Political Jurisprudence

Written By: - Date published: 6:59 am, November 13th, 2009 - 54 comments
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There’s no question that Hone Harawira’s comments were stupid, but I don’t believe they were racist. For a start, the white mofos reference began in Buddy Mikaere’s email to Harawira, so it’s not entirely inappropriate that those words were used in return. I quite often, when replying to emails or blog comments, use the words of those I’m replying to to make my point.

Harawira has been around for a while and should have foreseen the reaction his comments would cause, but that in itself doesn’t make this a hanging offence (note this is a metaphor, I don’t mean it literally). Harawira has clarified that his comment about white mofos was not a comment about all white people, and without evidence to the contrary, I think we should take him at his word. I also believe Harawira’s apology to be genuine he’s not generally one to say something unless he means it! From his apology:

Firstly I readily apologise for the poor choice of words in that email. I suspect if I had said something like ‘European colonisers have been responsible for the loss of more than 63 million acres of Maori land over the past 150 years and it is inappropriate that you should be holding me to standards set by people with such little regard for Maori land and Maori custom, it wouldn’t have rated a mention at all in the media.

My choice of words however has led to a flood of emails and accusations from all and sundry and for that I do apologise.

I apologise to the party because the party has done many wonderful things to advance Maori aspiration and I know that my words have caused considerable damage and unnecessary harm to our relationships with other people and with other parties.

I note also that my comments have been misunderstood as an attack against all Pakeha and that’s caused a lot of damage to my own credibility throughout the Te Tai Tokerau and throughout Aotearoa as well.

Over the weekend I met with the party president and co-vice presidents and took on board some very good advice about how best to deal with controversial emails and I intend to follow that advice to ensure that such responses as my last one do not happen again in future.

I recognise that there needs to be some serious bridge building on my part with my caucus colleagues and I will be doing so over the next few weeks.

It annoys me that many of those calling for Hone to be sacked are doing so out of their own self-interest. One has to wonder if some of those supporting Labour are simply getting their own back on the Maori party for going into coalition with NACT. After all, you don’t see the same faux outrage from Labour over Trevor Mallard continuing to call the Attorney-General ‘tinkerbell’ in the house. Or is homophobia acceptable because it’s discrimination against a minority?

I thought about writing a list of MPs from both Labour and National who have made rude and offensive comments at least as bad as Harawira’s, and who have got away with a simple apology. Ultimately though, that wouldn’t be entirely constructive, so I just ask people to consider whether this is, metaphorically speaking, a case of political jurisprudence.

On the issue of the IF… THEN comment. People can refuse to believe basic logic if they like, but one should consider how boring the world would be if colourful metaphors were banned simply on the basis that they would cause offence if taken literally.

As for the original issue of Harawira disappearing on holiday in Paris, it’s entirely fair to criticise him over that, provided it’s to the same extent Rodney Hide and Bill English are. I supported Harawira when he disappeared to Alice Springs as in my mind it was a valid political action that I want to see our MPs engage in. This time however, it was personal, and Harawira should pay something back (although he did pay for the day trip himself).

54 comments on “Political Jurisprudence”

  1. Gosman 1

    So just out of interest Rocky did you have a position on whether or not Melissa Lee’s comments about South Auckland criminals was racist?

  2. Gosman 2

    Did Rodney Hide actually break the rules then in regard to his spending on the trip?

    You seem to be ignoring the fact that while Hide’s tax payer funded trip was hypocritical for him to make he didn’t do anything technically wrong.

    Hone Harawira bunked off from work to engage in a personal activity with his wife and latter bragged about it. I’m not sure he has even apologised for doing that.

  3. The Voice of Reason 3

    Give it up, please. Harawira is a nationalist and a racist, currently embroiled in a controversy entirely of his own making. Grasping at pedantic straws makes no difference what so ever, Rocky. Are you going to start posting that Winston is misunderstood? That Nick Griffin doesn’t hate all black people?

    As for the ‘he did it first’ defence. It doesn’t work in sport, law or when dealing with errant toddlers. Hone is a racist, sexist, ego driven fool and does not deserve a scrap of support from anyone who considers themselves to be on the left. Please stop, it’s embarrassing.

    • rocky 3.1

      What “he did it first” defence?

      • the sprout 3.1.1

        I think it’s amazing that we aren’t seeing a massive outcry that Buddy said it at all, probably because most reporting on the issue doesn’t really mention that detail. It’s not pedantic at all, it goes straight to the imbalanced responses to the whole issue.

        Sorry you are so easily embarrassed by reasoned argument though, puts a bit of a kink in the magnificence of your handle

    • The Voice of Reason 3.2

      Rocky; you wrote; “For a start, the white mofos reference began in Buddy Mikaere’s email to Harawira, so it’s not entirely inappropriate that those words were used in return.”

      Sprout: It’s bush lawyer pedantry, not a reasoned argument. But thanks for the compliment about my magnificent handle. I see there’s some pretender over on the sewer attempting identity theft. It ain’t me, folks, I’m naturally reluctant to dip my toe in that festering cesspit.

      • rocky 3.2.1

        That’s not a “he did it first” defense. It simply adds some context. If some other politician had said a similar thing first (as unrelated) I wouldn’t see it as relevant, but this was in the context of the emails. I’ve used derogatory language on this blog before when using the language of those I’m replying to to make my point.

      • the sprout 3.2.2

        very wise. teastament to your identity that some arsehole’s trying to nick it

  4. Sanctuary 4

    The Standard’s writers have expended a lot of electronic trees rationalising and engaging in waffling sophistry on this.

    But at the end of the day, if it looks like a duck, and it quacks like a duck, then it probably is a duck.

    • Marty G 4.1

      some of the standard’s writers. there’s a split in opinion if you look at the posts.

      • Tigger 4.1.1

        rocky does seem to be engaged with the issue…gotta give props for that. But it’s getting really boring…I was hoping The Standard might be a place to escape from this endless Harawira dross. Now that his party has taken their current line I hope it pulls the air out of this issue.

        But re the ‘Tinkerbell’ remark – why bring it up here? Is it anywhere near as offensive as what Harawira said and did? No. Heck, maybe Tinkerbell is his nickname. And you’re going to put up Finlayson as some type of victim? I’d probably call Finlayson something far worse myself given that he’s an Uncle Tom type of gay – can you name me one pro-gay statement he has made in his entire political career…? Trevor on the other hand has a voting record to show his support for gays.

        • BK Drinkwater 4.1.1.1

          I can’t speak for Rocky, but I imagine she brought the example up to demonstrate that in politics, taking offence is weapon used opportunistically, and often hypocritically.

          An example: I take opportunistic offence at you calling Chris Finlayson “an Uncle Tom type of gay”. Just because a politician happens to be gay, it doesn’t at all follow that his political career must consist of waving the pink flag at every opportunity.

          In fact, suggesting there’s an inauthentic (“Uncle Tom”) way to be gay at all is massively offensive: it reduces the full diversity of the gay community down to a single dimension, defined by you for self-serving political ends.

          Another example: the trend in the States—and I’ve seen it on this blog, too—to use the word teabaggers as a generic derogatory term in relation to that bizarre protest movement going on over there. In my high-school experience, when I hear that word being used in the generic derogatory sense, I’d get a feeling of dread because I knew I was about to get the shit kicked out of me.

          The point: just because people on the Left are generally supportive of gay rights, it doesn’t mean they’re not sometimes very callous and hurtful. This means their credibility is damaged when they claim opportunistic offence at terms like “white motherfuckers”.

          • Tigger 4.1.1.1.1

            Rather rich lecture me on the full diversity of the gay community…or that people while assuming I want Finlayson to ‘wave a pink flag at every opportunity’… You are equating being gay with this ‘waving’ not me.

            Finlayson has worked for years in a party that seeks to deny me rights. Makes him an Uncle Tom in my book.

            • gingercrush 4.1.1.1.1.1

              What has National done to deny you rights?

            • BK Drinkwater 4.1.1.1.1.2

              Yeah, because National is the party of the Wall amendment. When it comes to gay rights stuff, my position is pretty simple: a pox on all their houses.

              And how the hell am I equating being gay with waving the pink flag? I’m pointing out that different gay politicians can make different kinds of contributions. Finlayson doesn’t want his political career to “be about” gay issues. That’s his prerogative.

              Finlayson, like me, is a member of the National Party because he, like me, is more comfortable with National’s philosophy/vision/whatever than the other parties’.

              I happen to think National’s pretty crap on gay rights, so I work within the party to turn that around. Does this make me an “Uncle Tom”, too? Who the hell are you to make these judgements?

            • Armchair Critic 4.1.1.1.1.3

              GC – there has been an unreasonable amount of legislation put through under under urgency – there go some rights.
              The presumption of innocence is on the chopping block. Pretty fundamental right, I would say.
              There are those increase powers of surveillance, which are an erosion of the right to privacy.
              The government has legislated what I can wear and where I can drive. Is that enough?
              For the record, the calls of “Tinkerbell” that are shouted across the house are vile, and Mr Mallard has no excuse for them.

  5. Gosman 5

    It is quite simple really.

    If you were one of the people decrying Melissa Lee for her ‘racist’ comments about South Auckland criminal’s then you should equally be upset at Hone Harawira’s racist outburst in his e-mail reply.

  6. Geek 6

    “Mr Mikaere, who runs a consulting company, emailed Mr Harawira a two sentence message: “Gotta ask the question eh? who’s paying for Hilda?” ”

    So where in Mikaere’s email did he refer to white people as White motherfuckers? Was there previous email correspondence on this issue that I have missed the reports over? As far as I was aware this was the two sentence email that precipitated Mr Harawira’s diatribe.

    • Marty G 6.1

      I’m certainly not defending Harawira and I think it’s pushing sh*t uphill to try to do so.

      To be fair though, Mikaere actually sent a much longer email to Harawira – when the email exchange first came public it was on RNZ and they read out both emails. I don’t know why the papers reported his email as only that short quote above because it wasn’t.
      [audio src="http://podcast.radionz.co.nz/mnr/mnr-20091106-0844-Hone_Harawira_correspondence-048.mp3" /]

  7. torydog 7

    Geez your inability to see Hone has offended a great many New Zealanders and is indeed racist whether comments are made in private or not is truely weird!

    I see no distinction between Rodney and Hone with there wee holidays…..and yet I dont see any posts from the standard supporting Rodney!

    Bye bye hone…enjoy being an independent!

    • rocky 7.1

      I can see that Hone has offended a lot of people, and for that he has apologised.

      I also see no distinction between Rodney and Hone with their holidays, as you’ll see if you read my post.

  8. Zetetic 8

    Political jurisprudence is about court cases that are decided more on political than legal grounds.

    It’s got nothing to do with, and is not analogous with, the present case. This is politics. Not jurisprudence. There is nothing legal or legalistic about the way Harawira’s behaviour is judged.

    He is judged politically as a political actor who knew what he was saying and how it would be heard. He has been judged entirely fairly. Even if you don’t think it’s fair, it’s real. And the question becomes do you want to be associated with this guy or not? Ngapuhi says no, Maori Party says no. I don’t know why anyone would say yes.

    • rocky 8.1

      Note I said metaphorically speaking. I was referring to the fact that I don’t believe this case is being judged akin to others. I sense a lot of the reaction is due to peoples’ personal politics and self interest rather than a clear analysis of the situation.

      And the question becomes do you want to be associated with this guy or not? Ngapuhi says no, Maori Party says no. I don’t know why anyone would say yes.

      This isn’t some George Bush for or against bullshit. I support Ngapuhi and the Maori Party’s position on this. Hone has brought them into disrepute. That wasn’t the point of my post.

    • toad 8.2

      Zetetic, try these reasons:

      – Because Hone has tirelessly worked to raise public consciousness of and seek redress for the injustices done to Maori since the 1970s.

      – Because if the Foreshore and Seabed Act is repealed (and as racist legislation it should be) Hone will more than anyone else be responsible for that, regardless of whether he stays with the Maori Party.

      – Because Hone sticks up for working class Maori, rather than pander to the Brown Table and the Nats like some others in the Maori Party do.

      – Because Hone has probably done more to promote Maori aspirations for achieving te tino rangatiratanga guaranteed to Maori by Te Tiriti than any other living New Zealander.

      That said, I don’t condone the misogynist language he used in the email to Buddy Mikaere and, and I don’t condone his Paris travel rort.

      • snoozer 8.2.1

        No-one’s denying Hone did good stuff. But he’s doused all his achievements in petrol and put a match to them with his recent behaviour.

        He is now effectively undermining everyone else who supports his principles and leaving them with no choice, if they are wise, but to turn condemn him.

        • the sprout 8.2.1.1

          see that’s part of the point. he hasn’t doused all those achievements with ‘petrol’ as you say, he’s doused them with water – a common mistake of many a politician from time to time through their careers.

  9. Tiger Mountain 9

    A journalist wrote recently (alright, in the bloody Listener 14 Nov.) that ostensibly ‘small’ events can trigger a politicians demise or at least an unrecoverable shift in public perception of what they stand for. Exhibit A: Rodney Hide.

    While I agree with VOTR above that Hone engineered his very own such ‘small event’, this is not all about a flawed individual. It has class politics all over it. The Maori Party in real terms represents the iwi elite. This runs against what Hone has achieved in Te Tai Tokerau. He helped organise previously ignored people. He takes on the tobacco corporations. He is not a sophisticated politician, but has a cv that includes decades of radicalism from engineers delegate in the car plants of South Auckland, 81 tour, multiple Hikoi, Waitangi action, indigenous solidarity, capacity building in rural education. He was one of the few NZ mps that could have attended Australia’s ‘Sorry’ Day with any credibility.

    It is most convenient for the Maori Party that this “MoFo’ incident has occurred so they can ditch him for a compliant replacement.

    • DavidW 9.1

      I think that this matter of the politics of class that seems to permeate the Maori Party is a largely unexplored and therefore mis-understood by the majority of non-maori. When the “pakeha press” were excluded from the hui yesterday, we lost an opportunity for the veil to be lifted a little but there have still been a few clues in some of the public statements by the party’s leaders that are fascinating.
      It leads to the conclusion that tribal elitism, chiefs and “others” is alive and well. It hints that large numbers of ordinary tribal members are not represented and never will be as long as the Te Heu Heus, Turias, Horomias and other highly ranked people are the public face of Maori. It largely explains the fleet of BMWs for family members of a certain Waikato tribal leader while the medical centre offering cheap treatment to the erks had to close and it explains the concengtration of tribal assets in major investments and the lack of beneficial effects to the majority of potential beneficiaries.
      There is a Standard PhD out there to someone who can offer some better understanding of Maori tribal and Party politics and the relative roles of inherited aristocracy and influence.

      Hone appears to be the exception to the rise of the ruling class and so teh machinations surrounding his treatment will remain a mystery and will not be understood by most. It is therefore highly unpredictable as to the outcome when I suspect that the outcome has already been predetermined.
      I just wish that I could understand the words of the song and the steps of the dance a little better.

  10. ellenun 10

    I personally don’t have a huge problem with the content of the email. Essentially it just restates (if with the odd ‘punctuation mark’) the post-colonial narrative. I do, however, have a problem with the junket to Paris, a problem with the whole culture of entitlement and greed within New Zealand’s political culture. And Harawira has lost any high moral ground and shows he’s just as susceptible to it as all the rest of them. Using that post-colonial argument to defend his behaviour just gives plenty of air for the kind of comments found so far on this thread to breed.

  11. TightyRighty 11

    “One has to wonder if some of those supporting Labour are simply getting their own back on the Maori party for going into coalition with NACT. After all, you don’t see the same faux outrage from Labour over Trevor Mallard continuing to call the Attorney-General “tinkerbell’ in the house. Or is homophobia acceptable because it’s discrimination against a minority?”

    and yet at the top of the post you say you don’t believe that what hone said is racist. what else is discrimination on the grounds of skin colour but racism?

    this from the supporters of the overly politically correct side of the spectrum. nice one rochelle. it’s always great to see one thugs horrible comments towards a gay minister, that truly show what labour thinks of gays in general, put into perspective by another mans obvious antipathy towards a whole race.

  12. Maui 12

    Ok, lets be impartial. An Auditor-General inquiry into misuse of parliamentary entitlements by English, Harawira, & Hide (sounds like an interesting firm) – or following precedent from the Mother Country – an inquiry into the use of entitlements by all parliamentarians ?

    • Gosman 12.1

      Bill English’s expenses have already been the subject of an investigation.

      Rodney Hides’ were entirely on the level, he was entitled to claim what he did. The issue in his case is the hypocracy in railing against them previously.

      Hone Harawira decided to get out of doing his taxpayer funded job for a day so he could go site seeing. He may well have paid for that part of the trip himself but the actual rest of it was on taxpayers money.

      T

  13. Olwyn 13

    It must be remembered that Hone’s email did not amount to a public statement, it was a private statement later made public – I personally found some of the private statements of the National Party, made public in Nicky Hager’s book The Hollow Men, more shocking and more hypocritical.

    As to his metaphoric statement regarding Phil Goff, people can only be taking this literally for the pleasure of feeling outraged. If the Maori Party does cut him loose, headlines will shout “Hone Axed!” without anyone assuming there is blood on the floor.

    And as to the trip to Paris, he paid for it himself, and I would be very surprised if he was the first and only politician to skip a meeting. As I have said before, one ought be charitable enough to assume he used some judgment as to which meeting to skip.

    I also think there is a big difference between racial remarks coming from a person who is often on the receiving end and those that come from a person who assumes a superior position.

    Finally, I admire the guy’s forthrightness, of which we could do with more, rather than less, perhaps without the distraction of the swearing.

    • toad 13.1

      Mind you, rumour has it that Richard Worth’s sackable offence was skipping a meeting at Parliament to go rooting.

    • DavidW 13.2

      Hone didn’t just “skip a meeting” he was the leader of a Parliamentary Delegation, sent to Brussells specifically for the meeting.

      Sort of raises the stakes a bit I would have thought

    • the sprout 13.3

      “people can only be taking this literally for the pleasure of feeling outraged”

      hear hear

      “there is a big difference between racial remarks coming from a person who is often on the receiving end and those that come from a person who assumes a superior position”

      indeed

  14. Olwyn 14

    And two more points I forgot to add:”Hone” is criticising the very people who pay his taxes.” Don’t Maori also pay taxes!
    “There he is, criticising Pakeha and then taking time out to look at their great works of art.” Does anyone really think that Maori would have remained isolated from the rest of the world if a few boat loads of English hadn’t turned up in the 19th century? Furthermore the works of art in question were certainly not produced by white New Zealanders.

    • the sprout 14.1

      you and your logic getting in the way of a good outrage-off 🙂

    • Geek 14.2

      “Don’t Maori also pay taxes!”

      Yes they do. However the comments weren’t aimed at Maori even though there were Maori clearly involved in the most recent theft, the F&S.

      “Does anyone really think that Maori would have remained isolated from the rest of the world if a few boat loads of English hadn’t turned up in the 19th century? Furthermore the works of art in question were certainly not produced by white New Zealanders.”

      A fair point. That issue has been battered on more than it is worth.

  15. Anne 15

    Tariana Turia was quoted in today’s Herald as saying ” This is not just about a jaunt to Paris or bad language. It’s been an ongoing issue and it’s reached it’s end… we have not been able to manage the situation… we have to be honest, we couldn’t manage it”.

    Given her political back-ground and her current political love affair with John Key, I wonder if she is using Harawira’s (conveniently) silly behaviour as an excuse to get rid of him because he is a personal thorn in her side?

  16. dave 16

    I doubt it
    (captcha “managing” classic!)

  17. Anne 17

    Fair enough dave. Nothing in politics is as simple as that. But it may well have been a partial consideration given her past record. Turia has a reputation for wanting her own way come hell or high water.

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    A list of indicators of bad science – many of these are found in articles promoted by anti-fluoride activists. Anti-fluoride activists have been pouring money into a scaremongering campaign warning pregnant women not to drink fluoridated water. They claim fluoride will lower the IQ of their future child. Fluoride ...
    3 days ago
  • Losing Labour’s Mills-Tone.
    Nothing Left To Say: Labour's pollster, Stephen Mills, remains swaddled-up in the comforting myths of the 1980s. As if the experience of Roger Douglas’s genuinely radical post-Muldoon policy agenda was literally a once-in-a-lifetime thing – as much as the party could possibly absorb for at least the next 50 years.MEMO ...
    3 days ago
  • Speaker: Disability and the Royal Commission of Inquiry into Historical Abuse
    The Royal Commission on abuse in care is very significant for the disability community. For many decades last century, thousands of disabled children, and adults who managed to survive, were locked away from families and communities. This was not for anything they had done, but for the perceived threat their ...
    3 days ago
  • Spain is not a democracy
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    3 days ago
  • UK Conservatives hate democracy
    With an unfair voting system, uneven electorates and an un-elected upper house, the UK's "democracy" is barely worthy of the name. But now the government wants to make it worse:The government has been accused of suppressing voters’ rights with the potential disenfranchisement of tens of thousands of people after plans ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    3 days ago
  • What is wrong with our building industry?
    Back in the 90's and early 2000's, the building industry was building leaky homes which should never have been granted consent. Now it turns out they've been building dodgy office blocks as well:New imaging technology has revealed hundreds of major buildings nationwide have defective or missing concrete or reinforcing steel. ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    4 days ago
  • Local bodies
    Local body election results were released over the weekend, to joy or despair depending on where you live. In Auckland, Phil Goff trounced John Tamihere, who is muttering darkly about running for Parliament again (but which party would want him?) Wellington is now a wholly-owned subsidiary of Weta Workshop, except ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    4 days ago
  • A future of government
      How could government evolve over the next decades? Reports of democracy’s imminent demise are greatly exaggerated.  However, satisfaction with political systems in many countries is low, so there is much to do for governments of all political stripes to improve relevance and trust. Digital technologies are seen as one ...
    SciBlogsBy Robert Hickson
    6 days ago
  • Speaker: Catalonia, interrupted
    Two years have now gone by since the Friday afternoon when my university-student son and I headed out of our Barcelona flat to a nearby primary school, designated as a polling station for the vote that was to be held the following Sunday: the referendum on Catalonia’s independence from Spain ...
    6 days ago
  • Sage Decisions Unwisely Over-Ruled.
    Overruled: The joint decision of Finance Minister, Grant Robertson (Labour) and his Associate Minister, David Parker (Labour) arguably the two most powerful ministers in Jacinda Ardern’s government, to grant OceanaGold the consents which Land Information Minister, Eugenie Sage (Greens) had earlier denied them, offers bitter proof of how hard fighting ...
    6 days ago
  • Government may ban voting in effort to get more people to do it
    More than double the number of people who will vote in this year’s local body elections have tried marijuana or urinated somewhere they shouldn’t have. As local elections look set for the lowest turnout in decades, with many regions falling well short of 40%, the Government is exploring a number ...
    The CivilianBy admin
    6 days ago
  • Woman: Deleted.
    A Statement on Abortion Law Reform by the Council of Disobedient Women   On the eve of bringing an end to antiquated, anti-women abortion laws Green MP Jan Logie intends to write women out of the Bill. With a stroke of the pen, the woke are aiming for total erasure ...
    RedlineBy Daphna
    6 days ago
  • The Hollowest of Men Ride Again… SURPRISE!
    Musings continue apace about “the experienced businessman!” soon to be taking up a National Party MP position. Or to be more accurate, being parachuted into a seat to shut down their former MP Jamie-Lee Ross, who despite his own shortcomings shed at least some more light on the inner workings ...
    exhALANtBy exhalantblog
    6 days ago
  • Barbaric
    The Ugandan government wants to murder gay people:Uganda has announced plans to impose the death penalty on homosexuals. The bill, colloquially known as “Kill the Gays” in Uganda, was nullified five years ago on a technicality, but the government said on Thursday it plans to resurrect it within weeks. The ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    7 days ago
  • Fighting Monsters.
    Freedom Of Speech? The Säuberung (cleansing by fire) was the work of the German Student Union which, on 10 May 1933, under the watchful eye of the Nazi Reichminister for Propaganda, Joseph Goebbels, consigned 25,000 books to the flames in a ritual exorcism of “un-German thought”. According to the logic of the ...
    7 days ago
  • The next wave of kaupapa Māori politics: its constitutional, it must be.
      “There can be no such thing as kaupapa Māori political parties or politics in Aotearoa” (Willie Jackson, Labour Party (2017). Māori TV, General/List Election Special) I begin with that claim because at the time, I was confounded at first that it fell out of Willie Jackson’s mouth, and then ...
    EllipsisterBy Ellipsister
    1 week ago
  • Night lights of NZ from orbit
    New Zealand has prided itself for decades with regard to its lack of pollution, and all will be aware that the ‘100% Pure New Zealand‘ meme is under threat through land, water and air pollution of various causes. There is another type of contamination that the country also faces: light ...
    SciBlogsBy Duncan Steel
    1 week ago
  • Reporters deliver uplifting news to fleeing Japanese residents: they won’t miss any rugby
    New Zealand’s media is doing its part in Japan, reassuring those in the path of the storm that they won’t miss any rugby while away from their flooded homes. New Zealand sports reporters stationed in Japan for the Rugby World Cup have had the rare and heartwarming opportunity to inform ...
    The CivilianBy admin
    1 week ago
  • Government in contentious discussions about whether to put surplus on red or black
    Regional Development Minister Shane Jones is the only Cabinet member in favour of putting it all on green. As Finance Minister Grant Robertson finds himself with an enormous $7.5 billion surplus, the Government has begun intense, at times contentious conversations about whether to put the money on red or black at ...
    The CivilianBy admin
    1 week ago
  • Jordanian teachers’ successful strike has lessons for here
    by Susanne Kemp At the start of September close to 100,000 school teachers went on strike in Jordan.  They demanded a 50% pay rise.  A pay rise actually agreed to by the regime back in 2014. In early October, however, in the face of government repression and threats, the teachers’ ...
    RedlineBy Admin
    1 week ago
  • Why some people still think climate change isn’t real
    Climate Explained is a collaboration between The Conversation, Stuff and the New Zealand Science Media Centre to answer your questions about climate change. If you have a question you’d like an expert to answer, please send it to climate.change@stuff.co.nz Why do people still think climate change isn’t real? David ...
    SciBlogsBy Guest Author
    1 week ago
  • The SIS unlawfully spied on Nicky Hager
    Back in 2011, journalist Nicky Hager published Other People's Wars, an expose on NZDF's activities over the previous decade of the "war on terror". NZDF didn't like this, and especially didn't like the fact that it was base don leaks from their own. So, they had the SIS investigate him ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • October 2019 – Newsletter
    https://mailchi.mp/7d9133add053/closing-the-gap-october-2019-newsletter ...
    Closing the GapBy Tracey Sharp
    1 week ago
  • And they wonder why we think they’re environmental vandals…
    The Zero Carbon Bill is due back from select committee in two weeks, and will likely pass its final stages in November. So naturally, farmers are planning a hate-march against it. But they're not just demanding lower methane targets so they can keep on destroying the planet; they're also demanding ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • Climate Change: Paying the price in California
    Last year, California burned. This year, to stop it happening again (or rather, to stop themselves from being found liable if it happens again), Pacific Gas and Electric is cutting power to half the state for a week:Schools are closed. Traffic lights down. Tunnels dark. Businesses unopened. Hospitals running on ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • Let’s Hear It For Up-Close-And-Personal, Hard-Copy Democracy!
    The Best Way: Missing from the on-line voting debate is any reference to the voting system that produces turn-out figures ranging from 77 to 93 percent of registered voters. The voting system used to collect and count the votes cast in our parliamentary elections. The system that involves citizens making ...
    1 week ago
  • 10/10: World Day Against the Death Penalty
    Today, October 10, is the world day against the death penalty. Out of 195 UN member states, 84 still permit capital punishment. Today is the day we work to change that. This year's theme is children. Having a parent sentenced to death or executed causes long-term trauma and stigmatization which ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • Talking Freer Lives: a Marxist gender-critical perspective from Australia
    Among the great new bunch of political friends we have been making recently is the excellent Australian-based Marxist gender-critical site, Freer Lives.  So we asked the comrade who set up that blog to write something for Redline on the blog, himself, his analysis of the rise of gender politics and ...
    RedlineBy Admin
    1 week ago
  • Government spin accepted by union leadership
    by Don Franks  The Auckland City Mission is struggling with a 40 percent increase in demand for food parcels this year. A total of 23,020 were needed by June. Last month Missioner Chris Farrelly told the Herald the “cupboards are bare” and without an emergency food drive, he can’t see ...
    RedlineBy Daphna
    1 week ago
  • Forbidden Thoughts
    by The Council of Disobedient Women   Massey Wellington Student Association had a sit-in today. Imagine a sit-in. On a campus. Against a women’s rights meeting. Did the ’60s really happen or did we fucking dream it? They gathered in the student square, an echo chamber. Sitting on soft pillows ...
    RedlineBy Daphna
    1 week ago
  • Much love to my loyal Ukrainian readership
    For some reasons, my post about the mystery message from inside the Downing Street bunker seemed to catch people's attention.  Quite a lot of hits from NZ (unsurprisingly) and the USA (a bit more puzzlingly, but hi there, USAians!!) and 76 views from the Ukraine.I've celebrated my Ukrainian readers in ...
    1 week ago
  • Another day of bonkers GNUmours (again, sorry)
    First, almost a score of Labour MPs seem to have sent a letter to the EU basically begging them to accept a deal - any deal - just so Britain can get the Heck on with Brexiting instead of being trapped in limbo:
    To avoid no deal, deliver on the ...
    1 week ago
  • Labour vs working class immigrants – again!
    by Phil Duncan In 2016 the National-led government suspended the Parent Visa Category, through which migrants were able to bring their parents into New Zealand.  Since then over 5,700 people have been in immigration limbo, stuck on the visa wait list. Labour is now bringing back the scheme.  Well, sort ...
    RedlineBy Admin
    1 week ago
  • Speak Up for Women press statement: on Massey University and Feminism 2020
    The following was released yesterday (Tues, October 8) by the women’s liberation organisation Speak Up for Women. On 23 September Speak Up For Women announced that we would be holding an event at the Massey University Theaterette in Wellington. The event is called Feminism 2020. The intention of the event ...
    RedlineBy Admin
    1 week ago
  • Farmers support dirty rivers
    The government is currently consulting on plans to improve freshwater quality. So naturally, farmers oppose it:South Taranaki farmers are preparing to fight proposed national freshwater changes that some fear will bankrupt them. The Government's proposed National Environment Standard on Freshwater Management, released in September, rated the Waingongoro River as one ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • No-one cares about local government
    Yesterday was the last day for (reliably) posting your vote away in local body elections. Turnouts are mostly much lower than the equivalent time last year (Palmerston North is down 2.3%), and so naturally people are pushing their online-voting snake oil again. Because the online census worked so well, lets ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • The political ghosts of eugenics may matter more than the genetic
    This essay, on the political legacy of the eugenics movement, by Kenan Malik was originally published in the Observer on 6 October 2019, under the headline ‘The spirit of eugenics is still with us, as immigrants know to their cost’. Birth control. Intelligence tests. Town planning. Immigration controls. It’s striking how ...
    RedlineBy Daphna
    1 week ago
  • “Surplus” again
    Another year, and the government has announced another enormous government "surplus". And just like last year, its nothing of the sort. When we have people homeless and sick and hungry, when we have schools and hospitals still falling down, when we have underpaid public servants and infrastucture unmaintained or unbuilt, ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • Inside the Downing Street bunker
    James Forsyth at The Spectator (I know, I know) has tapped one of his contacts inside Number Ten for an insight into the Johnson administration's thinking and strategy.It is fascinating, unsettling and quite, quite mad.  Some key points:Negotiations have stalled and the Johnson administration are keen to blame the EU: ...
    1 week ago
  • Taking Control Of The Nation’s Story.
    Fatal Contact: With the arrival of captain James Cook in October 1769, the islands of what would become New Zealand ceased to be the preserve of Polynesian navigators and settlers and became a part of both the world’s map and the world’s history.THE MAORI NATIONALIST assault upon the historical meaning ...
    1 week ago
  • Are GNUs extinct?
    Another round of tactical talks about forming a Government of National Unity have come to nothing with the Liberal Democrats still refusing countenance putting Jeremy Corbyn into Downing Street:Opposition talks on Monday made little headway over when to try and vote down Boris Johnson's government and who might succeed him as ...
    1 week ago
  • Labour chickens out again
    When the government was elected, it promised to lead the way on electric vehicles, and specifically to make the government vehicle fleet emissions-free where-practicable by 2025.They lied:There are 15,473 vehicles in the government fleet and only 78 are electric. When the coalition Government came into power in late 2017, the ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • Transgender extremism, violence at work against feminist meeting at British Labour Party conference
    by Nick Rogers The debate around the meaning of sex and gender made an appearance at this year’s British Labour Party conference in Brighton. Women’s Place UK – an organisation that questions the demand that biological males who self-identify as woman should have access to women’s spaces, to all-women shortlists, ...
    RedlineBy Admin
    1 week ago
  • Rebelling in Wellington
    Yesterday I went down to Wellington to participate in the Extinction Rebellion protest. Its part of the latest global wave of XR actions, with actions happening all over the world. Some of those protests are massively disruptive: in Canada, XR is blocking major bridges, stopping people from getting to work. ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • ‘The Workshop’ – Report: Talking about Poverty and Welfare Reform: A Guide to Strategies that ...
    The Workshop is a charitable trust for public good. The Workshop undertake research to find ways of communicating that will build support for the solutions that work to solve complex social and environmental problems. See their Report on Talking about Poverty and Welfare Reform below. ...
    Closing the GapBy Tracey Sharp
    1 week ago
  • Exclusive language
    What is language? We generally assume that it a facility unique to humans, allowing us to share what’s in and on our minds. We can tell of our plans, our past exploits, our knowledge. It also allows us to lie. And yet there are vast numbers of people we can’t ...
    SciBlogsBy Michael Corballis
    1 week ago
  • April 2018 – Submission to the NZ Govt Tax Working Group
    You can read our submission HERE ...
    Closing the GapBy Tracey Sharp
    1 week ago
  • 2018 – Submission to the NZ Government Tax Working Group
    Read our submission here ...
    Closing the GapBy Tracey Sharp
    1 week ago
  • Guardian: Poll shows DISASTER for Corbyn and the End of Times
    The Guardian - ever eager to forewarn of doom and disaster on the left - are leading with a new poll from Opinium, which puts the Conservatives 15% clear of Labour.Con 38% +2Lab 23% -1Lib Dem 15% -5Brexit 12% +1Green 4% +2This isn't good news, and it would be very ...
    2 weeks ago
  • How prostitution became the world’s most modern profession
    Being and Being Bought (Spinifex Press, 2013) by Kajsa Ekis Ekman  A synopsis and commentary of Chapters 1-2 by Daphna Whitmore Ekman, a Swedish journalist and critic, brings together a Marxist and feminist analysis of prostitution and surrogacy in this groundbreaking book She opens the discussion with a definition of ...
    RedlineBy Daphna
    2 weeks ago
  • Clever legal fellow on Scottish challenge to Brexit
    I make no claims to having much legal knowledge,  so I defer to those trained in this area.I am very much enjoying this twitter stream from m'learned friend in Edinburgh, deciphering the legal arguments around the Scottish court challenge to Boris Johnson, based on the charmingly obscure principle of Nobile ...
    2 weeks ago
  • An Open Letter From Closed Minds.
    Ivory Folly? The University of Auckland’s Vice-Chancellor, Professor Stuart McCutcheon, upheld the right of the radical nationalist group, Action Zealandia to exercise their freedom of speech – not matter how distasteful that speech might be. A wiser community of students and scholars would have nodded their agreement and moved on. ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Extinction Rebellion members want to “eat babies”
    If you are not convinced terrorist Organisation ‘Extinction Rebellion’ is very, very dangerous – watch this video at one of their recent meetings. Not only is this obviously mentally ill Woman begging the other terrorists to promote killing and “eating” babies and children, if you watch carefully other members nod ...
    An average kiwiBy admin@averagekiwi.com
    2 weeks ago

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