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Open mike 29/01/2016

Written By: - Date published: 6:00 am, January 29th, 2016 - 52 comments
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52 comments on “Open mike 29/01/2016”

  1. RTM 1

    Former ACT MP and prominent conservative commentator calls for nuclear attacks on Middle Eastern cities: http://readingthemaps.blogspot.co.nz/2016/01/david-garrett-and-peace-of-dead.html

    • alwyn 1.1

      I think he must have been reading Paul Erdman’s book “The Crash of ’79” over the summer.
      Great read actually, as long as you can suspend belief for a while.

  2. Ad 2

    If US, Canada and Japan don’t ratify TPPA, it’s hard to see it surviving.

    This would become NZ’s biggest diplomatic disaster since the sinking of the Rainbow Warrior. But this one sheeted direct to Key.

    Richard III: “I am so far in that sin must pluck on sin.”

    Quite a high chance all 3 will fold on it.

    • alwyn 2.1

      “This would become NZ’s biggest diplomatic disaster since the sinking of the Rainbow Warrior. But this one sheeted direct to Key.”

      You have a most peculiar view of what is a diplomatic disaster for a country and who is responsible for one.
      How would it possibly be Key’s fault if Obama can’t get something through Congress?
      Or if the Diet plays up? Or if Trudeau delays ratification?

      As for the sinking of The Rainbow Warrior. What was the diplomatic disaster for New Zealand in that? It was one for France. The only awkward part for New Zealand was Lange having to give in to the realpolitik of the world and having to let the agents out.
      At least he told us about it.

      A pity Helen Clark wasn’t so open about the effect of the 2001 actions of Australia. One line in a Australian Government Press release and nothing when she got home. That one really has turned out to be a disaster.

      • Draco T Bastard 2.1.1

        As for the sinking of The Rainbow Warrior. What was the diplomatic disaster for New Zealand in that?

        The fact that the perpetrators walked free.

        • alwyn 2.1.1.1

          Well I did say that didn’t I? “The only awkward part for New Zealand was Lange having to give in to the realpolitik of the world and having to let the agents out”

          I don’t regard that as having been a diplomatic disaster. There wasn’t a damn thing we could do but let them go.
          “realpolitik”? Sure ,but there wasn’t any option as France were going to screw us over access to Europe. The disaster was to France for being caught out.

          What would you have had Lange do?

    • esoteric pineapples 2.2

      What a great quote – and it sounds so contemporary “I am so far in” as in “are you in”

    • ianmac 3.1

      Pat. As in NZ I guess the politicians must weigh up the balance of reaction to with-holding critical information, against the damage done if the peasants knew just what would happen to their country if they knew the contents of a deal. And long after the current crop of MPs have moved on, the legacy remains.

  3. Wayne 4

    Ad,

    Hard to see Japan not ratifying. They are a parliamentary democracy like us. In short the govt has a majority in parliament. If the LDP split on the necessary votes, then the PM would have to resign. Could happen but not likely.

    Canada probably will wait for the US. Again it is unlikely Canada would not ratify if the US did.

    So the focus is really on the US, as indeed it always has been.

    In my view Congress will vote yes. The great majority of Republicans will vote for it. Some Democrats (though not many) will vote for it. Therefore it is most likely to go through.

    Members of Congress will know that if they vote against, most other Asia Pacific nations will give up on the US as being able to deliver on this and many other things. The focus then goes to the RCEP, which has China as the centrepoint. RCEP is not as good as TPP in terms of trade and economic integration, but it would be the only game in town. Which is why I think TPP will get across the line in the US Congress. President Obama, in his State of Nation address, could hardly have been more specific on the China/US leadership point.

    • Congress will only ratify once all other TPP countries have ratified to Congress’ satisfaction.

      Spouting obvious misinformation undermines your credibility.

    • Rosemary McDonald 4.2

      @Wayne.

      Well done! You refrained from calling the TPPA a “free trade agreement”.

      There’s a saying about old dogs and new tricks….

    • Colonial Viper 4.3

      Important to note that the American and Japanese corporate elite have the most to gain from the TPP.

      Hard to see Japan not ratifying. They are a parliamentary democracy like us. In short the govt has a majority in parliament.

      You have a weird concept of “democracy”, Wayne. Reminder: democracy is about government of the people, for the people, by the people. Not government of the millionaires, for the millionaires, by the millionaires.

  4. Penny Bright 5

    Seen THIS?

    Japan’s economic and fiscal policy minister Akira Amari, one of the TPP’s chief negotiators, has been accused of accepting more than $148,000 in bribes from a major construction company.
    http://www.bbc.com/news/world-asia-35427563

    Just days before world leaders are expected to sign the undemocratic Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP), a top official in charge of negotiating the agreement has been charged with accepting bribes.

    Japan’s economic and fiscal policy minister Akira Amari, one of the TPP’s chief negotiators, has been accused of accepting more than $148,000 in bribes from a major construction company.

    This is exactly why policy that affects billions of people and our Internet freedom should never be made in secret. This is exactly why we need to stop the TPP.

    Deadline Friday: Click here to tell President Obama not to sign the TPP on February 4th and demand a full investigation into this corruption.

    The TPP was drafted in closed door meetings by corporate lobbyists and government officials like Akira Amari, while journalists, human rights advocates, and the public were locked out.

    How many other politicians involved in drafting the TPP have been taking bribes?

    We can only assume.

    But the results speak for themselves. Chapter after chapter the TPP prioritizes special interests over public interests.

    It contains unbalanced copyright provisions that could lead to Internet censorship, and affects everything from jobs to the environment to access to medicines to national sovereignty.

    Time is running out to stop the TPP. But the scandal surrounding these bribery allegations might be enough to delay things,
    ______________________________________________

    Penny Bright
    2016 Auckland Mayoral candidate.

  5. Chooky 6

    +100 Penny….well said …. so the corporates are bribing Japanese politicians to support TPP?

    Well they are also bribing US politicians !

    http://www.theguardian.com/business/2015/may/27/corporations-paid-us-senators-fast-track-tpp

    Are corporates also bribing New Zealand politicians?

    …We need declarations of honesty and anti-corruption in Parliament that ALL New Zealand politicians who support the TPP are not being paid to do so by corporate bribes or back handers.

    New Zealand politicians who are supporting the anti -democratic signing of the TPP…MUST be held to ACCOUNT

    (they are NOT working in the interests of New Zealanders and democracy and sovereignty and they are working for corporate interests against the wishes of the majority of New Zealanders)

    • Puckish Rogue 7.1

      On a completely unrelated subject, well done to whoever posted it. I can actually watch it at work…can’t get anything from stuff or nzherald to work but this comes through no problems

      • Molly 7.1.1

        Do they recruit often at your place of work?

        I only ask because you seem to have a lot of unoccupied paid time to visit this site, and clearly logical thought processes are not required.

        (Oh, are you the ACT membership office?)

        • weka 7.1.1.1

          And does your employer know you use worktime to do paid work for Crosby Textor?

          • Puckish Rogue 7.1.1.1.1

            You wouldn’t believe who my employers are…

            https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/New_World_Order_(conspiracy_theory)

          • alwyn 7.1.1.1.2

            Behave yourself Weka. Such comments are very likely to get lprent going. It seems awfully close to the line in the policy that warns about not doing things that
            “invades the privacy of people outside the public domain”

            I am sure you wouldn’t really want anyone to be allowed to enquire what your position was in the Green Leader’s Office or something similar.

            • weka 7.1.1.1.2.1

              🙄 Back to being a creep I see alwyn.

              PR and I are having a bit of fun (maybe Molly too). It’s a running joke that PR is a paid astroturfer, a joke he partakes of, just as he has done above.

              But even if it wasn’t, it begs the question of why you would use that to give me a veiled threat. I routinely call you out on your lies about the Green Party, but your comments to me too often have something personal about them. It is creepy.

        • Puckish Rogue 7.1.1.2

          the pays fantastic but it does sometimes take a while for the invoices to be paid

    • Pasupial 7.2

      weka

      I’m glad to see it, as it looks like other commitments will prevent me making it to tonight’s Dunedin talk after all (7pm Burns Hall by First Church), and I only saw the start of the livestream. Looking forward to the protest on Saturday though, hopefully the heavy-handed intimidation tactics from the police will prove to be the best possible call to action for the day.

  6. Molly 8

    Came across Anita Roddicks “Trading with Principles” speech while looking for something else.

    Worth reading in consideration of the discussion on the TPPA:

    We are in Seattle arguing for a world trade system that puts basic human rights and the environment at its core. We have the most powerful corporations of the world ranged against us. They own the media that informs us – or fails to inform us. And they probably own the politicians too.

    It’s enough to make anybody feel a little edgy.

    So here’s a question for the world trade negotiators. Who is the system you are lavishing so much attention on supposed to serve?

    We can ask the same question of the gleaming towers of Wall Street or the City of London – and the powerful men and women who tinker with the money system which drives world trade. Who is this system for?

    Let’s look more closely. Every day, the gleaming towers of high finance oversees a global flow of two trillion dollars through their computer screens. And the terrifying thing is that only three per cent of that – that’s, three hundredths – has anything to do with trade at all. Let alone free trade between equal communities.

    It has everything to do with money. The great global myth being that the current world trade system is for anything but money.

    The other 97 per cent of the two trillion is speculation. It is froth – but froth with terrifying power over people’s lives. Reducing powerless communities access to basic human rights can make money, but not for them. But then the system isn’t designed for them. …

    …The truth is that the WTO, and the group of unelected trade officials who run it, are now the world’s highest court, with the right to overturn local laws and safety regulations wherever they say it ‘interferes with trade’.

    This is world government by default, but it is a blind government. It looks at the measurements of money, but it can’t see anything else. It can recognise profits and losses, but it deliberately turns its face away from human rights, child labour or keeping the environment viable for future generations….

    …Now there will be commentators and politicians by the truckload over the next week accusing us of wanting to turn the clock back. They will say we are parochial, inward-looking, xenophobic and dangerous.

    But we must remind them what free trade really is. The truth is that ‘free trade’ was originally about the freedom of communities to trade equally with each other. It was never intended to be what it is today. A licence for the big, the powerful and the rich, to ride roughshod over the small, the weak and the poor.

    And while we’re about it, let’s nail another myth.

    Nobody could be more in favour of a global outlook than I am. Internationalism means that we can see into the dark corners of the world, and hold those companies to account when they are devastating forests or employing children as bonded labour. Globalisation is the complete opposite, its rules pit country against country and workers against workers in the blinkered pursuit of international competitiveness….

    Let’s be clear about this. It’s not trade we’re against, it’s exploitation and unchecked power.

    …Community trade will make us not a multi-national, but a multi-local. I hope we can measure our success in terms of our ability to show just what’s possible if a company genuinely opens a dialogue with communities.

    Heaven knows, we’re not there yet. But this is real life, and all any of us can do is to make sure we are going in the right direction, and never lose our determination to improve.

    The trouble is that the current trading system undermines anybody who tries.

    Businesses which forego profits to build communities, or keep production local rather than employing semi-slaves in distant sweatshops, risk losing business to cheaper competitors without such commitments, and being targeted for take-over by the slash-and-burn corporate raiders. Reinforced by the weight of the WTO…

    And finally, we must remember we already have power as consumers and as organisations forming strategic and increasingly influential alliances for change. They can insist on open markets as much as they like, but if consumers won’t buy, nothing on earth can make them. Just look at how European consumers have forced the biotech industry’s back up against the wall.

    We have to be political consumers, vigilante consumers. With the barrage of propaganda served up to us every day, we have to be. We must be wise enough so that – whatever they may decide at the trade talks – we know where to put our energy and our money. No matter what we’re told or cajoled to do, we must work together to get the truth out in co-operation for the best, not competition for the cheapest…”

    Worth having a look at the whole speech, which she gave in Seattle in 1999.

    Global trade without global responsibility is exploitation.

  7. RedLogix 9

    This kind of thing is infuriating:

    A Brisbane mining minnow that raised less than $750,000 from investors before inking a deal to buy a coalmine must now guarantee it can pay more than $120m to clean up the site upon closure.

    Batchfire Resources’ agreement to buy a central Queensland mine from Anglo American highlights a growing shift by global coal giants away from less-profitable mines, leaving the fate of expensive environmental rehabilitation in the hands of companies with far fewer resources.

    One analyst said this in turn raised the risks that taxpayers would ultimately be forced to bail out miners if they failed or “financial assurance” regimes run by state governments proved inadequate – as was found in a Queensland government report less than two years ago.

    http://www.theguardian.com/environment/2016/jan/29/coal-giants-abandon-unprofitable-mines-leaving-rehabilitation-under-threat

    Frankly I would see all the assets of Anglo-American stripped, including those of all the directors and anyone with a C in their job title. Then a 10 year prison term.

    Flagrant arrogance and criminality.

    • alwyn 9.1

      I don’t know whether it still exists but there was a company in New Zealand that raised a share capital of $2,000 dollars and then developed a series of on-shore and off-shore gas fields in New Zealand.
      Would you treat them the same way?

      • RedLogix 9.1.1

        I don’t know about the example you have in mind. Insufficient information.

        But in this case the tactic being used here is a blatant attempt to avoid the cost of remediating the site, a liability Anglo clearly signed up to when it opened the site, by exploiting a legal loophole.

        Another tactic commonly used is to never actually close the site, but to put it in ‘care and maintenance’ with a skeleton security crew … thus the remediation requirement never kicks in.

        This is partly an industry problem. There are some miners who DO take their obligations, their ‘social license to operate’ obligations seriously; while others take the criminal path by devising dodges to avoid them. And part of it is a governance issue where politicians like Tony Abbott have been corrupted by the influence of big money to deliberately allow these loopholes to remain.

        The solution is not more footling with loopholes and legal maneuvers. Legislation that puts severe personal liability onto the senior decision makers in large corporates will modify behaviour quick smart.

        • alwyn 9.1.1.1

          It wasn’t a fair question. It actually existed although whether its share capital is the same today I don’t know.
          It was set up as Shell BP and Todd Oil Services Ltd and became Shell Todd Oil Services in 1990 when BP bought out Todd. It developed and ran Kapuni and Maui when it had that theoretical capital structure.
          And yes, the share capital really was $2,000.
          It is not in the category you are talking about though. At least I don’t think so.

          And yes, I agree with you about what companies can get up too. Rather like so many builders and developers who set up a different company for every building and then liquidate them to avoid such things as leaky building claims.

          Governments also get up to tricks though. BP have been screwed by the US Government, the State Governments and the US courts over the Deepwater Horizon Oil Spill.
          Claim and you will receive seems to have been the result even for businesses that had closed down months before the spill ever happened.
          I am not trying to defend BP, who totally messed up there but as a foreign company they have been shafted. That affair will probably go on for another 25 years.

          • Molly 9.1.1.1.1

            Not one for linking are you Alwyn. A quick check on the Companies website shows that a company formed under this name in 1955 is still operating.

            And I don’t understand what your reference to “tricks” is. Do you have a link and/or explanation of what you mean?

            • alwyn 9.1.1.1.1.1

              “under this name in 1955 is still operating”
              Really?
              As you would see if you have read the comment you linked to it became “became Shell Todd Oil Services in 1990 when BP bought out Todd”. Do both the old and new name companies co-exist?

              However what I didn’t know was also in this comment. It was whether a $2,000 capital company still existed. As I say “whether its share capital is the same today I don’t know”.
              Did you manage to find that? I couldn’t so I put in the I don’t know bit.

    • Grim 9.2

      Wow, no law in place to ensure the company that created and profited from the pollution is held accountable?

      easy enough to setup a dummy company to buy out your site , and save you cleanup costs then.

      someone should look at who is connected to the new company, any connections to the Anglo Americans investors and lawyers

    • Draco T Bastard 9.3

      Along the same lines:

      And it incenses me that, once big agriculture had made a fortune out of our water, they handed us the bill to get it cleaned up again.

      This is called externalising costs. If there were any fair play – any real justice – at work here, polluters would pay for the costs incurred by their profiteering.

      But in New Zealand, they make you do it. It’s cheaper for Dame Sian to let her cows go wading in your lake than to fork out for farm dams or troughs, and too few people are angry enough to change that.

      We really, really do need to ensure that all costs of business are met by that business. The market doesn’t actually work unless they do.

  8. Draco T Bastard 10

    The Interregnum

    ‘The crisis consists precisely in the fact that the old is dying and the new cannot be born; in this interregnum a great variety of morbid symptoms appear’ – Antonio Gramsci

    Is New Zealand’s political settlement beginning to fray? And does this mean we’re entering the interregnum, that ambiguous moment between society-wide discontent and political change? In BWB’s latest book of essays, edited by Morgan Godfery, ten of New Zealand’s sharpest emerging thinkers gather to debate the ‘morbid symptoms’ of the current moment, from precarious work to climate change, and to discuss what shape change might take, from ‘the politics of love’ to postcapitalism.

    The Interregnum interrogates the future from the perspective of the generation who will shape it.

    Looks like it will be worth the read.

  9. Graeme 11

    I’m intrigued by the language in this clip,

    http://www.stuff.co.nz/life-style/food-wine/drinks/76335438/us-mans-simple-hack-to-save-on-costly-nespresso-pods

    The guy is obviously not an Obama voter, or a fan of “corporations”. Wonder if he realises that Nestle is a foreign trans-national corporation. That might have really got him going…

    The sovereignty issues that we’re concerned about will be just as great in USA as here. I just can’t see this going through. Foreign corporations able to run a ruler over US laws and able to sue US govt for favouring US firms, na, not going to fly…

  10. Molly 12

    One of the Five Eyes seems to be blinking…. a good article on The Intercept about Canada’s moves to protect citizen’s privacy before letting “key allies” access data.

    Canada cuts off some intelligence sharing with the US out of fear for Canadian’s privacy.

    Mind you, one of the comments below is probably fairly accurate:
    Wnt: “First law: Whenever a spy program becomes publicized, it will be discontinued, because spies don’t make a business of doing things that aren’t secret.

    Second law: When spies discontinue a program, it means one thing and one thing only: they’ve initiated some other program doing the same thing far more extensively.

    • Colonial Viper 12.1

      those pesky Lefties beating Harper out of government…

      • Puckish Rogue 12.1.1

        To be fair Harper was only in power for nine years, imagine if a right wing leader of NZ was in power for longer

      • Expat 12.1.2

        Wrong again

        The lefties didn’t get voted in, Harper got voted out, because he was so disliked by so many, too far to the right.

  11. alwyn 13

    I assume that Chris Trotter thinks that that kind Mr Key is trying to save the Green Party from their own foolishness?
    http://bowalleyroad.blogspot.co.nz/2016/01/arriving-from-or-departing-for-another.html
    Say “Thank you Mr Key”, Meteria.

    • weka 13.1

      Hard to say what Trotter is on about there tbh. Most of the article is basically saying that Treasury can’t be trusted (which is probably why the GP proposal is for an independent unit within Treasury). The bit at the end is nonsense, but I’d hazard a guess he is just taking the piss to make a point and isn’t really suggesting that the GP’s proposal is a lead in to forming govt with National.

    • Puckish Rogue 13.2

      Wow, I mean just wow

      I could say that’s harsh but that’s such an understatement

  12. Draco T Bastard 14

    Britain is at war with Yemen. So why does nobody know about it?

    Yemen is a human-made disaster, and the fingerprints of the west are all over it. Consider what a UN panel report seen by this newspaper has revealed: that airstrikes have targeted “civilians and civilian objects, in violation of humanitarian law”, including everything from refugee camps to schools to weddings to buses.

    The West is presently turning the ME into a bloodbath in an apparent attempt to boost one or two particular countries dominance of the area. This appears to be so that the US/UK can access all of the oil under the sands.

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    We've known about climate change for over forty years now,and it has been a major political issue for twenty. And yet fossil fuel companies have kept polluting with impunity, while government have looked the other way and twiddled their thumbs and refused to do anything because "the economy", or just ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    3 days ago
  • Delusional And Irrational: The Rise Of Paranoid Politics In New Zealand.
    Sheer Loopiness: Many of those expressing bemusement at the antics of these #turnardern effacers, were convinced that they were yet another expression of the National Party’s increasingly spiteful anti-government propaganda campaign. They marvelled at the oddness of the perpetrators’ mindset and questioned the common-sense of allowing the rest of New Zealand ...
    3 days ago
  • Things to know about Whakaari/White Island
    Brad Scott, GNS Science VolcanologistThis post was originally published by GeoNet. Following the 9 December devastating eruption at Whakaari/White Island we have put together some information about the island. New Zealand’s most active volcano Whakaari/White Island is currently New Zealand’s most active volcano, it has been since an eruptive episode ...
    SciBlogsBy Guest Author
    4 days ago
  • Status quo supports status quo
    The Justice Committee has reported back on its Inquiry into the 2017 General Election and 2016 Local Elections, with a host of recommendations about how to improve our electoral systems. Some of their recommendations are already incorporate din the Electoral Amendment Bill currently before Parliament, but there's also a recommendation ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    4 days ago
  • The Greens abandon NeoLiberalism
    Back in 2017, in order to make themselves "electable" in the eyes of rich people who oppose everything they stand for, the Greens signed up for NeoLiberalism, adopting a restrictive set of "Budget Responsibility Rules" which basicly prevented them from using government to make things better. Now, they're finally abandoning ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    4 days ago
  • Lying about a failed war
    Since invading in 2001, the US has consistently claimed that their war in Afghanistan has been going well, even when it continued year after year after year. Of course, they were lying, and thanks to the Washington Post and the US Freedom of Information Act, we get to see just ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    4 days ago
  • Artificial Intelligence and You
    How should we think about artificial intelligence and the implications that it has for our work and leisure? There are many articles on artificial intelligence and its potential impacts on jobs, and the ethics of applications. These are important topics, but I want to focus on some less discussed aspects, ...
    SciBlogsBy Robert Hickson
    4 days ago
  • Statistical manipulation to get publishable results
    I love data. It’s amazing the sort of “discoveries” I can make given a data set and computer statistical package. It’s just so easy to search for relationships and test their statistical significance. Maybe relationships which ...
    4 days ago
  • More lies on the Twitter (Dan Hodges edition)
    The other big story concerning Leeds Hospital is Boris Johnson's bizzare behaviour at Leeds Hospital, where he was confronted by a journalist and challenged about a four year old boy with suspected pneumonia who was left sleeping on the floor, rather than getting  abed like a sick kid would in ...
    4 days ago
  • LabourActivistPunchedMattHancock’sSPADGate
    So, for a brief period of history, it was alleged that a protester had punched Matt Hancock's SPAD (not a euphemism; special adviser) when Hancock visited Leeds Hospital.This was reported by the likes of Robert Peston and Laura Keunssberg, as well as the less credible Guido Fawkes.  It also quickly ...
    4 days ago
  • France’s anti-Zionism is anti-liberté
    by Daphna Whitmore Last week France passed a law that equates anti-Zionism with anti-Semitism. It is based on a definition of anti-Semitism that includes criticism of Israel such as: “Denying the Jewish people their right to self-determination, e.g., by claiming that the existence of a State of Israel is a racist ...
    RedlineBy Daphna
    5 days ago
  • Another bus lockout
    Over the past year we've seen major bus problems in Hamilton and Wellington, as drivers have sought better wages and an end to the bullshit of split shifts, which basicly see them "married to the job". And now its Auckland's turn. When NZBus's drivers planned low-level strike action of not ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    5 days ago
  • Climate Change: Showing us how its done
    The government has been congratulating itself over the passage of the Zero Carbon Act, which sets out long-term emissions targets. But those targets are insufficient. Meanwhile, Denmark is showing us how its done:Denmark’s parliament adopted a new climate law on Friday, committing to reach 70% below its 1990 emissions in ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    5 days ago
  • New Fisk
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    5 days ago
  • Public sector dysfunction should not be allowed to undermine freedom of information
    Another day, another piece of legislation with a secrecy clause. This time its the innocuous-seeming Mental Health and Wellbeing Commission Bill, which (after establishing a new body and making it subject to the OIA in three different ways) includes the rapidly-becoming-standard clauses enabling it to request information from other public ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    5 days ago
  • “This is England, this knife of Sheffield steel…”
    The state of the United Kingdom is fractured, torn up, shredded. The Empire is gone, it died a long time ago. And yet, the country is still tracking with a lead in favour of the ones who play to the ingrained, class-bound division for political gain. It is a disgrace ...
    exhALANtBy exhalantblog
    7 days ago
  • CORSIA, coming soon to an airport near you
    On 27 September, Greta Thunberg addressed a crowd of 500,000 at the School Strike for Climate in Montreal, saying: “You are a nation that is allegedly a climate leader. And Sweden is also a nation that is allegedly a climate leader. And in both cases, it means absolutely nothing. Because ...
    SciBlogsBy Robert McLachlan
    7 days ago
  • Cloaking hate speech and fake news in the right to free expression.
    It should be obvious by now but let’s be clear: The same folk who regularly traffic in disinformation, misinformation and “fake news” are also those who most strongly claim that their freedom of expression rights are being violated when moves are made to curb hate speech (as opposed to protected ...
    KiwipoliticoBy Pablo
    1 week ago
  • The Physics (and Economics, and Politics) of Wheelchairs on Planes
    Michael Schulson When Shane Burcaw flies on an airplane, he brings along a customized gel cushion, a car seat, and about 10 pieces of memory foam. The whole arsenal costs around $1,000, but for Burcaw it’s a necessity. The 27-year-old author and speaker — who, alongside his fiancée, Hannah ...
    SciBlogsBy Guest Author
    1 week ago
  • To Advance Civil Rights, Oppose Transgender Extremism
    We are very pleased to publish this submission is from Lucinda Stoan. She is a social justice activist, mother, and educator, based in Washington State in the  US.   This detailed and comprehensive source-linked overview of trans issues and what is at stake will be useful for many people, especially in ...
    RedlineBy Daphna
    1 week ago
  • Faafoi should be fired
    Newshub last night reported that Broadcasting Minister Kris Faafoi had apparently promised to help out a mate with an immigration issue. While its normal for people to approach MPs for assistance in this area, when you're a Minister, the rules are different: as the Cabinet Manual says, Ministers must "at ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • Adrian Orr – The Reserve Bank’s Revolutionary Governor?
    New Zealand's Underarm Banker: It bears recalling that the “independence” of the Reserve Bank Governor was for decades held up by neoliberal capitalists as the most compelling justification for passing the Reserve Bank Act. Interesting, is it not, how the ruling class’s support for the Bank’s independence lasted no longer than ...
    1 week ago
  • Driving Us Up The Poll.
    Rubbish In, Rubbish Out: Put all this together, and it’s difficult to avoid the conclusion that anyone who responds positively to a pollster’s request to “answer a few questions” is just ever-so-slightly weird. Desperately lonely? Some sort of psephological train-spotter? Political party member primed to skew the poll for or against ...
    1 week ago
  • Jordan Williams, Colin Craig podcast series announced
    “Free at last, Free at last, Thank God almighty we are free at last.” ― Martin Luther King Jr. A long and bitter court feud between former Conservative Party leader Colin Craig and Jordan Williams has been settled, with an apology and compensation from Williams. On Tuesday, Craig sent out ...
    The PaepaeBy Peter Aranyi
    1 week ago
  • How plant-based meat is stretching New Zealand’s cultural and legal boundaries
    Samuel Becher, Victoria University of Wellington and Jessica C Lai, Victoria University of Wellington Earlier this year, the New Zealand-based pizza chain Hell Pizza offered a limited-edition “Burger Pizza”. Its customers weren’t told that the “meat” was plant-based. Some customers complained to the Commerce Commission, which enforces consumer law in ...
    SciBlogsBy Guest Author
    1 week ago
  • Scientific integrity requires critical investigation – not blind acceptance
    Some people seem to want to close down any critical discussion of the current research into the relationship between water fluoride and child IQ. They appear to argue that claims made by researchers should not be open to critical review and that the claims be accepted without proper consideration ...
    1 week ago
  • Climate Change: The shameful reality
    The government has been congratulating itself over the passage of the Zero Carbon Act, which sets out long-term emissions targets. Meanwhile, Climate Action Tracker has the shameful reality: those targets are insufficient:While New Zealand is showing leadership by having passed the world’s second-ever Zero Carbon Act in November 2019, under ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • More secrecy
    The government introduced a Racing Industry Bill today. As an urban who horse racing as pointless-to-cruel, and gambling as a tax on stupidity and/or hope, this isn't normally a bill which would interest me in the slightest, beyond grumpiness at more government money for a dying industry. But there is ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • Unlikely online bully, Liam Hehir
    Check. Check. One, two, three, four. Is this thing ON? Hello readers, I logged in last night (yeah, it’s been a while) to mark THE END of the landmark legal case, Jordan Williams v Colin Craig, which (gulp) reached The Supreme Court, in which New Zealand’s most-defamed man was suing the politician he ...
    The PaepaeBy Peter Aranyi
    1 week ago
  • The Birth Of Israel: Wrong At The Right Time.
    Before The Birth: Israel’s most fervent supporters set their clocks ticking in Biblical times. They cite the kingdoms of David and Solomon as proof that, in the words of the Exodus movie’s theme-song: “This land is mine.” The majority of Israel’s backers, however, start their clocks in 1933 – the year Adolf ...
    1 week ago
  • Hard News: Public Address Word of the Year 2019: Korero phase
    In an unreliable, strange and confusing world, Public Address is proud to present a measure of comfort and stability by annually asking everyone what words or phrases sum up the year that's been – and then giving some of them consumer goods as prizes for being clever or simply lucky.Well, ...
    1 week ago
  • Generalist to specialist
    Both my parents are pretty handy – and they seem to have the right tools for most jobs in the garage and they know how to fix practically anything. A similar story could be told about their generation’s experience in the workforce – being a generalist was not unusual and ...
    SciBlogsBy Guest Author
    1 week ago
  • A “coincidence”
    When it was revealed that NZ First had tried to enrich itself from public office via the Provoncial Growth Fund, the Prime Minister assured us that everything was OK as Shane Jones, the Minister responsible for the fund, had recused himself. Except it seems that that recusal came very late ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • Member’s Day
    Today is a Member's Day, and probably the last one of the year. After the marathon of the End of Life Choice Act, most of the bills up for debate today are uncontentious. First up is the second reading of Chlöe Swarbrick's Election Access Fund Bill. This will be followed ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • Worse than I thought
    The Foreign Affairs, Defence and Trade Committee has reported back on the government's odious and tyrannical control orders bill. As expected, the fraudulent select committee process has made no significant changes (partly because they couldn't agree, but mostly because it was a stitch-up from the start, with no intention of ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • The cannabis bill and the referendum
    Yesterday, the government released its draft Cannabis Legalisation and Control Bill, which will be put to a non-binding referendum at the next election. I'm not a drug policy expert, but Russell Brown is, and he thinks its pretty good. And pretty obviously, it will be a massive improvement on the ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • Hard News: The Cannabis Legalisation and Control Bill: pretty good so far
    As you're probably aware, the draft bill outlining the proposed legal cannabis regime to be put to a referendum late next year was published yesterday, and has already attracted a flurry of comment. It's notable that a good deal of the comment is about proposals that aren't actually new.A minimum ...
    1 week ago
  • Climate Change: Alignment
    One of the big problems in New Zealand climate change policy is the government working at cross-purposes with itself. It wants to reduce fossil fuel use, but encourages oil and gas exploration. It wants to reduce transport emissions, but then builds enormous new roads. The problem could be avoided if ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • How climate change will affect food production and security
    Climate Explained is a collaboration between The Conversation, Stuff and the New Zealand Science Media Centre to answer your questions about climate change. If you have a question you’d like an expert to answer, please send it to climate.change@stuff.co.nz According to the United Nations, food shortages are a threat ...
    SciBlogsBy Guest Author
    1 week ago
  • More bad faith
    Last year, the government announced it was ending offshore oil exploration by no longer issuing new permits. The idea was that the industry would then die off as permits expired. Except almost immediately the government revealed its bad faith, by saying they would extend permits and alter conditions to keep ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • Banning foreign money from our elections
    The government has said it will ban foreign donations to political parties and candidates, and will be introducing legislation to be passed under all-stages urgency this afternoon. While I agree with the goal, I don't see a particular case for urgency, unless the government is concerned about a flood of ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • Reforming the Education Acts
    The government introduced the Education and Training Bill to Parliament yesterday. Its a massive bill, which replaces both existing Education Acts, as well as various other bits of legislation (including some which are still proceeding through the House). I'll leave the serious analysis to teachers and people who actually know ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • Bite-sized learning
    Amelia SharmanThere’s no one-size-fits-all when it comes to micro-credentials, those bits of bite-sized learning that can help workers stay on top of technological change.  What’s a micro-credential? While definitions vary, micro-credentials can be understood as short courses that allow people to learn new skills or have an existing competency recognised. ...
    SciBlogsBy Guest Author
    2 weeks ago
  • “Not The Labour Party We Once Knew.”
    All Smiles Now: Claire Szabo is taking up her presidential role after serving as the CEO of Habitat For Humanity. Which is absolutely perfect! After KiwiBuild was so comprehensively mismanaged by Phil Twyford, the party has not only elected a new president from a thoroughly respectable not-for-profit, but one who ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Marxist versus liberal methodology on transgender ideology/identity politics
    While much of the NZ left has transitioned to postmodern and identity politics in relation to transgender ideology, there are some very good articles about that deploy Marxist methodology in relation to this subject.  The one below is from the British marxist group Counterfire and appeared on their site here ...
    RedlineBy Admin
    2 weeks ago
  • Book review: The Farm by Joanne Ramos
    by Daphna Whitmore At Golden Oaks, a luxurious country retreat in the Hudson Valley, pregnant women have the best care money can buy. From the organic food, personalised exercise programmes, private yoga instruction and daily massages Golden Oaks looks like a country lodge for the upper class. Set some time ...
    RedlineBy Daphna
    2 weeks ago
  • Loosening the purse strings
    When Labour was running for election in 2017, it felt it needed to demonstrate "fiscal responsibility" and signed itself up to masochistic "budget responsibility rules". It was a fool's errand: the sorts of voters who demand fiscal responsibility are also the sorts of voters who believe that labour can never ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • Climate Change: How to get there
    Writing in Stuff, Joel MacManus looks at what we need to do to meet the Zero Carbon Act's targets. The core of it:1. Convert 85 per cent of vehicles on the road to electric. 2. Eliminate fossil fuels from all industrial heating up to 300 degrees Celsius. 3. Double our ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • anti-vaxxers in a measles epidemic: so many ways to be untruthful
    “Anti-vaxers are a pro-death movement,” those comments from Dr Helen Petousis-Harris speaking about six more Measles related deaths in Samoa over the past twenty-four hours. “Anti-vaxers are a pro-death movement,” those comments from Dr Helen Petousis-Harris speaking about six more Measles related deaths in Samoa ...
    SciBlogsBy Alison Campbell
    2 weeks ago
  • Is Youth Vaping a Problem in New Zealand?
    Professors Janet Hoek and Richard Edwards, Emeritus Professor Phil Gendall, Jude Ball, Dr Judith McCool, Anaru Waa, Dr Becky Freeman Recent media reports have presented conflicting evidence on youth vaping in NZ. While some NZ school principals report concerns about increasing vaping on school grounds and confiscating vapes, ASH Year ...
    SciBlogsBy Public Health Expert
    2 weeks ago
  • In pursuit of “Freedom and Democracy”: Forever Wars in “America’s backyard”.
    “America the Beautiful!”, staunch defender of democracy, freedom and… a whole lot of despotic tyrants that play nice with what is called “the Washington Consensus.” America is indeed capable of immense good, but like any Nation, and most assuredly any aspirant to the mantle of Empire, great, immense evil. All ...
    exhALANtBy exhalantblog
    2 weeks ago
  • November ’19 – NZ blogs sitemeter ranking
    Image credit: The beginner’s guide to blogging I notice a few regulars no longer allow public access to the site counters. This may happen accidentally when the blog format is altered. If your blog is ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Whodunnit? Finding the mystery 1080 testing lab
    1080 is used to control pests in NZ. Its use is contested by a noisy few. A new report claims high levels of 1080 in rats washed up on a beach. Flora and Fauna of Aotearoa (F&F) won’t name the laboratory that did their testing. It has sparked a hunt ...
    SciBlogsBy Grant Jacobs
    2 weeks ago

  • New partnership to boost screen sector job opportunities
    Auckland’s growing screen sector is the catalyst for a new partnership between the Ministry of Social Development and Auckland’s economic development agency Auckland Tourism, Events and Economic Development (ATEED). The launch today at FilmFX in Henderson, is to celebrate the partnership which looks to capitalise on the social and economic development opportunities ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 hours ago
  • A minute’s silence for Whakaari White Island victims
    A minute’s silence will be observed at 2.11pm on Monday 16 December in honour of the victims of the Whakaari White Island eruption, Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern has confirmed. “Wherever you are in New Zealand, or around the world, this is a moment we can stand alongside those who have ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 hours ago
  • NZ to help fund fight against measles in the Pacific region
    Foreign Minister Winston Peters has announced New Zealand will contribute NZ$1 million of funding towards the joint United Nations Fund for Children (UNICEF) and World Health Organisation (WHO) Pacific Regional Action Plan for Measles.   “Prevention through vaccination is the most effective way of avoiding illness and a costly health emergency. ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 hours ago
  • New Zealand remembers Sir Peter Snell
    New Zealand is today remembering one of our true sporting heroes, triple Olympic gold medal winner Sir Peter Snell. “He was a legend, here and around the world,” Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern said. “Our thoughts are with Sir Peter’s wife Miki and their family.” “Sir Peter is recognised as New ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 hours ago
  • PM congratulates Boris Johnson on election victory
    Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern has congratulated United Kingdom Prime Minister Boris Johnson on his election victory.  “New Zealand and the United Kingdom are close friends and despite our distance we are strongly connected by our history and people,” Jacinda Ardern said.  “I look forward to continuing to work with Prime ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    22 hours ago
  • Building a platform for the future of rail
    The Government has released its long term vision for a sustainable 21st Century rail network that gets our cities moving, connects our regions and gets more freight off the roads.   Deputy Prime Minister and State Owned Enterprises Minister Winston Peters said the Government is committed to rebuilding New Zealand’s ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    23 hours ago
  • Prime Minister statement Whakaari White Island recovery operation
    I want to start by acknowledging the families who have experienced such grief and such loss since the extraordinary tragedy on Monday. Today was all about reuniting them with their loved ones. We've just come from the airport where many of them were gathered and in amongst what you can ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    23 hours ago
  • New Zealand medical specialists to provide further support to Samoa
    Foreign Minister Winston Peters today announced further support for Samoa’s longer term needs as it continues to respond to a devastating measles epidemic. “Samoa’s health system has experienced massive strain in the wake of the measles epidemic. The volume of patients needing care during this outbreak, and the number of ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 day ago
  • Discounted electric-bikes offered to public sector workers
    Discounted electric bikes will be offered up to public sector staff across the country as part of the Government’s work to reduce transport emissions and support healthier transport options.  Associate Minister of Transport Julie Anne Genter officially launched the new initiative at Wellington Hospital today.  “The Government has negotiated bulk-purchase ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 day ago
  • Australia and New Zealand confirm joint bid for FIFA Women’s World Cup
    The Australian and New Zealand Governments today launch an historic joint bid to bring the FIFA Women’s World Cup to the Southern Hemisphere for the first time. Australian Minister for Youth and Sport, Richard Colbeck and New Zealand Minister for Sport and Recreation Grant Robertson will announce the bold campaign, ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 day ago
  • Blackwater gold mine gets PGF boost
    The Provincial Growth Fund (PGF) has approved a $15 million loan to help re-establish a gold mining operation at Blackwater Gold Mine, near Reefton, Rural Communities Minister and local MP Damien O’Connor announced at an event on the West Coast today. “This is great news for the Coast that could ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 day ago
  • Papakāinga model inspires whānau well-being
    Papakāinga model inspires whānau well-being A housing project by Kohupātiki whānau in Hastings is an outstanding example of a Māori-led housing initiative that can reduce financial pressure and reconnect whānau to their whakapapa says the Minister for Māori Development Hon Nanaia Mahuta.  Minister Mahuta officially opened the Aroha Te Rangi ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 day ago
  • Government provides more funding for major community wetland restoration project
    Restoration efforts for a significant wetland in the Hawke’s Bay are getting more support announced Associate Minister for the Environment Eugenie Sage. “Wetlands are vital to healthy landscapes and ecosystems. They function as nature’s ‘kidneys’, filtering and protecting water quality, acting as nature’s sponges after rain and are home to ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 day ago
  • Housing First to help Nelson Tasman homeless
    Nelson has today seen the launch of Housing First Nelson Tasman. Today’s launch marks the expansion of the Government’s homelessness programme, Housing First, to the top of the South Island. “Housing First is a proven programme that puts people who are experiencing homelessness and multiple, high and complex needs into ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 day ago
  • New funding to support Environment Centres working for sustainable local solutions
    New Government funding announced today will help communities make a difference in tackling environmental issues Associate Minister for the Environment Eugenie Sage announced in Hawkes Bay today. The Ministry for the Environment’s Community Environment Fund is dedicating $243,101 to growing the capacity and capability of the Environment Hubs Aotearoa’s (EHA) ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 day ago
  • Government takes bite out of loan sharks
    The days of vulnerable consumers falling victim to loan sharks, truck shops and other predatory lenders are numbered, following the Credit Contracts Legislation Amendment Bill passing its third reading tonight. “Too many Kiwis are being given loans that are unaffordable and unsuitable, trapping them in debt and leaving their families ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • New Zealand safer as Terrorism Suppression (Control Orders Bill) becomes law
    A Bill that prevents terrorism and supports the de-radicalisation of New Zealanders returning from overseas has passed its third reading, Justice Minister Andrew Little says. The Terrorism Suppression (Control Orders) Bill is a carefully targeted response to manage the risk posed by a small number of New Zealanders who have ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • Foreign Minister and Pacific Peoples Minister to visit Samoa
    Foreign Affairs Minister Winston Peters and Minister for Pacific Peoples Aupito William Sio will travel to Samoa on Friday, where New Zealand medical teams are helping Samoa respond to an outbreak of measles. “New Zealand has been working closely with the Government of Samoa and offering our assistance from the ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • New Pastoral Care Code will support tertiary students in 2020
    The Government has changed the law to improve student safety and welfare in university halls of residence and other student accommodation. The Education (Pastoral Care) Amendment Bill passed its third reading this afternoon and details of an interim Code of Practice setting out the Government’s expectations of tertiary providers have also been released. ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • New infrastructure funding tool to build housing developments faster
    A new tool to help councils fund and finance infrastructure could mean some housing developments happen a decade earlier than currently planned, Urban Development Minister Phil Twyford said today. “This new tool, developed by the Government in partnership with industry and high-growth councils, will allow councils to access private debt ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • Vision to unite the primary sector launched today
    Agriculture Minister Damien O’Connor has welcomed the release of a bold new vision for the country’s vital food and fibre sector. “I’m delighted that New Zealand’s major farmer and grower organisations are today supporting the Primary Sector Council’s vision – Fit for a Better World,” he said. “The international consumers ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • NZ congratulates PNG and Autonomous Bougainville Government on referendum
    Foreign Minister Winston Peters has congratulated the Government of Papua New Guinea and the Autonomous Bougainville Government for completing a well-conducted referendum on the future political status of Bougainville. “New Zealand supported the referendum process by providing technical advice through the New Zealand Electoral Commission and leading a Regional Police ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • Next steps for Upper North Island logistics
    In light of Cabinet’s position that freight operations on prime land in downtown Auckland are no longer viable, the Government will now embark on a short work programme to enable decision-making in the first half of next year, Associate Transport Minister Shane Jones says. Minister Jones is today releasing the ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • Surgical mesh restorative justice report received
    Associate Health Minister Julie Anne Genter has received the report back from a surgical mesh restorative justice process undertaken by Victoria University. The process heard stories, either in person or online submission, from more than 600 people affected by surgical mesh. “The report made for heart-breaking and confronting reading,” says ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • The Water Services Regulator Bill – Taumata Arowai a milestone for drinking water safety
    The Water Services Regulator Bill – Taumata Arowai , introduced to Parliament today, is a milestone for drinking water safety in New Zealand and will help improve environmental outcomes for urban waterways, rivers and lakes.  “This is a breakthrough for New Zealanders in terms of providing safe drinking water throughout ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • Speech to new direction for criminal justice reform announcement
    Kia ora koutouE ngā mana, e ngā reo, e ngā matā wakaTēnā koutou katoaHaere ngā, moe maiKoutou ma ngā Rangatira Ko Anaru ahauKo au te Minita mo ngā TureHe Honore tino nui kei roto I ahau No reira tena koutou katoa Today, we are releasing two reports that are the ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • New direction for criminal justice reform
    The Government is looking to turn around the long-term challenges of criminal justice by taking a new approach to break the cycle of offending to ensure there are fewer victims of crime. Justice Minister Andrew Little released two reports today, Turuki! Turuki! from Te Uepū Hāpai I te Ora, and ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • New law sets up $300m Venture Capital Fund
    New Zealand firms expanding beyond the start-up phase are set for more support after today’s passage of the Venture Capital Fund Bill, Associate Finance Minister David Parker said. The Bill, which establishes a $300 million Venture Capital Fund, puts in place a key initiative of the Wellbeing Budget’s economic package. ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • New Zealand’s National Statement to COP25
    E ngā mana, e ngā reo, e ngā iwi, e ngā rau rangatira mā. Tēnā koutou, tēnā koutou, tēnā koutou katoa. Señora Presidenta, Excellencies, Delegates. International action A common thread that runs through the Paris Agreement is the commitment we have made to each other to do what we can to ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
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  • $12 billion in extra infrastructure investment
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