there is a conflict between their view on sex/gender and that of trans activists.

                    • solkta

                      Why not build four sets of changing rooms from now on

                      Why not build eight and have people of colour separated as well, keep the racists happy too.

                  • weka

                    "Basically if you can't afford the treatment and surgery you are not allowed to identify as the gender you identify with."

                    Are you saying that OBrien's political position is that trans ppl without medical transition shouldn't be allowed to present as the gender they identify as? If that is what you are saying, you'll need to back that up now, or withdraw the comment. I don't want to get into moderator mode, but this is such a contentious issue that care is needed when presenting facts, especially about public figures. Afaik this is not AB's position, so you'll need to provide some evidence.

                    • Billy

                      O'Brien is being willfully misrepresented, I agree.

                    • Muttonbird

                      The evidence is their campaign against the sex self-ID amendment being pushed through as part of the BDMRR Bill.

                      This stance has been criticised by transgender advocacy groups as discriminating against low income transgender people who cannot afford to provide the required medical evidence.

                      The required medical evidence and Family Court process can be difficult, and expensive. It is out of line with the current policy on passports and drivers licenses, which require a simple statutory declaration to change the gender marker on them. It is also out of step with international best practice for human rights.

                      This impacts most heavily on those who:

                      • do not undertake medical steps as part of their transition (for financial, medical, religious, or other reasons)
                      • do not know how to make a formal legal application to the Family Court and/or
                      • cannot afford to pay a lawyer to apply on their behalf, which can be expensive, costing up to $3,000.

                      The current process can be lengthy, particularly for those takatāpui, trans and non-binary people waiting for medical evidence to be supplied from a GP, hormone specialist or surgeon. They may also not want a particular medical treatment, and may be pressured toward medical intervention in order to obtain accurate identification

                      I had a quick read of the SUFW website and it seems to be populated mainly by articles about how they and their speakers have been banned from events rather than offering alternative solutions to the BDMRR bill to which they are so opposed.

                      I'm happy to read further into this if that is what you require for me to keep my commenting privileges.

                    • weka []

                      you need to quote (and link) evidence to back up your assertion that AB wants to deny non-medically transitioned trans ppl the right to identify as they want. The onus is on you to spell it out, not expect me to read a link and parse what you are referring to.l

                    • weka []

                      and your link doesn’t support your assertion. l

                    • Muttonbird

                      I'm putting myself in the position of a transgender person who, as per the Gender Minorities Aotearoa website, wants to be able to identify with, in law, their chosen gender without intrusion or major cost. The amendments seek to:

                      1. replace a Family Court application with a statutory declaration process that enables takatāpui, trans or non-binary people to affirm and legally document their correct gender
                      2. remove any other eligibility requirements, such as the need for medical evidence
                      3. enable gender markers to be recognised as male, female, or as a third, non-binary gender, ensuring trans and non-binary people have the same right to legal recognition, and the legal protection that provides, as all non-trans people in New Zealand.

                      I think the Gender Minorities Aotearoa website is very thorough on why this is important to low income transgender people.

                      SUFW opposes the bill to make it easier for transgender people to change the marker on their birth certificate because:

                      If a person is “female” or a “woman” just because they say so, then “female” and “woman” become meaningless concepts.


                      Biology is a material reality, etc.

                      To me, and this is just my opinion, this is straight out of the Family First handbook.

                      As other have pointed out, were not these very same oppositions presented by traditionalists when the argument of gay rights arose?

                • McFlock

                  It's not authoritarianism, it's freedom.

                  Many people no longer feel compelled to smile politely and make small talk over dinner with someone who would happily see them or their loved ones dead in a ditch.

                • solkta

                  What is authoritarian about giving rights to trans people? Was it also too authoritarian when lesbians were given rights?

                  • Billy

                    I am not saying it is authoritarian to grant transgender people rights.

                    I am saying it is authoritarian to demand that people all adopt the same beliefs and speech according to some existing doctrine, or ideological view.

                    This troubling and humouless ideological rigidity is bad news for the Labour party as it doesn’t just alienate conservatives with departing views but many social liberals also.

                    • solkta

                      so what you saying there then billy boy? Muttonbird was talking about SUFW opposing rights for trans people.

                  • weka

                    In the transactivist/gender critical feminist war, the authoritarianism comes in the form of things* like suppression of debate. It's brutal and whatever else is going on in the rights and wrongs of that war, that suppression of debate should be a big concern to the left.

                    *to make that a bigger list, left wing GCFs (i.e. politicised, progressive women) get rape and death threats, people pissing on their doors at work, fired or threats to their careers, visits from the police for tweets that are not illegal but they are told to rethink their thoughts and actions, physically and verbally attacked, deplatformed, deboosted on twitter, subjected to violent memes involving guns or graphic depictions of violence against a woman and so on. And all of that is being silently sanctioned by other parts of the left, liberals/progressives. The upshot of that is that many women are afraid to express political opinions. Authoritarianism.

            • weka

              thanks PM. Men feeling enabled to tell women who are and aren't the real feminists should be raising alarm bells in progressive circles. But it's not.

              • McFlock

                I didn't say she wasn't a real feminist. I said she was a bigot. If I have confused her with a transphobic person and she is is in fact a support of trans rights and equality, I apologise.

                As for her current article, her description of the reaction to "coltheman" is exagerrated and conflates numerous issues.

                • Muttonbird

                  +1. It was a political opinion piece designed to advance her opposition to progressive legislation but several lefties claim it wasn't.

                • If I have confused her with a transphobic person and she is is in fact a support of trans rights and equality, I apologise.

                  Well, the group she chairs that you called "Speak Up For Bigots" has this on its web site:

                  We support the rights of transgender people to live their lives free from violence and discrimination.

                  Also this:

                  We recognise and respect the right of transgender people to live their lives in their chosen identity, and we understand why having a birth certificate consistent with that identity is important to them.

                  They also have some feminist concerns about the consequences for women if society were to accept that men can simply declare themselves women, but that's something neither of us is really qualified to comment on.

                  …her description of the reaction to "coltheman" is exagerrated and conflates numerous issues.

                  Kind of ironic, given the way many on the left describe Speak Up For Women.

                  • solkta

                    We support the rights of transgender people to live their lives free from violence and discrimination.

                    so what is it that they argue for to enable this? Are there to be four sets of toilets everywhere? No? They are just full of shit?

                    • Maybe your reduction of feminists' concerns about what sex self-identification means for women to a line about toilets is what's actually full of shit?

                  • McFlock


                    And all of those finance companies in the late oughts talked about how they were solid and reliable and had good credit ratings.

                    Doesn't follow though in their actions – or at least didn't when the topic of SUFW was thoroughly hashed out in february.

                    • In that case I'd better rephrase this, because it seriously doesn't seem to be getting through to you even slightly: what we as men think of feminist concerns about the consequences for women of societal acceptance of sex self-identification is worth two-fifths of fuck-all. If you genuinely have something against bigotry, stop handing everyone your gut-feeling reckons on that subject.

                    • McFlock

                      In other words: shut up while trans people are belittled and further marginalised.

                    • The men letting their instinctive dislike of these women out through their keyboards like to frame it in terms of protecting trans people from being belittled and marginalised, sure. Bigotry never looks like bigotry to the bigot, which is one reason dismissing them as bigots doesn't have any effect on them. In this case, the "shut up" message is being delivered to women, by men, so if you genuinely have a problem with people like Col, start with your own mind and stop demonising the women you don't like.

                    • McFlock

                      On the other hand, maybe it's a considered dislike for these individuals because they are bigots.

                    • I'm sure Col the Man tells himself something similar re the women he disparages.

                    • McFlock

                      One of the Herald articles showed the inconsistencies between col's criticisms of Ardern and his responses when it was pointed out that John Key had done similar things.

                      If I've been inconsistent depending on who's been arguing against self-id, feel free to point it out.

                    • Col isn't a bigot because he's inconsistent, he's a bigot because he dislikes women who go public with views he opposes. That should ring a bell.

                      Inconsistency isn't the issue here. The issue is a man dismissing women's concerns about sex self-id as irrelevant (because they are irrelevant – to men) and then adding insult to injury by calling them bigots. Mansplaining is trivial by comparison.

                    • McFlock

                      Inconsistency would at least indicate you had a point about my statements being made because of the nature of the group rather than its conduct.

                      Rather than "shut up and tolerate bigotry".

                    • I'm done. The approach of simply repeating that the people you disagree with are bigots is impervious to argument, as this thread demonstrates.

                    • Muttonbird

                      Thank god for that. Your weak false equivalencies were getting tiresome.

                    • McFlock

                      Why would I develop an argument to justify an opinion on a matter when your position is that my opinion on that matter should be left unsaid?

                    • Guess I'm not done – people may still be reading this, after all.

                      I don't care what your opinions are, let alone want you to make an argument for them. I'm arguing against supposedly progressive men telling feminists they're doing feminism wrong (which, despite your disclaimer to weka, was exactly what your "Speak up for bigots" comment consisted of).

                      Whatever your opinions are that lead you to dismiss out of hand feminists' concerns about something that affects only women and declare those feminists bigots, those opinions are irrelevant – at issue is the fact that you're doing it, not the "why."

                    • solkta

                      about something that affects only women

                      Not so from the TERF perspective. They hold that trans women are not women. Trans women are those most affected as they face high risk of violence from men in men's spaces as well as huge risk of depression and suicide through alienation.

                    • Who is or isn't a woman is not the subject here. The subject is men: supposedly progressive men dismissing feminists' concerns and declaring them bigots. Did you have any actually-relevant contribution to make about that?

                    • solkta

                      I think it is idiotic to say that a man cannot hold a woman accountable for their bigotry because the woman identifies as a feminist. I have found the opinion in the TERF stuff that i have read to be bigoted. The feminists i know find it bigoted also.

                    • McFlock

                      The article was speaking up for a bigot, written by someone who felt their association with SUFW was relevant to that article, so it was a pretty literal description.

                    • Solkta: yes, there are lots of men who see nothing wrong with giving the world their considered opinions on what feminists should or shouldn't think. That's exactly the problem.

                      McFlock: that disingenuous portrayal would carry a bit more weight if you hadn't gone on to directly call her a bigot and imply she's someone who belittles and marginalises trans-gender people.

                    • McFlock

                      So now my opinion on TERFs is relevant to the discussion again? Make up your mind.

                    • Men's casual dismissal of feminist concerns about a women's issue and assertion that they're doing feminism wrong is what's under discussion. Your views on transgender politics never were and still aren't relevant. Your views on "TERFs", to use your derogatory term, are relevant only to the extent that they illustrate the behaviour under discussion – they aren't the subject matter.

                    • solkta

                      I thought the problem was bigotry towards trans people.

                      I can't speak for McFlock but i can assure you that my conclusion is not a casual one. You keep saying feminist concerns but what you really mean is concerns of some feminists. And as i have already pointed this is not a women's issue as defined by SUFW – it is a 'men who think they are women''s issue. Trans people are the ones most affected. It is primarily their issue. You don't seem to have any consideration for them.

                      I can't see that "feminist" should be a get out of jail free card and that any idea expressed by a feminist is beyond criticism from anyone with a penis.

                    • I thought the problem was bigotry towards trans people.

                      It's "a" problem sure – but not the one under discussion here.

                      …i can assure you that my conclusion is not a casual one.

                      Big whoop. We're anonymous blog commenters, our authoritative declarations count for shit.

                      You keep saying feminist concerns but what you really mean is concerns of some feminists.

                      Well, I've yet to hear of some official Head Office of Global Feminism that might issue proclamations on what's an official feminist issue, so yeah, I'm talking about the concerns of some feminists. So are you, only you're dismissing those concerns out of hand despite not being qualified to judge the merits of those concerns.

                      I can't see that "feminist" should be a get out of jail free card and that any idea expressed by a feminist is beyond criticism from anyone with a penis.

                      Well, yeah, that much is obvious. What's not obvious is why feminists should give a shit what a man thinks about whether they're doing feminism right or not. Can you provide a reason why they should give a shit?

                    • solkta

                      Well, yeah, that much is obvious.

                      Then what is the meaning of all your words? You have been, i think, trying to tell me that i have no right to tell a feminist that i think they are being bigoted when i think they are being bigoted. Not what they might think of my opinion. Bigots are very hard to sway, that is a big part of being a bigot.

                      The opinion of people matters generally as we have legislation to come before Parliament.

                      And i haven't made any statement about doing feminism right or not.

                    • McFlock

                      If all our opinions here count for shit (or two fifths of fuck all), then there's no particular reason anyone should care.

                      But then that would logically lead you to follow your own instruction to "stop handing everyone your gut-feeling reckons on that subject". And if everyone did that, there would be few if any comments on this site.

                      So maybe telling me to shut up because my opinion is worthless is a tad intrinsically inconsistent.

                    • Bigots are very hard to sway, that is a big part of being a bigot.

                      You bet – I'm finding it fucking difficult to sway them on this thread, that's for sure.

                      And i haven't made any statement about doing feminism right or not.

                      You don't believe that's what you're doing, sure. Col doesn't believe he's being a misogynist either. To you, telling feminists with concerns about the implications of sex self-id that you as a man dismiss their concerns and consider them bigots, surely can't be characterised as telling feminists they're doing feminism wrong. But it can be, because that's what it is. Discussion of the subject would be improved if more men could recognise that reality.

                    • So maybe telling me to shut up because my opinion is worthless is a tad intrinsically inconsistent.

                      Disingenuous, or deliberately obtuse? No-one's telling you to shut up because you're opinion's worthless (after all, any opinion is worthless outside the head of the person holding the opinion). But I am suggesting that maybe men should have a think about whether it's really a good idea for a man to just dismiss out-of-hand feminist concerns about a woman's issue and declare the feminists' bigots, before they open their big gobs.

                    • McFlock

                      what we as men think of feminist concerns about the consequences for women of societal acceptance of sex self-identification is worth two-fifths of fuck-all. If you genuinely have something against bigotry, stop handing everyone your gut-feeling reckons on that subject.

                      I took "two-fifths of fuck-all" to mean "worthless", and "stop handing everyone your gut-feeling reckons on that subject" as a lot of words for "shut up".

                    • That was just one of a number of ways I've phrased the message "maybe men should have a think about whether it's really a good idea for a man to just dismiss out-of-hand feminist concerns about a woman's issue and declare the feminists' bigots, before they open their big gobs." You haven't actually responded to that message, just reframed it as you being told to remain silent in the face of bigotry, which is a disingenuous and self-serving misinterpretation.

                    • McFlock

                      Yeah, you've used most of the continuum from passive-aggressive to explicit in telling people to shut up when they perceive bigotry.

                      And don’t pretend the passive-aggressive version isn’t just a long-winded way of saying “shut up”.

                    • Still no response, just the same self-serving reframing. This time I really am done.

                    • McFlock

                      It's not "reframing" when you literally said "stop handing everyone your gut-feeling reckons on that subject" as a way of rephrasing the same message.

                • weka

                  "I didn't say she wasn't a real feminist."

                  I wasn't referring to you.

      • weka 1.7.2

        Ani O'Brien is the chair of Speak up for Women. Their very existence is to oppose Greens policy.

        Seems to me they speak up for women not to protect against dominant patriarchy but to protect against transgender rights, progressive politics and specifically the Greens.

        This doesn't make sense. Gender critical feminists are by and large left wing, and progressive. SUFW have specific issues with the GP position on gender and sex. They don't oppose the GP generally.

        GCF politics are based in an analysis of the patriarchy and oppose it eg the patriarchal imposition of gender roles is central to that analysis.

        What's interesting and important here is that Obrien is pointing to intolerance on the left, including the inability of the left to handle criticism well, and lots of lefties are now proving her right by trying to undermine her instead of addressing the points she raises.

        • Muttonbird

          I feel for a lot of people who were angry with Colin Wilson's antics.

          Anger is a legitimate emotion – it's normal. The danger with browbeating people into suppressing their emotion, their anger, is you will have no activism left at all.

          • weka

            I agree, and that works for others too, which is part of OBrien's point I think. The degree of intolerance and social media battering of people in political circles is understandable but not necessarily a winning strategy. If Col disappears from twitter, who thinks this has changed him for the better? Maybe it's made him much worse.

            But all that aside, this wasn't just about him. It was about a group of people who did a political action, and what happened when their political opponents responded. To me it looks like practice for election year and I remain unconvinced that some of what has gone down will be good for the left.

            • Muttonbird

              Not sure you could make Col worse and I have zero empathy for him if he gets hounded off social media. Calling the Prime Minister a bitch in a private conversation as my 'friend' did the other day is one thing, but spraying it all over Twitter is another.

              This is a shut down and if Col disappears then all the better – it serves to prove you cannot liken the Prime Minister to a horse and expect no fallout. It's not for the left to roll over and say, oh, that's ok.

              A few people seem to be worried that any response to RW hatred is going to sink the government. If that's the case then the government is already sunk.

              Perhaps they should have tried a little harder with Kiwibuild, with the CGT, and with rail in Auckland.

              • weka

                lol, with you on that re Labour.

                The issue with Col isn't sympathy. Him not being on twitter is a good thing. The problem is that the very public way that happened will have been seen and experience by a large number of people. That's where there might be a problem.

                If you can't imagine someone like becoming worse you are fortunate.

        • Anne

          …lots of lefties are now proving her right by trying to undermine her instead of addressing the points she raises.

          That's not true weka. I addressed three quotes from her article further up the thread and would have liked to quote from more that I don’t agree with but three was enough.

          • weka

            I wasn't just referring to you Anne 🙂 (it's others here and on twitter). I read the undermining of OBrien before I read the analysis of what she said, but appreciate you coming back with the later thoughts.

          • James Thrace


            Your quotes from Ani's piece weren't responded to with anything other than a statement that didn't address her points.

            Weka's point stands – people on the "left" are too busy trying to dissemble every statement and turn it into an argument as to why it's "wrong" rather than adopt a holistic viewpoint and accept that the sometimes sanctimonious, holier than thou attitude, is a massive turn off for those who are not tribal and are "leftist"

            It's terrifying how many people I've seen on twitter who formerly voted Labour or Green, and are now considering ACT, because they feel Green and Labour want to restrict what people can say, how they say it, what should be said. ACT is seen as supporting “free speech” which believe it or not, is attractive to people in allowing them to explore their thoughts and ideas, and not be told they can’t have such thoughts or ideas which are anathema to accepted diktats.

            It might not be true, but it's the perception. And in politics, perception is everything.

            So Anne, while I know you've got years of experience of Labour background, perhaps instead of arguing the toss, the conversation that the "left" needs to have should be focused on "how can we respond to people's concerns and educate them on what we're going to do about it, instead of telling them why they're wrong and leaving it at that"

            • Anne

              … the conversation that the "left" needs to have should be focused on "how can we respond to people's concerns and educate them on what we're going to do about it, instead of telling them why they're wrong and leaving it at that"

              And its my considered opinion that is exactly what the Labour-led Govt. is trying to do.

              I may be a Labour supporter but I do not represent them in any shape or form. The opinions I express here are mine and mine alone.

              My beef with this article by Ani O'Brien is that she is being very disingenuous. I don't care whether she's gay or straight or a bit of both, but I do care that she is not being honest about this matter. This dinosaur from ChCh is getting away with garbage. He is making wrong assertions (deliberately imo) about the Prime Minister – demeaning her as a woman as well as PM. He claims she spends all her time having photo shoots for PR purposes which is patently untrue and shouldn't be allowed to stand without strong criticism.

              Yes, she's been in a few magazines but no more than any other prime minister. Most of the photos come from official occasions and interviews which she has no control over. Yes, she's hot property internationally but that is because she has garnered much genuine admiration from around the world.

              This fellow Wilson, is obviously a Nat who is trying to generate ill-will towards Jacinda Ardern on misogynistic as well as political grounds. He’s not the first and he won’t be the last.

              • James Thrace

                Therein lies the issue Anne.

                Labour may well be trying to say "here's what we're doing to address your issues" but in the wider world, Labour is associated with the "left". The actions of the likes of PaPa and their antics around Pride Parade, "TWAW" being repeated as a truism, and ignorant of the fears of a large number of women (and no, the few women that say "they're silly fears" completely discounts the fears women do have), "let's have open borders and do away with immigration controls" are the sort of issues that are seen as coming from the "left" and woe betide anyone that also identifies as "left" and says

                – wait a minute, how can men change sex?

                – wait a minute, why is immigration a good thing when we don't have the infrastructure, or resources, to deal with what we have right now?

                Or other such valid questions… Instead of answers, they get called "Terf" and "racist" instead of engagement.

                *That* is the type of leftist tribalistic issue that Ani is trying to address. The vocal minority on the left that want to have peace and utopia on earth yesterday, aren't very good at educating others as to why that vision of theirs is the *best* vision, and instead stoop to ad hominem attacks. And then wonder why people don't like them. Or their vision for society.

                You only get so far when you argue at people, rather than over positions.

  2. Billy 2

    Don't agree with everything Ani O'Brien says or writes. For instance, I will happily address transgender women with she and her if they demand it, including under the threat of real or theatrically posed punishments.

    Well worth a read:

    If Labour keeps plowing the woke identity politics road it runs the risk of losing its social liberals; people, ironically, who have no issue with whatever coupling or self description you might imagine but who hate being told how to act or speak, especially by brain dead entertainer-influencers with the PM on speed dial. Some of whom who have received, frightfully, government funding; or, worse, have been put on a panel around mooted legislative, even constitutional, changes!

    But not being a traditional values person by any stretch of the imagination or anything else I would like propose another category in direct opposition to the scalds and wowsers of the woke left: the libertine left.

    Who’s with me? You have nothing to lose but your chains (or a lot of lawyerish small talk before Lola applies your chains).

    • Anne 2.1

      This topic was discussed further up the thread. Check before you meander off on some incomprehensible mish-mash of a diatribe.

      • Billy 2.1.1

        Yes maam! I will pull up the illegal corn I attempted to grow behind the sleeping quarters and return to the collective farm immediately.

        [Bored much, Billy? Do you want to play outside the tent? Stop stirring – Incognito]

        • Incognito

          See my Moderation note @ 12:28 PM.

        • In Vino

          Coming in very late, Silly Billy, I see 'libertine left' as neither witty nor relevant.

          I think you would be better outside the tent.

          • Billy

            Okay! Bye. I'll give my vote to another party.

            • weka

              fwiw, I thought you comment at 2 was coherent political analysis. Not sure which of it I agree with, but disappointed that so many here are still either missing the point of what Obrien was saying, or simply don't care.

              • Billy

                I think there's background confusion about what rights are. Confusion around negative and positive rights and so forth. There's a lot of incoherence among these doctrinaire types. For instance, they are likely dismissing the rights / beliefs of a lot of Muslim women, too.

            • Robert Guyton

              Give your vote, Billy, to another party – we'll be knocked for a six! ( Why, oh why didn't we treat Billy with respect???)

  3. Dennis Frank 6

    Half a century ago, it was 1969, man walked on Moon, hippie did Woodstock, I first used a computer. It belonged to the University of Auckland, filled a room so big you couldn't even eyeball the whole thing. Six years on, I had my second computer experience.

    1975 Vid-Com trained me as a videotape editor, and I became the second-equal kiwi to make colour television – the year before it got transmission. Our system was powered by a PDP-11, small enough to sit in a rack and about the size of the average large chillybin.

    Now we have quantum computing, supposedly on the verge of transition between experiment and practical application:

    In "October 2019, a Sycamore processor created in conjunction with Google AI Quantum was reported to have achieved quantum supremacy, with calculations more than 3,000,000 times as fast as those of Summit, generally considered the world's fastest computer."

    Just a couple of months back. So we await further confirmation. Remember how the initial reports of cold fusion failed confirmation testing? Sometimes scientists & engineers misinterpret results. Replication is essential in scientific learning. A reminder that our social reality is constructed via consensus. Truth, in science, can't be merely asserted, even if scientists often demonstrate their humanity by trying to get away with unvalidated assertions…

    • McFlock 6.1

      The cold fusion announcement also came out of left field, whereas quantum computing has been steadily developed. So, likely.

      But the next step is translating it into mass production.

  4. AB 7

    As expected, the smearing of Bernie Sanders as anti-Semitic begins. Laughable given that Sanders is a Jew, if it wasn’t so disgusting and dangerous.

  5. Jenny How to get there 8

    Russian rap song in solidarity with Idlib people

    Russian singer Mary Marisol has released a rap song in solidarity with people of Idlib province who are under a major offensive by the Syrian regime and key ally Russia.

    Marisol's song, titled “From Russia with Love and Bombs”, portrays scenes of war and destruction in Idlib, its suffering civilians, and the Russian invasion of Syria….

    She said that her song, written by her and composed by Dela Music, came as a response to the song by Amir Al Maarawi, with the purpose to confirm that there are Russian citizens who do not support the military incursion into Syria. She is hoping that the Russians will recognize the propaganda that the government is disseminating and realize what the Russian army is actually doing in their name and with their taxes.

    The artist explained that she is facing strong opposition and hatred from supporters of the current Russian regime, who are accusing her of being “an enemy of the people”, but she also insists that there is a large number of rational people who want peace.

    More than 235,000 people have fled the Idlib region over the past two weeks, the UN said Friday, amid heightened regime and Russian attacks on Syria's last major opposition bastion.

    The mass displacement between 12 and 25 December has left the violence-plagued Maaret al-Numan region in southern Idlib "almost empty," the UN said in a statement.

    • Brigid 8.1

      "The militants controlling the Syrian city of Maarat al-Numan in the Idlib province have refused to give it up peacefully during negotiations with the Syrian government, Omar Rahmon, a member of the National Reconciliation Committee, said on Wednesday.

      "The terrorist groups that are active in Maarat al-Numan have refused to initiate any reconciliation [process], despite the civilians' strong desire to rejoin the government", Rahmon said in an interview with the newspaper.

      On Monday, Rahmon told the Syrian al-Watan newspaper that the Syrian authorities were negotiating the city's surrender, but the chances of that were slim. He accused the militants that run the city of acting on the orders of Turkey.

      Idlib remains a major terrorist stronghold, being home to an estimated 10,000 jihadists from various factions, according to the UN Analytical Support and Sanctions Monitoring Team."—official/

      • Stuart Munro 8.1.1

        Funny how people don't like to surrender their homes.

      • Jenny How to get there 8.1.2

        29 December 2019 at 3:57 pm

        …..Idlib remains a major terrorist stronghold, being home to an estimated 10,000 jihadists from various factions, according to the UN Analytical Support and Sanctions Monitoring Team.”—official/

        In a Fight Over Syria, Echoes of Spain’s Civil War and the Battle for Truth in Guernica

        …..In the days after the firebombing of the undefended Basque town of Guernica, on April 26, 1937, Spain’s embattled government drew attention to what was then an unprecedented atrocity, the result of more than three hours of airstrikes carried out by a fleet of bombers dispatched by Adolf Hitler and Benito Mussolini in support of their fascist ally, Gen. Francisco Franco.

        Within 24 hours, as the blogger Joey Ayoub noted in a discussion of Syria last week, spokespersons for Franco’s rebel junta offered an alternative explanation. Guernica, the fascists said, had not been bombed at all, but set on fire by their retreating enemies as part of a plot to garner international sympathy…..

        …..Although Steer’s report, which inspired Pablo Picasso to begin work on his painting about the massacre, was entirely accurate, Franco’s press office immediately offered a counternarrative, claiming in a statement headlined “Lies, Lies, Lies,” that the Basque president, José Antonio Aguirre, was attempting to blame the fascist air force for fires set by his own troops.

        Pure lies, Says Berlin
        Wireless to The New York Times.

        Berlin,April 29. – The Diplomatische Korrespondenz, semi-official organ of the Foreign Office, after characterizing as pure lies reports that German planes participated in the bombing of Guernica, reminds the world and particularly Britain, that aerial bombing has been freely resorted to in Northwestern India and Aden.
        The communique says that this evidently was overlooked by the Opposition in the Brtitsh Parliament. No country deplores more than Germany that methods of warfare are still employed that result in the suffering for cicilian populations, the paper continues.
        Attention is drawn to Chancellor Adolf Hitler’s appeal of May 21, 1935, when he proposed an international agreement to stigmatize all air bombings as barbarism and forbid them absolutely. But this proposal, says the communique, “was unfortunately ignored by powers that at that time felt they possessed far superior air forces.”

        German newsreels and propaganda of the time gave huge coverage of the crimes of the British Empire, and it was all true. The crimes of British Imperialism are some of the bloodiest in human history, resulting in over 40,000,000 dead. As well as death by fire and sword, carried out in countless wars of invasion, occupation and suppression, millions more died by disease and neglect resulting from imperial policies of economic dislocation and appropriation, theft and slavery.

        Exposed to this twisted one-sided propaganda, millions of German Socialists and Leftists became committed National Socialists.

        Don’t become sucked in by Sputnik propaganda courtesy of Brigid.

        It really shouldn’t have to be said. Don’t support fascism. Don’t support genocide.

    • Blazer 10.1

      yes what is the motorvation for inviting this sort of publicity!…$ or probation points?

      Older woman meets stud 10 years younger…hope it doesn't end in..tears.

    • Muttonbird 10.2

      I see the cost of housing your clients has risen. That must meant you got a big pay rise!

      You know if you vote National they will freeze your pay for many many years to come.

      • Puckish Rogue 10.2.1

        Thats not how it works unfortunately, for some reason lefties look down on certain occupations (armed forces, police, corrections) so arn't inclined to offer decent pay rises to corrections (2.5% pay rise is what was offered and accepted)

    • In Vino 10.3

      It's OK PR – your infatuation with Judith will protect you from such vagaries…

      In the meantime it is now you who are in a position to eventually explain how such things come about, rather than any of us…

      Kia Kaha, PR

      • Puckish Rogue 10.3.1

        I can't explain it better then anyone else can because I simply can't understand it. I mean if I was a mum and had a 15 year old daughter and 12 year old sons the last thing I'd do is invite a junkie ex-con gang member into my home.

    • Oh dear lord why, why would you do this?

      Pheromones. Evolution lacks any interest in your happiness.

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  • Minister releases Fast-track stakeholder list
    The Government is today releasing a list of organisations who received letters about the Fast-track applications process, says RMA Reform Minister Chris Bishop. “Recently Ministers and agencies have received a series of OIA requests for a list of organisations to whom I wrote with information on applying to have a ...
    6 days ago
  • Judicial appointments announced
    Attorney-General Judith Collins today announced the appointment of Wellington Barrister David Jonathan Boldt as a Judge of the High Court, and the Honourable Justice Matthew Palmer as a Judge of the Court of Appeal. Justice Boldt graduated with an LLB from Victoria University of Wellington in 1990, and also holds ...
    6 days ago
  • Education Minister heads to major teaching summit in Singapore
    Education Minister Erica Stanford will lead the New Zealand delegation at the 2024 International Summit on the Teaching Profession (ISTP) held in Singapore. The delegation includes representatives from the Post Primary Teachers’ Association (PPTA) Te Wehengarua and the New Zealand Educational Institute (NZEI) Te Riu Roa.  The summit is co-hosted ...
    6 days ago
  • Value of stopbank project proven during cyclone
    A stopbank upgrade project in Tairawhiti partly funded by the Government has increased flood resilience for around 7000ha of residential and horticultural land so far, Regional Development Minister Shane Jones says. Mr Jones today attended a dawn service in Gisborne to mark the end of the first stage of the ...
    6 days ago
  • Anzac commemorations, Türkiye relationship focus of visit
    Foreign Affairs Minister Winston Peters will represent the Government at Anzac Day commemorations on the Gallipoli Peninsula next week and engage with senior representatives of the Turkish government in Istanbul.    “The Gallipoli campaign is a defining event in our history. It will be a privilege to share the occasion ...
    6 days ago
  • Minister to Europe for OECD meeting, Anzac Day
    Science, Innovation and Technology and Defence Minister Judith Collins will next week attend the OECD Science and Technology Ministerial conference in Paris and Anzac Day commemorations in Belgium. “Science, innovation and technology have a major role to play in rebuilding our economy and achieving better health, environmental and social outcomes ...
    6 days ago
  • Comprehensive Partnership the goal for NZ and the Philippines
    Prime Minister Christopher Luxon held a bilateral meeting today with the President of the Philippines, Ferdinand Marcos Jr.  The Prime Minister was accompanied by MP Paulo Garcia, the first Filipino to be elected to a legislature outside the Philippines. During today’s meeting, Prime Minister Luxon and President Marcos Jr discussed opportunities to ...
    6 days ago
  • Government commits $20m to Westport flood protection
    The Government has announced that $20 million in funding will be made available to Westport to fund much needed flood protection around the town. This measure will significantly improve the resilience of the community, says Local Government Minister Simeon Brown. “The Westport community has already been allocated almost $3 million ...
    6 days ago
  • Taupō takes pole position
    The Government is proud to support the first ever Repco Supercars Championship event in Taupō as up to 70,000 motorsport fans attend the Taupō International Motorsport Park this weekend, says Economic Development Minister Melissa Lee. “Anticipation for the ITM Taupō Super400 is huge, with tickets and accommodation selling out weeks ...
    6 days ago
  • Cost of living support for low-income homeowners
    Local Government Minister Simeon Brown has announced an increase to the Rates Rebate Scheme, putting money back into the pockets of low-income homeowners.  “The coalition Government is committed to bringing down the cost of living for New Zealanders. That includes targeted support for those Kiwis who are doing things tough, such ...
    7 days ago
  • Government backing mussel spat project
    The Coalition Government is investing in a project to boost survival rates of New Zealand mussels and grow the industry, Oceans and Fisheries Minister Shane Jones has announced. “This project seeks to increase the resilience of our mussels and significantly boost the sector’s productivity,” Mr Jones says. “The project - ...
    7 days ago
  • Government focused on getting people into work
    Benefit figures released today underscore the importance of the Government’s plan to rebuild the economy and have 50,000 fewer people on Jobseeker Support, Social Development and Employment Minister Louise Upston says. “Benefit numbers are still significantly higher than when National was last in government, when there was about 70,000 fewer ...
    7 days ago
  • Clean energy key driver to reducing emissions
    The Government’s commitment to doubling New Zealand’s renewable energy capacity is backed by new data showing that clean energy has helped the country reach its lowest annual gross emissions since 1999, Climate Change Minister Simon Watts says. New Zealand’s latest Greenhouse Gas Inventory (1990-2022) published today, shows gross emissions fell ...
    7 days ago
  • Earthquake-prone buildings review brought forward
    The Government is bringing the earthquake-prone building review forward, with work to start immediately, and extending the deadline for remediations by four years, Building and Construction Minister Chris Penk says. “Our Government is focused on rebuilding the economy. A key part of our plan is to cut red tape that ...
    7 days ago
  • Thailand and NZ to agree to Strategic Partnership
    Prime Minister Christopher Luxon and his Thai counterpart, Prime Minister Srettha Thavisin, have today agreed that New Zealand and the Kingdom of Thailand will upgrade the bilateral relationship to a Strategic Partnership by 2026. “New Zealand and Thailand have a lot to offer each other. We have a strong mutual desire to build ...
    1 week ago
  • Government consults on extending coastal permits for ports
    RMA Reform Minister Chris Bishop and Transport Minister Simeon Brown have today announced the Coalition Government’s intention to extend port coastal permits for a further 20 years, providing port operators with certainty to continue their operations. “The introduction of the Resource Management Act in 1991 required ports to obtain coastal ...
    1 week ago
  • Inflation coming down, but more work to do
    Today’s announcement that inflation is down to 4 per cent is encouraging news for Kiwis, but there is more work to be done - underlining the importance of the Government’s plan to get the economy back on track, acting Finance Minister Chris Bishop says. “Inflation is now at 4 per ...
    1 week ago
  • School attendance restored as a priority in health advice
    Refreshed health guidance released today will help parents and schools make informed decisions about whether their child needs to be in school, addressing one of the key issues affecting school attendance, says Associate Education Minister David Seymour. In recent years, consistently across all school terms, short-term illness or medical reasons ...
    1 week ago
  • Unnecessary bureaucracy cut in oceans sector
    Oceans and Fisheries Minister Shane Jones is streamlining high-level oceans management while maintaining a focus on supporting the sector’s role in the export-led recovery of the economy. “I am working to realise the untapped potential of our fishing and aquaculture sector. To achieve that we need to be smarter with ...
    1 week ago
  • Patterson promoting NZ’s wool sector at International Congress
    Associate Agriculture Minister Mark Patterson is speaking at the International Wool Textile Organisation Congress in Adelaide, promoting New Zealand wool, and outlining the coalition Government’s support for the revitalisation the sector.    "New Zealand’s wool exports reached $400 million in the year to 30 June 2023, and the coalition Government ...
    1 week ago
  • Removing red tape to help early learners thrive
    The Government is making legislative changes to make it easier for new early learning services to be established, and for existing services to operate, Associate Education Minister David Seymour says. The changes involve repealing the network approval provisions that apply when someone wants to establish a new early learning service, ...
    1 week ago
  • RMA changes to cut coal mining consent red tape
    Changes to the Resource Management Act will align consenting for coal mining to other forms of mining to reduce barriers that are holding back economic development, Resources Minister Shane Jones says. “The inconsistent treatment of coal mining compared with other extractive activities is burdensome red tape that fails to acknowledge ...
    1 week ago
  • McClay reaffirms strong NZ-China trade relationship
    Trade, Agriculture and Forestry Minister Todd McClay has concluded productive discussions with ministerial counterparts in Beijing today, in support of the New Zealand-China trade and economic relationship. “My meeting with Commerce Minister Wang Wentao reaffirmed the complementary nature of the bilateral trade relationship, with our Free Trade Agreement at its ...
    1 week ago

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