Penny wise?

Written By: - Date published: 10:43 am, January 21st, 2009 - 53 comments
Categories: health, national/act government, public services - Tags:

Health Minister Tony Ryall has followed Paula Bennett’s* lead by cancelling a conference for PR purposes**.

In terms of symbolism it’s great. Even though the per-person cost of the conference was low, and it’s not like doctors would want to spend their precious time at a conference were it pointless, and the cost was only 0.001% of the health budget, cancelling it looks good.

If we’re interested in good government though, it’s very bad. Having campaigned on restoring the (supposedly lost) neutrality of the public service, Ryall has now twice over-ridden the judgement of the civil servants for political reasons.

Moreover, this is looking like a government that is spending more energy on minute stunts than the big issues. Three months as government and still no economic recovery plan, let alone action. In Ryall’s own portfolio, I have heard reports that emergency room hours have been cut in some hospitals despite Ryall identifying quicker emergency care as a priority.

National/ACT can cut all the conferences it likes but it is fiddling while Rome burns.

*(speaking of Bennett, can you imagine a minister standing by doing nothing when confronted with teens fighting?)
**(he admits the conference probably will go ahead later in the year).

53 comments on “Penny wise? ”

  1. Steve matey they are always gonna be doing the PR thing over the reality thing – they know nothing else and it’s a strategy that in the current media environment wins out in the political short-term… Fuck the people though…

    cap: “intending Douglas” – that’d be about fuckin right…

  2. Janet 2

    Not on topic but I reckon Noelle Mc on Nat Rad is influenced by the Standard. After the obsequious interview with Key on Monday she turned rottweiler for English yesterday. Now she is either right in with the National Party factions on the Key side or she was embarrassed by The Standard.

    Now if we can have so much influence on others in the media!

    By the way I have heard rumours that there is a list of words that Tony Ryall has banned officials using in Ministry of Health reports. Stuff reflecting concern about inequities, social justice, environmental issues etc. The neolib market language of the 90s is back in favour instead. Anyone know more?

  3. Totally off topic SP – and I apologise in advance for that but you might be interested to read this:

    http://robinsod.wordpress.com/2009/01/21/money-for-less-than-nothing/

    It goes a long way to explaining the attitude of the gallery. The useless fucks.

  4. sweetd 4

    “By the way I have heard rumours that there is a list of words that Tony Ryall has banned officials using in Ministry of Health reports. Stuff reflecting concern about inequities, social justice, environmental issues etc. The neolib market language of the 90s is back in favour instead. Anyone know more?”

    Define: social justice
    Social justice refers to the concept of a society in which justice is achieved in every aspect of society, rather than merely the administration …
    en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Social_justice

    I can understand why he is getting rid of the language of socialists. Even though I can read the words for the definition above, they are still nonsense. Plain English please that people can understand without having to look up definitions.

  5. Whero 5

    Anyone costed the Goobers Gab Fest?

  6. Felix 6

    she turned rottweiler for English yesterday

    Really? Is that what we’re calling it now when journalists actually ask questions?

    I mean it’s good to see, but still…

  7. lukas 7

    Off topic again- any way of getting the stream turned off, it blares out as soon as I come onto the site…

  8. randal 8

    I have always believed John Kenneth Galbraiths assertion in his book the ‘Great Crash” that all conferences are a substitute for action
    Its a wonder ryall is not promoting more conferences so that it looks like he is doing something
    His actual capacity for action is minimal so he has always relied on silly little tricks to make it look like he is doing something anyway

  9. Janet 9

    Felix
    Rottweiler in comparison to Monday. So actually asking questions rather than just gushing.
    Sweetd
    I don’t know what the words are – just ones that deal with concerns about social inequalities and how the state might help to alleviate them.

  10. Felix 10

    Janet,

    Yeah, that’s why I would say she “turned journalist”.

  11. Tigger 11

    Yep, Bennett stops a fight, something that everyone and their dog has done at some point, and is given sainthood for it. Yawn. Can we have some real news please?

    As for Mr Ryall, I can assume ‘closet’, ‘beard’ and ‘young boyfriend turns up at house demanding money on Xmas day’ might be words he’d want to see banned?

    [while you’ve picqued my curiousity let’s keep personal lives out of it. SP]

  12. Jeez Tigger – are you the ‘sod?

  13. the sprout 13

    All part of National’s Bizzaro World strategy I suppose.

    Create a Talkfest when you’ve got nothing to say, cancel one when there are things to be said. If in doubt, consider the PR implications of an action and take it from there.

    Good for National, bad for the country.

  14. Chris G 14

    More intervention from the Nats…I see Anne Tolley has sacked the board of Selwyn College.

    I thought the market should have sorted that shit out?

    Big government – gone by lunchtime? No chance.

  15. Tigger 15

    Yes, fair enough. Private lives are off limits. Of course, voting against civil unions means that Ryall and Smith both tried to impact on my private life but still, I will play by the rules from now on.

    Has Key talked about his ER experience? What was his waiting time like and does he have an issue with it?

  16. tsmithfield 16

    On the other hand, if Ryall had proceeded with the conference, there would have been an article here complaining about how the Nats had promised to cut wasteful public spending before getting into government, but were being hypocrites now for carrying on with pointless conferences. Correct?

    Damned if you do and damned if you don’t.

  17. sweetd 17

    “More intervention from the Nats I see Anne Tolley has sacked the board of Selwyn College.

    I thought the market should have sorted that shit out?”

    The market did. The local community, ie the market did not support the school and did not send their children to the school. If the school was a business, the total loss of support of your local community and the not buying of your product would have seen them go out of business very quickly. The fact it is a public school, and its income is not dependent on the support of the local community supporting or buying its product shows it is an artificial situation. If it was private, then the market would have sorted that shit out.

  18. the sprout 18

    “Damned if you do and damned if you don’t”

    Just one of the many joys of being in government. It will be fun watching the more naive National supporters grow quickly tired of the role 🙂

    “Anne Tolley has sacked the board of Selwyn College”

    I wonder how much her decision was ‘informed’ by Alan “I’ve Got a Knife in Your Back” Peachy and his ongoing personal blood feud with the college?

  19. Whero 19

    “If it was private, then the market would have sorted that shit out.”

    What a crying shame the education is slowly devolving from a human right into a business.

  20. Tigger 20

    Any new government was bound to cancel stuff and sack people simply because they’re a new broom. The economic downturn just gives them a neat bow to wrap up these decisions with.

    This is all pennies compared to what it will cost to bailout business failures though. http://www.nzherald.co.nz/nz/news/article.cfm?c_id=1&objectid=10552736 And shouldn’t the market be deciding who survives and who goes under?

  21. Chris G 21

    Good point sprout, I’m sure she didnt act alone.

    Thanks for the explanation sweetd. But I was more having a go that you lot always bang on about govts telling us what to do.

    Also as SP says in the original post, the Nats: “Having campaigned on restoring the (supposedly lost) neutrality of the public service,”
    Then refer: Peachys aforementioned “Knife in Your Back” saga and one sniffs that the neutrality was hardly being restored in this firing of the board.

  22. sweetd 22

    “If it was private, then the market would have sorted that shit out.’

    Why then must the private schools feast at the public trough?

    Public schools, receive a much smaller percentage of monies compared to a same sized state school. Secondly, parents sending their children to private schools are paying twice for the privilege (once through tax, once through private school fees).

    So, if you want to dump the public tax payment to private schools, I would also expect tax payers who send their children to private schools to be exempt for that part of tax.

  23. sweetd 23

    “If it was private, then the market would have sorted that shit out.’

    What a crying shame the education is slowly devolving from a human right into a business.

    Its never been a right. The only rights you have are to life, liberty and justice. Anything else you have to seek.

    Secondly, by making it more into a business, in the case of Selwyn College, you might respond to your local customers needs and wants. Clearly, as in this case the board were not and this was demonstrated by the local community not sending their children to this school.

  24. @ work 24

    “”Anne Tolley has sacked the board of Selwyn College’

    I wonder how much her decision was ‘informed’ by Alan “I’ve Got a Knife in Your Back’ Peachy and his ongoing personal blood feud with the college?”

    I was pleased to hear this at first, school boards get away with far too much, then when I read the article it was fiarly dissapointing to see it was due to political issues not performance, ahh well.

  25. Felix 25

    The only rights you have are to life, liberty and justice.

    I’m curious to know why you think you have a right to any of those.

  26. @ work 26

    Felix
    “The only rights you have are to life, liberty and justice.”
    I’m curious to know why you think you have a right to any of those.

    Well, it sounds awfully grand!

  27. sweetd 27

    The only rights you have are to life, liberty and justice.

    I’m curious to know why you think you have a right to any of those.

    Paraphrasing, but its the founding principles of the Declaration of Independence. Anything else places a predetermined ownership on something or someone.

  28. the sprout 28

    “this was demonstrated by the local community not sending their children to this school”

    Unless of course parents didn’t want to send their kids to a school suffering from a vendetta campaign of ongoing destabilization and PR attacks. This would be a market distortion.

  29. sweetd 29

    “this was demonstrated by the local community not sending their children to this school’

    Unless of course parents didn’t want to send their kids to a school suffering from a vendetta campaign of ongoing destabilization and PR attacks.

    Maybe, but what come first? The lack of community support through a school board not acting in the interests of the local community resulting in the local community not sending their kids to the school, OR the vendetta campaign of ongoing destabilization and PR attacks resulting in the local community not sending their kids to the school.

    Dunno, guess you have to ask the locals for their reasons. Seems like something the board should have been doing though.

  30. Pascal's bookie 30

    “The only rights you have are to life, liberty and justice”

    “Paraphrasing, but its the founding principles of the Declaration of Independence. Anything else places a predetermined ownership on something or someone”

    I’m busy and may write more tonight, but bollocks. Go and reread the DOI sweet. Life Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness are listed as some of the rights we are endowed with:

    We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness

  31. Felix 31

    sweetd,

    Why do you take an American document written a few hundred years ago to be the arbiter of what is a “right”?

    What is the relevance?

    When did the discussion about life in NZ become a discussion about American precedents? It’s a trend I’ve been noticing a lot lately from the right.

  32. sweetd 32

    Pascal bookie

    I paraphrased the DOI. Your point?

    Felix

    What does it matter where and when it came from? My point is how can you claim a right it it has a predetermined ownership on something or someone.

    As for the trend on american precedents, I hadn’t noticed.

  33. the matter of ministerial values.. I guess I’d put this comment under just curious.. after a guy I know said something about how a recent Labor-led government declined or took reduced pay increases when the annual auto-increase date came around.. whether true, false or variable it provokes my question as to the latest bunch of politicians responding likewise.. or otherwise..?

    Any ideas..?

  34. Pascal's bookie 34

    No sweet, when you paraphrase something you don’t contradict it, you say the same thing with different words.

    “The only rights you have are to life, liberty and justice”

    is not an accurate paraphrasing of

    “endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness..”.

    Not even close.

  35. sweet – stop digging mate.

  36. Whero 36

    Sweet said

    “The only rights you have are to life, liberty and justice.”

    Rubbish! The Declaration of Independence lists more than those three. Anyhow, what use are those rights if the populace remains uneducated.

    What has market forces got to say when an enterprise is confronted with a bitter PR campaign driven by the right, coupled with white flight.

    Education is a right – what we have to guard against is the creeping corporatisation of it. The silliness of universities spending millions on advisertising is just one example of how education is being corrupted by the thinking that defends a free market.

  37. Felix 37

    sweetd,

    Perhaps you missed my question, which asks: What makes you think you have the right to life, liberty or justice?

    I’m sure you don’t really believe they were bestowed upon you by some dead Americans.

    But you said they are the only rights we have. So you must know why, and from whence they came.

  38. sweetd 38

    Pascal

    What are you, the library monitor now? The DOI says a lot more than those couple of words. You are being very anal .

    From the DOI
    He has refused his Assent to Laws, the most wholesome and necessary for the public good.
    He has forbidden his Governors to pass Laws of immediate and pressing importance, unless suspended in their operation till his Assent should be obtained; and when so suspended, he has utterly neglected to attend to them.
    He has refused to pass other Laws for the accommodation of large districts of people, unless those people would relinquish the right of Representation in the Legislature, a right inestimable to them and formidable to tyrants only.
    He has called together legislative bodies at places unusual, uncomfortable, and distant from the depository of their public Records, for the sole purpose of fatiguing them into compliance with his measures.

    Seems like justice to me.

  39. sweetd 39

    Whero and Felix

    Those rights are the ones I believe I have. They weren’t bestowed on me by dead Americans, but those are the one I believe I have. Anything else, like the right to an education, places an obligation on someone’s time, skill, knowledge and money to teach me. By forcing them to do this is akin to ownership of that person. You may seek an education, but I believe you do not have a right to an education.

  40. Janet 40

    Selwyn College has encouraged its students to think for themselves – that’s the problem. It is also an openly inclusive school. That scares those parents who think education is all about uniforms and league tables. Not helped by vendetta by politicians, media and other secondary schools. Watch it be squashed into conformity.

  41. Pascal's bookie 41

    Yep, that’s from the dec all right. How does that help you defend your claim that the DOI says that the only rights we have are life, liberty, and ‘justice’.

    I don’t think it’s anal to point out that the DOI doesn’t say what you claim it says. Sorry.

  42. @ work 42

    Has anyone got some backround information on Selwyn College and the current issues facing it? (Janet?)

  43. Felix 43

    Those rights are the ones I believe I have

    So you just made them up. Fine. Why do you think you have the right to justice?

  44. sweetd 44

    Pascal

    I stand corrected. I should have said the only rights ‘I’ have. This is what I believe. I know there are other rights, but as I have explained, these are artificial rights.

    The DOI does point to a section on justice as shown, therefore Justice is part of the rights ‘package’ along with life and liberty.

  45. Felix 45

    See the problem you have sweetd, is that you are welcome to believe you have a right to justice, but you must impose on others in order to enforce that “right”.

    I would love to know how you differentiate between this and any other “artificial” rights. Then we can move on to liberty and life.

    Of course I have no right to expect a reply 😉

  46. the sprout 46

    [In best Peter Griffin voice] Touche Felix, touche.

  47. Pascal's bookie 47

    “I stand corrected.” Oh that’s no fun 😉

    I too am interested in this ‘right to justice’ concept.

    You could hide lots of things under justice I suppose.

    How does it differ from saying, “I have a right to the things I have a right to, a right to have my rights respected.”?

  48. Whero 48

    Sweet said

    “the right to an education places an obligation on someone’s time, skill, knowledge and money to teach me. By forcing them to do this is akin to ownership of that person”

    We all own the government and, in New Zealand, it is obligated to provide education. I can accept your position if private education was the only option, but its not.

    Access to world class health care is also a right. The decision by Limp Wrist But Strong Arm Ryall to prevent health care professionals from meeting is an attack on the standard of health care and it is perfectly proper that we use our right to free speech to point this out.

  49. Janet 49

    @work
    Have a look at the school website http://www.selwyn.school.nz and the ERO report at http://www.ero.govt.nz and read between the lines. A low decile, non pakeha school in Kohimarama. The pakeha kids go to Rangitoto or the single sex or private schools, except for those who are not welcomed at those schools, such as those with ‘issues’. Selwyn prides itself on diversity and inclusion and achievement in areas like performing arts – remember the Tampa kids were welcomed there. I suggest it is the board and school not fitting in with the Tomorrow’s School’s self governing, competitive, neolib model – maybe they are all too independent minded.
    But would be interested to hear views from current parents and students.

  50. Tim Ellis 50

    Janet I understand you’re not an Aucklander, but the Pakeha kids don’t go to Rangitoto. Rangitoto is in Mairangi Bay, about as far from Kohimarama than you can get in Auckland. Kohimarama isn’t in either of the Grammar zones. Parents overwhelmingly choose to send their kids to Glendowie, since they’re not in a grammar zone.

    A large chunk of the small roll of Selwyn College kids come from outside the Selwyn area. It’s all very well to take pride in your diversity and your new-age educational system, but the whole purpose of tomorrow’s schools is that local schools serve their local communities. This was the whole purpose of school zoning, too, that kids had the right to go to their local schools. Clearly Selwyn hasn’t been serving the interests of its local community for a very long time, which is why parents have been voting with their feet. Selwyn has been a failed educational experiment.

  51. Janet 51

    By the way a conference to strengthen primary health and cooperation between DHBs and the sector seems like a good idea to me. I hear it is going to be very costly and embarrassing to cancel. So lose lose all around.

  52. Janet 52

    TE
    Yes I know where Rangitoto etc are – I meant people who could shift zones or go private could. Rangitoto, esp under Peachey, was an example of a bigger school that could pick and choose at the expense of the littler more inclusive co-eds (and there was that personal vendetta of Peacheys against the Selwyn liberals.

    I thought Auckland was slightly larger than Kohi to Mairangi Bay. Western Springs is actually my pick of the secondary schools in Auckland.

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    The cows will keep burping and farting and climate change will keep accelerating - but farmers can stop worrying about being included in the ETS. Photo: Lynn Grieveson / The KākāTL;DR: My six things to note in Aotearoa-NZ’s political economy around housing, climate and poverty on Wednesday, June 12 were:The ...
    The KakaBy Bernard Hickey
    4 days ago
  • Six ideas to secure Te Huia’s Future
    This is a guest post by our friend Darren Davis. It originally appeared on his excellent blog, Adventures in Transitland, which features “musings about public transport and other cool stuff in Aotearoa/ New Zealand and around the globe.” With Te Huia now having funding secure through to 2026, now is ...
    Greater AucklandBy Darren Davis
    5 days ago
  • The methane waka sinks
    In some ways, there may be less than meets the eye to the Government announcement yesterday that the He Waka Eke Noa proposal for farmers to pay for greenhouse gas emissions has been scrapped. The spectre of farmers still having to pay at some point in the future remains. That, ...
    PolitikBy Richard Harman
    5 days ago
  • At a glance – Does positive feedback necessarily mean runaway warming?
    On February 14, 2023 we announced our Rebuttal Update Project. This included an ask for feedback about the added "At a glance" section in the updated basic rebuttal versions. This weekly blog post series highlights this new section of one of the updated basic rebuttal versions and serves as a ...
    5 days ago
  • Climate Change: Farmers get what they wanted – for now
    Since entering office, National has unravelled practically every climate policy, leaving us with no effective way of reducing emissions or meeting our emissions budgets beyond magical thinking around the ETS. And today they've announced another step: removing agriculture entirely. At present, following the complete failure of he waka eka noa, ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    5 days ago
  • Presumed Innocent?
    The blue billionaireDistraction no interactionOr movement outside these glazed over eyesThe new great divideFew fight the tide to be glorifiedBut will he be satisfied?Can we accept this without zoom?The elephant in the roomNot much happens in politics on a Monday. Bugger all in fact. Although yesterday Christopher Luxon found he ...
    Nick’s KōreroBy Nick Rockel
    5 days ago
  • Gordon Campbell on our doomed love affair with oil and gas
    What if New Zealand threw a fossil fuel party, and nobody came? On the weekend, Resources Minister Shane Jones sent out the invitations and strung up the balloons, but will anyone really want to invest big time in resuming oil and gas exploration in our corner of the planet? Yes, ...
    WerewolfBy lyndon
    5 days ago
  • Building better housing insights
    This is a guest post by Meredith Dale, senior urban designer and strategist at The Urban Advisory. There’s a saying that goes something like: ‘what you measure is what you value’. An RNZ article last week claimed that Auckland was ‘hurting’ because of a more affordable supply of homes, particularly townhouses ...
    Greater AucklandBy Guest Post
    6 days ago
  • Putin would be proud of them
    A Prime Minister directs his public service to inquire into the actions of the opposition political party which is his harshest critic. Something from Orban's Hungary, or Putin's Russia? No, its happening right here in Aotearoa: Prime Minister Christopher Luxon has announced the Public Service Commission will launch an ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    6 days ago
  • Resources for debunking common solar and wind myths
    This is a repost from a Yale Climate Connections article by SueEllen Campbell published on June 3, 2024. The articles listed can help you tell fact from fiction when it comes to solar and wind energy. Some statements you hear about solar and wind energy are just plain false. ...
    6 days ago
  • Juggernaut
    Politics were going on all around us yesterday, and we barely noticed, rolling along canal paths, eating baguettes. It wasn’t until my mate got to the headlines last night that we learned there had been a dismayingly strong far right result in the EU elections and Macron had called a ...
    More Than A FeildingBy David Slack
    6 days ago
  • Numbers Game.
    Respect Existence, Or Expect Resistance? There may well have been 50,000 pairs of feet “Marching For Nature” down Auckland’s Queen Street on Saturday afternoon, but the figure that impresses the Coalition Government is the 1,450,000 pairs of Auckland feet that were somewhere else.IN THE ERA OF DRONES and Artificial Intelligence, ...
    6 days ago
  • Media Link: AVFA on post-colonial blowback.
    Selwyn Manning and I discuss varieties of post colonial blowback and the implications its has for the rise of the Global South. Counties discussed include Palestine/Israel, France/New Caledonia, England/India, apartheid/post-apartheid South Africa and post-colonial New Zealand. It is a bit … Continue reading ...
    KiwipoliticoBy Pablo
    6 days ago
  • Policy by panic
    Back in March, Ombudsman Peter Boshier resigned when he hit the statutory retirement age of 72, leaving the country in the awkward (and legally questionable) position of having him continue as a temporay appointee. It apparently took the entire political system by surprise - as evinced by Labour's dick move ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    6 days ago
  • PSA: NZ's Richest Company, Zuru, Sucks
    Hi,Today the New Zealand press is breathlessly reporting that the owners of toy company Zuru are officially New Zealand’s wealthiest people: Mat and Nick Mowbray worth an estimated $20 billion between them.While the New Zealand press loses its shit celebrating this Kiwi success story, this is a Webworm reminder that ...
    David FarrierBy David Farrier
    6 days ago
  • Bernard's Dawn Chorus and pick 'n' mix for Monday, June 10
    TL;DR: The six things to note in Aotearoa-NZ’s political economy around housing, climate and poverty in the past day to 8:36 pm on Monday, June 10 were:20,000 protested against the Fast-track approval bill on Saturday in Auckland, but PM Christopher Luxon says ‘sorry, but not sorry’ about the need for ...
    The KakaBy Bernard Hickey
    6 days ago
  • In Defence of Kāinga Ora
    Given the headlines around the recent findings of the ‘independent’ review of Kāinga Ora by Bill English, you might assume this post will be about social housing, Kāinga Ora’s most prominent role. While that is indeed something that requires defending, I want to talk about the other core purpose of ...
    Greater AucklandBy Connor Sharp
    7 days ago
  • Baby You're A Rich Man
    “How does it feel to beOne of the beautiful peopleNow that you know who you areWhat do you want to beAnd have you traveled very far?Far as the eye can see”Yesterday the ACT party faithful were regaled with craven boasts, sneers, and demands for even more at their annual rally.That ...
    Nick’s KōreroBy Nick Rockel
    7 days ago
  • Stopping a future Labour government from shutting down gas exploration
    A defiant Resources Minister Shane Jones has responded to Saturday’s environmental protests by ending Labour’s offshore oil exploration ban and calling for long-term contracts with any successful explorers. The purpose would be to prevent a future Labour Government from reversing any licence the explorers might hold. Jones sees a precedent ...
    PolitikBy Richard Harman
    7 days ago
  • 2024 SkS Weekly Climate Change & Global Warming News Roundup #23
    A listing of 32 news and opinion articles we found interesting and shared on social media during the past week: Sun, June 2, 2024 thru Sat, June 8, 2024. Story of the week Our Story of the Week is Yale Climate Connection's Resources for debunking common solar and wind myths, by ...
    1 week ago
  • Fission by the river
    This is where we ate our lunch last Wednesday. Never mind your châteaux and castles and whatnot, we like to enjoy a baguette in the shadow of a nuclear power plant; a station that puts out more than twice as much as Manapouri using nothing more than tiny atoms to bring ...
    More Than A FeildingBy David Slack
    1 week ago
  • Fact Brief – Is the ocean acidifying?
    Skeptical Science is partnering with Gigafact to produce fact briefs — bite-sized fact checks of trending claims. This fact brief was written by John Mason in collaboration with members from the Gigafact team. You can submit claims you think need checking via the tipline. Is the ocean acidifying? Acidification of oceans ...
    1 week ago
  • 20,000+ on Queen St.
    The largest protest I ever went on was in the mid 90s. There were 10,000 people there that day, and I’ve never forgotten it. An enormous mass of people, chanting together. Stretching block after block, bringing traffic to a halt.But I can’t say that’s the biggest protest I’ve ever been ...
    Nick’s KōreroBy Nick Rockel
    1 week ago
  • Josh Drummond's Columns
    Hi there,I wanted to put all of Josh Drummond’s Webworm pieces all in one place. I love that he writes for Webworm — and all of these are a good read!David.Why Are So Many “Christians” Hellbent on Being Horrible?Why do so many objectively hideous people declare themselves “Christian”?Meeting the Master ...
    David FarrierBy David Farrier
    1 week ago
  • Bernard’s Saturday soliloquy and weekend Pick ‘n’ Mix for June 8/9
    Photo: Lynn Grieveson / The KākāTL;DR: On reflection, the six things to note in Aotearoa-NZ’s political economy around housing, climate and poverty this week were:The Government-driven freeze in building new classrooms, local roads and water networks in order to save cash for tax cuts is frustrating communities facing massive population ...
    The KakaBy Bernard Hickey
    1 week ago
  • The no-vision thing
    Hello! Here comes the Saturday edition of More Than A Feilding, catching you up on the past somewhat interrupted week. Still on the move!Share Read more ...
    More Than A FeildingBy David Slack
    1 week ago
  • When Journalists are Disingenuous
    Hi,One of the things I like the most about Webworm is to be able to break down the media and journalism a little, and go behind the scenes.This is one of those times.Yesterday an email arrived in my inbox from journalist Jonathan Milne, who is managing editor at Newsroom.I don’t ...
    David FarrierBy David Farrier
    1 week ago
  • Me, elsewhere: Just say you’ll do the thing
    Wrote something over at 1/200 on a familiar theme of mine: The way we frame the economy as a separate, sacred force which must be sacrificed to, the way we talk about criminals as invaders who must be repelled, the constant othering of people on the benefit, people not in ...
    Boots TheoryBy Stephanie Rodgers
    1 week ago
  • A Voyage Among the Vandals: Accepted
    A nice bit of news today: my 4600-word historical fantasy-horror piece, A Voyage Among the Vandals, has been accepted by Phobica Books (https://www.phobicabooks.co.uk/books) for their upcoming Pirate Horror anthology, Shivering Timbers. This one is set in the Mediterranean, during the mid-fifth century AD. Notable for having one of history’s designated ...
    1 week ago
  • Ministerial conflicts of interest
    Since the National government came to power, it has been surrounded by allegations of conflicts of interest. Firstly, there's the fast-track law, which concentrates power in the hands of three Ministers, some of whom have received donations from companies whose projects they will be deciding on. Secondly, there's the close ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • The 2024 Budget Forecasts Are Gloomy Prognosis About The Next Three Years.
    There was no less razzamatazz about the 2024 Budget than about earlier ones. Once again the underlying economic analysis got lost. It deserves more attention.Just to remind you, the Budget Economic and Fiscal Update (BEFU), is the Treasury’s independent assessment and so can be analysed by other competent economists (although ...
    PunditBy Brian Easton
    1 week ago
  • A government that can't see twenty feet ahead
    There are two failings that consistently characterise a National government. One is a lack of imagination, the other is their willingness to look after their mates, no matter what harm it might do to everyone else.This is how we come to have thousands of enormous trucks carving up our roads. ...
    More Than A FeildingBy David Slack
    1 week ago
  • A post I hope is incorrect
    In May, we learned that National MP David MacLeod had "forgotten" to declare $178,000 in electoral donations. Filing a donation return which is false in any material particular is a crime, and the Electoral Commission has now referred MacLeod to police, since they're the only people who are allowed to ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • Māori Cannot Re-Write New Zealand’s Constitution By Stealth.
    The Kotahitanga Parliament 1897: A Māori Parliament – at least in the guise of a large and representative body dedicated to describing the shape of New Zealand’s future from a Māori perspective – would be a very good idea.THE DEMAND for a “Māori Parliament” needs to be carefully unpicked. Some Pakeha, ...
    1 week ago
  • Cowpats and Colonials.
    Dumbtown, is how my friend Gerard refers to people like ZB listeners - he’s not wrong.Normally on a Friday I start by looking at Mike Hosking’s moronic reckons of the week which he vomits down the throats of his audience like helpless baby birds in a nest, grateful for the ...
    Nick’s KōreroBy Nick Rockel
    1 week ago
  • Gordon Campbell on cutting the sick leave of vulnerable workers
    Should sick leave be part and parcel of the working conditions from Day One on the job, just like every other health and safety provision? Or should access to sick leave be something that only gradually accumulates, depending on how long a worker has been on the payroll? If enacted ...
    WerewolfBy lyndon
    1 week ago
  • Nobody Move: Ageing Boomers, Laurie & Les, Talk Politics.
    So long as we live in a democracy, economic policy can never be anything other than social-democratic.“HEH!”, snorted Laurie, as he waved his debit card over the EFTPOS machine. “Same price as last week. I guess budgets aren’t what they used to be.”“I wouldn’t know,” replied the young barman, wearily, ...
    1 week ago
  • In Search Of Unity.
    Kotahitanga: New Zealand’s future belongs to those who do not fear a nation carved out of unity and solidarity, and are willing to trust the carvers. Some New Zealanders will be required to step up, and others, perhaps for the first time in their lives, will be expected to step ...
    1 week ago
  • Weekly Roundup 7-June-2024
    Welcome to another Friday roundup! Here are some recent links and stories that caught our eye, perfectly timed for your watercooler discussions and weekend reading. As always feel free to share more in the comments. Our header image this week is by Patrick Reynolds, and shows Te Komititanga from above. ...
    Greater AucklandBy Greater Auckland
    1 week ago
  • The Hoon around the week to June 7
    As Workplace Relations and Safety Minister, ACT’s Brooke van Velden is fronting proposed changes to sick pay regulations and The Holiday Act. Photo: Lynn Grieveson / The KākāTL;DR: The podcast above of the weekly ‘hoon’ webinar for paying subscribers features talking with:The Kākā’s climate correspondent talking about the ...
    The KakaBy Bernard Hickey
    1 week ago
  • Did we boil the oceans by cutting pollution?
    Lowering aerosol emissions from shipping has altered clouds, with potentially drastic effects. Photo: Getty ImagesTL;DR: Here’s the top six news items of note in climate news for Aotearoa-NZ this week, and a discussion above between Bernard Hickey and The Kākā’s climate correspondent Cathrine Dyer:New evidence is increasingly pointing at efforts ...
    The KakaBy Bernard Hickey
    1 week ago
  • Skeptical Science New Research for Week #23 2024
    Open access notables Abrupt reduction in shipping emission as an inadvertent geoengineering termination shock produces substantial radiative warming, Yuan et al., Communications Earth & Environment: Human activities affect the Earth’s climate through modifying the composition of the atmosphere, which then creates radiative forcing that drives climate change. The warming effect ...
    1 week ago
  • Fragments
    The best observation I’ve read this week about the deep, profound harm Trump is doingTrump has hurled threats and smears at witnesses, jurors and the judge (including his family)... [he] has tried to intimidate witnesses and delegitimize the New York courts as corrupt. In continuing to incite his mob (that ...
    More Than A FeildingBy David Slack
    1 week ago
  • March for Nature
    Do do do do do do do doDo do do do do doDi di di di di di di di di di diNature enter me…In 2018 the Labour lead government banned new oil and gas exploration in Aotearoa. A change welcomed by those who care deeply for our environment and ...
    Nick’s KōreroBy Nick Rockel
    1 week ago
  • Bernard’s Dawn Chorus and pick ‘n’ mix for Thursday, June 6
    The Transport Minister is trying to push through urgent legislation that would allow him to change emissions standards for car imports without approval from Parliament, after only consulting car importers. Photo: Lynn GrievesonTL;DR: Just as two major reports showed fossil fuel burning was warming the planet to dangerous levels and ...
    The KakaBy Bernard Hickey
    1 week ago
  • A Better Broadway: Act 2
    This is a guest post by reader Grant A, the second of a pair about how to fix Broadway. If you missed the beginning of the show, here’s the link to Act 1 from yesterday. Yesterday, I discussed changing traffic circulation around Broadway in Newmarket. This included implementing a car-free ...
    Greater AucklandBy Guest Post
    2 weeks ago

  • High Court Judge appointed
    Attorney-General Judith Collins today announced the appointment of Auckland King’s Counsel Gregory Peter Blanchard as a High Court Judge. Justice Blanchard attended the University of Auckland from 1991 to 1995, graduating with an LLB (Honours) and Bachelor of Arts (English). He was a solicitor with the firm that is now Dentons ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • Health workforce numbers rise
    Health Minister Dr Shane Reti says new data released today shows encouraging growth in the health workforce, with a continued increase in the numbers of doctors, nurses and midwives joining Health New Zealand. “Frontline healthcare workers are the beating heart of the healthcare system. Increasing and retaining our health workforce ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • Government to overhaul firearms laws
    Associate Justice Minister Nicole McKee has today announced a comprehensive programme to reform New Zealand's outdated and complicated firearms laws. “The Arms Act has been in place for over 40 years. It has been amended several times – in a piecemeal, and sometimes rushed way. This has resulted in outdated ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • Government delivers landmark specialist schools investment
    The coalition Government is delivering record levels of targeted investment in specialist schools so children with additional needs can thrive. As part of Budget 24, $89 million has been ringfenced to redevelop specialist facilities and increase satellite classrooms for students with high needs. This includes: $63 million in depreciation funding ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • Major health and safety consultation begins
    A substantial consultation on work health and safety will begin today with a roadshow across the regions over the coming months, says Workplace Relations and Safety Minister Brooke van Velden.  This the first step to deliver on the commitment to reforming health and safety law and regulations, set out in ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • Growing the potential of New Zealand’s forestry sector in partnership
    Forestry Minister Todd McClay, today announced the start of the Government’s plan to restore certainty and confidence in the forestry and wood processing sector. “This government will drive investment to unlock the industry’s economic potential for growth,” Mr McClay says. “Forestry’s success is critical to rebuilding New Zealand’s economy, boosting ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • Government cancels forestry ETS annual service charges for 2023-24
    Annual service charges in the forestry Emissions Trading Scheme (ETS) will be cancelled for 2023/24, Forestry Minister Todd McClay says. “The sector has told me the costs imposed on forestry owners by the previous government were excessive and unreasonable and I agree,” Mr McClay says. “They have said that there ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • Speech to the LGNZ Infrastructure Symposium
    Introduction Thank you for having me here today and welcome to Wellington, the home of the Hurricanes, the next Super Rugby champions. Infrastructure – the challenge This government has inherited a series of big challenges in infrastructure. I don’t need to tell an audience as smart as this one that ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • Government boosts Agriculture and food trade with China
    Trade and Agriculture Minister Todd McClay and Food Safety Minister Andrew Hoggard welcomed outcomes to boost agricultural and food trade between New Zealand and China. A number of documents were signed today at Government House that will improve the business environment between New Zealand and China, and help reduce barriers, including on infant formula ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • NZ and China launch Services Trade Negotiations
    Trade Minister Todd McClay, and China’s Commerce Minister Wang Wentao, today announced the official launch of Negotiations on Services Trade between the two countries.  “The Government is focused on opening doors for services exporters to grow the New Zealand’s economy,” Mr McClay says.  As part of the 2022 New Zealand-China Free Trade Agreement Upgrade ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • Prime Minister Luxon meets with Premier Li
    Prime Minister Christopher Luxon met with Chinese Premier Li Qiang at Government House in Wellington today.  “I was pleased to welcome Premier Li to Wellington for his first official visit, which marks 10 years since New Zealand and China established a Comprehensive Strategic Partnership,” Mr Luxon says. “The Premier and ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • Government and business tackling gender pay gap
    The coalition Government is taking action to reduce the gender pay gap in New Zealand through the development of a voluntary calculation tool. “Gender pay gaps have impacted women for decades, which is why we need to continue to drive change in New Zealand,” Acting Minister for Women Louise Upston ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • Funding Boost for Rural Support Trusts
    The coalition Government is boosting funding for Rural Support Trusts to provide more help to farmers and growers under pressure, Rural Communities Minister Mark Patterson announced today. “A strong and thriving agricultural sector is crucial to the New Zealand economy and one of the ways to support it is to ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • Latest data shows size of public service decreasing
    Spending on contractors and consultants continues to fall and the size of the Public Service workforce has started to decrease after years of growth, according to the latest data released today by the Public Service Commission. Workforce data for the quarter from 31 December 23 to 31 March 24 shows ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • Speech to the Law Association
    Thank you to the Law Association for inviting me to speak this morning. As a former president under its previous name — the Auckland District Law Society — I take particular satisfaction in seeing this organisation, and its members, in such good heart. As Attorney-General, I am grateful for these ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • 25 years on, NZ reaffirms enduring friendship with Timor Leste
    New Zealand is committed to working closely with Timor-Leste to support its prosperity and resilience, Foreign Minister Winston Peters says.   “This year is the 25th anniversary of New Zealand sending peacekeepers to Timor-Leste, who contributed to the country’s stabilisation and ultimately its independence,” Mr Peters says.    “A quarter ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • Inquiry requested into rural banking
    Promoting robust competition in the banking sector is vital to rebuilding the economy, Finance Minister Nicola Willis says.  “New Zealanders deserve a banking sector that is as competitive as possible. Banking services play an important role in our communities and in the economy. Kiwis rely on access to lending when ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • Ministry for Regulation targets red tape to keep farmers and growers competitive
    Regulation Minister David Seymour, Environment Minister Penny Simmonds, and Food Safety Minister Andrew Hoggard have today announced a regulatory sector review on the approval process for new agricultural and horticultural products.    “Red tape stops farmers and growers from getting access to products that have been approved by other OECD countries. ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • Government to reverse blanket speed limit reductions
    The Coalition Government will reverse Labour’s blanket speed limit reductions by 1 July 2025 through a new Land Transport Rule released for public consultation today, Transport Minister Simeon Brown says.  The draft speed limit rule will deliver on the National-ACT coalition commitment to reverse the previous government’s blanket speed limit ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • Chair appointments for NZSO, CNZ and NZ On Air
    Minister Paul Goldsmith is making major leadership changes within both his Arts and Media portfolios. “I am delighted to announce Carmel Walsh will be officially stepping into the role of Chair of the New Zealand Symphony Orchestra, having been acting Chair since April,” Arts Minister Paul Goldsmith says.  “Carmel is ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • Government focus on long-term food, fibre growth
    Food and fibre export revenue is tipped to reach $54.6 billion this year and hit a record $66.6b in 2028 as the Government focuses on getting better access to markets and cutting red tape, Agriculture Minister Todd McClay and Oceans and Fisheries Minister Shane Jones say. “This achievement is testament ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • Govt consulting on cutting red tape for exporters
    A new export exemption proposal for food businesses demonstrates the coalition Government’s commitment to reducing regulatory barriers for industry and increasing the value of New Zealand exports, which gets safe New Zealand food to more markets, says Food Safety Minister Andrew Hoggard.  “The coalition Government has listened to the concerns ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • New Zealand and Philippines elevating relationship
    New Zealand and Philippines are continuing to elevate our relationship, Foreign Minister Winston Peters says.   “The leaders of New Zealand and Philippines agreed in April 2024 to lift our relationship to a Comprehensive Partnership by 2026,” Mr Peters says. “Our visit to Manila this week has been an excellent ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • Paid Parental Leave increase to help families
    Workplace Relations and Safety Minister, Brooke van Velden says paid parental leave increase from 1 July will put more money in the pockets of Kiwi parents and give them extra support as they take precious time off to bond with their newborns. The increase takes effect from 1 July 2024 ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • Defence increases UN Command commitment
    The number of New Zealand Defence Force (NZDF) personnel deployed to the Republic of Korea is increasing, Defence Minister Judith Collins and Foreign Minister Winston Peters announced today.  NZDF will deploy up to 41 additional personnel to the Republic of Korea, increasing the size of its contribution to the United ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • New Zealand to attend 'Summit on Peace in Ukraine' in Switzerland
    New Zealand will be represented at the Summit on Peace in Ukraine by Minister Mark Mitchell in Switzerland later this week.    “New Zealand strongly supports Ukraine’s efforts to build a comprehensive, just, and lasting peace,” Foreign Minister Winston Peters says.   “Minister Mitchell is a senior Cabinet Minister and ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • Big step forward for M.bovis programme
    Farmers’ hard work is paying off in the fight against Mycoplasma bovis (M. bovis) with the move to a national pest management plan marking strong progress in the eradication effort, says Biosecurity Minister Andrew Hoggard.  “The plan, approved by the Coalition Government, was proposed by the programme partners DairyNZ, Beef ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • Build To Rent opening welcomed by Housing Minister
    Prime Minister Christopher Luxon and Housing Minister Chris Bishop formally opened a new Build to Rent development in Mt Wellington this morning. “The Prime Minister and I were honoured to cut the ribbon of Resido, New Zealand’s largest Build to Rent development to date.  “Build to Rent housing, like the ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • Agriculture to come out of the ETS
    The Government will deliver on its election commitment to take agriculture out of the New Zealand Emissions Trading Scheme (NZ ETS) and will establish a new Pastoral Sector Group to constructively tackle biogenic methane, Coalition Government Agriculture and Climate Change Ministers say. Agriculture Minister Todd McClay says New Zealand farmers ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • Luxon Tokyo-bound for political and business visit
    Prime Minister Christopher Luxon will travel to Japan from 16-20 June, his first visit as Prime Minister.   “Japan is incredibly important to New Zealand's prosperity. It is the world’s fourth largest economy, and our fourth largest export destination.  “As you know, growing the economy is my number one priority. A strong economy means ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • Bayly travels to Singapore for scam prevention meetings
    Minister of Commerce and Consumer Affairs, Andrew Bayly, travels to Singapore today to attend scam and fraud prevention meetings. “Scams are a growing international problem, and we are not immune in New Zealand. Organised criminal networks operate across borders, and we need to work with our Asia-Pacific partners to tackle ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • More help for homeowners impacted by severe weather
    People who were displaced by severe weather events in 2022 and 2023 will be supported by the extension of Temporary Accommodation Assistance through to 30 June 2025. Social Development and Employment Minister Louise Upston says the coalition Government is continuing to help to those who were forced out of their ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Government to reverse oil and gas exploration ban
    Removing the ban on petroleum exploration beyond onshore Taranaki is part of a suite of proposed amendments to the Crown Minerals Act to deal with the energy security challenges posed by rapidly declining natural gas reserves, Resources Minister Shane Jones says. “Natural gas is critical to keeping our lights on ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • New Zealand and Malaysia to intensify connections
    New Zealand and Malaysia intend to intensify their long-standing, deep connections, Foreign Minister Winston Peters says.    “Malaysia is one of New Zealand’s oldest friends in South-East Asia – and both countries intend to get more out of the relationship," Mr Peters says.   "Our connections already run deep and ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Ending contracted emergency housing motels in Rotorua
    The end of Contracted Emergency Housing (CEH) motels in Rotorua is nearing another milestone as the Ministry of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) announces it will not renew consents for six of the original 13 motels, Associate Housing Minister Tama Potaka says. The government is committed to stop using CEH ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • First Home Grant closure exemptions
    The Government is providing a narrow exemption from the discontinuation of the First Home Grant for first home buyers who may face unfair situations as a result, Housing Minister Chris Bishop says. “The First Home Grant scheme was closed with immediate effect on 22 May 2024, with savings being reprioritised ...
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