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Phil Goff: The Leader Emerges

Written By: - Date published: 1:22 pm, October 18th, 2010 - 42 comments
Categories: Economy, labour, Media, monetary policy, overseas investment, phil goff, Social issues - Tags:

Phil Goff made an excellent speech yesterday.  One that showed far more direction, and a lot of promise for going forward.  Hopefully Labour can capitalise on this much better than they did on the excellent “The Many, Not The Few” speech.  They should be able to – yesterday’s “Kiwi Dream” speech contained much more meat to chew on that can continue to be processed; and Labour also seem to finally be getting to grips with opposition and improving their organisation.

Goff did well to contrast 2 worlds – both the two worlds that are life under a National Government and the two worlds that are the difference between a Key Government and a Goff Government.  A Key Government where ordinary kiwis are struggling as their reduced pay-packet doesn’t meet rising costs, where even those on 60, 70 or 80k aren’t benefiting, just a tiny elite, who are enjoying more foreign holidays (like Key to Hawaii…), and expanding wealth at the expense of the rest of us.  Or a Goff Government where they wouldn’t be scared to intervene to help kiwis out, that works pro-actively for ordinary New Zealanders – small businesses, farmers and workers alike.

And he got angry at where National, with their laissez-faire lack of a plan are letting us drift.  To a New Zealand where rapidly growing inequality leads to increased prisons, teen pregnancy, drug problems, obesity and physical and mental health problems.  Goff’s at his best when he’s angry – he needs to get angry more often.

Of course such strong leadership brought a reaction from the right – DPF got his National orders and he and Audrey Young immediately focussed on how good Andrew Little was – with implication he was Goff’s leadership rival, to undercut him.  Andrew Little was excellent, but there is no rivalry.  The Sunday Star Times had a bizarre front page about how John Key was too personally popular, and somehow that was bad for National.  All trying to take the air out of the revitalised Labour conference.

In Britain, party conference season is a large media event that gets a lot of news coverage.  They have a week focusing on each of the main parties, and their policies can be properly presented.  Instead of just the foreign ownership issue being excellently discussed, there would be time to focus on other major planks.  Like the rejection of neo-lib laissez-faire economics for a managed exchange rate and more balanced monetary policy; the new evidenced-based child-centred social policy that proposes a massive overhaul in the way our society and government plan for our future; the rejection of the 90 day fire-at-will law and Helen Kelly and the CTU’s proposal for much fairer collective bargaining on an industry-wide basis.  The other parties have an unwritten agreement to keep a low profile (unlike John Key’s visit to Mana), so that for the good of democracy the media can focus on each party and assess them on their policies.  It would be great for us to have that here.

42 comments on “Phil Goff: The Leader Emerges”

  1. Jum 1

    I heard Goff on RadioNZ this morning. Excellent message, excellent delivery which brooked no dog-whistling distraction by media, Phil O’Reilly, etc.

  2. Jum 2

    Audrey Young has done Phil Goff and Labour/Progressives/Greens a huge favour; not only has Phil Goff been generally well-received by intelligent media, Young has told all and sundry that there is other talent available in Labour. We already knew there were several excellent choices of Leader in Labour and Greens for that matter (Jim Anderton, Progressives, knows how to make a stirring speech as well and insured us with a protector in banking). The Herald was deliberately not telling that story though. Now Young has – wonderful. Things are looking better and better for Labour. Leaders always need to know that they have competition; it makes them fight for both their country and their own future.

    Helen Clark was blamed for leaving the party bereft of a strong legacy of leader to govern. I have news for those detractors. Not only did she leave the party in a strong, cohesive and functioning shape, but there are now about 6 strong leadership-contenders all working hard to take the party and the country forward – all forward, not like NAct, all ‘back to the 90s sell off’, ‘enslave the workers’ boring fart philosophy. Not only did Labour know that they must listen once again to Kiwis and renew their watch on current international politics and global theft by roaming free-marketeers, they have accepted some policies were wrong; I say the majority of their policies were good. Greens has grown up and its policies are being mainstreamed.

    Captcha: circulation – thanks Audrey!

    • RobertM 2.1

      The political journalists are people of the left, in most cases. I won’t comment on Garner because I don’t know. Labour has a good choice of leaders from the political angle- Cunliffe, Little, Goff and possibly Shane Jones. However with the possible exception of Shane Jones they are all far too much keynsian big spenders for NZs stretched economy.
      Goff has simply reverted to the type of left he always was as a matter of class, friends and education. During the Rognernomics era Goff as cabin boy to the stars had no choice but to ape them as Clark did in l988 when she was briefly handmaiden to Roger.
      The anti foreign investment is a type of social credit policy aimed at rural hickdom and the hard left. Corkery and Coddington are intensely critical of the Chinese buyup and crime because of the dissapointment that the Chinese have turned out to be attractive solid citizens and reliable John Key voters. The sour grapes towards Melissa may well be that the Chinese vote has driven the left out at Auckland University. The uni bookshop is now full of good histroy Keegan, Fergusson, Hitchen < Civil War etc, War History- and generally far to the right of Unity.

  3. Sean 3

    Goff turned up on RadioNZ Jum and explained his position! Wow, that’s something John Key doesn’t do for a start.

    Looking at Goff’s performance to date, just his performance, not what the MSM pundits fill their columns with or what David Farrar says in his unindependent way. Goff is clearly a man who can be prime minister, and compared to the current incumbent, an excellent prime minister.

  4. Jum 4

    I am seriously concerned, Sean, that John Key does not answer for his policies. He is ultimately responsible. He signs off everything and will be held accountable.

    In Christchurch Parker was deliberately kept away from debates with Anderton; the National spin doctor service was advising him, that was obvious. Key only relates to Breakfast which does not demand he answer to his policies. Clark certainly was grilled.

    Goff has an experienced background in many portfolios. There is a dignity to the man. Key is Mr popularity. So What. Clowns tend to fall over their size 100 shoes. Key’s already done it once. Luckily the only injury was to himself and while of course I have the standard sympathy for another person’s pain I have no sympathy for his destructives policies.

    BTW Are there two Seans posting on the Standard? The ‘wow’?? If I was word-sensitive I would think you were takin’ the mickey, lad.

    • Bored 4.1

      Jum and Sean, read what I said about the Goff interview on Open Mike this morning, it was bloody useless from both parties. Goff as leader, hmmmmmmmm! He is supposed to be the leader of the left (where most of us Standardistas reside), I cannot take him seriously.

      • gobsmacked 4.1.1

        If you want Goff to be more “left”, give him a strong coalition partner i.e. the Greens.

        After 15 years, it’s time we all grasped the idea that MMP is not Presidential politics.

        In the abstract, Clark was to the left of Goff.

        In reality, Clark did deals with Dunne and Peters, that stopped Labour moving left. But Goff won’t have the Dunne option, and (hopefully) not Peters either. So Goff will lead a Labour Party, and a potential government, to the left of Clark 2002-08.

        Personally, I’m not interested in some idealised litmus test for leaders, while the country is being screwed by NACT. “Holding out for a hero” … who? when? at what cost?

        • Bored 4.1.1.1

          Personally, I’m not interested in some idealised litmus test for leaders, while the country is being screwed by NACT we agree fully on the symptom, not the cure. I cannot see Goff ever holding the publics imagination and “aspirations” like they do with Key. As you note, being “more” left is a collective thing, but who is there in Labour the public will back with their vote?

    • Sean 4.2

      I find myself largely in agreement with you Jum. My ‘Wow’ was taking the mickey, but it was taking the mickey out of a Prime Minister who won’t turn up on National Radio to explain his own budget. Like you wrote, John Key avoids interviews which could be challenging, and it isn’t good enough.

      I’m not sure if there are two Seans commenting on Standard. I don’t read every post. I know I had to distance myself from a different Sean over at Brian Edward’s site.

  5. tc 5

    “Goff’s at his best when he’s angry – he needs to get angry more often….” captures it IMHO and with a carefully managed campaign 2011 is easily winnable for labour as unlike the Nat’s they have talent across the board, a vision most kiwi’s can relate to and a track record of delivery.

    There’s plenty for Phildo to be angry about so let’s hope he stays mad as the NACT have 4 clubs in their bag being privatisation, slash n burn, let the market sort it out and smile and wave…..which’s seeing us catching Oz isn’t it ?

  6. SHG 6

    All the Government has to do is point to the numbers:

    “Lowest inflation in six years good for families”

    http://www.beehive.govt.nz/release/lowest+inflation+six+years+good+families

    • Bright Red 6.1

      Why? The government did nothing to cause that. It’s just a result of the previous three quarters of low inflation thanks mainly to oil prices not rising much in the last few months.

      This quarter’s inflation was actually 1.1% – very high, and the next quarter’s will be even higher because of the GST hike.

      Inflation in and of itself isn’t as important as the unemployment rate and real wages, which are getting worse, not better like Key promised.

      captcha – reality

    • Bright Red 6.2

      The ASB’s new economic report is titled ‘Inflation: the only way is up’ and says:

      “Q3 CPI was a touch below our expectations, but stronger than both market and RBNZ forecasts. While the 1.5% annual increase in headline CPI is the smallest annual increase since March 2004, there are signs of a lift in underlying inflation in NZ.
      Government charges helped boost non-tradable inflation in Q3. However, even leaving these Government charges aside, non-tradable inflation show signs of picking up from some weak results over the first half of this year. In addition, the increase in prices is becoming more broad-based.
      Q4 CPI data will be the crucial test of how much businesses have managed to pass on the GST increase on 1st October. We expect this and further Government charges will boost annual headline CPI to over 5% by the middle of 2011.”

      hmm. so National didn’t cause the lwoer inflation and it will bost infaltion next year to over 5%

      • Anthony C 6.2.1

        From what I understood in the NZ Herald article (yeah I know..) the costs of most necessities like food, power etc were well up over 1.1% but were dragged down by something like a 24% drop in electronics.

        • Colonial Viper 6.2.1.1

          Hey thats handy for all those on >$150K p.a. who want to spend their tax cuts on a new 50″ LED LCD TV.

          • Herodotus 6.2.1.1.1

            The inflation has been low over the last 5 or so years due to tradeables, (non tradables those costs that are incurred as the product/service is only available fro NZ e.g. housing, rates etc ) have been stable and the non tradeables have been above the inflation average. This has saved lab embarrassment in their time in power and has resulted in this 1.5% inflation reported today. If it was not for overseas costs being stable, inflation would have been 4-5% over Labs and Nats reigns, interest rates would have been double digit. So we have been saved by the rest of the world for our low inflation.
            It is not the numbers but what “lies” behind them that is important, and the media are uneductated to see behind these numbers, but that fits in well for Key and Goff as both white men speak with forked tougue.
            http://www.stats.govt.nz/browse_for_stats/economic_indicators/CPI_inflation/ConsumersPriceIndex_HOTPJun10qtr/Commentary.aspx

            • Anthony C 6.2.1.1.1.1

              I just wish they had the price of timber in the CPI… went in to by 50×50 clears today for some framing and the price has almost doubled from a few month ago. ETS? GST?

              • Herodotus

                It is funny what is and is not included in the cpi/inflation- Land prices are excluded as is “profit” for builders. Only the inputed costs for the construction of housing. So like today builder makes chippies wages out of spec house yet house price for end user is the same as say 3 years ago, inputs have increased = increased inflation yet house price is the same for 2007 as for Oct 2010.
                Also steel prices have gone down since their peak yet why have steel mesh & reinforcing steel rods not followed? There was a time that every month builders/construction coys etc were receiving price increase notifications due to international pricing. The mail was empty when the prices started to slide !!!
                The synic would believe that the reduced costs compensated for a slide in demand maintaining $$$ profits, the same with banks, try and work out all there add on costs !!!! 🙁

                • KJT

                  The CPI has been played with many times. Mostly to reduce headline inflation to avoid wage demands. Housing mortgage interest rates are not directly included as that would have shown up the embarrassing spectacle of the Reserve bank chasing its own tail.
                  Building materials are an obvious ripoff.
                  The materials price for a house in Australia have been (and probably still are) much lower despite them being supplied by the same companies.

  7. big bruv 7

    Good old Goff…

    He has strongly held belief’s, and if you don’t like them…..well he has others.

    Winston Peters aside, has there ever been a bigger political slut that Goff?

    Was for asset sales…now claims he is against them.

    Was for selling off land….now claims that he is against it.

    Was for lower taxes….now claims that he is against it.

    Goff is unelectable, the people of NZ know that and the people at the standard know that as well.

    [lprent: Wrong yet again. After looking at him during the weekend I think that Key is going to have some problems competing.
    But I see that you’ve been given your spin lines to regurgitate. I guess DPF has been writing posts? ]

    • Vicky32 7.1

      (Wee note – plurals don’t take apostrophes… Sorry, my patience with spelling and grammatical errors has run out – when they come from the Right! :D)

    • Pascal's bookie 7.2

      Winston Peters aside, has there ever been a bigger political slut that Goff?

      I recall some guy going on about how something was “commun1sm by stealth” right up until he decided that that something was actually quite good. Same guy was going to be Don Brash’s finance minister, up until Brash flamed out, then all of a sudden and out of the blue, Brash’s policies became radical nonsense that he wouldn’t touch with a barge poll.

      Although to be fair, that doesn’t just describe the PM, it’s his whole caucus. shall we talk about the parliamentary right wing evolution on the F&S, or civil unions, or the cullen fund, or WFF, or Iraq, or Nuclear weapons, or apartheid, or homosexual law reform, or marital rape, or shall we just quit while your drowning in it?

      • Tigger 7.2.1

        PB – I wish we would talk about that stuff, especially the deep homophobia that still runs through National. Remember, most of this lot voted against civil unions. Including Key. Having him attend The Big Gay Out is like Hitler attending a bar mavitzah.

        • grumpy 7.2.1.1

          Goff is making quite a good impression with middle NZ, the one thing that can derail that is the emergence of Labour’s Rainbow Wing along with the ghost of Chris Carter.

    • gobsmacked 7.3

      Big Bruv, if you’re going to quote the great Groucho, please get it right.

      And I’m afraid Phil Goff got there before you:

      “Steven Joyce stated in the clearest possible terms that he was proposing to cut the SuperGold Card. Yet 24 hours and a phone call from behind a bush later, what do we find from the Minister? He said: “We have made it clear all along that the Government is totally committed to the SuperGold Card, including the transport concession as it stands”. That quote was the absolute contradiction of what Steven Joyce told the country 24 hours earlier. It reminds me of a saying by Groucho Marx, who said: “Those are my principles. If you don’t like them, I have others.”

      (Hansard, Budget Debate 2010)

  8. Daveski 8

    Which of the Standards many posters will dig into the Olympic standard flip flops we have seen over the weekend. This of course is the reality of politics; however, it didn’t stop post after post trying to undermine National prior to the last election.

    Now, Goff does a flip flop worthy of gold at any Olypmics and there is not even a murmur? Where are you, Standardistas??

    • gobsmacked 8.1

      Daveski, let me help:

      1) Moving to the left in a left-leaning party. Makes supporters happy.

      2) Moving to the left in a right-leaning party. Makes supporters grumpy .. but they need the votes.

      OK?

    • Colonial Viper 8.2

      Geeeeez did someone try to bring back the ‘flip flop’ meme from John Kerry’s campaign?

      Fawgawdsakes Righties its 2010 now. Stop living in the past.

      • Daveski 8.2.1

        Surely you can do better than that?? While this policy may sit well with the party faithful, having Goff lead it with these policies is as credible as Winston calling for more honesty from politicians.

        I can understand who such populist policies will help redefine Labour and can even agree that for some, a lurch to the left will resonate with the grassroots. But for Goff to try and sell this is asking for trouble and highlights the problems Labour has with its current leadership.

        It also highlights the hypocrisy of the “flip flop” campaign that was so popular here last time out.

        • Zorr 8.2.1.1

          Let me see if I can break this down for you Daveski because, as far as I can tell, you are ragging along on the meme of “Phil Goff was an MP during the neo-lib revolution and has been a supporter of the philosophy since”

          Well:
          1) The experiment is over. Neo-liberalism has failed us. Please hold while we come up with a new one.

          2) Goff has now, FUCKING FINALLY, decided to announce himself as the leader of the NZ Labour party with policies that are a response to the global situation rather than keeping with the status quo and hoping (just look at the NACT economic plan… x_x)

          Who gives a shit if it is a change in direction for Goff. As far as I am concerned (and from expressed opinions here on the site it is the commonly shared one here) that it is a change in the right direction.

          If you disagree with the declared policys, here is a novel idea for you. Play the ball, not the man.

    • Bored 8.3

      Daveski, have you not read what I have said re Goff? Could not have been more blunt! And Gobsmacked is correct, moving left = happy lefties, we dont give a toss for grumpy righties.

    • Draco T Bastard 8.4

      I’m really not sure you can call it a flip-fop as he’s taken 20 odd years to change his mind. Not the five minutes it takes the right to make the same manoeuvre.

    • Jum 8.5

      Daveski
      The magic word is ‘prior’. We’re not even in the same year as the next election and you’re already attacking – nervous laddie?

  9. Vicky32 9

    Right now, hearing TV3 News giving their version of Goff’s speech – the policy on foreign land ownership is a ‘flip-flop’, and that’s followed by a long speech from JonKey and the 3 News reporter helpfully taking a few shots at Helen Clark…
    Typical!
    (Hamish Clarke, take note of that name…)

  10. Daveski 10

    The point I was making was that this policy shift is most likely consistent with what most here want to see. However, it is not consistent with Goff over the past 30 years. If you don’t like me stating the obvious, then wait until next election.

    @ Bored Sorry, did miss that. I actually kinda like Goff but surely that’s the problem?? To me, this is more about Goff protecting his position than seriously positioning Labour to challenge the Nats next year. Feel free to shoot the messenger but thems the breaks.

    BTW I don’t normally troll and if I was, I’d certainly try harder to inflame. However, I think this has political traincrash written all over it – or at least, that’s how it could well be seen from the left.

    • Colonial Viper 10.1

      Sheeesh geddit already, Goff has realised that change is needed and that the same old formulae will not work in the era of the GFC!

      With his long experience and perspective Goff knows better than most what a disaster the Chicago School neocon economic agenda has been for the people of NZ and he is the man who is leading the Labour party to Government on a platform of fresh new thinking in 2011.

      Hope John and Bill have a few more ideas to offer than tax cuts for the wealthy next year because they are toast otherwise. I guess we’ll have to wait and see what their marketing focus groups tells them about what the country needs 🙄

    • Draco T Bastard 10.2

      It’s consistent with learning from what went wrong (neo-liberalism) over the last 20 years.

  11. Armchair Critic 11

    The problem is he seems to emerge, and then disappears off again.
    Chances are I’ll vote Green. Or spoil my ballot out of disgust for the CERRA. Goff has a year to convince me otherwise.
    anti-spam – ball. Please stop dropping it, Phil.

  12. prism 12

    Goff sounded good. He had something to say about new planned policies that sounded good. That was good. Labour had worked out a cogent answer to the likely remark about why didn’t you do that when you were in government yourselves? They said they had dropped the ball and were determined to do better. That made me feel good. Hope all this goodness lasts.

  13. randal 13

    must be phils turn now.
    thats how national ran their last campaign.
    well the boagey flick and stick has had his turn now move over.

  14. Herodotus 14


    So the metromone speaks, I see he swaps from speaking at the start on the left of the screen then switches over to the right then flitters from left:right of the screen then finished up on in the centre, is there a hidden message there on Labs positioning, both past and current ???

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    This is a re-post from Carbon Brief by Dr. Richard Wood and Dr. Laura Jackson Generally, we think of climate change as a gradual process: the more greenhouse gases that humans emit, the more the climate will change. But are there any “points of no return” that commit us to irreversible ...
    3 days ago
  • The biggest challenge for a generation ahead – covid-19. Defeat and Recovery
    Last month I wrote my blog on covid-19 pointing out the in our pre Alert Level 4 days that a subject no one had heard here months ago was now dominating the media. An amazing feature of this crisis is how quickly it has swept every other issue aside worldwide. ...
    PunditBy Wyatt Creech
    4 days ago
  • Testing for COVID-19 in NZ to Achieve the Elimination Goal
    Nick Wilson,1 Ayesha Verrall,1,2 Len Cook,3 Alistair Gray,3 Amanda Kvalsvig,1 Michael Baker,1 (1epidemiologists, 2infectious disease physician, 3statisticians) In this blog, we raise ideas for how New Zealand might optimise testing to both identify cases in the community as part of the COVID-19 elimination strategy, and to confirm when the virus ...
    SciBlogsBy Public Health Expert
    4 days ago
  • Should we all be wearing face masks to prevent Covid-19 spread?
    Maybe you’ve seen the graph that says those countries where everyone wears a mask are the ones that have managed to keep Covid-19 under control? The first thing to say about that claim is that those countries also did lots of other things, too – they acted fast, with intense ...
    SciBlogsBy Siouxsie Wiles
    4 days ago
  • 2020 SkS Weekly Climate Change & Global Warming Digest #14
    Story of the Week... Editorial of the Week... Toon of the Week... Coming Soon on SkS... Climate Feedback Claim Review... SkS Week in Review... Poster of the Week... Story of the Week... North Atlantic's capacity to absorb CO2 overestimated, study suggests Research into ocean’s plankton likely to lead to ...
    4 days ago
  • The Americans are trying to kill us all again
    The Treaty on Open Skies is one of the most effective mechanisms for preventing war curently in force. By letting countries make surveillance flights over each others' territory, it eliminates fears that they are secretly preparing for war. So naturally, the US is planning to withdraw from it: The Trump ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    4 days ago
  • Life in Lock Down: Day 11
    . . April 5: Day eleven of living in lock-down… My one day of rest for the week, and an opportunity to mow my lawns – which I’d been delaying for about three weeks. (On the plus side, the damp micro-climate in my back yard yielded three lovely fresh mushrooms ...
    Frankly SpeakingBy Frank Macskasy
    4 days ago
  • Now we know what the rules are
    As the lockdown has gone on, disquiet about what the rules were and the police's enforcement of them has grown. On Friday, Police admitted that they were abusing routine traffic stops to effectively set up illegal checkpoints, and on Saturday Stuff revealed internal police advice saying that they actually needed ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    4 days ago
  • Anti-fluoridation propaganda now relies on only four studies. 2: Green et al (2019)
    Paul Connett is putting all his eggs in one basket. He says “you only have to read four studies” to find community after fluoridation harmful. Image credit: Fluoride Action Network newsletter. For part 1 of this series see Anti-fluoridation propaganda now relies on only four studies. 1: Bashash et al (2018). Paul Connett, ...
    4 days ago
  • Hard News: Splore Listening Lounge 2020: the road to a “yes” vote
    As far as anyone can say, New Zeaand still has a general election scheduled for September 19 this year. The election will be accompanied by two referenda, one of which will ask voters:Do you support the proposed Cannabis Legalisation and Control Bill?The official campaign period for the cannabis referendum begins ...
    4 days ago
  • Obituary for The New Zealand Listener (1939-2020)
    The vast majority of tributes to the Listener hearken back to its glory days, with little reflection on the magazine as it was at its end.I wrote for it, for half the Listener’s life; I have known personally all the editors except the first (mythical) three. From 1978 to 2014 ...
    PunditBy Brian Easton
    4 days ago
  • Universal income – a challenge to capitalism or a crutch?
    As the world economy slides rapidly towards deep recession there are growing calls for a Universal Benefit coming from some leftists and rightists. Now Finance Minister Grant Robertson is saying it is on the table.  This article by a French party Workers Struggle provides analysis of various forms of universal ...
    RedlineBy Daphna
    5 days ago
  • Anti-fluoridation propaganda now relies on only four studies. 1: Bashash et al (2018)
    This is the advice from the very top of the anti-fluoride movement – Paul Connett, director of the Fluoride Action Network (FAN). Don’t worry about reading  up on all the scientific information “You only have ...
    5 days ago
  • Life in Lock Down: Day 10
    . . April 4: Day 10 of living in lock-down… I wake up to a fine Saturday morning which normally would be like an early Christmas. But it’s Day 10 of Level 4 Lock Down. What  will my fellow New Zealanders be doing on a day like this – staying ...
    Frankly SpeakingBy Frank Macskasy
    5 days ago
  • Redline reaching out to more writers & readers
    Some time during the night we went over the 850,000 views mark. We might have had our millionth view by the end of this year – certainly by early next year. Most of the people involved in Redline spent years and years producing various small left-wing papers and selling them ...
    RedlineBy Daphna
    5 days ago
  • Keir Starmer elected
    Comfortably, in the very first round, with an impressive 56% of the votes.I wonder, did members of the Shadow Cabinet start tweeting their resignations during Starmer's victory speech, or is that only a trick the right pull?It is odd how all the talk of how the next leader "needs to ...
    5 days ago
  • Hard News: Michael Baker and the Big House
    One of the key voices in this extraordinary time in which we live is that of University of Otago epidemiologist Professor Michael Baker. Philip Matthews did an an excellent job this weekend of capturing the way he became the man for this moment in a profile for The Press.But one ...
    5 days ago
  • New Zealand Gives up on Trying to Save Daylight
    New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern addressed the nation today about the decline in daylight New Zealand has been experiencing over the previous few months. She said “As many of you will notice, our attempts to stem the dwindling of the daylight over the last few months have been completely ...
    Can of wormsBy Can of Worms, Opened
    6 days ago
  • A bulletin from Greece
    Redline received this article from the KOE a Marxist party in Greece Our friends in the KOE describe here the mounting crisis in Greece and tensions on the Turkish border. As desperate people flee from their homelands which have been ruined after decades of imperialist wars and interventions the people ...
    RedlineBy Daphna
    6 days ago
  • And God spake all these words, saying
    As the first week of Level Four lockdown unfolded, mounting questions grew as to just what was (and was not) allowed under its “rules”. Partly these were driven by some apparently contradictory messages from different authority figures and explanations carried in the media. Partly they reflected a somewhat sketchy legal basis ...
    PunditBy Andrew Geddis
    6 days ago
  • Life in Lock Down: Day 9
    . . April 3: Day 9 of living in lock-down… Another late-start to my work day. Everything is temporarily upended as clients are shuffled around so we can minimise our “bubble” by reducing the number of people we help. One of my colleagues has been removed from his clients; his ...
    Frankly SpeakingBy Frank Macskasy
    6 days ago
  • Death to our lockdown enemies!
    We must root out the traitors among us! ...
    Imperator FishBy Scott Yorke
    7 days ago
  • Climate Change: The benefits of electrification
    In order to meet our 2050 carbon target and do our bit to avoid making the Earth uninhabitable, New Zealand needs to decarbonise our economy, replacing fossil fuels with electricity in the energy, industrial and transport sectors. The good news is that it will mean cheaper power for all of ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • Life in Lock Down: Day 8 (sanitised version)
    For those folk who find my other Lock-Down Diary versions too “negative” or otherwise unpalatable… Here’s a photo of a pretty flower, .   . Better? Tomorrow’s Sanitised Version: a cute animal video. . . . =fs= ...
    Frankly SpeakingBy Frank Macskasy
    1 week ago
  • Life in Lock Down: Day 8
    . . April 2: Day eight of living in lock-down… Today, my work day starts late. Our rosters and clients have been dramatically changed, lessening (theoretically) the number of people in our work “bubble”.  If just one of us catches covid19 the impact could be considerable as Grey Base Hospital ...
    Frankly SpeakingBy Frank Macskasy
    1 week ago
  • A note on apartments and bubbles
    As Aotearoa enters week two of lockdown, it’s clear we’re all still working out what our “bubbles” look like and how to stay in them to stop the spread of Covid-19. New to the government’s Covid-19 website is some good guidance for people living in apartment blocks. Recent decades have ...
    SciBlogsBy Siouxsie Wiles
    1 week ago
  • Getting in futures shape 
    “There are decades where nothing happens; and there are weeks where decades happen.” Lenin Don’t we all know that feeling now.

    Prospect Magazine alerted me to this particularly apt quote. It is a much more evocative quote than Hemingway’s “gradually then suddenly” which is also doing ...

    SciBlogsBy Robert Hickson
    1 week ago
  • Maybe axing Clark would be unfair. But what about any of this is fair?
    Yesterday was the day the consequences of the lockdown suddenly got very real for many. Firms have been closing and laying people off since the outset of the quarantine but this has mostly been happening out of the public eye. The mass closure of a number of iconic New Zealand ...
    PunditBy Liam Hehir
    1 week ago
  • Might a ‘Coasean’ social contract mitigate overall societal harm from COVID-19?
    Brian Williamson1, Prof Nick Wilson2 (1Economic consultant, UK; 2University of Otago Wellington) In this blog, we outline how a win-win social contract could be forged to address the major dimensions of response to the COVID-19 pandemic when using a mitigation strategy: the particular need to protect older people from high ...
    SciBlogsBy Public Health Expert
    1 week ago
  • Returning To “Normalcy”.
    Resuming Normal Service: The Republican Party's nominee for in 1920, Warren Harding, promised the American people: “not heroics, but healing; not nostrums, but normalcy; not revolution, but restoration”. If she wishes to remain our prime minister, then Jacinda Ardern will offer New Zealanders the same.HOW EDUCATED AMERICA snickered when the ...
    1 week ago
  • New Zealand’s Government Must Save New Zealand’s Media.
    No Free Society Without A Free And Functioning News Media: If we are to surrender our civil rights to the broader cause of defeating Covid-19, then foreign corporations must, likewise, surrender their right to inflict immense economic and cultural harm on New Zealanders simply because it improves their bottom line.I’M ...
    1 week ago
  • Corona fevers and the madness of models
    by Daphna Whitmore A third of the world is under lockdown and a clear assessment of this measure to curb the spread of COVID-19 is urgently needed.  With any high-stakes decisions it has to be asked what are we dealing with here? Are the measures warranted? Will they achieve their ...
    RedlineBy Daphna
    1 week ago
  • Lockdown day 8
    I haven’t done a huge amount in the last few days. I’m reading The Poppy War and I’ve sort of poked at a couple of games – I started SOMA but I’m a wimp and I quit while in the first room after the brain scan. I might try it ...
    The little pakehaBy chrismiller
    1 week ago
  • Backstage and Theatre
    The swan politicians may be gliding on the water, occasionally snapping at one another. Meanwhile, as the Covid19 crisis illustrates, the officials are desperately paddling below providing the real locomotion. One of the most fatuous recent grandstanding comments (of about a week ago), adding to the public’s anxieties, was ...
    PunditBy Brian Easton
    1 week ago
  • Legal Beagle: Waiver, the singular Crown and the conduct of Crown legal business
    Much has been written about the importance of discretion in an emergency situation, and the concerns raised by the potential for it to be exercised arbitrarily. Given the quality of the discussion, there seemed little point in adding to it at any length. In particular, I point to the evidence ...
    1 week ago
  • Highlights from Bauer Media’s science-related reporting
    Today has felt surreal. I was all set to touch base online with my science communication students when a colleague shared the news that Bauer Media would be shutting down its publications immediately. The first link I saw implied it was Woman’s Weekly affected, and even that shocked me. But ...
    SciBlogsBy Sarah-Jane O'Connor
    1 week ago
  • Outsiders.
    Bogeymen, Real And Imagined: Is the number of psychopathic and sociopathic individuals in any given society truly as vanishingly small as we like to tell ourselves? Isn’t it more likely that the mass-shooters and serial-killers filling the headlines represent only the tip of a much, much larger iceberg of frightfulness? ...
    1 week ago
  • We have a right to know the rules we are expected to obey
    Outgoing Police Commissioner Mike Bush appeared before the Epidemic Response Committee today, who asked him for the rules police are using to enforce the lockdown. He refused:Police Commissioner Mike Bush has admitted the advice given to Kiwis about what they're able to do during the lockdown hasn't been clear enough. ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • Life in Lock Down: Day 7 (sanitised version)
    For those folk who find my other Lock-Down Diary versions too “negative” or otherwise unpalatable… Here’s a photo of my cat, . . Better? Tomorrow’s Sanitised Version: a pretty flower. . . . =fs= ...
    Frankly SpeakingBy Frank Macskasy
    1 week ago
  • Life in Lock Down: Day 7
    . . April 1: Day seven of living in lock-down… This morning I had a brief chat with one of my neighbours, “D” (social distance between us, a good three or four metres). I learned he had resigned from his previous job and had been hired by another company – ...
    Frankly SpeakingBy Frank Macskasy
    1 week ago
  • RIP The Listener, New Zealand’s pioneering voice
    Funnily enough, my thought as I start this post is whether it will be well written enough. Or should that be well enough written? Because so much of what I know about good writing came from my two stints at The Listener, which this morning was shut down due to ...
    PunditBy Tim Watkin
    1 week ago
  • OK, Britney: stop sniping at National for doing its job
    With normal democratic procedures in abeyance, there were two ways to go. First, it was open for the government to dissolve itself and invite the National Party to join a ministry of national salvation. That would have lessened the democratic deficit of the times by having a team of rivals without ...
    PunditBy Liam Hehir
    1 week ago
  • Helpful tips for parents during lockdown
    Dr Kirsty Ross Children and young people can respond differently in times of distress. This also varies by age and developmental stage, with younger children having more magical and imaginative thinking, and older children having more awareness and knowledge of the issues our communities are facing (which brings up ...
    SciBlogsBy Guest Author
    1 week ago
  • Skeptical Science New Research for Week #13, 2020
    1 week ago
  • Hungary is now a dictatorship
    Hungary has been a virtual dictatorship for a decade now, as Prime Minister Viktor Orbán has gradually eroded its democracy. But now, its official, with the passage of an indefinite emergency law allowing rule by decree:Hungary’s parliament has passed a new set of coronavirus measures that includes jail terms for ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • A new Ministry of Works
    While the economy is on pause under lockdown, the government is beginning to plan how to cope with the post-lockdown, post-tourism, post-export education world we will eventually find ourselves in. They're planning a lot of infrastructure spending as economic stimulus, and have asked for proposals which can start the moment ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • Capture: Well spaced out
    It's my distraction,  setting up tiny scenes to photograph.  I've got stuck on the Babushka dolls for now.  Something about their bubble shape.  Something about their never changing, smiling features, suggesting persistent equanimity.  Can we get through everything that is being thrown at us and keep at least a tiny ...
    1 week ago
  • Life in Lock Down: Day 6
    . . March 31: Day six of living in lock-down… This time I managed to sleep a little longer and the alarm woke me at the pre-set time: 6.55am. Then remembered I was working a later shift and could’ve slept in. Oh well, there are things to do at home. ...
    Frankly SpeakingBy Frank Macskasy
    1 week ago
  • March ’20 – NZ blogs sitemeter ranking
    Image credit: Diamond Harbour School Blogs I notice a few regulars no longer allow public access to the site counters. This may happen accidentally when the blog format is altered. If your blog is unexpectedly missing or ...
    1 week ago
  • Hard News: Poll Pot and the partisans
    Yesterday's Horizon poll showing support for a "Yes" vote in this year's cannabis referendum sliding into the majority for the first time in a year looked like good news for reformers – and it probably is. But the result warrants some scrutiny.The poll is the fifth in a series commissioned ...
    1 week ago

  • Decisions made on urgent turf maintenance
    The Sport and Recreation Minister Grant Robertson has announced that urgent maintenance of turf and care for plants in non-plantation nurseries will soon be able to go ahead under Level 4 restrictions. “The Government has agreed that urgent upkeep and maintenance of biological assets will be able to go ahead ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    20 hours ago
  • Acknowledging an extraordinary te reo champion
    E tangi ana a Taranaki iwi, e tangi ana te ao Māori, otirā e tangi ana te motu. Mōu katoa ngā roimata e riringi whānui ana, mōu katoa ngā mihi.   E te kaikōkiri i te reo Māori, e Te Huirangi, takoto mai. Takoto mai me te mōhio ko ngā ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    21 hours ago
  • Prime Minister’s remarks halfway through Alert Level 4 lockdown
    Today is day 15 of Alert Level 4 lockdown. And at the halfway mark I have no hesitation in saying, that what New Zealanders have done over the last two weeks is huge. In the face of the greatest threat to human health we have seen in over a century, ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    23 hours ago
  • Licenses, WoFs and regos extended under lockdown
    All driver licences, WoFs, CoFs, and some vehicle certifications, that expired on or after 1 January 2020 will be valid for up to six months from 10 April 2020, Transport Minister Phil Twyford has announced. “People shouldn’t have to worry about getting fined for having an expired document if driving ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 day ago
  • Inquiry report into EQC released
    The Government has today released the report from the Public Inquiry into the Earthquake Commission chaired by Dame Silvia Cartwright.  Minister Responsible for the Earthquake Commission Grant Robertson says the Government wants to learn from people’s experiences following the Canterbury earthquakes and other recent natural disasters. “Dame Silvia’s report documents ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 day ago
  • More time for health workers and elderly to get flu vaccine
    The Government has extended by two weeks till April 27 the amount of time priority groups, such as health workers and those aged over 65, have to get their flu vaccine before it is made available to the wider public. This year’s vaccination campaign is a key component of the ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 day ago
  • Communities step up to help New Zealanders stay connected and fed during lockdown
    Communities stepping up to help New Zealanders stay at home to break the transmission of COVID-19 and save lives have received Government support, said Minister for Social Development Carmel Sepuloni. “Delivering groceries for the elderly who can’t shop online, providing data packs for low income families to keep them connected, and being ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • 120 COVID-19 testing centres now operating
    Across New Zealand 120 sites are taking samples to be tested for COVID-19.   68 community based assessment centres (CBACs) have been established to take samples from people with COVID-19 symptoms. Alongside this, 52 other centres including designated general practices, swabbing centres, and mobile clinics are now testing people for ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • Covid19: Government moving quickly to roll out learning from home
    The Ministry of Education is working with partners to develop a package of options so that students can learn at home when Term 2 begins on 15 April, Education Minister Chris Hipkins said today. Supports are also being prepared for households with children under five, to help parents and whānau ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • Making learning from home accessible to Māori learners and whānau
    Māori Television to begin educational te reo programmes Ki te Ao Mārama – a new online learning space Thousands of hard copy learning packs ready for distribution Helpdesk and advice service for kōhanga, kura and wharekura Television, the internet and hard copy learning packs are some of the ways whānau ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • New Zealand to provide assistance to Vanuatu following Tropical Cyclone Harold
    Foreign Affairs Minister Winston Peters has announced an initial package of support to help the people and the Government of Vanuatu respond to the impact of Tropical Cyclone Harold. “Our Pacific neighbours have been hit by a Category 5 Cyclone at the same time as dealing with the economic impacts ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • Planning for the future of tourism
    Tourism New Zealand to lead work reimagining the way tourism operates in post-COVID-19 world. Ministers to review International Visitor Conservation and Tourism Levy investment plan. The Government, industry and business are working together to develop a plan for how tourism will operate in a post-COVID-19 world, Tourism Minister Kelvin Davis ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • NZ horticulture sector feeding Kiwis and the world during COVID-19
    More New Zealanders are taking up the chance to work in horticulture as the sector keeps New Zealanders fed and in jobs during the COVID-19 Alert Level 4 lockdown. “Our horticulture sector has long been one of New Zealand’s export star performers, contributing around $6 billion a year to our ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • Work to repurpose PGF funds begins
    The Provincial Development Unit is working through applications and projects to see where Provincial Growth Fund money can be repurposed for initiatives deemed more critical to fighting the economic impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic, Regional Economic Development Minister Shane Jones says. “We need to be throwing everything we have at ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • A million workers supported by Govt wage subsidy
    The Government’s wage subsidy to protect jobs and keep workers and businesses connected during the lockdown has now supported over a million New Zealanders, with $6.6 billion already paid out. “We’re supporting businesses to pay wages, and stay connected with their workers so that we are all in a better ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • Government helps Pacific communities fight COVID
    The Government is stepping up efforts to help protect New Zealand’s Pacific communities in the fight against COVID-19. Cabinet has agreed that $17 million will be allocated to support a COVID-19 Pacific Response Package, which will: Support Pacific health and disability services facing increased demand; Ramp up public health messaging ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • Statement from the Prime Minister on Dr David Clark
    “Yesterday evening the Health Minister advised me of his trip to a beach during the lockdown and offered his resignation,” Jacinda Ardern said.  “Under normal conditions I would sack the Minister of Health. What he did was wrong, and there are no excuses.  “But right now, my priority is our ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • Statement from David Clark
    Last night as part of my preparation for the Epidemic Response Committee, I provided the Prime Minister with a complete picture of my activity outside my home during Alert Level 4.  That included the fact that on the first weekend of the Alert Level 4 lockdown I drove my family ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • COVID-19 mental health support begins
    A range of support is being rolled out across New Zealand to help people look after their mental health during COVID-19 Health Minister David Clark said this morning. “COVID-19 has brought a lot of uncertainty into our lives and many of us will be feeling some level of distress or ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • New Zealanders in Peru to be assisted by Government charter flight
    The New Zealand Government has made arrangements to charter a flight for New Zealanders stranded in Peru to depart the country, following agreement with the Chilean government to allow the necessary transit through Chile, Foreign Affairs Minister Winston Peters announced today. “Like many travellers around the world at the moment, ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • COVID-19 Hospital Preparation Well Advanced
    Hospital preparations for COVID-19 are well advanced says Health Minister David Clark. “Hospitals across New Zealand are repurposing buildings and training staff to get ready for COVID-19 patients. This gives me confidence that we are well prepared for any potential increase in COVID-19 patients needing hospital level care,” said David ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    7 days ago
  • Further measures to support businesses
    The Government will be introducing legislation to make changes to the Companies Act to help companies facing insolvency due to COVID-19 to remain viable and keep New Zealanders in jobs. The temporary changes include: Giving directors of companies facing significant liquidity problems because of COVID-19 a ‘safe harbour’ from insolvency ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    7 days ago
  • Govt’s COVID plan, economic strength recognised
    The Government’s plan to cushion the blow of COVID-19 by supporting incomes, jobs and businesses, and position the economy to recover has been backed by another international report. International credit rating agency Moody’s today reaffirmed its highest Aaa credit rating on New Zealand, saying the economy is expected to remain ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Government supports air services to offshore islands
    The Government has stepped in to support vital air links to our offshore islands, the Chatham Islands, Great Barrier Island and Motiti Island, Transport Minister Phil Twyford announced today. “As part of our $600 million support package to minimise the impacts of COVID-19 on the aviation sector, the Government has ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Funding certainty for sports through COVID-19
    National sports organisations have been given certainty of funding to ensure they can remain viable through the COVID-19 pandemic, Sport and Recreation Minister Grant Robertson announced today. “The global spread of COVID-19 has had a significant impact on sport and recreation in New Zealand, including the cancellation or postponement of ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Butchers now allowed to process pork
    Changes have been made to allow butchers to process pork, only for supply to supermarkets or other processors or retailers that are open, Agriculture Minister Damien O’Connor has announced. “We carefully weighed the risk of allowing butchers to open their shops for retail customers, but the risk of spreading COVID-19 ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Essential workers leave scheme established
    Essential workers who take leave from work to comply with public health guidance are being supported with a leave scheme to ensure they will continue to receive income, say the Minister of Workplace Relations and Safety Iain Lees-Galloway and Minister for Social Development, Carmel Sepuloni. A number of essential businesses ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Govt WhatsApp helps share COVID-19 information
    A Government WhatsApp channel has been launched to help make information more easily accessible and shareable in the fight against COVID-19. Govt.NZ, which is free to use on any mobile device, will carry information and news for the public, businesses, healthcare providers, not for profits and local government. It can ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Managed departure plan for stranded foreign nationals enables safe, orderly exit
    The Government has announced a plan to enable the safe, orderly exit of tens of thousands of stranded foreign nationals from New Zealand during the current COVID-19 Alert Level 4 restrictions, Deputy Prime Minister and Foreign Minister Winston Peters has said. “When we moved into lockdown a week ago, the ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Government delivers COVID-19 support to GPs and Pharmacies
    Health Minister Dr David Clark says the Government is delivering on its commitment to support general practice doctors and nurses, and pharmacies on the front-line of our fight against COVID-19. "For us to overcome COVID-19, we need community health services such as general practice and community pharmacy to step up ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Susan Thomas the new Chief High Court Judge
    Justice Susan Thomas has been appointed Chief High Court Judge, Attorney-General David Parker announced today.  She replaces Justice Geoffrey Venning who has resigned from the position.   David Parker paid tribute to Justice Venning, who he said had stewarded the High Court very capably over the last five years.   “On behalf ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Business Finance Guarantee – applications open
    Businesses can start applying to their banks for loans under the Business Finance Guarantee Scheme set up to support the New Zealand economy during the COVID-19 pandemic. “We’re moving quickly to protect New Zealand businesses, jobs and the economy during this unprecedented global economic shock,” Finance Minister Grant Robertson said. ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Work starts on ways to fast-track consents to boost recovery from Covid-19 downturn
    Work is underway looking at measures to speed up consents for development and infrastructure projects during the recovery from COVID 19, to provide jobs and stimulate our economy.  Environment Minister David Parker said the COVID-19 pandemic is a serious global crisis that will have a wide ranging and lasting impact ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Advance payments to support contractors
    Advance payments will be made to transport construction industry contractors to retain the workforce and ensure it is ready to quickly gear up to build projects which will be vital to New Zealand’s COVID-19 economic recovery, Transport Minister Phil Twyford announced today. He said keeping the workforce required to build ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
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  • Government seeks infrastructure projects
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