Outside the bubble

Written By: - Date published: 10:30 am, September 16th, 2013 - 51 comments
Categories: labour, Parliament, political parties - Tags: ,

For many years there used to be a blog site called The Thordon Bubble1, that was dedicated to the minutiae of the political scene as seen from a small area in Wellington.  I always thought it was a perfect name for the thermocline difference of views between the hunting grounds of the politicians and parliamentary political media, and what happens in New Zealand.

Over the years I have observed many youngish politicians breaking into the bubble and over a year or so get morphed into people whose strategic thinking abilities atrophied to the three yearly electoral cycle. In some ways that is their task. Political parties can have a direct influence only if they are on the treasury benches, and their indirect influence in opposition is limited to how far they can threaten the governing parties chances of reelection.

However it has to be said that over recent years, including the third term of the last Labour government, this tendency to spiral inside the event horizon in the incestuous Wellington bubble has reached extreme levels for both the politicians, their staff, and the parliamentary press gallery.

For the Labour caucus this has been due in a large part to a shift in the recruiting ground for budding politicians to not be from experienced party and union activists, but from the paid parliamentary staff. Rather than recruiting people whose experience was from the communities that they had laboured in, it was from the shared trust experience of employer/employee relationships. In other words – patronage.

Similarly the movement of journalists from the parliamentary press gallery to working for politicians as press secretaries to heading off into the lobbyist/PR world has produced a similar inbreeding experience. It has concentrated the genes for credulous self-interest to an extent that is dangerous for free and open press.

But there has probably never been quite as clear an example of the differences between those inside the bubble and those outside the bubble than the numbers for weekend’s leadership result for Labour.

The first round vote for Cunliffe in caucus was  about half that in both the membership and affiliates. It was the other way around for Robertson. Right there you can see the event horizon between the Labour caucus and the Labour party. This was exactly the result that I’d expected bearing in mind the ever shortening time horizons of those in the bubble. Many weren’t even managing to look far enough ahead to how to win the next election.

For anyone outside the bubble and ‘the game’ that was divorced from actual voters, it was obvious that for Labour to make headway against National they were going to need considerable experience with a track record of not screwing up. His current lack of wide enough experience (as I pointed out last week) meant that Robertson was unsuitable. Shane Jones has more experience, but appears to have an innate talent for cocking things up. There was no real choice in the field that caucus was able to present to the party.

So the party membership and party affiliates, left and right,  voted overwhelmingly for the candidate that they thought would bring the most experience to win the next election. This shows up not only in their first votes, but also in their second preferences after Shanes Jones would have been knocked out.

Caucus in the first round votes, in my opinion, did not. They voted on factional grounds that to me appear to have little to do with winning the next election. About the only thing that gives me hope is that if the second preferences  had been counted then the vote would have been more even.

The vote that set the leadership voting system in place last year indicated how wide the differences were between the party members and the caucus. Then the caucus wasted the opportunity to understand because they expended their energy on a quixotic scapegoating quest, aided and abetted by their allies in the parliamentary press gallery, by claiming it was some kind of coup attempt. It wasn’t and the bubble view on what had been going on was offensive to all of those who’d argued and voted on the resolution.

Now the caucus members have another opportunity to gauge how wide the differences are between the bubble view and that of the membership that they represent. I’d strongly suggest that they look at it with a lot less distorting spin in their vision this time.

While I’m steadily moving outwards towards the Labour Ulterior in my interest in the NZLP, there are considerable signs that the decades long stasis of the NZLP’s membership is breaking up. This is attracting many from the Ulterior back into active membership – the figure bandied around is that there has been a 15% increase during the leadership primary.

Since the members are potentially the best focus group and message spreaders that the party has, then it’d behove the caucus to figure out how to work with *all*2 of them rather than against them.

 

1: The original Thordon Bubble was on blogspot until 2008. It moved to a new site which currently appears to be offline. But at some point it shifted to being an aggregator site as the author took a job where running the blog would have caused conflicts. 

2: Note for MP’s that those who turn up for LECs aren’t particularly representative of the membership. They are representative on those who can stand the boredom of spending several hours in a cold room listening to people drone on one at a time. This is a very special breed. Generally I’ve found that the people who put campaigns together (if they aren’t the chair/secretary) will turn up at LECs only occasionally coming up to an election (but they are a special breed as well). Joint branch meetings get quite a lot of the older members to hear their politicians and party officials speak. Most younger members never show up at meetings at all, they talk to each other online. Such a pity that the party still hasn’t managed to cope with such a radical idea… 

51 comments on “Outside the bubble”

  1. Sanctuary 1

    “…For the Labour caucus this has been due in a large part to a shift in the recruiting ground for budding politicians to not be from experienced party and union activists, but from the paid parliamentary staff. Rather than recruiting people whose experience was from the communities that they had laboured in, it was from the shared trust experience of employer/employee relationships. In other words – patronage…”

    This is a consequence of the general Western professionalisation of politics, something that in this country was accelerated as an unintended consequence of the adoption of MMP and party lists. In a wider cultural context, the general extension of the values of managerialism to democratic institutions means the values of the technocratic elites has been brought to bear on candidate selection in all political parties. Technocrats like other technocrats, and a desire by the ruling class for “competent” rule by expert managers has generally been the ambient theme of the last forty years.

    We need to guard against this creation of permanent political class. The consequences in Europe of having two groups of technocratic managers in powder pink and powder blue swopping government has been a disconnected and frustrated electorate increasingly turning to populist far-right partys, anything – ANYTHING! – to break the managerialist carapace of an ossified and discredited ruling class.

    that is why I am in favour of term limits and constitutionally decentralised government. If I had my way, New Zealand would consist several Swiss style “supercity” cantons with term limits for representatives at both canton and federal level.

    • Ennui 1.1

      ANYTHING! – to break the managerialist carapace of an ossified and discredited ruling class.

      Two things:
      1. Beautiful language and imagery (love it)!
      2. Fantastic idea.

  2. Blue 2

    That’s one hell of a bubble. It appears to vapourise all rational thought upon entry.

    A reasonable person would recognise that the person they like best isn’t necessarily the best person for the job.

    A professional would recognise that sometimes you have to work with people you don’t like to get the job done.

    An intelligent person would realise that feeding the media with stories of infighting and caucus division only hurts the party and cause they claim to be working for.

    A strategic thinker would realise there was no point voting for Robertson when Cunliffe was going to win and the wider party desperately needed the caucus to back him for appearances’ sake.

    A wise person would know that voting against the wishes of the members, the affiliates and the public is suicidal.

    The Labour caucus seems to be a thought-free zone populated by zombies dedicated to eating brains – their own, in this case.

    • Rogue Trooper 2.1

      hmmm, interesting generalizations.

      • Tim 2.1.1

        Yep. Short on time ….. but …. I’m not sure its a consequence of MMP either – more to do with managerialism inherent in the commodification and corporatisation of all and everything, along with things like the ‘risk society’. Not well explained I know but I don’t have time.
        We’ve commodified, transactionalised and corporatised EVERYTHING that isn’t tied down
        with a lead shield around it including the very basic of human needs.

  3. Ant 3

    The community on The Standard was accused a number of times of being a pro-David Cunliffe echo-chamber that was out of touch with reality. In actuality it ended up representing a fairly accurate cross section of members and left activists.

    Trust a sysop to describe themselves as a Culture Mind, GSV or ROU though…

    • lprent 3.1

      😈

      I have an unfinished post describing the NZ Labour universe in terms of the Culture model. I’ve found that it works remarkably well as a working template. As you can imagine, the hard bit would be to explain the framework and it’s relevance to a politician 🙂

      Mind you it has to be easier than explaining to Helen Clark in about 1991 what the effect of PC’s and electronic communications would be to the political world. Eventually I just brought a second hand PC off a programmer, dropped it on her desk at home as a donation, and connected it to a dialup uucp email system….

      • Rogue Trooper 3.1.1

        well, very Aurelio Zen of you Lynn; The Cartel survives on ‘patronage’ and fears (particularly concerning status and reputation).
        Eccentrically yours, Shoot Them Later 😉 . no fnjckg around! 😎

      • Rogue Trooper 3.1.2

        btw, a ‘universe’ or a microcosm…and, and, after considering the articles by John Armstrong et al; for (feck) two years, I’m reluctant to even bother now, and please, don’t get me started on Bill Ralston, or any others belonging to the professional punditry caste! (that includes Raymond Francis).full-stop.

      • George D 3.1.3

        You ought to be pretty proud every time she hosts a web event at the UNDP – she’s in her element!

      • Jellytussle 3.1.4

        That donation did the world a favour!

    • gobsmacked 3.2

      The community on The Standard was accused a number of times of being a pro-David Cunliffe echo-chamber that was out of touch with reality.

      If anyone needs a definition of “echo-chamber”, it would be something like …

      “A bunch of people who sit in a room after a very bad election result, and tell themselves that the failed leader, deputy leader and chief strategists for that election should naturally be entrusted with the choice of leader for the next election, and who then tell themselves that a guy who has made no impact whatsoever and displays no political acumen whatsoever, should be that leader.”

      It took nearly 2 years for the noise from outside that room to break through the walls. What kind of soundproofing do they use in that building, and where can I get some?

  4. aerobubble 4

    You’re an MP, do you vote for your buddies buddy in caucus or do you use common sense that rule changes mean a new changed to your political career. Nearly half the first round of votes said No, best buddies. So that’s the shock, after the caucus gave us the Goff leadership, then the Shearer leadership and finally the Robertson leadership, why did none of these Robertson MPs go back to their electorates and gauge their parties opinion. Well it does explain the low polling of Goff, of Sheaher-Robertson, the party was inward caucus looking.

    The Labour party changed its rule, not the caucus party, where’s the mention of that? And why was the media so unable to make that point, that Cunliffe obvious has some ability to move the party. This was a take back by the party on the under performing parliamentary caucus.

    Cunliffe is not left wing, but accepts like many right wing parties globally that left wing solutions
    are now in the ascendency, geez will the media get over it, the era of kissing the big end of town is over – i.e. no need to prove core neo-liberal indoctrination.

    Take the copper tax, National can’t argue the free market anymore not when they intervene and the market, unions, etc all get in a line and say WTF.

    We are moving into an era of tight budgets, tight economy, tight energy world, and the rage of three decades of soft weak extreme right wing politics paid for by cheap high density fuels, the
    resulted in do nothing, undermine government, and picking rich prick winners policy.
    (all obvious to everyone other than the media) was inefficient and harmed resilience.

    Jones brings back the enjoyment of the job; Robertson negatives over took his positives; Cunliffe looks capable to learn from both of them. Enjoy the win, and don’t be such a bitch. Key is tired, National naturally bitchy, like 50% Brownlee, Crush nothing Collins, double sip English, Climate change what Climate change Joyce.

    If I were Cunliffe I’d set up panels in each town, feed them Jones’ latest quirp and use the feedback to get a feel for the punters. He’ll lay off the explaining, and use the obvious ability Cunliffe has to tie up the interesting, convincing, yet hard hitting appeals into tight little bundles and repeat them.

  5. joe90 5

    The beige dictatorship.

    The emergence of a class of political apparatchik in our democracies is almost inevitable. I was particularly struck by this at the CREATe conference, which was launched by a cookie-cutter junior minister from Westminster: aged 33, worked in politics since leaving university, married to another MP, clearly focused on a political career path.

    http://www.antipope.org/charlie/blog-static/2013/02/political-failure-modes-and-th.html

    • Ennui 5.1

      As to the beige dictatorship and Bills institutional or managerial types where do we go now? I have often reflected (after conversation with these types of people) who are preponderant in politics, corporates and commerce how little they know! And often so “young” to be placed in positions due to having the “right” meal ticket degrees and making the “right noises”.

      Gnarly old bastards like myself, myself years of real life experience, behind the wheels of commerce, or others from behind the wheel of a truck, where to for us? Methinks that the Labour party could do with us for MPs and staff, but we might not be young enough, suitably degreed, PC enough etc etc…shame. But we are expected to swallow this nonsense and deliver our time, our votes etc.

  6. Bill 6

    I guess when you are a political party bent on selling stuff to people that they don’t want and that’s detrimental to their well being, then you become insulated and defensively TINA. For 30 years, that’s been the reality of the Labour Party. And so it’s no surprise there is a preponderance of ‘institutional or managerial leftists’.

    But if Labour are filing a divorce on the neo-liberal consensus, then I see no reason why the institutional or managerial types wouldn’t/couldn’t adjust accordingly, and with new found focus, be reasonably effective politicians…perhaps a bit unsure and ‘soft’ until they get a feel for that ‘common’ ground beneath their feet.

    As for the rump of the unabashedly TINA to neo-liberalism who remained in parliament post 2008 when the smarter amongst them jumped to other career paths? Well, old dogs/new tricks and all of that. Backbenches and the door marked ‘exit’.

    • ghostwhowalksnz 6.1

      Oh really.
      You look at a person like David Cameron in the UK, most of his life spent in the Conservative Party machine, or Tony Abbot, who is very similar ( was a Liberal press secretary among others)
      Of course Washington has a revolving door between elected officials and the machinery of government and the the wider business world

      • Bill 6.1.1

        Hmm. So you don’t think the ‘revolving door’ has been fair whirling as a result of governments elevating corporate friendly neo-liberal agendas? You think the parliament to boardroom career path, for both Tory and Labour politicians, was as well worn during (say) the 60’s?

  7. Greywarbler 7

    I watched a tv doco on Greek Themistocles, a lower-class chap who became a general soon after democracy was embraced by Cleisthenes (as a maneouvre to help him to gain advantage against other nobles). The experiences at the start of building a democracy do not seem too different from those here and now trying to rebuild democracy to be a system fitted to today’s requirements.

    This from Wikipedia : http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Themistocles
    [Cleisthenes] proposed to the Athenian people a radical program in which political power would be invested in the people – a “democracy”.[11]
    The Athenian people thus overthrew Isagoras, repelled a Spartan attack under Cleomenes, and invited Cleisthenes to return to Athens, to put his plan into action.[12] The establishment of the democracy was to radically change Athens:

    “And so it was that the Athenians found themselves suddenly a great power…they gave vivid proof of what equality and freedom of speech might achieve”[13]
    The new system of government in Athens opened up a wealth of opportunity for men like Themistocles, who previously would have had no access to power.[14] Moreover, the new institutions of the democracy required skills which had previously been unimportant in government.

    Themistocles was to prove himself a master of the new system; “he could infight, he could network, he could spin…and crucially, he knew how to make himself visible.”[14] Themistocles moved to the Ceramicus, a down-market part of Athens. This move marked him out as a ‘man of the people’, and allowed him to interact more easily with ordinary citizens. He began building up a support base amongst these newly empowered citizens:

    “he wooed the poor; and they, not used to being courted, duly loved him back. Touring the taverns, the markets, the docks, canvassing where no politician had thought to canvas before, making sure never to forget a single voter’s name, Themistocles had set his eyes on a radical new constituency”[14]

    However, he took care to ensure that he did not alienate the nobility of Athens.[14] He began to practice law, the first person in Athens to prepare for public life in this way.[14] His ability as attorney and arbitrator, used in the service of the common people, gained him further popularity.[15]

    • Olwyn 7.1

      On what channel was it? I just love stuff about the ancient world, and I wish I had seen that.

    • Murray Olsen 7.2

      So Themistocles moved from his house in Herne Bay and took up residence in the Crown Lynn suburb of Ceramicus? Hmmm. Could be more to this than meets the eye.

      • Greywarbler 7.2.1

        Olwyn
        It turned out to be a History Channel series. It’s very well done – riveting. I thought Greek history a bit of a bore, I’ve heard about Troy and not much else had stuck. It has all come to life for me.
        There are 3 episodes.
        508 BC Ancient Greeks: The Revolution of Democracy | History Channel Documentary
        1st – http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eZ5Bu-eqVZM
        and

        490 BC Ancient Greeks: Golden Age of Civilisation : History Channel Documentary
        2nd – http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vHMu2gVzspA
        and

        431-399 BC (Sokratis) Ancient Greeks: Empire of the Mind : History Channel Documentary
        3rd – http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=r0T78tNS9u8.

        Murray O
        I noticed that name Ceramicus. It says in one of the episodes how the potter’s job was a very low class one. Even though they were making essential, useful items. Maybe that tendency has continued in their playful destruction of plates which they sometimes throw at dancers. But ironically, they had a military dictatorship that suspended democracy in the 1960’2 and the plate smashing was stopped.

        In 1969, the military dictatorship of Georgios Papadopoulos that had suspended democracy and ruled Greece autocratically from 1967-1974, banned plate smashing to the great disappointment of Greeks and foreign tourists alike. It is no longer officially allowed at Greek nightclubs, but still happens occasionally.

        Crown Lynn ceramics got to a higher level similar to those that I found in a 1980s Nathan’s advert for 20 piece stoneware set from Japan. It cost $69.95 – compare today’s much lower prices.
        The country is awash with imported coffee mugs, teacups hardly sell at all at the op shop I help at, and good used dinner sets of everyday ware sell for $5. So it’s back to low wages and esteem for ceramics.

        • Olwyn 7.2.1.1

          Thanks for that Greywarbler. I do not have sky TV, but I will try and track it down as a DVD. It’s interesting that the potter’s job was a low status one, given that they have all those vases and so on, decorated with scenes from their stories. Plato had a certain respect for tradespeople; he did not rate them as highly as philosophers, but he respected the fact that they had real knowledge, and were not all hype like some of the people in public life. I would think ship builders would have held relatively high status, since the Greeks were great sailors.

          • Greywarbler 7.2.1.1.1

            Olwyn
            I don’t have Sky either. Can’t you just use the links to youtube I’ve put up? You will find it great to view and lots to think about.

      • Rogue Trooper 7.2.2

        that is both clever, and funny, Murray.

  8. Rich 8

    I think it’s simpler than that:

    – most of the media commentators are closet (or overt) National supporters and wanted Labour to elect either a useless and divisive leader or one so right-wing as to be the next best thing to a National government (should a Labour party led by them be elected). Jones fits both those, so was hyped beyond his tiny support base in Labour.

    – because Labour elects its leader democratically but ranks its list internally and has a base of mostly long serving electorate MPs, the caucus is out of sync with the membership and has several members who are far to comfortable in opposition.

    • Ennui 8.1

      I doubt Patrick Sneerperson, or Duncan Garrulous on our TVs have ever read Marx, Adam Smith, Milton Friedman and so on yet the things that they spout on about as “authorities” are thiose inclined to require some background knowledge. We are being so dumbed down…and to add insult to injury these thickets get remunerated vast amounts compared to the average Joe who knows a damned sight more….who will save us from these idiots???????

    • Tim 8.2

      “most of the media commentators are closet (or overt) National supporters and wanted Labour to elect either a useless and divisive leader….”

      They are. But of course if Labour REALLY do something about corporate welfare and monoply/duoploy positions (i.e. put a stop to it in favour of social welfare – and of course in favour of what’s supposedly true competition and capitalism, rather than the crony), watch them all brush off their stripes as soon as they can find a bulk supplier of hydrogen peroxide.
      No more Media Works/TV3 prop-ups (and a call-in of the debt) …. No more Sky monoploy…. and TVNZ – being publicly owned – having to operate in the PUBLIC interest.
      Interesting times.
      I’m picking that some of these ‘pundits’ (laughs loudly within) might soon be pulling their heads in.
      But then you never know. It’ll be a contributing factor though as to whether Labour get both my party and electorate vote in 2017. So far, and after the election of Cunliffe, they’re about 40% on the way.

  9. Tiger Mountain 9

    By George you’ve got it! is all that can be said really LP.

    The basic disconnect between membership and parliamentary wing has been Labour’s downfall for almost ever. While helping a Labour member letterbox on the weekend (dog minding and gossiping) the people that said anything good that has ever happened in NZ is due to Labour governments was amazing, West tho, East we might have been run out of town.

    Heh, interesting how physics terminology gains popular currency–“event horizon”, many years back “the second law of thermodynamics” etc.

  10. tracey 10

    Gillard makes some interesting observstions of labours historical influence… things they fought for and won and which were not reversed by a conservative government.

    Examples here

    Homosexual law reform
    nuclear free

    Some things eroded by conservatives
    working day and week
    working conditions

  11. McFlock 11

    So the party membership and party affiliates, left and right, voted overwhelmingly for the candidate that they thought would bring the most experience to win the next election.

    […]

    Caucus in the first round votes, in my opinion, did not. They voted on factional grounds that to me appear to have little to do with winning the next election.

    Maybe both groups voted for whom they thought would be the best candidate at the next election?
    Why is there an expectation for the caucus vote to mirror that of the membership or the affiliates (because those two groups differed from each other, as well)?

    I have two suspicions:
    the first is that the membership saw different aspects of the candidates compared with the caucus. Not necessarily better or worse for any of them, just differences, and that affected the distribution of each group’s vote;

    the second is that the extent of “factionalisation” (as opposed to “merely having a different opinion that isn’t wrapped in personal animosity”) is a meme that serves both the MSM (who would love to keep bleating headlines about A House Divided and other Shakespearian themes) and the more zealous supporters of the new leader (who need to explain why he didn’t have the leadership from feb 2012 if he is so fundamentally better than all previous candidates).

    Mind you, the people I suspect I will never understand were those who voted Jones over Cunliffe. Seriously, I mean come on

    • gobsmacked 11.1

      David Shearer voted for Jones over Cunliffe (and Robertson). It was his final act as leader – putting the party’s future last and his hurt feelings first.

  12. red blooded 12

    I can’t imagine Shearer’s motivation, but it’s got to be said that he showed very bad judgement in backing a man who amy women would find hard to trust/respect/feel respected by and by so obviously defying the will of the majority of members.

    Very odd.

  13. Draco T Bastard 13

    Since the members are potentially the best focus group and message spreaders that the party has, then it’d behove the caucus to figure out how to work with *all*2 of them rather than against them.

    My suggestion, and this really applies to all political parties, is for them to adopt Loomio. Actual discussion and voting over what the party represents and the policies that it will pursue will inevitably decrease that distance between the caucus and the members.

    And it’s OpenSource.

  14. vto 14

    There is so much talk it seems there is no time left

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    So, Judith Collins has done a Facebook rant about climate change, peddling the same shit National has been shovelling for the past twenty years: the impacts are overstated, there's no need to do anything about it, and its too hard anyway (oh, and its so unfair that people who peddle ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 days ago
  • The environmental footprint of electric versus fossil car
    Climate Explained is a collaboration between The Conversation, Stuff and the New Zealand Science Media Centre to answer your questions about climate change. If you have a question you’d like an expert to answer, please send it to climate.change@stuff.co.nz There is a lot of discussion on the benefits of ...
    SciBlogsBy Guest Author
    2 days ago
  • “Manifest” by Andrew Bird – A Song For The Times.
    I came across this song quite by accident. If it isn't one of Greta Thunberg's favourites - it should be.Video courtesy of YouTube.This post is exclusive to Bowalley Road. ...
    2 days ago
  • Passing the buck
    Last month, NZDF's shoddy coverup of what it knew about civilian casualties in Operation Burnham began to fall apart, with the revelation that a report on the matter, which NZDF claimed not to have, had been sitting in an NZDF safe for the past nine years. Yesterday, the man responsible ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 days ago
  • India a major player in Earth observation satellites
    While many imagine that countries like the USA and Europe dominate space activities, in fact India is now a major player on this stage. It launches satellites for its own purposes and also commercially, and has constellations orbiting our planet and returning data of vital importance to that nation in ...
    SciBlogsBy Duncan Steel
    3 days ago
  • The rot at the top (2).
    Thanks to a report from the Acting Inspector General of Intelligence and Security following a complaint by Nicky Hager, we have come to find out that the SIS illegally spied on Mr. Hager on behalf of the NZDF after publication of Hager’s 2011 book, Other People’s Wars. The NZDF justified ...
    KiwipoliticoBy Pablo
    3 days ago
  • Common misconceptions about “Global Warming”
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    An average kiwiBy admin@averagekiwi.com
    3 days ago
  • A climate of tyranny
    For the past week, Extinction Rebellion has been peacefully protesting in London to demand action on climate change. The British government's response? Ban their protests:Police have banned Extinction Rebellion protests from continuing anywhere in London, as they moved in almost without warning to clear protesters who remained at the movement’s ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    3 days ago
  • Collins crushes climate
    An essay by Judith Collins MP reported on Carbon News yesterday seems to show an alarming shift in attitude within the National Party. Collins argues against the Zero Carbon Bill, the Paris Agreement, and downplays the magnitude of climate impacts. The Paris Agreement was adopted in December 2015 and ratified ...
    SciBlogsBy Robert McLachlan
    3 days ago
  • More disappointment
    When they were running for election, Labour promised to overhaul the Employment Relations Act and introduce fair pay agreements to set basic pay and conditions on an industry level, preventing bad employers from undercutting good ones. They followed this up by establishing a working group, which reported back in January ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    3 days ago
  • What do these mother-child studies really say about fluoridation?
    A list of indicators of bad science – many of these are found in articles promoted by anti-fluoride activists. Anti-fluoride activists have been pouring money into a scaremongering campaign warning pregnant women not to drink fluoridated water. They claim fluoride will lower the IQ of their future child. Fluoride ...
    3 days ago
  • Losing Labour’s Mills-Tone.
    Nothing Left To Say: Labour's pollster, Stephen Mills, remains swaddled-up in the comforting myths of the 1980s. As if the experience of Roger Douglas’s genuinely radical post-Muldoon policy agenda was literally a once-in-a-lifetime thing – as much as the party could possibly absorb for at least the next 50 years.MEMO ...
    3 days ago
  • Speaker: Disability and the Royal Commission of Inquiry into Historical Abuse
    The Royal Commission on abuse in care is very significant for the disability community. For many decades last century, thousands of disabled children, and adults who managed to survive, were locked away from families and communities. This was not for anything they had done, but for the perceived threat their ...
    3 days ago
  • Spain is not a democracy
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    4 days ago
  • UK Conservatives hate democracy
    With an unfair voting system, uneven electorates and an un-elected upper house, the UK's "democracy" is barely worthy of the name. But now the government wants to make it worse:The government has been accused of suppressing voters’ rights with the potential disenfranchisement of tens of thousands of people after plans ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    4 days ago
  • What is wrong with our building industry?
    Back in the 90's and early 2000's, the building industry was building leaky homes which should never have been granted consent. Now it turns out they've been building dodgy office blocks as well:New imaging technology has revealed hundreds of major buildings nationwide have defective or missing concrete or reinforcing steel. ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    4 days ago
  • Local bodies
    Local body election results were released over the weekend, to joy or despair depending on where you live. In Auckland, Phil Goff trounced John Tamihere, who is muttering darkly about running for Parliament again (but which party would want him?) Wellington is now a wholly-owned subsidiary of Weta Workshop, except ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    4 days ago
  • A future of government
      How could government evolve over the next decades? Reports of democracy’s imminent demise are greatly exaggerated.  However, satisfaction with political systems in many countries is low, so there is much to do for governments of all political stripes to improve relevance and trust. Digital technologies are seen as one ...
    SciBlogsBy Robert Hickson
    6 days ago
  • Speaker: Catalonia, interrupted
    Two years have now gone by since the Friday afternoon when my university-student son and I headed out of our Barcelona flat to a nearby primary school, designated as a polling station for the vote that was to be held the following Sunday: the referendum on Catalonia’s independence from Spain ...
    6 days ago
  • Sage Decisions Unwisely Over-Ruled.
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    6 days ago
  • Government may ban voting in effort to get more people to do it
    More than double the number of people who will vote in this year’s local body elections have tried marijuana or urinated somewhere they shouldn’t have. As local elections look set for the lowest turnout in decades, with many regions falling well short of 40%, the Government is exploring a number ...
    The CivilianBy admin
    7 days ago
  • Woman: Deleted.
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    RedlineBy Daphna
    7 days ago
  • The Hollowest of Men Ride Again… SURPRISE!
    Musings continue apace about “the experienced businessman!” soon to be taking up a National Party MP position. Or to be more accurate, being parachuted into a seat to shut down their former MP Jamie-Lee Ross, who despite his own shortcomings shed at least some more light on the inner workings ...
    exhALANtBy exhalantblog
    1 week ago
  • Barbaric
    The Ugandan government wants to murder gay people:Uganda has announced plans to impose the death penalty on homosexuals. The bill, colloquially known as “Kill the Gays” in Uganda, was nullified five years ago on a technicality, but the government said on Thursday it plans to resurrect it within weeks. The ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • Fighting Monsters.
    Freedom Of Speech? The Säuberung (cleansing by fire) was the work of the German Student Union which, on 10 May 1933, under the watchful eye of the Nazi Reichminister for Propaganda, Joseph Goebbels, consigned 25,000 books to the flames in a ritual exorcism of “un-German thought”. According to the logic of the ...
    1 week ago
  • The next wave of kaupapa Māori politics: its constitutional, it must be.
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    EllipsisterBy Ellipsister
    1 week ago
  • Night lights of NZ from orbit
    New Zealand has prided itself for decades with regard to its lack of pollution, and all will be aware that the ‘100% Pure New Zealand‘ meme is under threat through land, water and air pollution of various causes. There is another type of contamination that the country also faces: light ...
    SciBlogsBy Duncan Steel
    1 week ago
  • Reporters deliver uplifting news to fleeing Japanese residents: they won’t miss any rugby
    New Zealand’s media is doing its part in Japan, reassuring those in the path of the storm that they won’t miss any rugby while away from their flooded homes. New Zealand sports reporters stationed in Japan for the Rugby World Cup have had the rare and heartwarming opportunity to inform ...
    The CivilianBy admin
    1 week ago
  • Government in contentious discussions about whether to put surplus on red or black
    Regional Development Minister Shane Jones is the only Cabinet member in favour of putting it all on green. As Finance Minister Grant Robertson finds himself with an enormous $7.5 billion surplus, the Government has begun intense, at times contentious conversations about whether to put the money on red or black at ...
    The CivilianBy admin
    1 week ago
  • Jordanian teachers’ successful strike has lessons for here
    by Susanne Kemp At the start of September close to 100,000 school teachers went on strike in Jordan.  They demanded a 50% pay rise.  A pay rise actually agreed to by the regime back in 2014. In early October, however, in the face of government repression and threats, the teachers’ ...
    RedlineBy Admin
    1 week ago
  • Why some people still think climate change isn’t real
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    SciBlogsBy Guest Author
    1 week ago
  • The SIS unlawfully spied on Nicky Hager
    Back in 2011, journalist Nicky Hager published Other People's Wars, an expose on NZDF's activities over the previous decade of the "war on terror". NZDF didn't like this, and especially didn't like the fact that it was base don leaks from their own. So, they had the SIS investigate him ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • October 2019 – Newsletter
    https://mailchi.mp/7d9133add053/closing-the-gap-october-2019-newsletter ...
    Closing the GapBy Tracey Sharp
    1 week ago
  • And they wonder why we think they’re environmental vandals…
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    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • Climate Change: Paying the price in California
    Last year, California burned. This year, to stop it happening again (or rather, to stop themselves from being found liable if it happens again), Pacific Gas and Electric is cutting power to half the state for a week:Schools are closed. Traffic lights down. Tunnels dark. Businesses unopened. Hospitals running on ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • Let’s Hear It For Up-Close-And-Personal, Hard-Copy Democracy!
    The Best Way: Missing from the on-line voting debate is any reference to the voting system that produces turn-out figures ranging from 77 to 93 percent of registered voters. The voting system used to collect and count the votes cast in our parliamentary elections. The system that involves citizens making ...
    1 week ago
  • 10/10: World Day Against the Death Penalty
    Today, October 10, is the world day against the death penalty. Out of 195 UN member states, 84 still permit capital punishment. Today is the day we work to change that. This year's theme is children. Having a parent sentenced to death or executed causes long-term trauma and stigmatization which ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • Talking Freer Lives: a Marxist gender-critical perspective from Australia
    Among the great new bunch of political friends we have been making recently is the excellent Australian-based Marxist gender-critical site, Freer Lives.  So we asked the comrade who set up that blog to write something for Redline on the blog, himself, his analysis of the rise of gender politics and ...
    RedlineBy Admin
    1 week ago
  • Government spin accepted by union leadership
    by Don Franks  The Auckland City Mission is struggling with a 40 percent increase in demand for food parcels this year. A total of 23,020 were needed by June. Last month Missioner Chris Farrelly told the Herald the “cupboards are bare” and without an emergency food drive, he can’t see ...
    RedlineBy Daphna
    1 week ago
  • Forbidden Thoughts
    by The Council of Disobedient Women   Massey Wellington Student Association had a sit-in today. Imagine a sit-in. On a campus. Against a women’s rights meeting. Did the ’60s really happen or did we fucking dream it? They gathered in the student square, an echo chamber. Sitting on soft pillows ...
    RedlineBy Daphna
    1 week ago
  • Much love to my loyal Ukrainian readership
    For some reasons, my post about the mystery message from inside the Downing Street bunker seemed to catch people's attention.  Quite a lot of hits from NZ (unsurprisingly) and the USA (a bit more puzzlingly, but hi there, USAians!!) and 76 views from the Ukraine.I've celebrated my Ukrainian readers in ...
    1 week ago
  • Another day of bonkers GNUmours (again, sorry)
    First, almost a score of Labour MPs seem to have sent a letter to the EU basically begging them to accept a deal - any deal - just so Britain can get the Heck on with Brexiting instead of being trapped in limbo:
    To avoid no deal, deliver on the ...
    1 week ago
  • Labour vs working class immigrants – again!
    by Phil Duncan In 2016 the National-led government suspended the Parent Visa Category, through which migrants were able to bring their parents into New Zealand.  Since then over 5,700 people have been in immigration limbo, stuck on the visa wait list. Labour is now bringing back the scheme.  Well, sort ...
    RedlineBy Admin
    1 week ago
  • Speak Up for Women press statement: on Massey University and Feminism 2020
    The following was released yesterday (Tues, October 8) by the women’s liberation organisation Speak Up for Women. On 23 September Speak Up For Women announced that we would be holding an event at the Massey University Theaterette in Wellington. The event is called Feminism 2020. The intention of the event ...
    RedlineBy Admin
    1 week ago
  • Farmers support dirty rivers
    The government is currently consulting on plans to improve freshwater quality. So naturally, farmers oppose it:South Taranaki farmers are preparing to fight proposed national freshwater changes that some fear will bankrupt them. The Government's proposed National Environment Standard on Freshwater Management, released in September, rated the Waingongoro River as one ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • No-one cares about local government
    Yesterday was the last day for (reliably) posting your vote away in local body elections. Turnouts are mostly much lower than the equivalent time last year (Palmerston North is down 2.3%), and so naturally people are pushing their online-voting snake oil again. Because the online census worked so well, lets ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • The political ghosts of eugenics may matter more than the genetic
    This essay, on the political legacy of the eugenics movement, by Kenan Malik was originally published in the Observer on 6 October 2019, under the headline ‘The spirit of eugenics is still with us, as immigrants know to their cost’. Birth control. Intelligence tests. Town planning. Immigration controls. It’s striking how ...
    RedlineBy Daphna
    1 week ago
  • “Surplus” again
    Another year, and the government has announced another enormous government "surplus". And just like last year, its nothing of the sort. When we have people homeless and sick and hungry, when we have schools and hospitals still falling down, when we have underpaid public servants and infrastucture unmaintained or unbuilt, ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • Inside the Downing Street bunker
    James Forsyth at The Spectator (I know, I know) has tapped one of his contacts inside Number Ten for an insight into the Johnson administration's thinking and strategy.It is fascinating, unsettling and quite, quite mad.  Some key points:Negotiations have stalled and the Johnson administration are keen to blame the EU: ...
    1 week ago
  • Taking Control Of The Nation’s Story.
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    1 week ago
  • Are GNUs extinct?
    Another round of tactical talks about forming a Government of National Unity have come to nothing with the Liberal Democrats still refusing countenance putting Jeremy Corbyn into Downing Street:Opposition talks on Monday made little headway over when to try and vote down Boris Johnson's government and who might succeed him as ...
    1 week ago
  • Labour chickens out again
    When the government was elected, it promised to lead the way on electric vehicles, and specifically to make the government vehicle fleet emissions-free where-practicable by 2025.They lied:There are 15,473 vehicles in the government fleet and only 78 are electric. When the coalition Government came into power in late 2017, the ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • Transgender extremism, violence at work against feminist meeting at British Labour Party conference
    by Nick Rogers The debate around the meaning of sex and gender made an appearance at this year’s British Labour Party conference in Brighton. Women’s Place UK – an organisation that questions the demand that biological males who self-identify as woman should have access to women’s spaces, to all-women shortlists, ...
    RedlineBy Admin
    1 week ago
  • Rebelling in Wellington
    Yesterday I went down to Wellington to participate in the Extinction Rebellion protest. Its part of the latest global wave of XR actions, with actions happening all over the world. Some of those protests are massively disruptive: in Canada, XR is blocking major bridges, stopping people from getting to work. ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • ‘The Workshop’ – Report: Talking about Poverty and Welfare Reform: A Guide to Strategies that ...
    The Workshop is a charitable trust for public good. The Workshop undertake research to find ways of communicating that will build support for the solutions that work to solve complex social and environmental problems. See their Report on Talking about Poverty and Welfare Reform below. ...
    Closing the GapBy Tracey Sharp
    2 weeks ago
  • Exclusive language
    What is language? We generally assume that it a facility unique to humans, allowing us to share what’s in and on our minds. We can tell of our plans, our past exploits, our knowledge. It also allows us to lie. And yet there are vast numbers of people we can’t ...
    SciBlogsBy Michael Corballis
    2 weeks ago
  • April 2018 – Submission to the NZ Govt Tax Working Group
    You can read our submission HERE ...
    Closing the GapBy Tracey Sharp
    2 weeks ago
  • 2018 – Submission to the NZ Government Tax Working Group
    Read our submission here ...
    Closing the GapBy Tracey Sharp
    2 weeks ago
  • Guardian: Poll shows DISASTER for Corbyn and the End of Times
    The Guardian - ever eager to forewarn of doom and disaster on the left - are leading with a new poll from Opinium, which puts the Conservatives 15% clear of Labour.Con 38% +2Lab 23% -1Lib Dem 15% -5Brexit 12% +1Green 4% +2This isn't good news, and it would be very ...
    2 weeks ago
  • How prostitution became the world’s most modern profession
    Being and Being Bought (Spinifex Press, 2013) by Kajsa Ekis Ekman  A synopsis and commentary of Chapters 1-2 by Daphna Whitmore Ekman, a Swedish journalist and critic, brings together a Marxist and feminist analysis of prostitution and surrogacy in this groundbreaking book She opens the discussion with a definition of ...
    RedlineBy Daphna
    2 weeks ago

  • Methane reducing cattle feed one step closer
    The Government today announced its support for a project that could substantially reduce agricultural greenhouse gas emissions from cattle. The announcement was made as part of Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern’s and Agriculture Minister Damien O’Connor’s visit to Nelson’s Cawthron Aquaculture Park. The Cawthron Institute will receive $100,000 from the Government’s ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    45 mins ago
  • Bill to refresh superannuation system passes first reading
    Social Development Minister Carmel Sepuloni has welcomed the first reading of the New Zealand Superannuation and Veteran’s Pension Legislation Amendment Bill. “Every New Zealander has a stake in New Zealand Superannuation and Veteran’s Pension,” says Carmel Sepuloni. “They are our most common form of social assistance – nearly 800,000 New ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 hours ago
  • Government announces next steps in fight against measles
    Babies in Auckland aged six months and over can receive a free vaccination and children will all have access to vaccines, Associate Minister of Health Julie Anne Genter announced today at Papatoetoe High School.   The move comes as part of Government efforts to step up the fight against measles. ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 hours ago
  • Speech to the New Zealand Institute of International Affairs, Pacific Futures: Connections, Identity...
    ***Check against delivery*** Good morning. It is a pleasure to be here, and to have the honour of opening this important conference on behalf of the New Zealand Institute of International Affairs. Let us take the opportunity to acknowledge all the people who have helped make today possible, including our special ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 hours ago
  • Police trial new response to high risk events
    Police Minister Stuart Nash says the safety of frontline officers and members of the public will be the focus of a new trial of specialist Police response teams in three of our largest urban centres. Police have this morning released details of an initiative to be trialled in Counties Manukau, ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 hours ago
  • New awards celebrate fisheries sustainability
    The Minister of Fisheries is calling for entries for a new public award to celebrate innovation in our seafood sector. “I have established the Seafood Sustainability Awards to recognise and celebrate those throughout industry, tangata whenua and communities who demonstrate outstanding dedication and innovation towards the sustainability of New Zealand’s ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 hours ago
  • More progress for women and we can do more
    Minister for Women Julie Anne Genter welcomes leaders in the private sector taking action on closing their gender pay gaps to ensure a fairer workplace for all New Zealanders. Ms Genter today launched a new report, Addressing the gender pay gap and driving women’s representation in senior leadership, from the Champions for ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    10 hours ago
  • Proposals to curb environmental damage help our coasts and the oceans
    Government Ministers today welcomed the release of a marine environment report highlighting the four key issues affecting our oceans, estuaries and coastlines.  The release underlines the importance of government proposals to combat climate pollution, ensure clean freshwater, protect biodiversity, make land use more sustainable, and reduce waste and plastic.    Environment ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    21 hours ago
  • New mental health facility for Waikato
    The Government has approved funding for a new acute mental health facility for Waikato which will provide better care and support to people with mental health and addiction issues. Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern and Health Minister Dr David Clark announced the $100 million project to replace the aging Henry Rongomau ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 day ago
  • 500 new te reo Māori champions in our classrooms
    The Government is making progress on its goal to integrate te reo Māori into education by 2025, with over 500 teachers and support staff already graduating from Te Ahu o te Reo Māori,  Associate Education Minister Kelvin Davis announced today. Kelvin Davis made the announcement at an awards ceremony in Waikanae today, for ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 day ago
  • Minister James Shaw welcomes 2018 Census first release
    Statistics Minister James Shaw has welcomed the first release of 2018 Census data. The first release of data today, 23 September, includes key data on population, regional growth, the number of homes and the size of different ethnic groups in New Zealand. Data from the 2018 Census will support the ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 day ago
  • Driving transparency, ethics and accountability in government use of algorithms
    Minister for Statistics James Shaw today announced a public consultation on a proposed algorithm charter for government agencies. The charter has been developed by the Government Chief Data Steward in response to growing calls for more transparency in government use of data. Computer algorithms – procedures or formulas for solving ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 day ago
  • New Zealand and the Netherlands working together on climate change
    Agriculture Minister Damien O’Connor, Climate Change Minister James Shaw and visiting Dutch Prime Minister Mark Rutte co-hosted a business roundtable in Auckland this morning focused on working together to address climate change.  “The Netherlands is an important partner for New Zealand. We share a strong agricultural history. Sustainable agribusiness and ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 day ago
  • Protecting fairness for workers and businesses
    The Government is taking action to build an inclusive economy where more of us receive our fair share at work and businesses can compete on great products and services, not undercutting wages and conditions, Immigration and Workplace Relations and Safety Minister Iain Lees-Galloway says. Two consultations launched today seek feedback ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 day ago
  • Indigenous Freshwater Fish Bill Passes
    The future for New Zealand’s threatened indigenous freshwater fish looks brighter with the passing of the Conservation (Indigenous Freshwater Fish) Amendment Bill in Parliament today said Minister of Conservation, Eugenie Sage. “Until now, our freshwater fish legislation has been 20 years out of date. We have lacked effective tools to ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • Kiwis to take part in world’s biggest earthquake drill
    At 1.30pm tomorrow, hundreds of thousands of Kiwis will join about 65 million people around the globe in ShakeOut, the world’s biggest earthquake drill. The annual drill is to remind people of the right action to take during an earthquake which is to Drop, Cover, Hold, and to practise their ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • Rising wages and low inflation supporting Kiwis
    Kiwis are benefiting from higher wage growth and low inflation under the Coalition Government. Stats NZ data out today shows the rise in the cost of living remains low, as annual Consumers Price Index (CPI) inflation fell to 1.5% in September from 1.7% in June. “The low inflation comes as ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • NZ economy strong amid global headwinds
    New Zealand’s economic strength and resilience has been recognised in a major update on the state of the global economy. The IMF’s latest World Economic Outlook released overnight shows a reduced global growth forecast over the next two years as issues like the US-China trade war and Brexit take hold. ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • Keeping New Zealanders safer with better counter-terrorism laws
    Justice Minister Andrew Little has today introduced a new Bill to prevent terrorism and support the de-radicalisation of New Zealanders returning from overseas. The Terrorism Suppression (Control Orders) Bill gives the New Zealand Police the ability to apply to the High Court to impose control orders on New Zealanders who ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • Improved succession and dispute resolution core of Ture Whenua changes
    A Bill that proposes targeted changes to simplify the processes for Māori land owners when engaging with the Māori Land Court has had its First Reading today. “The approach taken by the Government is to ensure that the protection of Māori land remains a priority as we seek to improve ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • Speech to CTU Biennial Conference
    Let me first thank all the new unionists and members in the room. There is nothing more important to improving people’s working lives than people making the decision to care, to get on board and help, to take up the reins and get involved. Congratulations to you. You bring the ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • Minister ensures continued Whenuapai flight operations
    Minister of Defence Ron Mark has signed a certificate exempting the activity of engine testing at Whenuapai Airbase from the Resource Management Act 1991. The Act gives the Minister of Defence the power to exempt activities for the purposes of national security.  The certificate will mean the recent Environment Court ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • NZ joins Coalition of Finance Ministers for Climate Action
    Finance Minister Grant Robertson has announced New Zealand will join the Coalition of Finance Ministers for Climate Action while attending APEC meetings in Chile. The objective of the 39 member Coalition is to share information and promote action to tackle climate change. It was formed in April this year, in ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • Feedback Sought – Section 71 – Hagley Oval
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    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • CTU speech – DPM
    Ladies and gentlemen, NZCTU President Richard Wagstaff, members of respective unions – thank you for the invitation to speak to you today. This might be preaching to the choir, but the importance of trade unions in New Zealand’s historical arch is difficult to understate. And it is my belief that ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • Police Association Annual Conference
    "Let’s start by acknowledging that it has been a huge year. " Police Association Annual Conference James Cook Grand Chancellor Hotel Wellington Nau mai, haere mai. Tēnā koutou, tēnā koutou, ka nui te mihi, ki a koutou katoa. President of the Police Association, Chris Cahill; Members of the Association and ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • New Zealand announces a further P-3 deployment in support of UN sanctions
    Minister of Foreign Affairs Winston Peters and Minister of Defence Ron Mark have announced the New Zealand Government’s decision to again deploy a Royal New Zealand Air Force P-3K2 (P-3) maritime patrol aircraft to support the implementation of United Nations Security Council (UNSC) resolutions imposing sanctions against North Korea. New ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • New Zealand deeply concerned at developments in north-east Syria
    Foreign Affairs Minister Winston Peters says New Zealand continues to have serious concerns for peace and stability in north-east Syria. “Recent reports that hundreds of ISIS-affiliated families have fled from a camp are deeply concerning from a humanitarian and security perspective”, Mr Peters says. “While we acknowledge Turkey’s domestic security ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • Government on high alert for stink bugs
    Biosecurity Minister Damien O’Connor is warning travelling Kiwis to be vigilant as the high-season for the crop-eating brown marmorated stink bug (BMSB) is under way. “We’re on high alert to stop BMSB arriving in NZ. The high season runs until April 30 and we’ve strengthened our measures to stop stink ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • Better protections for students in halls of residence
    The Government is moving swiftly to change the law to improve the welfare and pastoral care of students living in university halls of residence and other tertiary hostels. Cabinet has agreed to several changes, including creating a new mandatory Code of Practice that sets out the duty of pastoral care ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • New trapping guide for community and expert trappers alike
    The Minister for Conservation Eugenie Sage has launched a new comprehensive trapping guide for community trappers to help them protect our native birds, plants and other wildlife, at Zealandia in Wellington today. ‘A practical guide to trapping’, has been developed by the Department of Conservation (DOC), and was launched during ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • Widening Access to Contraceptives Welcomed
    Associate Health Minister Julie Anne Genter welcomes PHARMAC’s move to improve access to long-acting reversible contraception (LARCs). PHARMAC has today announced it will fund the full cost of Mirena and Jaydess for anyone seeking long term contraception, lifting previous restrictions on access to Mirena. “I welcome women having greater choices ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • Major upgrade for Taranaki Base Hospital
    The Government has approved the next stage of a major redevelopment of Taranaki Base Hospital, which will deliver new and improved facilities for patients. Health Minister Dr David Clark has announced details of a $300 million dollar project to build a new East Wing at the New Plymouth hospital. It ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • Extra support for rural families
    Extra funding will allow Rural Support Trusts to help farming families, says Minister for Rural Communities and Agriculture Damien O’Connor. “I know that rural families are worried about some of the challenges facing them, including the ongoing uncertainty created by the Mycoplasma bovis outbreak. “Those concerns sit alongside ongoing worries ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • Howard Leaque Beekeeper programme graduation
    Thank you for the opportunity to be here to present certificates to the 16 graduates who have completed a beekeeping course delivered by the Howard League.  Let us start by acknowledging Auckland Prison’s Deputy Prison Director Tom Sherlock, and Acting Assistant Regional Commissioner of Corrections Northern Region Scott Walker - ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    7 days ago
  • Finance Minister to attend APEC meetings
    Finance Minister Grant Robertson leaves this weekend to attend the APEC Finance Ministers meeting in Santiago, Chile. Discussions between APEC Finance Ministers at the meeting will include the effects of the current global economic uncertainty, risks for APEC economies and sustainable development of the region. While at APEC Grant Robertson ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    7 days ago
  • Pacific languages are a source of strength, they ground us and build confidence
    The Minister for Pacific Peoples Aupito William Sio says for Pacific people, language can be a source of strength. It can help ground us and give us confidence. When we speak them, our languages provide us with an immediate and intimate access to our identity and our story - and ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    7 days ago
  • Major boost to support disabled people in sport and recreation
    The Coalition Government has announced an action plan to improve the wellbeing of disabled New Zealanders by addressing inequalities in play, active recreation and sport. The initiative includes training to develop a workforce that understands the needs of children and young people with a range of impairments, advocacy for fit ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • More prefab homes to be built as red tape cut
    The construction sector is being freed up to allow more homes to be built more quickly as the Government cuts through some of the red tape of the Building Act.  “Every New Zealander deserves a warm, dry, safe home and old inefficiencies in the Building Act make building slow and ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Further details of Prince of Wales and Duchess of Cornwall visit to New Zealand
    Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern has welcomed further details on the Prince of Wales and Duchess of Cornwall’s visit to New Zealand next month. Their Royal Highnesses will visit New Zealand from 17-23 November – their third joint visit to New Zealand and first in four years. They arrive in Auckland ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago