Parata and the Christchurch schools

Written By: - Date published: 11:45 am, February 18th, 2013 - 73 comments
Categories: Hekia parata, national, schools - Tags: , ,

As widely reported, Chirstchurch schools find out their fate today. Parata is due to speak at noon, but some decisions are known already with stuff announcing that at least four schools will be merged.

This is going to be a difficult and traumatic process for the schools and their communities – my heart goes out to them. I also have some sympathy for the government in this position. Clearly some restructuring was necessary in the wake of population shifts after the quakes.

But the Nats have bungled the process at all stages, made it much worse than it needs to be. Hekia Parata is so damaged that she can’t credibly front the process – in a recent poll 59% believe that Key was wrong to keep her on in the portfolio. (This has lead some to suggest, and Key to deny, that she has been kept on simply as “cannon fodder” so that no other minister gets damaged in this process.)

I will update this with further news and reaction in the afternoon.

Update: Seven schools to close, twelve to merge. The Herald has details.

73 comments on “Parata and the Christchurch schools”

  1. geoff 1

    This is endgame National we are in the thick of. They’re just trying to ram through as much right wing policy as they can before the country gives them the flick in 2014.

    • AmaKiwi 1.1

      Who is going to give them the flick? Latest poll has National up 5 to 49%. Labour and Greens both down 2%. Key up 5% and Captain Mublefuck unchanged at 15%.

      Wow! I am sooooo impressed.

      • Jilly Bee 1.1.1

        Me too AmaKiwi, now if Hekia Parata was PM, she and Captain MF would make a good debating pair – it would level the playground a bit. I was watching HP being interviewed by John Campbell this evening.

  2. fenderviper 2

    The whole country needs to hit the streets in protest to support our Chch whanau from this destructive Govt beating them over the head.
    It’s obvious this is driven by ideology when the Govt can’t even wait for census data before making such dramatic changes. When it’s apparent mistakes have been made you can bet only charter schools will be allowed to remedy the situation.

    • AmaKiwi 2.1

      @ fenderviper

      You and me. That makes two people ready to “hit the streets.”

      I am despairing of how much sh*t people put up with and barely a whimper.

  3. David H 3

    And watching the Press conference, the one thing that immediately grabbed my attention was her Eyebrows, Who painted them on Blind Pugh?? the left one is higher than the right and they make her look like the clown she is

    • fenderviper 3.1

      She is a clown imo and it has nothing to do with her eyebrows or her runway clothing. Her boss is also a clown but it seems 49% want a clown running New Clownland, where’s my cyanide pill!

      • Tim 3.1.1

        Leave the cyanide pill well alone. In the scheme of things, its a temporary abhoration [Oh fuck – I forgot how to spell it] . It’s not you that needs the cyanide anyway.
        We’re just seeing history repeat and needless to say the lessons of the past didn’t get learned.
        Just get out and vote and tell friends and family to do likewise. And IF there’s a repeat – well … they got the representation and predicament they find themselves in.
        I’m actually contemplating a move to a poverty-stricken part of India if there’s a NAct re-election – strange as it may seem, I’m confident of a lifestyle and mental-wellbeing improvement.

        • Wayne 3.1.1.1

          This is a fundamental problem with the contributors to this site. You haven’t yet worked out why John Key has the appeal that he has.

          New Zealanders know he is very smart; not as an intellectual like Helen, but in a more business like way. That is why he can quickly sum up most issues and communicate the essence of them in a way that most New zealanders can easily understand.

          In interviews he is very rarely grasping for facts; he sounds knowledgable and authoritative – the Kim Dotcom interviews were a rare exception. Now I know people on this site will dispute this, but this is how most New Zealanders see it.

          On top of that he comes across as natural and relaxed, a guy you could have a drink with (wine or beer depending on your inclination). He can do this even though he obviously works exceptionally hard and has huge pressures on him (as with all PM’s). The item on Seven Sharp where he says he has cold baked beans from a can sometimes in the evening is not the sort of thing you make up. As Chris Trotter said it seemed important – it tells you something of the sheer focus of the man.

          He comes across as always being able to keep his composure, not matter how tough the issue.

          Up to you to work out his appeal in a way that does not insult the majority of New Zealanders who support him. People hate being told they are wrong; more particularly they hate being told their choices are stupid, because they read that as being told they are stupid. Why would anyone vote for a Party that has just told them they are stupid.

          • North 3.1.1.1.1

            The New Prophet you reckn wayne ?

            • Wayne 3.1.1.1.1.1

              More a statement that if you under-estimate your opponents, you are not likely to be able to get the better of them. Or stop insulting the majority of New Zealanders who think he does a good job; try and understand why they think he is successful.

              • Hi Wayne,

                Putting aside whether or not John Key is accurately described in the way you suggest, do you think those reasons are reasonable grounds for voting for a Prime Minister? (e.g., that one could comfortably enjoy a drink with someone)

                Also, on what basis do you think that New Zealanders judge that he “sounds knowledgeable and authoritative” or that he is “very rarely grasping for facts”? Is the basis for such judgments sound?

                I know that ‘perceptions matter’, but you’re point appears to be different – that New Zealanders are, in fact, making relevant, sound and correct judgments about Key and so should not be considered ‘stupid’ (or, less harshly, wrong) in those judgments.

                • Wayne

                  Being affable is a bonus in a Prime Minister. It is not an essential ingredient, but it does help their popularity.

                  The essential point I was I was making is that to most New Zealanders he is competently in charge. Actually that is seen to be the hallmark of his government.

                  Obviously not everything goes to plan, but things follow a reasonably predictable path. People have an overall sense of how the government will operate, and what its broad priorities are. It might be a bit “middle of the road”, but in uncertain times that is seen as a virtue. It is not a radical shift to the right as this site frequently alleges.

                  Now clearly this is my view, you may differ, but I suggest that is what a large percentage of New Zealanders think after a bit over four years. It is reasonable for them to be able to make such a judgement; the evidence comes from the four years experience of the government.

                  On radio and TV he is readily available. Occasionally he might kid around, but generally he is there to answer questions. In this respect he does so, doesn’t waffle and the answers are clear and understandable.

                  Overall he looks like he is in charge.

                  • Thanks, Wayne, for your moderately phrased response.

                    I’m very aware that many New Zealanders see Key and his government as ‘authoritative’ and to be acting on the basis of facts, etc. and to be competent.

                    My difficulty, however, is that so often when I look carefully at the ‘facts’ used by John Key and his ministers, or at the claims they make about what the government has achieved and at the general logic of their statements they just don’t hold up to scrutiny.

                    The reason that I find it difficult to accept that the popularity of John Key and this government is well founded is very simple – when I look at the foundations for such a judgment they don’t appear to be there.

                    I agree, Key is good at sounding authoritative and confident in his views, but is that enough?

                    Perhaps my reluctance to agree that Key’s government is doing ok comes across as elitist and condescending towards many New Zealanders. But, as I said, my problem is that I haven’t come across strong reasons or evidence about the performance of this government on the major issues (many of which they claim themselves to be important goals – e.g., lifting people/children out of poverty, creating jobs, improving living standards, making New Zealand a place where more people can flourish and achieve the best they have to offer, and the like) that would support the idea that New Zealand is in good hands or that the current policies are ‘working’.

                    People who sound confident and authoritative are a dime a dozen – perhaps especially in today’s world. But I have never put much store in impressions – that’s too dangerous a game.

                    Instead, I’ve always tried to understand the basis of the confident claims people make before I judge their performance. Sometimes that involves doing boring, time-consuming stuff like finding out what the evidence actually is – but that’s the price I pay for forming beliefs that I feel are justified and can be defended.

                    I never like to be in the situation of simply having to say ‘Well, that’s just my opinion’. My opinion is irrelevant and of no value without the evidence and reasoning behind it.

                    Too often, however, when I’m having arguments about politics with people who support this government, they don’t seem able to provide reasons or evidence for their views. It doesn’t seem clear, even to themselves, why they believe the things they do. They just seem to want to assert, without being challenged, that Key and his government are ‘ok’.

                    That’s not necessarily a problem and I wouldn’t criticise that in and of itself (we don’t all have the time or inclination to inform ourselves about current facts or about the historical experience of societies). But then sometimes they become quite offended by me asking them to provide reasons – almost as if I’m denying their right to have an opinion. What I’m actually trying to do is find out why they think what they think.

                    I’ve had more than one person – at that point in the conversation – start to abuse me. They almost seem to be accusing me of ‘tricking’ them. But I wouldn’t have thought that asking people for the basis of their opinions – or providing the basis for mine – is that much of a smart-arse, unexpected ‘trick’.

                    Or is it?

                    • Wayne

                      Quick reply.

                      People are acting on four years experience. They may not know all the details, but they do have a broad sense of their society. Does it feel like it is basically going forward or back? This is also compared to other countries.

                      So if unemployment goes up a bit, or down a bit, does it feel like a trend. I would say most people would say it could be better, but it could be a lot worse. We seem to be holding our own, with a bit of “grumpy” growth. It is not the early 2000’s, but it seems OK in the circumstances.

                      And for those who are currently supporting the PM, the other side does not look better, in fact the real risk is that they could be worse.

                      So the PM therefore looks OK, and is doing the job expected of him.

                    • Colonial Viper

                      Yeah that’s quite reasonable. Add to that the occasional fun photo shoot, soundbite and news clip about Key, and even more people will feel comfortable about voting for him.

                      Business As Usual with a more reliable and trustworthy crowd.

                    • Rogue Trooper

                      Puddleglum-an entire wardrobe of defense mechanisms at play in the general population i would suggest

              • aerobubble

                Key policy of tax cuts for the top end, bailed out many who would have taken a bath, and so entrenched the poor economic paradigm that consistent puts downward pressure on wages, forces housing into yet another bubble thanks to scarcity and poor housing design and implementation. As yet more rush for Auckland airport, and wealth estimates made at the top of the cheap oil market cannot sustain boomers into retirement, is it any wonder that desperate people cling onto Key ‘brighter future’.
                Like all politicians whose brand is wrong for the nation, Key will be seen as one
                of our worst PMs, the last of the neo-liberal who, for example, can smoothly and efficiently reconfigure schools in ChCh faster than private insurance can pay out (and so needing a second round of reconfiguring in a few years time) but still can’t pay teachers on time. Desperate people cling to Key’s hopeful laidback approach, he can’t be wrong, he just can’t.

          • Te Reo Putake 3.1.1.1.2

            Oh, Lordy … where to start!

            Ok, for one, I didn’t invent ‘Dunnokeyo’ because the PM “can quickly sum up most issues and communicate the essence of them in a way that most New zealanders can easily understand.”

            Nor because ” In interviews he is very rarely grasping for facts; he sounds knowledgable and authoritative”.

            His apparent drunken/drugged physical state in Parliament is almost Brentlike in its lack of self awareness. And his mangling of the English language and modern courtesy is known worldwide thanks to ‘troty’ and the 3way handshake.

            I agree he’s someone who “comes across as natural and relaxed, a guy you could have a drink with (wine or beer depending on your inclination).” That’s because he started drinking way before you did and is fully relaxed from the getgo.

            And yes he does work exceptionally hard; booking those trips back home to Hawaii must be incredibly draining. Not to mention having to look as if he’s still interested in the job. Lucky he’s got Joyce to do the heavy lifting, eh?

          • Draco T Bastard 3.1.1.1.3

            In interviews he is very rarely grasping for facts; he sounds knowledgable and authoritative

            That’s because the facts have absolutely nothing to do with what he says. In most circles, it’s called lying.

        • AmaKiwi 3.1.1.2

          Am I supposed to tell my neighbors to vote for Labor because Labor’s band of dictators will be better than National’s?

  4. freedom 4

    watched the carefully allocuted speech from the lady who is apparently not cannon fodder, but i did notice how the feed was cut just as the Q&A warmed up?, here is an edited simulation video of Parata’s responses to the questions we did not get to see
    http://gawker.com/5984348/two-minutes-of-nothing-but-goats-yelling-like-humans

  5. Ant 5

    So what’s the difference between closing and “merging”, you’d think at least one of the schools in a merger would have to close…

    • Colonial Viper 5.1

      It’s not a closure, it’s a “right-sizing”.

      • Tim 5.1.1

        Can an individual – say for example a politician such as Hekia or Johnky, be ‘rightsized’?

        • fenderviper 5.1.1.1

          A garbage compactor would suffice.

          • Tim 5.1.1.1.1

            Indeed. I’ve often wondered though how to explain some of that ‘right-sized’ ilk not understanding how close to the wind they’re sailing. I guess its arrogance. I’m not of an age where I’m familiar with Mussolini’s Italy, but there are recent example like Mugabe’s Zimbabwe, or Bainimarama’s Fiji, or Pinochet or……
            Its just that I often wonder – more in a mathematical sense – why a growing 99% are supposed to know their place in a Planet Key world.
            Anyway… we’ll see. I’m happy to sit back and watch it all happen – just so long as I’m not expected to feel sympathy IF, and when there’s an eruption.
            Given that I’m intimately aware of infrastructural ‘capability’ – the only explanation I have for a Joyce, Johnky, and an ass-licking, ill-informed congregation, is – well -arrogance, and a master of the universe attitude.
            Why put 4.4 million people though the heartache though! IT just makes then all the more angry when they wake up and have to deal with the idea that they’ve been behaving like masochists

        • Tim 5.1.1.2

          So was Mussolini ‘right-sized’?. Just wondering.
          Reading things, there seem to have been a helluva lot of people that had woken from an intellectual slumber and a day-to-day experience of life as a struggle who were very quick to ascertain where ‘Blame’ was due.

  6. Dv 6

    What is it with Stuff putting pictures of distressed young kids on the front (digital page).
    I wonder if they have permission of the parents and the kids!!!

  7. vto 7

    “Clearly some restructuring was necessary in the wake of population shifts after the quakes. ” Hogwash r0b.

    These were announced while the ground was still shaking and the populations was mid-change. Assessing school requirements due to change before the change had finished changing is a front for other, unexpressed, purposes. This govt of course has history for this blaming earthquakes for their dishonest lies and utlerior motives e.g. Ecan dictatorship.

    Another example of their flawed approach ….. go ask the churches what they are doing about their changed / changing congregations and they will answer…. waiting to see where things end up and the populations end up settling. Try an average of 5 years. In other words, the churches are doing it the right way by waiting to see what the changes are. The government are not waiting, they are just charging ahead before the changes are finished. Doesn’t give on much trust in them, but then who fucking trusts the bastards anyway? Who?

    There is no hurry to change the school system. Why not wait until the change is finished like others? Why try and do this mid-earthquakes? Why the hurry? Why the f…k?

    • grumpy 7.1

      It’s pretty clear where the Red Zones are though.

      With tens of thousands leaving Christchurch and with many schools facing huge repair bills, something had to be done.

      Just waiting for the teacher’s unions to start winding up little kids – wait for the TV news tonight with distraught children bawling their eyes out. The unions should be charged with child cruelty.

      • fenderviper 7.1.1

        The Nats should be charged with child cruelty. fixed it for you chumpy.

      • Colonial Viper 7.1.2

        The unions should be charged with child cruelty.

        Hmmmm Parata in her castle a thousand k’s removed from the coal face (and I bet she gets paid correctly every month too) dumps this crisis management on front line Christchurch teachers and principals so you blame them? A bit unfair mate. Since they’re the ones who have been trying to hold this whole system together with yarn and sticky tape.

      • Puddleglum 7.1.3

        It’s pretty clear where the Red Zones are though.

        Halswell??? (Branston) Hoon Hay??? (Manning).

        These closures have far more to do with a network review than a response to earthquakes and population movements. It’s about rejigging state schooling into larger aggregations with ‘economies of scale’. It’s about cutting costs as opposed to providing ’21st century’ education that meets ‘learners’ needs’.

        It’s about doing all of this to the communities who are least able to resist the changes effectively. It’s about exempting schools (e.g., Burnham, Burnside Primary) on the basis of political expediency.

        The ‘little kids’ don’t need teachers’ unions to ‘wind them up’. If you’re not comfortable seeing children feeling upset at what is happening to them as a result of these closures and mergers then don’t support the policies driving them.

        There’s no such thing as a free lunch, grumpy. Children’s lives being up-heavaled and destabilised is the price that is being paid for this restructuring and cost saving.

        Consider how much more bullying, anxiety and stress these children will endure now that they are being herded together in larger schools with wider age ranges and unfamiliar peers. I predict increased incidence of depression, self-harm and anxiety disorders amongst Christchurch schoolchildren, at a minimum.

      • millsy 7.1.4

        I guess you want to ban the PPTA and NZEI then, and lock their leaders up? Just like Hide. Prick.

    • Rogue Trooper 7.2

      the progressive “church” is Very patient indeed

  8. CJA 8

    Let’s put a bit of perspective on this. These schools are being closed mainly due to the fact it’s dangerous to keep them open or it will cost too much to have them repaired. Remember these days money doesn’t grow on trees and isn’t going to just be “printed”. If something happened in one of these schools due to them being reopened inappropriately whose fault is it then I wonder? Reminding some of the commenters here that under Labour 281 schools were closed in 9 years in government. That’s an average of about 31 a year. People seems to have very short memories.

    • fenderviper 8.1

      Yes good idea, get some perspective. It’s well known the state of damage has been severely warped to fudge the perspective.

      • CJA 8.1.1

        Ahhh yes cue the outrage! Better organise a march and make sure you have plenty of children crying on TV so the MSM can put an excellent spin on a very logical and practical situation. Shall I do a Thunderbirds count down for you?

        • Pascal's bookie 8.1.1.1

          What a croc.

          The Government’s arrogance towards parents and good schools has made parents realise they need their own voice. It has shown parents that neither the Education Minister nor the Government will protect their interests.

          Under National, far too many issues are decided in Beehive meetings between National, the Charter school lobbyists and bureaucrats.

          Only an out of touch Education Minister, like Parata, would try to over-ride parents’ interests and choices.

    • shorts 8.2

      Schools were closed under Labour – that doesn’t suggest all here think or thought those closures were right

      There is no simple clear cut perspective being put on of for these closures and merges, plenty of PR spin that is spun, re-spun and then reassembled and spun again

      The schools, the residents effected and the public deserve some clear cut answers and explanations around these decisions – which we’ll never get with these buggerers of simple english

      • Colonial Viper 8.2.1

        Schools were closed under Labour – that doesn’t suggest all here think or thought those closures were right

        A few dozen schools were closed by Labour during Clark’s years IIRC.

    • Pascal's bookie 8.3

      “Reminding some of the commenters here that under Labour 281 schools were closed in 9 years in government.”

      Cite? You probably shouldn’t listen to the Young Nats, even if it is the PM retweeting them.

      • CJA 8.3.1

        Quote from a Mr D. Garner actually. From Duncs from those who know him. A well known red man from my recollection.

        • Pascal's bookie 8.3.1.1

          Link?

          It’s the bullshit stat the Young nats tweeted, that the PM RT’d.

          garner might have asked a question about it maybe, and as g=for him being a red. *laughs*

          • CJA 8.3.1.1.1

            http://www.educationcounts.govt.nz/directories/6136

            Here you go. Have a sort through the excel spreadsheets.

            • Pascal's bookie 8.3.1.1.1.1

              Lol, so first it was fact, then it was something someone said garner said, now it’s look through these spreadsheets.

              *laughs*

              • CJA

                Provided you with evidence that you’re not willing to look at. Stay blinkered mate. Ignorance is bliss!

                • Pascal's bookie

                  No you didn’t. I asked you for the cite for your claim. Those sheets aren’t one.

                  • CJA

                    Have you clicked on the link? Need to be educated on how to use a spreadsheet? Feel free to say so and I’ll help you out.

                    • Pascal's bookie

                      yeah, looked through it.

                      It’s not relevant.

                    • CJA

                      Seems as though I can’t reply to Pascal so I’ll reply to myself. Just on the question of relevance the question I’d ask myself is how can spreadsheets from a government website showing school closures by year not be relevant?

                    • Pascal's bookie

                      Because they’re unlikely to have Duncan garner in them for one thing.

                      And for another, I bet you are including all sorts of apples in your comparison with national’s orange.

                      Eg, you included voluntary closures didn’t you?

                      And closures based on rigorous data about long term population trends, like up to date census reports and things like that?

                      So, not relevant to the facile comparison you trotted out after hearing it from, somewhere or rather.

                    • CJA

                      Lol to be perfectly honest I reckon you’re just pissed that I found a link that answered your question. Anyway 281 schools closed during Labour’s answered with government data. Enough said. Double fist pump while walking out the door.

                    • Pascal's bookie

                      Aaand that was the flounce to be ending on.

                      Bye!

                    • Te Reo Putake

                      I’m picking fist pumping is a regular part of CJA’s life 🙄 Though counting to 281 clearly isn’t. This is straight from the PM’s office with a detour via WO’s withered organ.

                    • CJA

                      And yes that’s right make sure you end with a conspiracy theory. Make sure you don’t look at any of the facts or evidence lol.

            • georgecom 8.3.1.1.1.2

              A number of the schools contained in your link were voluntary closures. The viability of some schools was questionable.

              The last Labour Government did do a number of schooling network reviews and closed or merged a number of schools. They learnt the lesson about doing things without community support. Just like National is learning now.

        • Pascal's bookie 8.3.1.2

          Link?

          It’s the bullshit stat the Young nats tweeted, that the PM RT’d.

          garner might have asked a question about it maybe, and as for him being a red. *laughs*

    • millsy 8.4

      The schools are being closed so the wealthy can enjoy tax cuts, plain and simple.

  9. Pascal's bookie 9

    Noted without comment:

    http://t.co/V134eElZ

  10. AC 10

    It’s not about teachers and jobs but about communities and children. Schools are the hub of any community and a safe place for our children to grow up. This government has done the wrong thing. They know it as well and have chosen chch hoping that people will be too buggered to give a stuff after the last 2 traumatic years.

    • AmaKiwi 10.1

      Our communities don’t have hubs. They are NOT planned by the people of the community. They are designed by people who build shopping malls. They are designed for sales and profits, not human beings. (Apologies. I forgot. We are not human beings. We are work units.)

      • aerobubble 10.1.1

        Official newsspeak censor has been alerted to your disparaging remarks about profit at all costs.

  11. North 11

    Can anyone inform about the affectation of “So” which prefaced every response Idiot Parata gave to Mary Wilson’s every question on Checkpoint shortly after 5.00 pm today ?

    I noticed some months ago it was the same with Dunnokeyo. Every time he opened his mouth in response – “So” “So” “So”. Obviously someone’s told them to do it because it’s pretty meaningless otherwise.

    Is it cynical voice modulation control designed to avoid faltering reactions which might give away the bullshit and the lies ? Sounds bloody stupid whatever it is.

    Maybe they just need a good whipping with their own National Standards. “So whip me Hek So OK John Boy”.

    • Colonial Viper 11.1

      It also buys time while they organise an answer in their head, and eats up interview time with delay.

    • marsman 11.2

      It’s either ‘so’ or ‘look’, basically they are being patronizing.

    • felixviper 11.3

      You’re right, it’s by design. It’s clearly part of the monkey training.

      The “so” is supposed to suggest that they’ve given thoughtful consideration to the question and that their response is based on reason.

      You don’t get to hear the reasoning, but hearing the “so” makes you think some has occurred.

      Neat eh?

  12. Tombstone 12

    We survived several violent earthquakes that tore our city to pieces and thousands of aftershocks but the greatest disaster to befall this city has been the National Party. Another dark day for us here in Canterbury. I will never forgive National and it’s supporters for what they have done to this city – what total and utter scum. That’s all I have to say.

  13. AC 13

    Agreed some schools had to be closed or merged but the process they used to go about this was flawed and unfair right from the start. A slow motion road crash. The national party couldn’t organise a piss up in a brewery. Now they say it’s great because only 1% of children are going to be affected. These 1% are some of our most vulnerable and deserve a lot better. As for the NZEI and Schools using children to fight this madness what a load of bull. It’s not about the teachers or about the NZEI it’s about the children and their communities they live in. They at least deserve a say and to have the opportunity to voice their concerns. We are not living in some third world dictatorship where you get shot for expressing your feelings.

  14. millsy 14

    It’s a pity that the Parent Advocacy Council and community education forums were scrapped by the National government in the 1990’s. These were intended to ensure that things like this wouldnt happen, when Tomorrow’s Schools wiped out the regional education boards, and gave all powers to the minister.

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    When military leaders cover up and lie to elected civilian authorities, the foundation of democratic civil-military relations is undermined because it is those authorities who are entrusted to hold the military accountable to the public that they mutually serve. But this is only true if civilian political authorities take their ...
    KiwipoliticoBy Pablo
    2 days ago
  • Challenging the voting age in court
    The Make It 16 campaign to lower the voting age is launching this afternoon, and they have already announced plans to challenge the law in court:The campaign, named "Make it 16" will launch at Parliament on Friday, with plans to take their case to the High Court, testing the rights ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 days ago
  • Israel’s elections herald a long siesta
    by Daphna Whitmore The long years of Netanyahu’s reign are drawing to an end. For years he has epitomized reactionary zionism as he oversaw hundreds of thousands of Jewish settlers seize land in the West Bank. There are now 700,000 settlers, putting an end to the myth that Israel was ...
    RedlineBy Daphna
    3 days ago
  • Petrol companies promise prices will come back down once peace is restored to the Middle East
    BP, Z and Mobil all insist that petrol price hikes are temporary, “in a very literal sense.” The nation’s major petrol providers are trying to allay customer fears over prices, promising that they’ll move to lower them again “immediately” when the Middle East is returned to its formerly peaceful state. ...
    The CivilianBy admin
    3 days ago
  • All Blacks unveil boat for Rugby World Cup 2019
    South African coach Rassie Erasmus says he has no idea what they’re going to do about the boat. In a highly anticipated press conference this afternoon, All Blacks coach Steve Hansen has finally unveiled the team’s boat for its Rugby World Cup 2019 campaign. In a press conference that went ...
    The CivilianBy admin
    3 days ago
  • An increasingly shoddy coverup
    The Operation Burnham inquiry continued to question senior NZDF staff today, and their shoddy coverup over their knowledge of civilian casualties continue to fall apart. If you recall, first, we were asked to believe that it was all a series of "mistakes and errors": a senior officer with multiple degrees ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    3 days ago
  • If we are to avoid making the earth uninhabitable, we need to rapidly decarbonise our civilisation, and cut emissions to zero as quickly as possible. This seems like an impossible task, but its not. Pushing hard on a few technologies and trends will let us halve emissions in a decade:Greenhouse ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    3 days ago
  • A further attack on transparency
    The Local Government Act 2002 Amendment Bill (No 2) had part of its committee stage yesterday. its a generally tedious bill about the nitty-gritty of local government reorganisation. But it includes a clause making the Local Government Commission subject to the Ombudsmen Act, and hence the OIA. Great! Except of ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    3 days ago
  • Ihumātao and Treaty settlements
    Yesterday Ihumātao's mana whenua reached a consensus that they would like their land back, and asked the government to negotiate with Fletcher's for its return. The government's response? Try and undermine that consensus, while talking about how doing anything would undermine existing Treaty settlements. The first is just more bad ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    4 days ago
  • Protecting our history
    Its Suffrage Day, the 126th anniversary of women winning the right to vote (but not stand in elections) in New Zealand. And to celebrate, the government has bought Kate Sheppard's house in Christchurch:The government has bought Kate Sheppard's former home in Christchurch for more than $4 million. The Ilam villa ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    4 days ago
  • Climate Change: Ostracising the coal-burners
    The UN climate summit is happening in new York next week, and unlike previous years, coal-burners and denier-states are not being invited to speak:Leading economies such as Japan and Australia will not be invited to speak at next week’s crunch UN climate change summit, as their continued support for coal ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    4 days ago
  • Jojo Tamihere Salutes Herr Goff.
    Get Back Jojo! The elation in Mayor Phil Goff’s camp may be easily imagined as they watched social media light up in indignation at challenger John Tamihere’s "Sieg Heil to that" quip. Just when JT’s notoriously right-wing, sexist and homophobic stains were beginning to fade back into his ‘colourful’ past, ...
    4 days ago
  • Hard News: A fun but flawed weed documentary
    Patrick Gower is good value when he's high. Not that I've ever, you know, got stoned with him. But in the second part of his documentary Patrick Gower on Weed, he does what you'd expect in a modern weed documentary and immerses himself – first with a doctor, then a ...
    4 days ago
  • Candidate Survey: Western Bay of Plenty – Local Body Elections 2019
    We surveyed candidates on their attitudes to issues facing the Western Bay Region, find out what they think: “Closing the Gap” Tauranga, one of the area groups of Income Equality Aotearoa NZ Inc., has surveyed all candidates in the three local body elections to discover attitudes to some basic issues ...
    Closing the GapBy Tracey Sharp
    4 days ago
  • Project Nettie calls on scientists to defend biology
    Please spread widely, and sign, to support science and rationalism over the new irrationalism sweeping universities and institutions.  PROJECT NETTIE Sexual reproduction, the generation of offspring by fusion of genetic material from two different individuals, evolved over 1 billion years ago. It is the reproductive strategy of all higher animals ...
    RedlineBy Daphna
    4 days ago
  • I’m glad I don’t live in Auckland
    Just when I was thinking that Palmerston North's mayoral race (which includes a convicted child molester / public wanker and a convicted child beater) was the worst in the country, Auckland mayoral candidate John Tamihere opened his mouth:Auckland mayoral candidate John Tamihere is being slammed for using the words "sieg ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    4 days ago
  • Index of Power Update, 2018-19: China #2
    We reprint below an article from the excellent website the Economics of Imperialism by Tony Norfield This is an update of the statistics for my Index of Power, using data for 2018-19 and discussing what a country’s ranking reflects. The major change is that China’s rank has shifted up and ...
    RedlineBy Daphna
    4 days ago
  • Climate Change: A history lesson
    Why is New Zealand climate change policy so crap? The Herald this morning has a long article on the twists and turns of climate change policy in New Zealand [paywalled / depaywall script], which shows where we've been. The short version is that the government first began worrying about this ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    5 days ago
  • What the All Blacks Mean to Us
    The All Blacks have been, for more than a century, arguably the most successful International sports team in the world. But they are more than that; even for those Kiwis who are immune to the charms of rugby (and there are more than a few), the All Blacks are ambassadors ...
    Bryan GouldBy Bryan Gould
    5 days ago
  • No one is born into the wrong body
    A short and incredibly powerful speech from a young lesbian woman. No one is born in the wrong body. ...
    RedlineBy Daphna
    5 days ago
  • Contempt
    Back in June, the UK Court of Appeal ruled that that country's continued arms sales to Saudi Arabia were unlawful. So you'd expect that the UK government stopped approving them, right?Of course not:The government has apologised for breaching a court ruling against the sale of weapons to Saudi Arabia that ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    5 days ago
  • Covering up the cover-up
    Yesterday NZDF officials were put on the stand about the lies they had told over Operation Burnham, making implausible claims that it was all a big mistake. But along the way, we learned they had already been put on the spot about it by a previous Defence Minister, who had ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    5 days ago
  • Not as important as they think they are
    Farmers have been whining a lot lately, about the methane targets in the Zero Carbon Bill, about Canterbury's proposed nitrogen limits, and about the government's new proposals to stop them from shitting in our lakes and rivers. These policies are "throwing farmers under the tractor", they will force farmers off ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    5 days ago
  • Behind Every Good Woman Should Stand – Another Good Woman.
    Alone, Alone, All, All, Alone: To argue that the Prime Minister is the victim of her advisers’ failure to keep her informed may offer Jacinda some measure of exoneration – but only at the cost of casting her as a hopeless political ingénue. A star-dusted muppet, whose only purpose is to ...
    6 days ago
  • Poor quality, poorly educated kiddie ‘Journalists’ spreading fake news
    In times of hysteria about the “World coming to an end” and “rising sea levels” so-called ‘Journalists’ who can barely spell words longer than four letters are having a ball! Though the majority of the Public have worked out that manmade climate change is nothing short of pseudo-science, and the ...
    An average kiwiBy admin@averagekiwi.com
    6 days ago
  • Chris Trotter on the BFD
    I don't want to give pblicity to certain parts of the internet that are better left to fester in their own irrelevance (I know, a bit like this place) but the listing of Chris Trotter as a 'author' on Cameron Slater's spinoff website, the BFD requires some explanation.Now, I don't ...
    6 days ago
  • Sex is not a spectrum
    The text below is a Twitter thread by Heather Heying that explains the essence of sexual reproduction and it long evolutionary history. She is an evolutionary biologist and a “professor-in-exile” after she and her husband, Bret Weinstein, stood up to supporters of an enforced “Day of Absence” for white staff and teachers ...
    RedlineBy Daphna
    6 days ago
  • Climate Change: Trees, aviation, and offsets
    With crunch time for new Zealand climate policy approaching, most of the New Zealand media have got on board with a global reporting effort to cover the issue. There's one strand of stories today about polling and what it shows about changing public attitudes to the crisis, but the strand ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    6 days ago
  • Pissing-Off The Israelis Is A High-Risk Strategy.
    Dangerous Foes: For those readers of Bowalley Road who feel disposed to dismiss any prospect of an Israeli destabilisation of New Zealand politics, the example of the United Kingdom repays close attention. Ever since the election of Jeremy Corbyn as leader of the British Labour Party, the Israelis have sanctioned, funded and ...
    6 days ago
  • Something to go to in Wellington
    Make It 16, the youth-led campaign to lower New Zealand's voting age, is holding an official campaign launch at Parliament this Friday from 16:30. If you'd like to attend, you can register using EventBrite here. ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    6 days ago
  • A founding member responds to Peace Action Wellington
    by Don Franks It was a lovely sunny Wellington afternoon with blue skies above  the beaches.  In Courtenay Place, political activists packed out a stuffy upstairs room for an important meeting. The assembled pacifists, anarchists, communists and independent young radicals of Peace Action Wellington felt the need for a mission ...
    RedlineBy Admin
    6 days ago
  • “Mistakes and errors”
    Current and former NZDF top brass are being publicly grilled this week by the hit and run inquiry over their public responses to allegations of civilian casualties. Previously, they've claimed there were no casualties, a position which led them to lie to Ministers and to the public. Now, they're saying ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    6 days ago
  • “Homosexuality is same-sex attraction and relationships, not heterosexuals with delusions of gende...
    by Rafael D. Quiles (gender-critical gay man from Puerto Rico) The writing on the wall is right in people’s faces and people just don’t see it or don’t want to. What could actually possess a heterosexual male to want to feminize himself and claim that he is a lesbian? Because ...
    RedlineBy Admin
    1 week ago
  • Trump: “Where’s my favourite dictator?”
    From the Wall Street Journal:Inside a room of the ornately decorated Hotel du Palais during last month’s Group of Seven summit in Biarritz, France, President Trump awaited a meeting with Egyptian President Abdel Fattah Al Sisi. Mr. Trump looked over a gathering of American and Egyptian officials and called out in ...
    1 week ago
  • Magdalen Burns, 1983-2019, fighter for women’s liberation
    by the Redline blog collective At Redline we are very saddened to hear of the death of Magdalen Burns who passed away on the morning of Friday, September 13 (British time). Magdalen was a great fighter for the rights of women in general and lesbian women in particular, a defender ...
    RedlineBy Admin
    1 week ago
  • Parliament and the Executive
    The Brexit issue has certainly brought with it a series of apparently difficult constitutional issues, many of them concerning the respective roles of the executive and parliament. Most of them arise because of the unwillingness of MPs, despite their professions to the contrary, to be bound by a constitutional rarity ...
    Bryan GouldBy Bryan Gould
    1 week ago
  • The Abigail Article; Martyn Bradbury’s Article, and My Response
    . . This blogpost is different to my usual format of reporting on issues… Since July 1011, I have blogged on a variety of political issues; near always political and/or environmental; mostly highly critical of the previous National Government. Other issues included Israeli occupation of Palestinian lands and repression of ...
    Frankly SpeakingBy Frank Macskasy
    1 week ago
  • Police will have to wear silly Buckingham Palace hats from now on, says Police Minister
    Those close to the Police Minister believe the initiative may be the result of Nash “seeing a great deal” on AliExpress. In a move that comes seemingly out of nowhere, Police Minister Stuart Nash announced this afternoon that he expects all frontline staff to don bearskin hats, famously worn by ...
    The CivilianBy admin
    1 week ago
  • A sensible crackdown
    The government has released its Arms Legislation Bill, containing the second tranche of changes to gun laws following the March 15 massacre. And it all looks quite sensible: a national gun register, higher penalties for illegal possession and dealing, tighter restrictions on arms dealers and shooting clubs, and a shorter ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • California bans private prisons
    Private prisons are a stain on humanity. Prison operators explicitly profit from human misery, then lobby for longer prisons terms so they can keep on profiting. And in the US, prison companies run not only local and state prisons, but also Donald Trump's immigration concentration camps. Faced with this moral ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • Why PPPs are a bad idea
    When National was in power, they were very keen on Public-Private Partnerships (PPPs) - basicly, using private companies to finance public infrastructure as a way of hiding debt from the public. They were keen on using them for everything - roads, schools, hospitals. But as the UK shows, that "service" ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • A Movement That No Longer Moves.
    Moving And Shaking: There was a time when people spoke matter-of-factly about the “labour movement” – a political phenomenon understood to embrace much more than the Labour Party. Included within the term’s definition was the whole trade union movement – many of whose members looked upon the Labour Party as ...
    1 week ago
  • NZ ‘left’ politically embracing extreme postmodernism
    by Philip Ferguson Much of the left, even people who formally identify as marxists, have collapsed politically in the face of postmodern gender theory of the sort pioneered by American philosopher Judith Butler. For Butler even biological sex is socially constructed. “If the immutable character of sex is contested, perhaps ...
    RedlineBy Daphna
    1 week ago
  • The obvious question
    The media is reporting that the (alleged) Labour party sexual assaulter has resigned from their job at Parliament, which means hopefully he won't be turning up there making people feel unsafe in future. Good. But as with everything about this scandal, it just raises other questions. Most significantly: why the ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • The moment I found out that you found out, I acted swiftly
    By Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern I am every bit as angry as you are. I am every bit as disappointed as you must be. The people with power, oversight and the ability to do something about these processes within the Labour Party should be ashamed. Whoever those people are, I ...
    The CivilianBy admin
    1 week ago
  • This is why people hate property developers
    Property developers think there is an "oversupply" of houses in Auckland:High turnover rates and falling prices may be a sign that there are too many new houses going in to some parts of Auckland, commentators say. [...] Property developer David Whitburn said there was a "bit of an oversupply" in ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • Australia to Pacific: “Fuck you, you can all drown”
    World leaders are meeting in New York in two weeks for the 2019 Climate Action Summit, where they are expected to announce new and more ambitious targets to stop the world from burning. But the Australian Prime Minister won't be there, despite being in the USA at the time:Scott Morrison ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • Implausible ignorance
    Labour Party president Nigel Haworth resigned yesterday over the party's sexual assault scandal. But while that's good news, its unlikely to take away the stench of a coverup. Because according to Paula Bennett in Parliament yesterday, pretty much everyone in the Prime Minister's office was involved as well:I have been ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • Labour’s Fatal Flaw.
     Two-Faced? Labour insiders' commitment to the neoliberal status quo puts them at odds with their party’s membership; its trade union affiliates; and a majority of Labour voters, but this only serves to strengthen the perception they have of themselves as a special elite. Among the lesser breeds, they’ll talk up a ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Ten reasons the Tories do NOT want an election
    There has been a lot of talk about Boris Johnson wanting an election, and he has blustered with great gusto about 'chicken' Jeremy Corbyn refusing one, but I think there are many reasons why he is secretly glad he has been refused the opportunity:The Tories are an utter rabble,tearing themselves ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Prorogation Illegal, rule Scottish judges
    Scottish appeal court judges have declared that Boris Johnson’s decision to suspend parliament in the run-up to the October Brexit deadline is unlawful. The three judges, chaired by Lord Carloway, Scotland’s most senior judge, overturned an earlier ruling that the courts did not have the powers to interfere in the prime ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Let me explain what I meant by Everyday New Zealanders
    By Simon Bridges. The following is a press release from the office of Simon Bridges, leader of The National Party. Key ora, New Zealand. Happy Maori Language Week. Look, I’m writing to you today because I want to clear something up. There’s been a lot of kerfuffle around some things ...
    The CivilianBy admin
    2 weeks ago
  • Yes, the SIS is subject to the Public Records Act
    I understand there's some stuff going round about how the SIS "was removed from the list of public offices covered by the Public Records Act in 2017". The context of course being their records derived from US torture, which will be disposed of or sealed. The good news is that ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • An evidence-based discussion of the Canadian fluoride/IQ study
    Dr. Christopher Labos and Jonathan Jarry discuss the recent Canadian fluoride/IQ research. They provide an expert analysis of the paper and its problems. Click on image to go to podcast. The critical debate about the recent ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Climate Change: Australia in denial
    Australia is burning down again, and meanwhile its natural disaster minister is denying climate change:Australia’s minister responsible for drought and natural disasters, David Littleproud, has said that he doesn’t “know if climate change is manmade”. Clarifying earlier comments that the question is “irrelevant” when considering the Coalition government’s response to ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • Philippines activist speaking on the Duterte tyranny
    Auckland Philippines Solidarity is excited to host Professor Judy Taguiwalo for a speaking tour of NZ in September. She is a well-known activist in the Philippines and was a political prisoner under the Marcos dictatorship. Professor Taguiwalo briefly served as a Cabinet member under President Duterte but was forced from ...
    RedlineBy Daphna
    2 weeks ago
  • Disgust
    I have no special insights to offer on the Labour sexual assault coverup. All I have is disgust. Disgust that an organisation could fail its people so badly. Disgust that they punished the victims rather than the perpetrator. Disgust that its party hacks are apparently blaming the victims for demanding ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • Speak Up for Women calls out Greens’ censorship
    This open letter to the Green Party was penned after an opinion piece by Jill Abigail, a feminist and founding member of the party, was censored by the Greens’ leadership. (Redline has reprinted her article here).The intolerance of the Green Party leaders and their acceptance of the misogyny of gender ...
    RedlineBy Daphna
    2 weeks ago
  • Member’s Day: End of Life Choice, part 3
    Today is a Member's day, and David Seymour's End of Life Choice Bill continues its slow crawl through its committee stage. They're spending the whole day on it today, though the first hour is likely to be spent on voting left over from last time. After that they'll move on ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • Flight to Los Angeles turned back after passengers decide they don’t want to go anymore
    An ambitious plan to fly to Los Angeles petered out into a brief sight-seeing trip and a desire to return home and get some sleep before work tomorrow. Air New Zealand has confirmed a flight to Los Angeles last night was turned back about a quarter of the way into ...
    The CivilianBy admin
    2 weeks ago
  • Indigenous Futures: defuturing and futuring – an analytical framework for policy development?
    There appears to be consensus – by omission – that the concept of indigenous futures should be accepted at face value. So I scavenged the internet to see if I could locate an academic descriptor or a framework around how we think about it as a concept, and whether it ...
    EllipsisterBy Ellipsister
    2 weeks ago
  • Cadbury rumoured to be releasing the Pineapple Trump
    Here’s another novelty chocolate to shove in your gob, New Zealand Cadbury could be seeking to make itself great again with a rumoured new release: Pineapple Trumps, a spin on its classic chocolate-encased pineapple treat and do-it-yourself tooth remover. The global confectionery manufacturer and bumbling “before” character in an infomercial, ...
    The CivilianBy admin
    2 weeks ago
  • The coming resource war.
    During my time in the Pentagon I had the privilege of sitting down with military leaders and defence and security officials from a variety of Latin American nations. Sometimes I was present as a subordinate assistant to a senior US defence department official, sometimes as part of a delegation that ...
    KiwipoliticoBy Pablo
    2 weeks ago
  • Māori Language Week with The Civilian
    Kia ora, Aotearoa. It’s that magical time of year. Te Wiki o te Reo Māori. In English, the week that frightens talk radio. As you probably know by now, all your favourite media outlets are participating, some more successfully than others. Stuff has changed its name to Puna for the ...
    The CivilianBy admin
    2 weeks ago
  • Will Horizons act on climate change?
    Local body elections are coming up next month. And it looks like all Palmerston North candidates for Horizons (the Manawatu-Whanganui Regional Council) want to take action on climate change:Climate change is set to be a key issue in Palmerston North for the next three years if those wanting to get ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • BORA reform is stalled
    Eighteen months ago, the government promised to strengthen the Bill of Rights Act, by explicitly affirming the power of the courts to issue declarations of inconsistency and requiring Parliament to formally respond to them. So how's that going? I was curious, so I asked for all advice about the proposal. ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • Corbyn and Brexit
    As the Brexit saga staggers on, the focus is naturally enough on the Prime Minister and his attempts to achieve Brexit “do or die”. But the role played by the Leader of the Opposition is of almost equal interest and complexity. The first problem for Jeremy Corbyn is that he ...
    Bryan GouldBy Bryan Gould
    2 weeks ago

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