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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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    The purpose of the lockdown is to save lives, by reducing the spread of covid-19. We won't know if its really working for another week, but given the devastation that will result if it doesn't - 14,000 dead is the optimistic scenario - its definitely worth trying. But pausing the ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 days ago
  • Life in Lock Down: Day 5
    . . March 30: Day five of living in lock-down… Woke up still in darkness. Alarm hadn’t gone off. Turn to radio clock; it’s a few minutes after 6am… I lie there in the dark, waiting to drift off to sleep… but it ain’t happening. Clock ticks over to 6.55 ...
    Frankly SpeakingBy Frank Macskasy
    2 days ago
  • Speaker: Les Gray: the man who told the truth
    The story of Les Gray, the public sector psychologist who told the truth about his use of cannabis and set off a storm, has a special place in the lore of cannabis reform in New Zealand.When Paul Shannon interviewed Gray for the 'Dope and Hope' issue of Planet magazine in ...
    2 days ago
  • Why now? Historical specificity and the perfect storm that has created trans identity politics
    by Phil Duncan For Marxists, a key concern about social trends is their context – not just their causes, but why they happen when they do.  Events and phenomena have causes, but they also are time or period-specific. While much of the left have capitulated recently to postmodernism, most notably ...
    RedlineBy Admin
    3 days ago
  • Time for a living wage for supermarket workers
    Since the lockdown began, we've all suddenly been reminded who the actually essential workers in our society are: not the people at the top who pay themselves the big bucks and rort the perks, but the people at the bottom they screw over and squeeze: cleaners, warehouse staff, truck drivers ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    3 days ago
  • Hard News: MUSIC: Lockdown Grooves
    Kia ora! As I've watched nearly all my remaining work vanish over the past couple of days, it has occured to me that one good way to keep me away from arguing with fools on Twitter all the time (in the knowledge that all we're really doing is processing our ...
    3 days ago
  • A place of greater safety?
    Aotearoa New Zealand has committed to trying to extirpate the virus that causes COVID-19 from its shores. To do that, as a society we’ve moved to “Level 4”. That means adapting to unprecedented restrictions on our personal freedoms, particularly to our rights to move freely and associate with friends and ...
    PunditBy Andrew Geddis
    3 days ago
  • The police and public trust
    When the Prime Minister declared a state of emergency last week, she handed the police powers to enforce it. And almost immediately, we started hearing about heavy-handed, arbitrary "enforcement" by police who (at best) cared more about order than law, or (more likely) had no idea what the rules were ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    3 days ago
  • Life in Lock Down: Day 4
    . . Lock Down: Day 4 – A photo essay with observations . March 29: Usual wake up routine as RNZ snaps on my radio-clock. Jim Mora’s voice slowly enters my conciousness; there’s talk of a second wave of covid19 taking hold in South Korea; the week in Parliament – ...
    Frankly SpeakingBy Frank Macskasy
    3 days ago
  • COVID-19 vs New Zealand
    Yesterday, New Zealand recorded its first Covid-19 related death on the West Coast. Unfortunately this is unlikely to be the only fatality, with the virus now being found in every region of the country.However despite the significant danger, people are still unfortunately breaching lockdown rules.There’s really only one main very ...
    3 days ago
  • 2020 SkS Weekly Climate Change & Global Warming Digest #13
    Story 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... ‘Misinformation kills’: The link between coronavirus conspiracies and climate denial   Grist / Rob Kim / Stringer / CSA Images  Scientific ...
    4 days ago
  • Rāhui day 4
    The kids did surprisingly well today – meltdown count was about 3, and mostly fairly short ones. (And a fourth while I was writing.) Game-wise I had a go at Fell Seal: Arbiter’s Mark. It’s a fairly standard RPG with turn-based combat and what they call a “mature storyline” (it ...
    The little pakehaBy chrismiller
    4 days ago
  • Letter to a friend
    by Don Franks Hi David, Nice hearing from you, I’m glad to hear you’re getting by okay in these grim times. You asked how’s it going for us back here in New Zealand. You would have heard that the whole country is locked down and with breaks for exercise and ...
    RedlineBy Daphna
    4 days ago
  • Life in Lock Down: Day 3
    . . Lock Down: Day 3 – A photo essay with observations . March 28: First day of the first weekend in Lock Down. It feels like it’s been weeks since only Level 3 was declared last Tuesday, only four days ago. Woke up this morning to RNZ; coffee; toast, ...
    Frankly SpeakingBy Frank Macskasy
    4 days ago
  • 2020 SkS Weekly Climate Change & Global Warming News Roundup #13
    A chronological listing of news articles linked to on the Skeptical Science Facebook Page during the past week, i.e., Sun, Mar 22, 2020 through Sat, Mar 28, 2020 Articles Linked to on Facebook Sun, Mar 22, 2020 In Just 10 Years, Warming Has Increased the Odds of Disasters by Chelsea Harvey, ...
    5 days ago
  • Rāhui day 3
    I’m here in lockdown with my flatmate and her two girls (6 and 2) and it. is. a time. They’re usually really active so to start with the only boardgame in the house is the copy of Guess Who that the 6 year old got for her birthday. Flatmate commented ...
    The little pakehaBy chrismiller
    5 days ago
  • A test of civil society.
    The CV-19 (COVID) pandemic has seen the imposition of a government ordered national quarantine and the promulgation of a series of measures designed to spread the burden of pain and soften the economic blow on the most strategically important and most vulnerable sectors of society. The national narrative is framed ...
    KiwipoliticoBy Pablo
    5 days ago
  • Life in Lock Down: Day 2
    . . Lock Down: Day 2 – A photo essay with observations . March 27 – Day 2 of our Strange New World. The Park and Ride near my suburb, usually filled with hundreds of vehicles, had just… four; . . Another drive into Wellington City on a highway nearly ...
    Frankly SpeakingBy Frank Macskasy
    5 days ago
  • How Do You Feel? What Do You Think?
    Fortune's Children: Under extraordinary pressure, the leader of the Government and the leader of the Opposition will each show us what they are made of. Have they been blessed with intelligence, grace, wit, poise, toughness, empathy and humour – and in what measure? More importantly, to what extent have they ...
    5 days ago
  • Landlords are NOT an essential service
    If you’ve ever had the misfortune of having to rent a property on the open market in New Zealand, which is one of the most expensive in the entire world, you’ll likely be keenly aware of just how arrogant and entitled landlords and their real estate agents can be.Unfortunately for ...
    6 days ago
  • A “new Society” post-COVID19 will definitely emerge. The question is: on what path?
    Society-wise, aside from the specific morbidity shall we say of the medically-oriented aspects of this COVID-19 crisis, what is unfolding before the world is in more than one way an instructive study of humanity and reactions to a high intensity, high stress environment in real time. Friends, we are at ...
    exhALANtBy exhalantblog
    6 days ago
  • Raise the Bar: Everything you need to know about the wage subsidy
    Right now low waged and insecure workers are feeling the economic brunt of the looming #Covid19 Recession. In response legal advocate Toby Cooper* and hospitality and worker’s rights advocate Chloe Ann-King, are putting together a series of legal blogs about your employment rights: In this legal blog we outline some ...
    PosseBy chloeanneking
    6 days ago
  • The massacre of prisoners in Modelo jail, Bogota, March 21
    by Equipo Jurídico Pueblos and Gearóid Ó Loingsigh (25/03/2020) An escape plan in question On the night of March 21st and the early morning of the 22nd, the forces of the Colombian state stormed into the Modelo prison in Bogotá, murdering 23 prisoners and injuring 83, in response to the ...
    RedlineBy Admin
    6 days ago
  • We are not America
    When the government banned semi-automatic weapons in response to a terrorist atrocity, gun-nuts were outraged. Mired in toxic American gun culture, they thought owning weapons whose sole purpose was killing people was some sort of "constitutional right", a necessity for "defending themselves" against the government. Now, the Court of Appeal ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    6 days ago
  • When will we know the lockdown is working?
    Just before midnight on Wednesday March 25, Aotearoa New Zealand entered a countrywide alert level four lockdown. For at least the next four weeks, everyone who isn’t an essential worker is confined to their bubble. We are doing this to stop the explosive growth in people contracting and dying from ...
    SciBlogsBy Siouxsie Wiles
    6 days ago
  • Lock Down: Day 1
    . . Lock Down: Day 1 – A photo essay with observations . Day one of the Level 4 nationwide lock-down (or, DefCon 4 as I sometimes cheekily call it) started at 11.59PM on 25 March. For a moment, most of the nation held it’s collective breath. In that brief ...
    Frankly SpeakingBy Frank Macskasy
    6 days ago
  • A Compelling Recollection.
    Broad, Sunlit Uplands: How those words fired my young imagination! Or, perhaps, it is more accurate to say: how those words fused, in my young mind, with the image printed on every packet of Fielder’s Cornflour. Always fascinated by history, especially modern history, I cannot hear Churchill’s wonderfully evocative words, even ...
    7 days ago
  • The Warehouse – where everyone gets a virus
    . . 24 March 2020 9.46AM Number of covid19 cases in Aotearoa New Zealand: 102 . As of 11.59 on Thursday, most of New Zealand will go into “lock down”. People will be expected not to travel to work; not to socialise; and to stay home. I will not be ...
    Frankly SpeakingBy Frank Macskasy
    7 days ago
  • Aggressive action to address climate change could save the world $145 trillion
    This is a re-post from Yale Climate Connections A respected research group, Project Drawdown, finds that deploying solutions consistent with meeting the Paris climate targets would cost tens of trillions of dollars globally. But crucially, those outlays would also yield long-term savings many times larger than the up-front costs. The new 2020 Drawdown ...
    1 week ago
  • After the Pandemic
    It will pass. What happens next? Not immediately, but longer term. There are many opinions, fewer certainties. Will it “change everything!” as many confidently, and contradictorily predict? In this post I look at how foresight can help bound some of the uncertainties so you can more objectively consider the future. ...
    SciBlogsBy Robert Hickson
    1 week ago
  • Coronavirus – Cuba shows the way
    We’ve been meaning t write something on Cuba and the coronavirus but have just discovered a very good article on the subject in the US left publication Jacobin.  The article looks at how Cuba, a poor country but one where capitalism has been done away with, is leading the way ...
    RedlineBy Admin
    1 week ago
  • Using privacy law to prevent the death penalty
    In 2018, El Shafee Elsheikh and Alexanda Kotey - two British citizens who had purportedly been stripped of their citizenship by the British government - were captured while fighting for Isis in Syria. The British government then conspired to hand them over to the US, and agreed to provide evidence ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • It’s Time For Disaster Socialism.
    Transformers: The disaster of the Great Depression was transformed into a new and fairer society by the democratic socialism of the First Labour Government. The disaster of the Covid-19 Pandemic offers a similar transformative possibility to the Labour-NZ First-Green Government. Seize the time, Jacinda! You will never have a better ...
    1 week ago
  • Skeptical Science New Research for Week #12, 2020
    Tamper with The System? Well, we already are. But there's a difference between accidentally trickling sand into a precision gearbox versus formulating a plan to alter it on the fly with improvements in mind. One action is more or less innocently unscrupulous, the other amenable to earning an easy ...
    1 week ago
  • Avoidable hospitalisations: Helping our health system get through COVID-19
    Associate Prof George Thomson, Louise Delany, Prof Nick Wilson While it is possible that New Zealand can use intense public health controls to eradicate COVID-19 from the country – we must also plan for other scenarios where thousands of New Zealanders are sick – including many urgently hospitalised.1 Better resilience ...
    SciBlogsBy Public Health Expert
    1 week ago
  • Raise the Bar: 10 questions to ask your employer proposing redundancy
    Kia ora my name is Chloe Ann-King* and I am the founder of Raise the Bar, a campaign and non-profit that gives free legal aid, advocacy and tautoko to hospitality workers in Aotearoa. Right now all over our country hospo workers are being fired at will, having shifts cut or being ...
    PosseBy chloeanneking
    1 week ago
  • An equitable way to support business
    The Herald reports that the government is planning to lend billions of dollars to large businesses to keep them operating during the pandemic. As with mortgage relief, this is necessary: we need companies to stay in business, to reduce the economic damage and help things get restarted again when this ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • Hard News: Together Alone
    We're about to do something unprecedented as a nation. We hope that by taking this extraordinary action before a single life in New Zealand has been lost to the deadly novel virus we will save tens of thousands of lives. Our  lives. We'll do it together, in households, in isolation ...
    1 week ago
  • Why timing is everything: ‘A time to refrain from embracing’ starts today
    “There is a time for everything,    and a season for every activity under the heavens.”So writes the author of Ecclesiastes, a book in the Old Testament that’s counted as a ‘wisdom’ book and written as if by an unnamed king of Jerusalem. But who would have thought there would be a time ...
    PunditBy Tim Watkin
    1 week ago
  • Dealing with the Covid-19 Tsunami.
    I was surprised when the prime minister described the Economic Response to Covid-19 package as the ‘largest peacetime government spend in New Zealand's history’. Reflecting – checking through history – I realised that the term ‘spend’ was crucial and the package had no income tax cuts. Even so, it has ...
    PunditBy Brian Easton
    1 week ago
  • What about renters?
    The government today announced the latest part of its pandemic relief package: a six-month mortgage holiday for people whose incomes have been affected by the pandemic. Which is great, because these people are going to need help, and that's what the government should be doing. At the same time, it ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • Living within our means.
    Years ago the Argentine sociologist Carlos Weisman wrote a book titled “Living within our Means.” It was a critique of Argentine society that focused on the paradoxical question of why, in a land of plenty, there was so much economic instability, inequality, corruption and political turmoil. His conclusion was basically ...
    KiwipoliticoBy Pablo
    1 week ago
  • Transparency and the pandemic
    Parliament will be leading by example and adjourning tomorrow after a special sitting to consider an epidemic notice and state of emergency. Day-to-day oversight of the government will be delegated to a select committee. But that's not the only overight mechanism. The OIA will still be law, and (so far) ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • ‘Overjoyed’: a leading health expert on New Zealand’s coronavirus shutdown, and the challengin...
    Michael Baker, University of Otago Overjoyed. That’s not a word epidemiologists normally use, but that’s how I felt after hearing Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern’s announcement about New Zealand’s COVID-19 shutdown of everything except essential services for at least four weeks from midnight on Wednesday. More than anything, I just ...
    SciBlogsBy Public Health Expert
    1 week ago
  • One way to solve the housing crisis
    How much homelessness is caused by house hoarding? We're about to find out. The pandemic has destroyed tourism, which means that house hoarders who put their hoarded properties up as short-term tourist rentals are now offering them on the ordinary rental market:Property investors are pulling properties from Airbnb to offer ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • The pros and cons of planting trees to address global warming
    This is a re-post from Yale Climate Connections by Bruce Lieberman It seems like such a simple, straightforward, empowering idea: plant trees – a lot of trees – all over the world, and watch the planet’s temperature fall. Who doesn’t love a tree or two, even far more – the right ...
    1 week ago
  • Not a grand coalition, but a government of national salvation
    According to Newshub, Simon Bridges is open to joining a “grand coalition” with Labour as we hunker down to go into a month long lockdown. The idea is sound. Before now, the role of the opposition was to scrutinise and oppose. In the context of what almost amounts to a ...
    PunditBy Liam Hehir
    1 week ago
  • Raise the Bar: hospitality workers & wage subsidy entitlements
    Kia ora my name is Chloe Ann-King* and I am the founder of Raise the Bar, a campaign and non-profit that gives free legal aid, advocacy and tautoko to hospitality workers in Aotearoa. Right now all over our country hospo workers are being fired at will, having shifts cut or ...
    PosseBy chloeanneking
    1 week ago
  • Lifting our game against COVID-19
    We need to be lifting our game against COVID-19. You and I need to help those working to prevent the spread of COVID-19 while they’re trying to lift the testing and treatment efforts. We don’t want to be playing this game running backwards. Best to play it solidly forward, from ...
    SciBlogsBy Grant Jacobs
    1 week ago
  • The maths and ethics of minimising COVID-19 deaths in NZ
    Prof Tony Blakely, Prof Michael Baker, and Prof Nick Wilson The NZ Government must do more to clearly articulate its COVID-19 strategy: eradication or ‘flattening the curve’ mitigation. But to do so means understanding the maths and ethics of both these strategies. In this blog, we adapt our work for ...
    SciBlogsBy Public Health Expert
    1 week ago
  • All aboard the Covid Train
    A few days ago I was starting to write something about the pandemic, which now seems unconscionable. It took the form of a letter to an agony aunt:“Dear Deidre, I have an ugly confession. I am quite excited by Covid-19.”This is how the piece went:“I’m not a psychopath, honest. Although the ...
    PunditBy Phil Vine
    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
    4 hours 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
    6 hours 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
    7 hours 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
    7 hours 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
    7 hours 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
    10 hours 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 day 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 day 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
    2 days ago
  • Government seeks infrastructure projects
    The Government has tasked a group of industry leaders to seek out infrastructure projects that are ready to start as soon as the construction industry returns to normal to reduce the economic impact of the COVID-19 pandemic, Economic Development Minister Phil Twyford and Infrastructure Minister Shane Jones say. The Infrastructure ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • Health system scaled up to prepare for COVID-19
    Work to scale up the health system in preparation for COVID-19 was today outlined by Health Minister David Clark, as he reported back to the new Epidemic Response Committee. “We are well placed to contain the spread of COVID-19. We have taken early and decisive action at our borders, and ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • Essential media COVID-19 guidelines refined
    The Government is refining its COVID-19 essential business guidance to include the distribution of news publications for communities which are hard to reach. The Minister of Broadcasting, Communications and Digital Media, Kris Faafoi, said the move was in recognition of the importance for New Zealanders who might be harder to ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • Supermarkets able to open on Easter Sunday
    The Government is ensuring supermarkets can open on Easter Sunday so we can buy groceries, but stay closed on Good Friday allowing workers to take a break. This provides a balanced approach and ensures we avoid large queues that two days closure may cause. “Supermarkets will be able to open ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • New Zealand defence personnel conclude mission at Taji
    Following the successful conclusion of the Building Partner Capacity (BPC) mission at Taji, New Zealand defence personnel are returning to New Zealand from Iraq, in accordance with the Cabinet decision made in June 2019, Foreign Affairs Minister Winston Peters and Defence Minister Ron Mark announced today. “New Zealand is very ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • State of National Emergency extended
    The State of National Emergency to help stop the spread of COVID-19 has been extended for a further seven days, Minister of Civil Defence Peeni Henare said. The initial declaration on March 25 lasted seven days and can be extended as many times as necessary. “Since we went into isolation ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • Strong Govt books support ‘go hard, go early’ response
    New Zealand’s ability to go hard and go early in the fight against COVID-19 has been underpinned by strong Government finances and the growing economy heading into this global pandemic, Finance Minister Grant Robertson says. The Treasury today released the Crown financial statements for the eight months to the end ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • Christchurch Hospital Hagley ICU to open to support COVID-19 response
    Health Minister Dr David Clark says 36 new intensive care beds at Christchurch Hospital’s new Hagley building are being fast tracked so they are available for treatment of COVID-19 patients.   The Ministry of Health is working with contractor CPB and Canterbury DHB to enable access to the hospital’s ICU, ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • Government supports Air NZ freight flights
    The Government has fast-tracked up to $1 million to help Air New Zealand move urgent freight to and from New Zealand, with the first flight to Shanghai leaving tonight, Transport Minister Phil Twyford announced today. Phil Twyford says it’s crucial that trade in vital goods such as medical supplies and ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • Tariff concessions on COVID-19 related products
    New Zealand will temporarily remove tariffs on all medical and hygiene imports needed for the COVID-19 response. Trade and Export Growth Minister David Parker and Commerce and Consumer Affairs Minister Kris Faafoi said today that the New Zealand Customs Service will apply tariff concessions to all diagnostic reagents and testing ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • Clarification of modification to wage subsidy scheme
    Minister of Finance Grant Robertson has clarified that the changes to the wage subsidy scheme announced yesterday mean that employers should be passing on the full subsidy to workers, except in the case where the person’s normal income is less than the level of the subsidy. “We still want employers ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • Face masks flowing to DHBs
    Medical face masks from the national reserve supply are now being distributed to District Health Boards, while at the same time local production is being ramped up. Yesterday more than 640,000 masks were sent to DHBS – that is an immediate two week supply, with more to follow in coming ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • COVID-19: Further steps to protect New Zealanders’ jobs
    The Government has made modifications to the wage subsidy scheme to ensure people don’t lose their jobs during the national lockdown. These changes will soften the impact of COVID-19 on workers, families and businesses, and position them to exit the lockdown and look to recovery, Finance Minister Grant Robertson says. ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • Tax relief for Mycoplasma Bovis farmers
    Farmers whose herds were culled in response to the outbreak of Mycoplasma bovis will be able to minimise the tax treatment of their income in some circumstances. Revenue Minister Stuart Nash says Cabinet has agreed to change the law. It means farmers may be eligible to spread their income over ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • $27 million for NGOs and community groups to continue providing essential services
    A $27 million dollar package, effective immediately, is being provided to social sector services and community groups to ensure they can continue to provide essential support to communities as we stay at home as a nation to stop the spread of COVID-19, Minister for Social Development Carmel Sepuloni announced. “At ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Statement on guilty plea of March 15 terrorist
    “The guilty plea today will provide some relief to the many people whose lives were shattered by what happened on March 15,” Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern said. “These guilty pleas and conviction bring accountability for what happened and also save the families who lost loved ones, those who were injured, ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • COVID-19 updates
    The Prime Minister is holding daily press conferences to update New Zealanders on the Government's response to COVID-19. Links to videos and transcripts of these updates below. These transcripts also include All of Government press conferences led by Director Ministry of Health's Director-General of Health Dr Ashley Bloomfield. 25 March: Live update from the Prime ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Police numbers break through 10,000 mark
    Frontline Police numbers have broken through the 10,000 mark for the first time in history as officers step forward to keep the community safe during the COVID19 lockdown. “Two Police graduations in Auckland and Wellington in the past week have been conducted in unprecedented circumstances,” Police Minister Stuart Nash said. ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Urgent tax measures for economic recovery
    Urgent legislation has been passed to support the package of economic and social measures needed to recover from the impact of the coronavirus outbreak. “The COVID-19 Response (Taxation and Social Assistance Urgent Measures) Bill will cushion New Zealanders from the worst economic impacts of the COVID-19 outbreak,” said Revenue Minister ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Further support for farmers and growers as drought persists
    From tomorrow, Government support for farmers and growers affected by drought will be expanded and extended across the country, with access to Rural Assistance Payments (RAPS) available throughout the North Island, parts of the South Island and the Chatham Islands, Social Development Minister Carmel Sepuloni announced. “These challenging conditions have ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • COVID-19: Temporary changes to Education Act
    Parliament has passed amendments to legislation that give the Secretary of Education stronger powers to act in the fight to limit the spread of COVID-19, Education Minister Chris Hipkins said today. “They are part of a suite of changes passed under the COVID-19 Response (Urgent Management Measures) Legislation Bill,” Chris ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Canada, Australia, Chile, Brunei and Myanmar join NZ and Singapore in committing to keeping supply a...
    Canada, Australia, Chile, Brunei and Myanmar have joined forces with New Zealand and Singapore by committing to keep supply chains open and remove any existing trade restrictive measures on essential goods, especially medical supplies, in the face of the Covid-19 crisis.  Trade and Export Growth Minister David Parker today welcomed ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • COVID-19: Rent increase freeze and more protection for tenants
    Immediate freeze on rent increases Tenancies will not be terminated during the lock-down period, unless the parties agree, or in limited circumstances Tenants who had previously given notice can stay in their if they need to stay in the tenancy during the lock-down period Tenants will still be able to ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
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  • Working together to protect businesses and workers
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