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Partisan politics

Written By: - Date published: 7:12 am, September 26th, 2011 - 45 comments
Categories: john key, leadership, national, political alternatives - Tags: , ,

John Key is a very partisan politician. He is ridiculously negative on seemingly any proposal raised by a perceived political opponent. Key infamously called Working For Families “communism by stealth” (his government now supports it). Key made a fool of himself ranting that Labour’s capital gains tax was “a dagger through the heart of the economy” (every credible economic commentator supported it). Just recently Key dismissed Labour’s policy for rebuilding Canterbury, “put the brakes on” Len Brown’s proposals for Auckland rail, while the Nats rubbished the (otherwise well received) Green jobs plan and rejected calls for a fairer pension system.

Why so relentlessly negative?  It’s not like National have many ideas of their own to offer (witness the Jobs Summit).  It’s not like the recycling old ideas from the 90’s (austerity and privatisation) is working out well.  So why not be open to ideas from elsewhere?  Ridiculous statements like “a dagger through the heart” just make it that much harder for Key and the Nats to back down and adopt policies that could be highly beneficial.

Time to lose the arrogance and the reflexive negativity.  The Nats need to take good ideas wherever they come from, and involve opposition parties in the process. Labour are showing how it’s done, as John Armstrong writes:

Consensus politics an intricate game to play

Contained within Labour’s thoughtful and thought-provoking recovery plan for earthquake-shattered Christchurch is what might appear to be a rather generous promise. .. Among the list of unashamedly interventionist measures flagged by Phil Goff last Monday to speed Christchurch’s revival is a commitment that a Labour government would take a bipartisan approach “by offering the Opposition a role in the rebuilding process”.

Labour’s point is well made. Once the scale and likely duration of the recovery effort became obvious, National should have found some official means of allowing the major Opposition party to play a constructive role, not least because Labour MPs represent most of the city.

National risked making a very big rod for its own back by not doing so. Christchurch’s four Labour MPs could have really gone to town and made life very difficult for Earthquake Recovery Minister Gerry Brownlee.

They have not done so. Presumably that is in part because the city’s plight dictates that MPs mute the normal level of political noise and because those MPs see some real value in a bipartisan approach.

That suggests Labour’s offer is not a hollow gesture. …

Labour is offering to take Christchurch out of the political football game. Excellent. Planning for superannuation and foreign policy are two other obvious candidates for a bipartisan consensus, I’m sure you can think of more. But is Key capable of such politics? I don’t see anything in his record so far that suggests that he is, or that he is even interested in trying. And that is bad news for NZ.

45 comments on “Partisan politics”

  1. Colonial Viper 1

    Nothing more than the appearance of bipartisan consensus will be possible. National will always force Labour too far right towards its own position in order to achieve a ‘consensus’ which National will abrogate anyway whenever it is convenient for them.

    The process will leave Labour looking weak, ineffectual and compromised.

    The Left always believes that bipartisan consensus can be honest and productive – after all that is how it prefers to do things internally – but when you look at the politics of the US it is clear that the Right will simply do what it wants to do anyway, leaving the grassroots Left stranded as its leadership lurches rightwards.

  2. The phantom 2

    whereas The Standard is consistently even handed in its assessment of John Key’s ideas? Come off it. I cannot recall a single positive comment on Key or his Government from any of you guys. This post smacks of the sort of hypocrisy which is a hallmark of this site. If you guys dropped the strident negativity and blanket dismissal of your dissenters as RWNJ’s you might find more people willing to engage in the sort of honest debate and discussion you purport to encourage.

    [Hey Phantom – want to donate $10 to The Standard for every time we’ve said something nice about the Nats? See comment 8 below… r0b]

    • Colonial Viper 2.1

      Not interested in debate with hapless RWNJs, only throwing them out of office.

      whereas The Standard is consistently even handed in its assessment of John Key’s ideas?

      ROFL…which of Key’s ‘ideas’ are you talking about here? Tourist cycleways for jobs? NZ as the next Irish ‘Financial Hub’? Putting Brownlee in charge as royal dictator of Christchurch?

      Gimme a break, loser. Commentators on The Standard have been extremely ‘consistent’ with the treatment of Key’s lameass, PR scripted ‘ideas’.

      • Joe Bloggs 2.1.1

        C’mon CV, time to lose the arrogance and the reflexive negativity.

        Ironically Labour had the opportunity to participate in some concensus politics at the time of the Christchurch earthquakes, and to stand alongside National in a show of unity and support for the plight of Cantabrians.

        Labour chose not to.

        • Colonial Viper 2.1.1.1

          Fuck you using the PR ‘arrogant’ line last pulled out by NATs on the last Clark Government.

          Please note, Labour voted with the highly undemoractic CERA and put His Highness Brownlee in charge, tell me what more you wanted Labour to do to stand by Key and Brownlee’s shit handling of Christchurch reconstruction?

          • Joe Bloggs 2.1.1.1.1

            …using the PR ‘arrogant’ line last pulled out by NATs on the last Clark Government.

            Er no. That line was last pulled out by R0B at 7:12am this morning. Evidently the irony of using that line on this blog site escapes you, CV.

        • kriswgtn 2.1.1.2

          hha another cockmaster in action dumbass

          no the labour MP’s in CHCH have been workin non stop making sure their constituents actually are looked after considering the constituents in those suburbs have been left to fend for themselves

          stand together

          ahhahahahah there is only room for one person in the photo shoots and thats Key

    • Campbell Larsen 2.2

      Shonky doesnt have any ideas of his own, he is just a mouthpiece for the ideas of others.
      He is a rather effective show pony though.

      Even handed enough for you?

    • I cannot recall a single positive comment on Key or his Government
       
      There have been many positive comments about the John Key memorial cycleway.  The problem has been that this is the only think the nats have done which deserves praise.
       
      Strident negativity?  Maybe we should talk grandly about how the country will be catching up with Australia any time soon.  BTW how is that going?

      • aerobubble 2.3.1

        You cannot recall a single positive comment about Key. WTF are you deaf.
        Key has always structured his statements in singular positive light even when
        liaring his pretty face off. It would be hard not to have noticed that.
        So of course when all Key does basically is declare his policy ‘balanced
        and fair’ what else are people to criticize him on, he has nothing substantial
        about which to talk about.
        Geez, how can you not understand something so simple, if the emporer has
        no clothes, how else can you be… but negative, how naked he is.

    • kriswgtn 2.4

      “whereas The Standard is consistently even handed in its assessment of John Key’s ideas?”

      He dont ever have any of his own

      Own ideas hgahahahahhahahahahahahah wot a cock

      its got nothing to do with negativity
      its called having a do nothing clueless Trophy Prime mincer who basically apart from photo shoots does sfa

      job summit the cycleway were not his ideas

      next

      • mik e 2.4.1

        Don’t forget all the holidays in Hawaii that was his idea.
        Photo ops everywhere and any where has he been on shortland st yet
        Mumbling when he lies
        The cat walk

    • lprent 2.5

      Phantom: Perhaps you should point to these ideas by John Key? I can only really recall the rather silly cycleway that was no fit for purpose. I can recall ideas by other National and Act ministers, but John Key appears to not be a thinker.

      Perhaps the reason he is so eternally negative of other people’s ideas (including those of his caucus) is because of a simple jealousy?

      • Lanthanide 2.5.1

        What about NZ being the Celtic Tiger of the South Pacific? That financial hub mumbo-jumbo?

        • Joe Bloggs 2.5.1.1

          reminds one of a certain knowledge wave conference from 2001… if one recalls there was a certain co-chair of the conference, who started by calling for ideas and claiming the Government was listening.

          But by the finish of the conference was obstinately stating that the Government would not change its taxation policy.

          This despite being told that New Zealand had the highest corporate tax rate in the Pacific region and had effectively zero chance of keeping knowledge industies onshore.

          • Lanthanide 2.5.1.1.1

            So you couldn’t think of any ideas that John Key came up with either, then.

          • mik e 2.5.1.1.2

            JB what BS other countries businesses have huge land taxes cgts pay roll and other taxes we don’t have a myth spread by ACt .Cullen lowered them, savings was identified cullen set up the cullen fund [National would be stuffed without it]kiwsaver.R&D was another area identified cullen set aside several billion dollars for that only for National cut and cut.Fix infrastructure cullen set up an infrastructure planning committee.JB you Baffle us with BS every time you blog .Tell the truth not a small part of the truth.Another area identified by the 2001 conference was unnecessary competition between universities that was cut out by cullen now we have it back under petrol head Joyce where universities are Wasting time and money on competing again and a recent report shows our universities are rapidly declining in academic performance again.Get your head out of your gumboot bloggs you are a bad hang over from the past.

            • McFlock 2.5.1.1.2.1

              Maybe JB was pissed that we didn’t copy Ireland doing tax cuts for multinationals. He doesn’t realise that a knowledge economy needs an educated populace, otherwise it becomes the turd in a dutch sandwich and still goes kaput.

      • ianmac 2.5.2

        How about insisting on a “Party Central”? But it is very hard to know just what Mr Key believes in. He really does say what he thinks his audience wants to hear, but with enough ambiguity to satisfy a variety of positions. From one set of comments therefore, two extremes of belief can be satisfied by what they hear from his words. Now that takes talent. (A good second hand car salesman?)

  3. Scotty 3

    Phantom,
    Care to highlight any specific policy from National, that you think warrants bipartisan praise.?
    just wondering

  4. randal 4

    National got in because the print media and Radio Squawkback shreiked long and loud that it was Nationals “TURN”. Well they have had their turn and accomplished preciely nothing in three years. It is time they were shown the door and good riddance.

    • marsman 4.1

      @ randal. National have achieved a lot in three years BUT it’s all been negative for the majority of the population BUT very ‘rewarding’ for a few. And yes they need to be shown the door and BOOTED out.

  5. Afewknowthetruth 5

    Why would Key want to change tactics when the long term strategic goals -of increasing the gap between the rich and the poor, increasing the control global corporations have over NZ society, transferring NZ wealth overseas, increasing the level of debt slavery, and in the long term establishing of a neo-feudal society (whilst keeping the general populace oblivious, confused and distracted) -are being achieved so well?

    After all, the best kind of slave society is one in which the slaves votes for slavery. Key has achieved that. NZers continue to vote for their own destruction via the fabrications and delusions promoted by Key and his cronies.

    What is interesting overseas is that the British got thoroughly sick of Tony B Liar, the Clown and the other ‘Labour’ saboteurs, and voted for something worse. Americans got thoroughly sick of Bush and the Republican saboteurs and voted for something worse.

    The only people who seem to have made any notable progress in recent years are the Icelanders, who threw the international money-lenders out, and told them to ‘fuck off’ when they threatened to come back for their ‘pound of flesh’. And Turkey seems to be doing tolerably well in the short term, now that the Eurozone is in meltdown.

    The crux of the problem in NZ is that there has been no significant difference between National and Labour for decades, both have been pro-money-lender, pro-coprorate-control, pro-globalisation, pro-destroy-the-environment parties.

    So. Do we need a bipartisan approach on such policies? Are we not being screwed fast enough already?

    • coolas 5.1

      Spot on. ‘After all, the best kind of slave society is one in which the slaves votes for slavery,’ is exactly what Key is achieving for his Corporate masters by convincing middle enzed that his wealth and charm are the saviour in these tough economic times.

      I despair at how many freedom loving people support John Key. They seem enamoured by the story of poor boy made good, and they refuse to see how they’re giving away their freedoms, one by one, because that nice Mr Key says we should if, ‘we’re to build a brighter future.’

  6. tsmithfield 6

    “John Key is a very partisan politician. He is ridiculously negative on seemingly any proposal raised by a perceived political opponent.”

    Yeah, right. So what do you say about the fact that he adopted the Greens insulation proposal then?

    • ianmac 6.1

      Pragmatic and cynical?

    • The Voice of Reason 6.2

      He didn’t perceive the Green’s policy as coming from a political opponent, TS, but as an opportunity to shore up his new Government by co-opting them with a memorandum of understanding. Same with the MP’s Whanau Ora; just a sop to engender goodwill.
       
      It’s a different story 3 years on, however and the post is right, he is increasingly partisan in his approach.

    • mik e 6.3

      No he cut the labour greens proposal and only wealthier New Zealanders can afford the new program.

  7. randal 7

    well he will need an asbestos suit to deflect the blowtorch of this general election.

    • Afewknowthetruth 7.1

      randal.

      That would only be the case if Labour were prepared to expose the fraud that is inherent in the money system …. indeed the fraud that the entire economic system is founded on.

      There is no indication anyone in Labour is prepared to risk the assassin’s bullet that inevitably comes with speaking the truth (Lincoln, Garfield, Kennedy, Lennon etc.).

      I therefore expect that Labour will continue to campagn on being ‘lite National’, offering slight tweaking of a system that is bringing about destruction of everything of value, a system which is falling apart as I write this.

  8. r0b 8

    Phantom asks if The Standard ever has anything nice to say about Key and the Nats.

    Well the need doesn’t arise very often, but yeah, we do.  We even have a tag for it, so some examples are here

    • McFlock 8.1

      Contributors to The Standard found half a dozen good things about the nactoids?
        
      They collectively deserve an award for investigative journalism. Maybe now the local nactoids will have something other than “Labour did [an extremely pale comparison of] it, too!”

  9. JS 9

    He’s the ‘product-placement’ prime minister. Anyone who has seen Morgan Spurlock’s movie ‘POM wonderful: the greatest movie ever sold’ will be able to see just how cynically he is being used to lure and trap consumers (ie the public).

  10. The Gormless Fool formerly known as Oleolebiscuitbarrell 10

    You are right, of course. Especially when no two parties in Parliament are more alike than Labour and National.

    • Lanthanide 10.1

      Um, I’d say National and Act share more alike than Labour and National. Similarly Progressives and Labour are closer than Labour and National.

      Act is now led by the former National leader!

      • McFlock 10.1.1

        Yep – ACT and nat have similar policies, similar demographic appeal, and their membership lists share the same names (just in different timeframes).

  11. aerobubble 11

    Another day in TV land, and yet more discourse about
    how welfare is failing to sustain the wealthy in the
    life they have come accustomed too.

    Its official, on the smarmy Holmes program
    a ex-ACT MP admits openly that they are
    authoritarian when it comes to anyone they
    don’t like, and libertarian toward anyone
    they do. Which turns out in the world of
    extreme rightwing negative politics means
    their whole policy regime is authoritarian.
    When did you last hear ACT quote a
    libertarian principle, for it would apply
    equally to those they like and those they don’t,
    leaving them to explain the contradiction
    or leave them looking they they were protecting
    criminals.

    Didn’t Hitler do that, he was defending liberties of
    Germans except from threats he personally felt needed
    a good kicking.

    • The Gormless Fool formerly known as Oleolebiscuitbarrell 11.1

      “Didn’t Hitler do that…”

      Could you be more boring?

      • aerobubble 11.1.1

        The rule of law requires that all are equal before the law, so having a
        minority party in the governing coalition which openly states that
        those who they dislike will be treated in an authoritarian way, is
        anything but boring, its damn disturbing. Especially in the week
        when the National party tried to push in legislation that would
        have undermined basic rights won in the Magna Carta. That
        laws thrownout by courts is a reality in a democracy
        whereas retrospectively refitting them typical practice of
        authoritarian states. National should just suck it up, that’s
        what we have high court judges for, too throw their slimy
        laws out and get them to make better ones.

  12. Muzza 12

    Havin to listen to people including friends glow about Key , how he has done so much for the country , how a successful businessman is ideal to be in charge blah blah. People just get their views from reading the herald etc, no reading details or policy & when asked about pre election renegeging , the all answer , it’s down to the mess Labour left behind. Why do people so badly want to feel like their vote matters, Nz has not improved under any govt for the past 40 years or more, do people not get it yet , it is not our country anymore , the govt is not working for the country & it matters not who is in charge. So far as JK goes , simple body language analysis give all you need to know about the liar he is. The guy is a walking load of BS, as are most the polys which cost taxpayers over 1bn every year, who get richer while most of Nz get poorer , kids are murdered and go hungry. Wake up Nz your inaction is a disgrace. A vote does not relieve you of responsibility !

    • Lanthanide 12.1

      If anyone gushes about Key being a businessman, just tell them he isn’t. He’s a banker, a money trader. He’s never actually run a business.

      • Jenny 12.1.1

        If anyone gushes about Key being a businessman, just tell them he isn’t. He’s a banker, a money trader…….

        Lanthanide

        Absolutely Lanth, read what the normally conservative Scientific American thinks of such people:

        Scientific American exposes the sort of ‘work’ that John Key used to do in his day job as a money trader and speculator when he worked in New York.

        A study reviewed in the highly respected science journal, Scientific American, accuses financiers the likes of John Key of “silent mass murder”

        The study was released by Marco Lagi, Yavni Bar-Yam, Karla Bertrand, and Yaneer Bar-Yam of the New England Complex Systems Institute in Cambridge, Mass. Financial speculation made possible thanks to market deregulation ultimately caused the collapse of mortgage and stock markets in 2007 and 2008.

        “Commodity Traitors: Financial Speculation on Commodities increases Global insecurity”

        http://blogs.scientificamerican.com/primate-diaries/2011/09/22/commodity-traitors/

        “This analysis,” conclude the study’s authors, “connects the bursting of the US real estate market bubble and the financial crisis of 2007-2008 to the global food price increases.”

        Following this collapse many investors shifted their assets into “index funds” that allowed them to bet on the likelihood that commodity futures would increase. These index funds would be purchased by commodity traders and then repackaged as derivatives to be resold for twice or three times the initial purchase price. According to data from the United Nations, this investment rose from $13 billion in 2003 to $317 billion in 2008 (pdf here). This flood of cash caused intermittent bubbles as prices increased under artificial demand only to crash because there was no consistency in actual supply and demand (see Figure 1 below). In other words, as the price of food shot upwards many people were unable to buy the food that was actually grown.

        According to Bar-Yam and colleagues, by September 2010 there was 140 million metric tons of grain sitting unsold in storage facilities around the world, an amount that would normally feed 440 million people in a single year. In the face of widespread global hunger, playing with food prices as if it were a casino pushed them beyond the ability of people to pay in regions of the direst need.

        Jean Ziegler, the UN Special Rapporteur on the Right to Food, has called this “a silent mass murder,” entirely due to “man-made actions.”

        “We have a herd of market traders, speculators and financial bandits who have turned wild and constructed a world of inequality and horror. We have to put a stop to this,” he said.

  13. Muzza 13

    Havin to listen to people including friends glow about Key , how he has done so much for the country , how a successful businessman is ideal to be in charge blah blah. People just get their views from reading the herald etc, no reading details or policy & when asked about pre election renegeging , the all answer , it’s down to the mess Labour left behind. Why do people so badly want to feel like their vote matters, Nz has not improved under any govt for the past 40 years or more, do people not get it yet , it is not our country anymore , the govt is not working for the country & it matters not who is in charge. So far as JK goes , simple body language analysis give all you need to know about the liar he is. The guy is a walking load of BS, as are most the polys which cost taxpayers over 1bn every year, who get richer while most of Nz get poorer , kids are murdered and go hungry.

  14. Jenny 14

    Key and the Nats are the political representatives of the rentiers, those who gain their living by the exploitation of other people, (and the environment), of course they won’t work with anyone who advocates for fairer more saner less exploitative policies. For the Nats to do so would be to commit political suicide, all their corporate buddies would abandon them for some other party that more represented their interests.

    Maybe Labour should give up trying to seek bi-partisan arrangements with the Nats and instead of trying to destroy them, try and work with other parties in the political spectrum who may more share Labour’s social and philosophical outlook at least on some issues.

  15. Jenny 15

    Forget trying to work with National. When it comes to the right Labour needs to be more partizan.

    http://www.dailykos.com/story/2011/08/08/1003532/-Debtpocalypse-deferred!

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    Last month, Greenpeace head Russel Norman surrendered his speaking slot at an EPA conference to student climate activist Sorcha Carr, who told the EPA exactly what she thought of them. It was a bold move, which confronted both regulators and polluters (or, as the EPA calls them, "stakeholders") with the ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    5 days ago
  • NZ First’s dodgy loans
    The core principle supposedly underlying New Zealand's electoral finance regime is transparency: parties can accept large donations from rich people wanting to buy policy, but only if they tell the public they've been bought. Most parties abide by this, so we know that TOP was wholly-owned by Gareth Morgan, and ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    5 days ago
  • Member’s Day: The choice on End of Life Choice
    Today is a Member's Day, probably the second-to-last one of the year, and its a big one, with the Third Reading of David Seymour's End of Life Choice Bill. last Member's Day it was reported back from committee, after MPs voted narrowly to make it subject to a (rules TBA) ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    5 days ago
  • How growth in population and consumption drives planetary change
    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 The growth of the human population over the last 70 ...
    SciBlogsBy Guest Author
    5 days ago
  • The disappearing Women …
    by The Council of Disobedient Women In her excellent oral submission to the Abortion reform select committee on 31st October on behalf of Otago University’s Department of Public Health, historian and public health researcher Hera Cook stated: “We would ask that the committee not use the term ‘pregnant persons’ and ...
    RedlineBy Daphna
    6 days ago
  • “A Passage to India”: enduring art in changing times
    by Don Franks In 1957, E M Forster wrote, of his greatest work: “The India described in ‘A Passage to India’ no longer exists either politically or socially. Change had begun even at the time the book was published ( 1924) and during the following quarter of a century it ...
    RedlineBy Daphna
    6 days ago
  • Contemptuous
    The Referendums Framework Bill was due back from select committee today. But there's no report on it. Instead, the bill has been bounced back to the House under Standing order 29593) because the Committee didn't bother to produce one. They probably tried. But given the membership of the committee (which ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    6 days ago
  • Zero Carbon: It’s not just a good idea, it’s the law
    Two years into New Zealand’s Labour-led government, the long-delayed Zero Carbon Bill became law on 7 November. Passed essentially unanimously, the lengthy public debates and political manoeuvring faded away until the final passage was even anticlimactic: Flipping through the @nzstuff @DomPost I was starting to wonder if I’d dreamt ...
    SciBlogsBy Robert McLachlan
    6 days ago
  • Climate Change: What happens next?
    Now the Zero Carbon Bill is law, what's next? Obviously, the ETS changes currently before select committee are going to be the next battleground. But we're also going to get a good idea of where we're going, and if the progress the Zero Carbon Act promises is good enough, during ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    6 days ago
  • Climate change will fuel bush fires
    Grant Pearce The effects of the current Australian bushfires in New South Wales and Queensland (and also again in California) are devastating and far-reaching. To date, the fires have resulted in several lives being lost and many homes and properties destroyed. Here in New Zealand, the impacts have been only ...
    SciBlogsBy Guest Author
    6 days ago
  • Participation rates
    A passing comment in a post the other day about the labour force participation rates of older people prompted me to pull down the fuller data and see what we could see about various participation rates over the decades since the HLFS began in 1986.   As it happens, the ...
    SciBlogsBy Michael Reddell
    6 days ago
  • Not So Much “OK Boomer” As “OK Ruling Class”.
    Distract And Divert: The rise of what we have come to call “Identity Politics” represents the ideological manifestation of the ruling class’s objective need to destroy class politics, and of the middle-class’s subjective need to justify their participation in the process.THE RELIEF of the ruling class can only be imagined. ...
    6 days ago
  • Asking for it …
    "I saw a newspaper picture,From the political campaignA woman was kissing a child,Who was obviously in pain.She spills with compassion,As that young child'sFace in her hands she gripsCan you imagine all that greed and avariceComing down on that child's lips?" ...
    7 days ago
  • New Zealand’s Poor Pandemic Preparedness According to the Global Health Security Index
    Dr Matt Boyd, Prof Michael Baker, Prof Nick Wilson The Global Health Security Index which considers pandemic threats has just been published. Unfortunately, NZ scores approximately half marks (54/100), coming in 35th in the world rankings – far behind Australia. This poor result suggests that the NZ Government needs to ...
    SciBlogsBy Public Health Expert
    1 week ago
  • Climate Change: Thank Winston
    The Zero Carbon Act is inadequate, with a weak methane target designed to give farmers a free ride. But it turns out it could have been worse: Climate Change Minister James Shaw was so desperate to get National on board, he wanted to gut that target, and leave it in ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • Illicit markets and Bali Booze
    The Herald reprints an Australian story on a couple of tragic deaths in Bali from drinking cocktails that had methanol in them.  The story argues that methanol is likely the result of home distillation. But what the young tourists were experiencing was far from a hangover. They’d consumed a toxic cocktail ...
    SciBlogsBy Eric Crampton
    1 week ago
  • This is not what armed police are for
    Last month, the police announced a trial of specialist roaming armed units, which would drive round (poor, brown) areas in armoured SUVs, armed to the teeth. When they announced the trial, they told us it was about having armed police "ready to attend major incidents at any time if needed". ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • Spain’s failed electoral gamble
    Spain went to the polls today in the second elections this year, after the Socialists (who had come to power in a confidence vote, then gone to the polls in April) rejected the offer of a coalition with the left-wing PoDemos, and instead decided to gamble n a better outcome ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • The astroturf party
    National has finally rolled out its "BlueGreen" astroturf party, fronted by an array of former nats and people who were dumped by the Greens for not being Green enough. Its initial pitch is described by Stuff as "very business-friendly", and its priorities are what you'd expect: conservation, predator-free funding, a ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • How to cheat at university
    A couple of days ago I attended (and spoke at) the University of Waikato’s “LearnFest” event. There were lots of talks and sessions on very diverse aspects of teaching, mostly at tertiary level. One was by Myra Williamson from Te Piringa Faculty of Law here at Waikato, on Contract Cheating ...
    SciBlogsBy Marcus Wilson
    1 week ago
  • How NZ was put on world maps using a transit of Mercury
    There will be a transit of Mercury – the planet Mercury will pass across the face of the Sun – taking place at sunrise in New Zealand on Tuesday, 12th November. It was by observing such an event 250 years ago that James Cook and his scientist colleagues were able ...
    SciBlogsBy Duncan Steel
    1 week ago
  • Georgina Beyer: We need to be able to talk without being offended
    Since becoming the world’s first openly transexual mayor and member of parliament, Georgina Beyer has been recognised as a trailblazer for trans rights. Daphna Whitmore talks with her about where she sees the current trans movement We start out talking about legislation the government put on hold that would have ...
    RedlineBy Daphna
    1 week ago
  • The anti-fluoride brigade won’t be erecting billboards about this study
    If FFNZ really put their faith in “Top Medical Journals” they would now be amending their billboards to recognise new research results. Image from FFNZ but updated to agree with the latest research. ...
    1 week ago
  • Chosen To Rule? What Sort Of Christian Is Chris Luxon?
    National Messiah? Chris Luxon identifies himself as an evangelical Christian. If he is genuine in this self-characterisation, then he will take every opportunity his public office provides to proselytise on behalf of his faith. He will also feel obliged to bear witness against beliefs and practices he believes to be ...
    1 week ago
  • War of the worms
    I'm going to make a Reckless Prediction™ that the Tories have 'topped out' in the 'poll of polls' / Britain Elects multipoll tracker at about 38%, and in the next week we will start to see Labour creep up on them.In fact, we might just be seeing the start of ...
    1 week ago
  • Marvelly shows us how to be a feminist without feminism
    by The Council of Disobedient Women Lizzie Marvelly: “I may have missed this… has @afterellen gone all terf-y? Or am I reading something incorrectly? “ https://twitter.com/LizzieMarvelly/status/1191840059105742849 After Ellen is a lesbian website that is unashamedly pro-lesbian, as you’d expect. So why is Ms Marvelly so bothered about lesbians having their ...
    RedlineBy Daphna
    1 week ago
  • Out of the past – Tories to revive racist laws from the 16th century
    Did you know there once was a time when it was illegal to be a gypsy (aka Romani) in Britain?That was between 1530, when the Egyptians Act was passed, and 1856, when it was repealed.Amongst other things, the act forbade the entry of 'Egyptians' into England, ordered those already there ...
    1 week ago
  • 1000 of these now
    Some days I sit and think, “what will I write…?” What do you say when you get to 1000 posts? Maybe you just start where you are, diverge to where this all began, then offer a collection of reader’s favourite posts, and a few of your own? (And throw in ...
    SciBlogsBy Grant Jacobs
    1 week ago
  • Has Shane Jones Just Saved NZ First?
    Counter-Puncher: The “activists” and “radicals” (his own words) from the Indian community who took such strong exception to Shane Jones’ remarks about Immigration NZ’s treatment of arranged marriages, may end up bitterly regretting their intervention. Jones is not the sort of person who turns the other cheek to his critics.SHANE ...
    1 week ago
  • Climate Change: As predicted
    Yesterday, when National voted for the Zero Carbon Bill, I predicted they'd gut it the moment they regained power, just as they had done to the ETS. And indeed, they have explicitly promised to do exactly that within their first hundred days in office. What would their amendments do? Abandon ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • Let this never be forgot
    In the spirit of Remember, remember the fifth of November, let's keep this in mind FOREVER.
    Oh dear. Extraordinary interview on PM with Andrew Bridgen and @EvanHD just now. Bridgen was defending Jacob Rees Mogg’s Grenfell comments. Evan asked him if JRM had meant to say he would have left ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Too Late To Change Capitalism’s Flightpath?
    Collision Course? In conditions of ideological white-out, the international bankers’ “Woop-Woop! Pull Up!” warning may have come too late to save global capitalism.WHAT DOES IT MEAN when international bankers are more willing to embrace radical solutions than our politicians and their electors? At both the International Monetary Fund and the ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Whooping cough vaccine works well despite its imperfections
    Pertussis (whooping cough) is a conundrum. It is a disease that was described hundreds of years ago and the bacteria that causes it (Bordetella pertussis) isolated in 1906. We have had vaccines for about 80 years but this disease is defiant in the face of human immunity. I wanted to ...
    SciBlogsBy Helen Petousis Harris
    2 weeks ago
  • Climate Change: Passed
    The Zero Carbon Bill has just passed its third reading, uanimously. In the end, National supported it - but we all know they'll turn around and gut it the moment they regain power. Meanwhile, I guess ACT's David Seymour didn't even bother to show up. I am on record as ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • Retailing of vaping products – New NZ Research
    Dr Lindsay Robertson, Dr Jerram Bateman, Professor Janet Hoek Members of the public health community hold divergent views on how access to vaping products or electronic nicotine delivery systems (ENDS) products should be arranged. Some believe ENDS should be as widely available as smoked tobacco and argue for liberal ...
    SciBlogsBy Public Health Expert
    2 weeks ago
  • Justice for Bomber
    When the Police were trying to cover up for the National Party over Dirty Politics, they went all-in with their abuses of power. They illegally search Nicky Hager's house, violating his journalistic privilege and invading his privacy. They unlawfully acquired Hager's bank records. They did the same to left-wing blogger ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • Britain’s climate tyranny was unlawful
    Last month, in response to a wave of protests by Extinction Rebellion, the British government purported to ban their protests from the whole of London. It was a significant interference with the freedoms of expression and assembly, and another sign of the country's decline into tyranny. But now, a court ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • More crime from the spies
    Last year, the Inspector-General of Intelligence and Security reported on significant problems with the intelligence warrant system. While they were unwilling to declare any warrant "irregular" (meaning unlawful) due to the recent law change, they were also not willing to give the system a clean bill of health. Now, they've ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • Vaccination, compulsion, and paternalism for the lower orders
    The National Party has come out in support of encouraging greater vaccination uptake. But it sure isn’t the way I’d do it. National’s suggested docking the benefits of those on benefit whose kids aren’t keeping up with their vaccinations. Some in National have suggested extending that to payments under Working ...
    SciBlogsBy Eric Crampton
    2 weeks ago
  • Global Protests Rage On: But Slogans Are Not Plans.
    Feeding The Flames: It is simply not enough to demand an end to “corruption”, or “inequality”, or the overbearing influence of the authorities in Beijing. These are just “lowest common denominator” demands: the sort of slogans that pull people onto the streets. They are not a plan.WHERE’S THE PLAN? Across ...
    2 weeks ago
  • 11,000 employed under Labour
    The labour market statistics have been released, and unemployment has risen to 4.2%. There are 115,000 unemployed - 11,000 fewer than when Labour took office. In that time the minimum wage has gone up by $2 an hour, which shows that the right's fears about increases causing unemployment are simply ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • Boycott this democratic fraud
    The Foreign Affairs, Defence and Trade Committee has called for submissions on Andrew Little's tyrannical Terrorism Suppression (Control Orders) Bill. Normally I encourage participation in the democratic process. I am not doing so in this case. Instead, I encourage all of you to boycott this submissions process, and to post ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • Why Mars is cold despite an atmosphere of mostly carbon dioxide
    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 If tiny concentrations of carbon dioxide can hold enough heat ...
    SciBlogsBy Guest Author
    2 weeks ago
  • Climate Change: Ban private jets
    Aviation is one of the fastest growing sources of greenhouse gas emissions, and within it, one of the fastest sources is elite travel: billionaires flitting around the world in their private jets, spewing excessive pollution into the atmosphere just so they can avoid mixing with us dirty peasants. But in ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • Climate Change: Untold Suffering
    That's what we face if we don't stop climate change, according to a warning from 11,000 scientists:The world’s people face “untold suffering due to the climate crisis” unless there are major transformations to global society, according to a stark warning from more than 11,000 scientists. “We declare clearly and unequivocally ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • The left and violent misogyny
    by Phil Duncan Here’s just a few of the kind of threats issued day in and day out against gender-critical women – feminists, marxists, etc – overwhelmingly by MEN (albeit men identifying as women). “Kill all Terfs”. “Shoot a Terf today”. “All terfs deserve to be shot in the head”. ...
    RedlineBy Admin
    2 weeks ago
  • Imperialism and the iPhone
    This is the third of the synopses of parts of the opening chapter of John Smith’s Imperialism in the 21st Century (New York, Monthly Review Press, 2016). The synopsis and commentary below is written by Phil Duncan. Unlike the humble cup of coffee and t-shirt that we looked at in ...
    RedlineBy Admin
    2 weeks ago
  • The freshwater mussel housing crisis: eviction by invasive weeds?
    Tom Moore Traditionally a food source and cutting tool, freshwater mussels/kākahi are now widely valued as water filters that help clean our waterbodies and maintain ecosystem health throughout Aotearoa. The improvement they provide in water quality can make it easier for other animals to live in streams and rivers, as ...
    SciBlogsBy Guest Author
    2 weeks ago
  • Back it up Luxon: endorsing the destructive past is not actually the way forward
    And to think he gave all the potential goodwill away with that moronic, cult-like statement (repeated ad nauseam by many National hardliners) that Key is quite simply “the greatest PM we ever had”… Installation complete: this was nothing ...
    exhALANtBy exhalantblog
    2 weeks ago
  • Good riddance
    National MP and former Conservation Minister Maggie Barry will not seek re-election next year. Good riddance. Because in case anyone has forgotten, barry is a bullying thug who terrorised both public servants and fellow MPs. She is one of the people who makes Parliament a toxic workplace, and our country ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • Climate Change: D-Day
    The Zero Carbon Bill is back in the House today for its second reading. While this isn't the final stage, its still effectively D-Day for the bill. Because today, at around 5pm, is when we're going to find out if it has a majority, whether National will support it or ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago

  • Wayne Brown hits back at critics: Ports of Auckland has to move
    The chairman of the Upper North Island Supply Chain Strategy (UNISCS) working group, Wayne Brown, has hit back at critics of his group’s recommendations to relocate the Ports of Auckland cargo operations to Whangarei’s deepwater port of Northport. The working group's recommendation to close Auckland waterfront to all but cruise ...
    5 hours ago
  • Week That Was: Supporting our schools
    We're setting our young people up for success, investing in education around the country.  ...
    11 hours ago
  • Kiwis to have their say on End of Life Choice
    Jenny Marcroft MP, Spokesperson for Health New Zealand First backs the public to decide on the End of Life Choice Bill via a referendum at the 2020 General Election. The Bill, with New Zealand First’s referendum provision incorporated, passed its final reading in Parliament this evening. New Zealand First Spokesperson for ...
    4 days ago
  • Addressing miscarriages of justice
    Darroch Ball, Spokesperson for Justice New Zealand First is proud that a key Coalition Agreement commitment which will provide for a more transparent and effective criminal justice system has been realised. Legislation to establish the Criminal Cases Review Commission, an independent body focused on identifying and responding to possible miscarriages of ...
    5 days ago
  • Week That Was: Historic action on climate change
    "Today we have made a choice that will leave a legacy... I hope that means that future generations will see that we, in New Zealand, were on the right side of history." - Jacinda Ardern, Third Reading of the Zero Carbon Bill ...
    1 week ago
  • Tax-free deployments for Kiwi troops
    Darroch Ball, New Zealand First List MP A Member’s bill has been proposed that would provide income tax exemptions for all New Zealand Defence Force (NZDF) personnel while on operational deployment overseas. The Income Tax (Exemption for Salary or Wages of NZDF Members on Active Deployment) Amendment Bill proposed by New Zealand First ...
    1 week ago
  • A balanced Zero Carbon Bill passed
    Rt Hon Winston Peters, New Zealand First Leader New Zealand First is proud to have brought common sense to the Climate Change Response (Zero Carbon) Amendment Bill, which passed its final reading in Parliament today. Party Leader Rt Hon Winston Peters says months of hard work went into negotiating a balanced ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Paramedics’ status to be recognised
    Jenny Marcroft MP, Spokesperson for Health New Zealand First has listened to calls to recognise paramedics as registered health professionals under the Health Practitioners’ Competence Assurance Act (the Act). Today, the Coalition Government announced plans for paramedics to be registered as health practitioners under the Act, and the establishment of a ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Week That Was: 2,000 teachers in two years
    We began the week by commemorating the New Zealand Wars and celebrating a major increase in the number of teachers. Then, we were busy supporting offenders into work and getting our rail back on track after years of underinvestment. And that's just the start! ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Winning an election one conversation at a time
    In October I was sworn in as the Mayor of Lower Hutt. It’s the privilege of my life to serve Hutt people as their Mayor. There is something really special to be able to serve the community where I was raised, and where I live.   ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Closer cooperation with Korean horse racing industry
    Rt Hon Winston Peters, Deputy Prime Minister, Minister for Racing Racing Minister Winston Peters met with Korea Racing Authority Chairperson Nak Soon Kim in Seoul today to discuss closer cooperation between the New Zealand and Korean horse racing industries. As part of the visit to the Seoul Racecourse, Mr Peters witnessed ...
    3 weeks ago
  • Otago to lead digital creativity
    Hon Shane Jones, Minister for Regional Economic Development The Provincial Growth Fund (PGF) is investing $10 million to establish Otago as the centre of New Zealand’s creative digital industry over the next ten years, Regional Development Minister Shane Jones announced today. “The initiative will bring us closer to the vision of ...
    3 weeks ago
  • Young Otago students encouraged to take on forestry careers
    Hon Shane Jones, Minister for Regional Economic Development The Provincial Growth Fund (PGF)’s skills and employment programme will help young Otago people into long-term forestry careers, Regional Economic Development Minister Shane Jones announced today. Te Ara Mahi will invest $63,000 in the 2020 school year to support eight 17 and 18 ...
    3 weeks ago
  • PGF backing Dunedin’s waterfront ambitions
    Hon Shane Jones, Minister for Regional Economic Development The Provincial Growth Fund (PGF) will support local plans to revitalise and stimulate economic development opportunities in Otago, Regional Economic Development Minister Shane Jones has announced. The four Regional Economic Development Ministers have approved an in-principle investment of $19.9 million towards the region’s ...
    3 weeks ago
  • M. Bovis eradication progress welcomed
    Mark Patterson, Spokesperson for Primary Industries New Zealand First is pleased to have received the Technical Advisory Group (TAG) report on the Coalition Government’s Mycoplasma bovis eradication efforts, which shows significant progress in the fight against the disease. New Zealand First Spokesperson for Primary Industries, Mark Patterson, says the report’s findings ...
    3 weeks ago
  • PGF boosts Otago’s engineering and manufacturing sector
    Hon Shane Jones, Minister for Regional Economic Development Hon David Parker, Minister for Trade and Export Growth The Provincial Growth Fund (PGF) is investing to support economic growth opportunities for Otago’s engineering and manufacturing sectors, Regional Development Minister Shane Jones and Trade and Export Minister David Parker announced today. Almost $20 million ...
    3 weeks ago
  • Minister Peters discusses Pacific challenges and denuclearisation in Seoul
    Rt Hon Winston Peters, Deputy Prime Minister, Minister of Foreign Affairs Foreign Minister Winston Peters and his South Korean counterpart, Kang Kyung-wha, discussed in Seoul today opportunities to work more closely in the Pacific and the situation on the Korean Peninsula. Mr Peters and Minister Kang confirmed New Zealand and the ...
    3 weeks ago
  • PGF supports high speed broadband for marae at Parihaka Pa
    Hon Shane Jones, Minister for Regional Economic Development  Hon Nanaia Mahuta, Minister for Māori Development The three marae in the historic Parihaka Pa complex in Taranaki have been upgraded to high speed broadband with the support of the Provincial Growth Fund (PGF), Regional Economic Development Minister Shane Jones announced today. “Connecting the ...
    3 weeks ago

  • Reform of public service a step closer
    Minister of State Services Chris Hipkins today introduced into Parliament a Bill that will make it easier for the public service to tackle the biggest challenges facing Governments. The Bill represents the most significant change in the public service in 30 years. The State Sector Act 1988 will be repealed ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 hours ago
  • Donations scheme to relieve pressure on families
    The families of more than 416,000 students will be better off next year as their schools have signed up to the Government’s donations scheme, Education Minister Chris Hipkins said today. The scheme will see almost $62.5 million in additional Government funding go to schools nationwide next year. “I’m really pleased ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 hours ago
  • Further support for Samoan measles outbreak
    Foreign Affairs Minister Winston Peters has announced further support as the Government of Samoa responds to a serious measles outbreak. “New Zealand will deploy a further 18 vaccination nurses, bringing the total to 30 working in Samoa over the next four weeks,” Mr Peters said. “A New Zealand Medical Assistance ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 hours ago
  • Speech to the Child Poverty Action Group 2019 Summit
      Fa’atalofa atu, malo e lelei, Kia ora koutou katoa Thank you to the Child Poverty Action Group for asking me to be here today to provide an update on some of the things that have been happening across my the social development portfolio.  Can I firstly acknowledge the vast ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    8 hours ago
  • Speech to the New Zealand Thoroughbred Racing Annual Conference
    ***Please check against delivery*** Good morning everyone. It is a pleasure to be with you this morning to open this year’s New Zealand Thoroughbred Racing Conference and AGM. Firstly, thank you Dr Alan Jackson, NZTR Chair for your introduction. And let us acknowledge also: The NZTR Board; Dean McKenzie, Chair ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    8 hours ago
  • Fairer rules for tenants and landlords
    The Government has delivered on its promise to the over one million New Zealanders who now rent to make it fairer and more secure, Associate Minister of Housing (Public Housing) Kris Faafoi has announced today. Both renters and landlords will benefit from the suite of practical changes to the Residential ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 day ago
  • Two decades of marine protection celebrated at Te Tapuwae o Rongokako in Tairawhiti
    A marine conservation milestone - the 20th anniversary of the establishment of Te Tapuwae o Rongokako Marine Reserve - is being celebrated today at a community event in Tairāwhiti/East Coast attended by the Minister of Conservation, Eugenie Sage. “The creation of this marine reserve in November 1999 was a game ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • Food industry asked to step up fight against obesity
         The Government is asking the food industry to step up work to tackle obesity including reducing sugar, fat and salt in their products, better information for consumers, and tighter restrictions on advertising to children. Health Minister David Clark and Food Safety Minister Damien O’Connor have responded to a ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • Modern emergency care for Queenstown area
    ew, modern emergency department and outpatient facilities at Queenstown’s Lakes District Hospital mean better emergency care for the growing tourist mecca’s visitors and locals, says Health Minister David Clark. Today Dr Clark officially opened the hospital’s redeveloped Emergency Department and Outpatient facilities. The new facilities include: •    An extended Emergency Department ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • Contraception important for New Zealanders
    Associate Health Minister Julie Anne Genter says today’s release of sexual and reproductive health data reinforces the significance of the Government’s commitment to providing free or very low-cost contraception. The Ministry of Health today published statistics from the Ministry of Health’s 2014/15 Health Survey. “It is important people can make ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • NZ medical staff and measles vaccines going to Samoa
    Foreign Minister Winston Peters has announced that at the request of the Samoan Government, New Zealand will be providing further support to Samoa as it faces a worsening measles outbreak. “In response to a request from the people of Samoa, New Zealand is providing 3000 measles, mumps and rubella (MMR) ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • Disability Action Plan 2019 – 2023
    “The new Disability Action Plan 2019–2023 moves us towards the inclusive and accessible New Zealand that this government has committed to,” Minister for Disability Issues Carmel Sepuloni announced today.  “The Action Plan was designed by disabled people, their family and supporters, the disability sector and government agencies. It will ensure ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • Joint Statement – Third Singapore-New Zealand Defence Ministers’ Meeting
    Third Singapore-New Zealand Defence Ministers’ Meeting 14 November 2019 Joint Statement 1. Defence Ministers Ron Mark and Dr Ng Eng Hen today conducted their third annual Singapore-New Zealand Defence Ministers’ Meeting in Singapore. 2. Building on the Enhanced Partnership signed between both countries in May this year, this annual meeting ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • Sexual Violence Legislation Bill has its first reading
    A Bill to improve the court system’s response to sexual violence has passed its first reading in Parliament today. Justice Minister Andrew Little says the Sexual Violence Legislation Bill will reduce the trauma sexual violence complainants experience in court, while maintaining defendants’ fundamental rights and making sure the trial process ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • Streamlined business invoicing a step closer
    Streamlined payment practices are a step closer for Kiwi businesses with the formal launch of New Zealand’s e-Invoicing framework. Small Business Minister Stuart Nash says the government has now established the structure to enable automated and direct data exchange between the accounting systems of buyers and sellers. “The move to ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • More frontline biosecurity officers protecting NZ
    Another 51 quarantine officers and four new biosecurity detector dog teams will help protect New Zealand from invasive pests and diseases this summer, says Biosecurity Minister Damien O’Connor. “The Government is delivering on its commitment to strengthen New Zealand’s biosecurity system and support our valuable primary sector “New Zealand’s flora, fauna ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
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  • NZ space economy worth $1.69 billion
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