Politics is indeed a blood sport

Written By: - Date published: 3:36 pm, July 25th, 2023 - 56 comments
Categories: labour, national, Parliament, same old national - Tags:

Parliament can be something of a hell hole for its inhabitants.

The extent of how much it is a hellhole was laid bare by the Debbie Francis Report into bullying and harassment in Parliament.  Her conclusion was that bad that she recommended that a confidential mental health helpline be provided for all those on the precinct, with 24/7 access to clinical professionals.

Staff are far too often the subject of bullying and harassment and show the scars.

National MPs have a significant history of engaging in bullying behaviour and have a significant culture problem.

But Labour MPs are not immune from criticism.  Gaurav Sharma’s treatment of his staff was appalling, especially since he saw himself as being the victim of bullying, not the perpetrator.  And Meka Whaitiri was demoted from Cabinet after a physical altercation with a staff member.  As I said at the time of her demotion Labour Ministers and MPs ought to treat their staff with dignity and respect.  No ifs no buts.

MPs are also not immune to the pressures of the place and there have been a few recent examples.

For instance Todd Muller’s issues with mental health are well known.  Jacinda Ardern’s instruction to the Labour Party to leave him alone was welcome and appropriate.  Her approach of being kind was the best way to handle the matter.

Jami Lee Ross was another whose troubles with mental health were well known.

Although there is more than a hint that there was an attempt to allow political considerations to dominate the decision making.  Because at the time Ross recorded a discussion between himself, Simon Bridges and Paula Bennett and the tape was subsequently leaked.

From Dan Satherley at Newshub:

Secret recordings of a conversation involving Jami-Lee Ross, Simon Bridges and Paula Bennett have been leaked to The AM Show.

The clip features Mr Ross talking to the National Party leadership ahead of his decision to take personal leave at the start of October.

The comments on the tape suggest the National leadership team was trying to cover up the wrongdoing by Mr Ross. They discuss what reasons they will give for his leave – medical or family. Ms Bennett says medical leave would be better, as it would reduce media interest.

“So it would be for medical reasons?” asks Mr Ross.

“Is that what you want?” asks Ms Bennett. “I think either medical or family.”

“Medical is true,” says Mr Ross.

“That’s right,” says Mr Bridges. “There’s no shame in that.”

“And it means everyone will back off you too – the media and all that sort of stuff,” says Ms Bennett.

Unfortunately the current National leadership do not consider that when Parliamentarians are suffering from medical issues they should back off.  They have gone after issues relating to Kiritapu Allan with a vengeance.

Compare and contrast Labour’s approach when Muller or Ross had their difficulties with National’s approach to Allan which is cynically calculated to maximise political advantage.  As shown by this fascinating insight provided by Jo Moir at Newsroom.  In particular what it shows about National’s approach to issues relating to Allan’s health:

Newsroom approached [National’s mental health spokesperson Matt] Doocey personally to ask him what his experiences after nine years in Parliament had taught him about dealing with mental health struggles and how politicians could better address this.

But the National Party blocked the interview, instead referring any comments to Luxon and justice spokesperson Paul Goldsmith.

The National Party is campaigning to have a minister for mental health if elected to government but didn’t want its more-than-qualified spokesperson to comment on the environment and pressures that may have contributed to Allan’s behaviour.

Instead Luxon fronted media and pointed to there being “something going wrong in the culture and leadership of that Cabinet group”.

“Here we are yet again, another week discussing drama and personnel issues within the Labour government.

“It’s a Labour government that’s not focused on the New Zealand people,” he said.

National could have treated this issue with some sensitivity.  Clearly it decided not to for political advantage.

And the sense of double standard is strong.

Kiritapu has announced her retirement from politics.  I wish her well in the future.

56 comments on “Politics is indeed a blood sport ”

  1. tc 1

    Sam would know all about hitting things. People in glass houses….better have solid NDA's covering their prior behaviour.

    • Belladonna 1.1

      You do realize that A this is a spoof twitter account. And B, you are replicating the behaviour that you condemn in others.

  2. Belladonna 2

    All of the National MPs quoted (in the actual article that the spoof account riffs off) appear to be highly sympathetic towards Allen.


    • mickysavage 2.1

      Then why did National use Luxon and Simeon Brown to comment on the matter and block Matt Doocey from commenting?

      • Belladonna 2.1.1

        I've not seen any comment from Simeon Brown on Kiri Allan's resignation. Can you link to this?

        Luxon commented because he's the leader, and it's his job to do so.

        The article you didn't quite link to – had comments from Uffindell and Muller as well (both highly sympathetic) – drawing on their own experiences with being hunted by the media (yes, yes, for different reasons)

        • mickysavage

          The article I “didn’t quite link to” was put out a few hours after the article that I highlighted and was after National had received quite a kicking on social media. You will have to ask National why it said that Luxon and Brown were commenting on the issue and why it blocked the interview with Matt Doocey.

          • Belladonna

            Well, given you linked to the spoof of it – it seems difficult to believe that it wasn't publicly available….. Perhaps twitter has time travel.

    • Phillip ure 2.2

      Uffindells words are puke-inducing…

      Trying to paint himself as some kind of victim..

      No…he is no victim…he is the assailent…

      The 13 year old boy he beat..(he doesn't remember if he used a bed leg on his victim…yeah.. it's easy to forget such minor details… isn't it..?.

      uffindell should not be there…

      And for luxon/tories to point their fingers at allan…is fucken hypocrisy writ large…

      ..when they excuse this thug …

      (Not to mention their other glaring example…mitchell..the former mercenary soldier/killer for hire..)

      National have no standards..

      • Belladonna 2.2.1

        So no forgiveness for the teenage Uffindell.

        No doubt you'll apply the same highly-critical and unforgiving standards to the (adult) Allan.

        The point of the article I linked (the one that was spoofed in the OP) – was that none of the National MPs were pointing fingers at Kiri Allan.

        • mickysavage

          Remind me what did Labour say about Uffindell?

          • Belladonna

            I've no idea – what did they say?

            I'm commenting on what P ure is saying….

        • Phillip ure

          You are doing what I highlighted… namely doing some sort of equivalence exercise between Allan's minor traffic accident…and uffindell beating a 13 yr old boy…

          There is no bloody equivalence…!

  3. Chris 3

    It would've been national's filth machine hunting for anything to bring down most if not all of the however many ministers that've gone over recent months. Their current MO continues to embrace dirty politics with the added requirement to be better at it and don't get caught.

    Sure, some of the Labour people deserved what they got, but there'd have been a similar result if the boot were on the other foot, likely worse given the level of filth inside the national party.

  4. Ad 4

    It’s more an elite sport.

    Would not be hard to compare our MMP competitive system to a Football World Cup or a Rugby World Cup.

    Then we could rank the teams and their competitiveness, right down to the fitness of the key players.

    It would make List conferences just like the naming of an All Blacks or Black Ferns squad.

    After all politics at national level should be highly competitive, and the fittest and most skilled alone should be chosen.

    And you should not go into politics unless you are an elite player, or you will get hurt.

  5. Tiger Mountain 5

    The Natzo’s “Bed Leg Basher” Sam, and Barbara the animal torture enabler are a couple of the worst. As I said here previously–you need to be a genuine hard arse to survive for very long in the NZ Parliament. Not too many exit a political career with a grin on their dial–which is an issue for our whole society.

    Kiri should have got a cab. Micheal Wood should have divested his shares. Many years ago there was a diabetic NZ National Minister, Keith Allen who was filmed walking uneasily around downtown Wellington accused of being pissed, Robert Muldoon announced a General Election while clearly trolleyed. Most get hoisted eventually, and it is not right, but the Natzos get away with more because of their media channel contacts and influence.

  6. Roy Cartland 6

    There was no suggestion anywhere that Uffindel had any kind of mental health issue. He was a shit, and everyone agreed, even himself.

    But the house has been very empathetic to Kiri, so much so that I've had to eat my words. I thought the nats would be awful, but they've been very thoughtful, even hired killer, Mark Mitchell.

  7. bwaghorn 7

    My 2 cents on Kiri Allen is that she's obviously been allowed to rise to fast and gotten out of her depth, this shows poor management by senior members in labours leadership, talent needs to be nurtured and allowed to ripen slowly. Just because a youngen thinks they are ready for the big time doesn't mean they should be given it.

    • Belladonna 7.1

      I don't agree with "rise too fast" – she was (and is) clearly enormously talented and passionate about making a difference. There are too few truly talented people at the top to waste them in time-serving apprenticeships on the back benches.

      But, I'd certainly say that she was loaded up with too much responsibility – too many portfolios and too many changing portfolios (every time you gain a new portfolio, it takes time to get up to speed, and be at your best).

      The temptation of management (in all spheres, not just politics) to give more and more work to the competent – because they get the job done. It's a huge contributor to burn out.

      I've commented before about the weight of portfolios being carried by a relatively small core of senior ministers on the Labour team. This is a weakness, not a strength.

      In retrospect, Hipkins should be worrying whether his need for release of significant policy statements around justice, added unconscious pressure for Allen to return sooner than she should have. The pressure of expectations, and the subsequent internal pressure to perform at your best, is a huge driving force.

      Note: I'm not saying that it was anything to do with her Justice portfolio that triggered the incident – it seems to be established that it was personal; but rather, if she'd taken a month off – she'd have been at home with whanau support when whatever hit her, did so – not isolated in Wellington.

      • bwaghorn 7.1.1

        " certainly say that she was loaded up with too much responsibility –

        Sounds like you agreeing with me , to me. !!

        • Belladonna

          Oh I agree with too much loaded on to her.

          And, it seems clear that she did not have a political mentor to call on, when things went to custard for her, personally, in Wellington. None of the figures who 'touched base' with her – were trusted enough for her to call….

          • Dennis Frank

            They call it responsible government. Constitutional law. To take this notion seriously, one needs evidence that our govt is taking responsibility for what it does. If you employ a minister with known mental health problems, your duty of care blends with taking responsibility for making her a minister.

            Do we see evidence of Labour doing so? I'm guessing the answer is no but I've got an open mind and could adopt a favourable view if any evidence shows up to suffice…

            • Belladonna

              I think there is a different (indeed a very big difference) between employing someone with "known mental health problems"- and someone having a breakdown because of personal issues (God knows, relationship break ups are highly stressful, and with a stressful high-performance job on top of it…)

              That's not to say that people in either category shouldn't be employed. But a responsible employer needs to be aware of stress-points, and workloads and how they impact on individuals.

              There is no evidence that Allan has mental health issues prior to 2023. So no reason that Hipkins (or Ardern, for that matter) needed to take any extraordinary level of care (just as there was no indicator for Muller, prior to his breakdown).

              However, once Hipkins was alerted to a high-stress personal situation with Allen – clearly impacting on her mental health – he had a responsibility to take action to support her. We don't know what that action was (and we shouldn't – people are entitled to privacy – even MPs).

              I don't feel that anyone is directly to blame in this scenario – though everyone has their own actions or inactions to own and reflect over.

              • Dennis Frank

                Fair enough. I thought she'd had a track record of it but can't recall the details with clarity.

                The other factor in responsibility is metacognition: to what extent does someone know they are being irresponsible? Particularly germane when judgment is impaired. As in not taking a taxi. And refusing to accompany the cop. I suppose anyone's vulnerable to pressure, but what if they don't realise their vulnerability? Self-awareness isn't certifiable.

                I guess the PM could only trust his personal judgment & she seemed confident she had recovered. From a risk management perspective, it was worth the risk so give her the benefit of any doubt. Understandable.

              • SPC

                There is no evidence that Allan has mental health issues prior to 2023.

                When she was younger her church had her managed for her sexuality.

                "I've struggled with my mental health a good part of my adult life, that's something that I try not to shy away from," she said.


                Such might suggest a role for someone checking on ministers well-being, rather than just than do not be like Curran, Nash and Wood in their lack of compliance with expectations.

                Perhaps the parliamentary leaders of the parties and their party presidents should note some acknowledgement of this.

    • SPC 7.2

      Sure, there is a case for new ministers to have a term with a more limited workload, the exception would be where they had years in opposition as spokesperson for the range of ministry positions.

      And also oversight of their awareness of ministerial p’s and q’s (as per Curran etc and Wood with his paperwork and related compliance).

  8. Anker 8
    • I think the majority of MPs have been quite sympathetic towards Kiri. Seymour, even Mark Mitchell.

    it’s not about scoring political points. The whole issue is political because she is the Minister of Justice and she has been charged with careless driving, being over the limit with alcohol and refusing to accompany a police officer. Voters have a right to scrutinise this as do the opposition parties. Generally I think people have been very kind to her, because most of us can imagine how awlful this will be for her.

    but there were many warning signs things weren’t right.and Hipkins had many chances to stand her down

    i do want to say that drinking and driving isn’t a symptom of a mental illness. Most people with depression don’t drink and drive and most health professionals would absolutely warm against doing so. She is responsible for her own actions

    Many people on this ite, myself included have had depression, traumatic relationship break ups, cancer. Most of us wouldn’t get into a car and drive when highly emotional or drunk. Willie Jackson talked to her on the phone on Sunday and said she was in a bad way. By the end of the call was smiling and cheerful

    • Craig H 8.1

      Not to excuse any of it, but she hasn't been charged with driving while over the limit – that was dealt with at the time with an infringement notice as she was under the criminal limit but over the infringement limit.

      • aj 8.1.1

        One glass of wine would bring a person close to the lower limit, 2 would be close to 400

        It does not take much to get close. Tested myself when the limits last changed and a couple of Twelves had me between 250 and 400.

        Have never driven since after drinking.

      • Anker 8.1.2

        As a women, I never drink and drive. One glass on an empty stomach efffects me. Two glasses I would absolutely not be good to drive.

        Here's a question. Do you think she crashed her car because of the alcohol or her emotional state?

        • SPC

          Or a phone …

        • Anne

          Good question Anker. It was probably a mix of both. It is not a good idea to drive while under the influence of a distressing experience of one sort or another, but we've all done it. Add a bit of alcohol and the consequences can be huge.

          There but for the grace of God etc……

          • Anker

            Thanks Anne.

            No I have never done it i.e drive under the influence or when I was so distressed that I shouldn't have been driving.

            Not trying to be holier than thou here.

            But it also is about judgement. Ability to self regulate and know when to take time out or not drink

  9. Corey 9

    National won't let it's candidates show up to anything without Luxons approval.

    We hosted a meet the candidates event a week ago, candidates from every other party took place, we tried for weeks to get a national candidate to get involved and all the national members and MPs were disgusted that we even asked.

    We hosted a comedy show and had every other party send a candidate, except national who were genuinely angry we even asked them to take part.

    National doesn't want us to get to know it's candidates, then again looking at their candidate history, if we got to know their candidates they might catfish us, bash us in our sleep or send our kids nude Snapchats.

    • Belladonna 9.1

      Goodness, which electorate?

      Our local one has the National candidate turning up to everything, and all over social media (personal comments – not a chat bot from the electorate office spamming the pages). [I can't say that I particularly like him, but he's certainly working hard]

      The Labour MP – rarely seen. Only pre-formated standard Labour party political messages from his office. Very reluctant to comment on social media (community FB pages, etc.). Turns up to community photo op events (but largely ones that align with his personal political philosophy – although this is possibly true of all MPs)

      I have no visibility of the electorate candidates from the minor parties (if any) – they haven't impinged on my local political radar.

      AFAIK there haven't been cross-party 'meet the candidate' events – though it's not the kind of thing I go to, so might have missed one. There have been both Labour and National 'senior MP + local MP/candidate' events on a particular theme (transport, and housing are the 2 I recall from the billboards on the corner)

  10. observer 10

    At least one journalist knows a low blow when he sees one …


    As for National, in case everyone's forgotten, only weeks ago Luxon was whining about the media even asking questions about him and his wife claiming the clean car discount. So unfair, so personal, yadda yadda … and that was on a relatively trivial issue. His skin is wafer thin.

    But he's now decided how he wants to play it. As soon as he declared that Allan should be treated as a mere extension of Nash and Wood, as if their circumstances had anything in common at all, he put decency in the shredder. So he shouldn't be surprised or play victim when he gets it back – and he will.

    • newsense 10.1

      Here’s the quote from the Spinoff:

      If clinical sign-off was applied to all politicians as National leader Christopher Luxon suggests, I suspect parliament would be half empty half the time – because politicians are human too. His comments are a sad and ill-informed weaponising of Ms Allan’s distress for political gain. They reflect disturbing and outdated bio-medical thinking. Not what we need to set the tone when addressing Aotearoa New Zealand’s mental health response.


      But I also suspect there are enormous privacy issues in play too.

  11. Peter 11

    Judith Collins, Duncan Garner, Iain Lees-Galloway.

    Of course it's a blood sport.

    It's how much of the public want it. Media interviews? The prime goal is not seen as informing, they're to see who 'wins' or 'loses.' A studio discussion is regarded the same as a martial arts bout.

  12. SPC 12

    Sure, going after Allan (the justice minister) after getting the police minister Nash was clearly part of the chaos campaign of the laura NACT order.

    The timing of the public service informant via media …

    • Anne 12.1

      And the Public Service is supposed to be neutral. Pull the other one. It's never been neutral. The various chiefs put on a first class act of seeming neutrality for the benefit of the public but most of it is a sham.

  13. observer 13

    "Luxon's comments are a sad and ill-informed weaponising of Ms Allan’s distress for political gain."

    … according to the head of the Mental Health Foundation. I think we should take more heed of his view than ignorant and unqualified political commentators.


  14. James Simpson 14

    There needs to be a distinction between treating someone fairly when they have mental health issues, and bad behaviour. I

    n my observation there has almost been universal sympathy for Kiri in that respect.

    Where the criticism has been very pointed is the bullying allegations against her, and her decision to drive on the streets of Wellington after drinking. Health issues do not excuse either of those things.

  15. Christopher Luxon has one set of standards when it affects him or the National party, and reverts to hunter mode at any sign of weakness in Government Ministers.

    By being sole voice for National he is controlling his rather pathetic lot. He won't be able to control all interactions once the Election local meetings begin, he will have to be "everywhere man."

    As for Seymore, he could not resist in the house. He had his Deputy off stage making sympathetic noises in a formulaic way, but he kept the political machinations for a quick debate, as he smelled opportunity.

    No quick debate on Bridges or Kruriger though, or Uffindell for that matter. He and Luxon have a very big bumpy rug, with all that has been swept under it. imo.

  16. Sabine 16

    My issue really with this whole story is simple. Kiritapu Allen is now a a drink driver.
    If they would have taken a company car to drive after going out for drinkies and would have crashed in a parked car and then resisted (and i don't give that too much value all things considered) they would have lost their jobs immediately. And they would get charged for all the laws they broke. If they were ordinary Jo / Jane NZ. And no one would have any pity to spare nor would they be expected to show pity to some rich lister who broke the law. Why are we to consider Kiritapu Allen the victim in all of that when they took decisions that well turned out bad?

    Drink driving is the one thing that causes havoc in NZ every other weekend, school holiday etc. Constantly. So much damage and death.

    And they had a driver at their disposition. A tax payer funded driver on a 24 hour call.

    Why this person choose to take to the wheels after drinking i can not fathom, but that does not make them a victim. Neither does being Maori, as many Maori don't drive after having had a few drinks. Neither does being a female and a self identifying lesbian, as many females and lesbians don't drive after drinking.

    IT was a bloody stupid thing to do, and as Minister of Justice, ass. Minister of other stuff, and as member of Parliament they should have known better and they should have acted better.

    All things considered i actually put most of the blame on their boss, PM Chippy, who should have told Kiri to stay at home for a longer mental health break rather then call her back in and put again stress on Kiri, stress that they obviously could not handle.

    Maybe for all their personal goods, they were not cut out for life in the public light and certainly not for the portfolio of Justice.

    None of that is the fault of any party on the opposition, but Kiritapu Allens. They decided to go out for drinks, they decided to drink more then the allowable limit, and then they decided to take the car for a drive home. No one forced them to do that.

    Maybe a heartfelt and honest ' I am sorry' and "i am lucky' for only hitting a car rather then a person would be the best thing to do for Kiri.

    Anything else is just desperate paddling away from actually happened. The minister of Justice going on a drive whilst drunk.

    Quite sad actually.

    • roblogic 16.1

      Chippy should have kept her on the back benches after all the shit she has been through this year, and her drunken outburst at RNZ earlier this year.

      Kiri has some great qualities but like all of us some pretty significant character flaws.

      I wish her well, and hope this marks a turning point for her life.

    • Anne 16.2

      Oh dear, there are a lost of suppositions there Sabine – black and white stuff with no acknowledgement of the grey areas between.

      Who said she was drunk apart from a few third grade journos. She had a couple of drinks which in the normal scheme of things do not make a person drunk. Sure, she should not have driven herself home but she's paid a huge price for that.

      Being so righteous after the event is easy but doesn't mean it is accurate. I don't know if she went out for drinks with a bunch of people. If so, do you think they would have let her drive herself home if she was drunk? I doubt it.

      She has already made several heartfelt and honest apologies that you seem to have missed.

      Looks to me a bit like you have created a bit of a fantasy there to suit your preferred take on the event.

      • Sabine 16.2.1

        which fantasy Anne?

        that they drove a governmental vehicle into a stationary car? They did.

        that they drove whilst drunk? They did.

        that they resisted arrest? They did.

        that they are maori – and many maori don't drink and drive. True that too.

        that they are female – and many females don't drink and drive. True that too.

        that they are a lesbian – only human females are lesbians – and that not many lesbians drink and drive? True that too.

        that we have many car accidents with people maimed and killed thanks to drink driving and that Kiri should be happy and relieved that they did not cause such an accident whilst driving under the influence of alcohol? check the news every other weekend or have a chat with your local volunteer rural firefighters.

        that they are/were the Minister of Justice and associated minister of other things? Yes, they were.

        that they still receive a wage until election day? That too is true.

        that they would have been fired by any company should they have caused a drink driving accident in a company vehicle? totally true.

        Maybe you need to take your rose colored glasses of your eyes and actually understand what happened.

        A Minister of Justice, went for drinks, did not call a driver, but drove themselves under the influence, crashed in a parked car, resisted arrest and is now rightfully called out for their abhorrent behaviour.
        Either drink driving is an offense for all or it is for none.

        Looks to me a bit like you have created a bit of a fantasy there to suit your preferred take on the event, meaning, drink driving is OK when it is done by Labour Minister of Justice. For shame. For shame.

        edit: and it matters not one bit if they went for drinks by themselves or with others, and it matters not that if they were only a wee tiny tizy bitzy bit over the limit (limits are limits not targets) or blotto. Once you are over your two standard drinks it is best to call an uber, taxi or the tax payer funded driver that Kiritapu Allen had access to.

        • Anne

          Trying to re-direct your own behaviour back on to me and adding a load of shit that was not part of the subject matter or in contention.

          • Sabine

            you still fail to point out where i indulge in fantasy my dear.

            Me thinks the lady doth protest too much.

        • Jester

          Agree with you totally Sabine. Not sure why Anne thinks you are in 'fantasy land' as you have clearly stated the ' knowns' or facts, whereas she seems unable to come up with anything to dispute them. The owner of the ute has now released video footage to the NZ Herald by the way.

    • Anker 16.3

      I agree 100% Sabine.

      I would feel the same way about anyone who drove over the limit.

      • Anne 16.3.1

        So, are you suggesting she had a breath testing kit with her and tested herself. She discovered she was over the current limit and decided to drive herself home regardless?

        • Anker

          Not at all that she had a breath testing kit with her.

          Because the limits are so low now,many people abstain from drinking when they know they are going to drive or say just have one drink with food.

          She's a lawyer and the Justice Minister, I might have thought she would be in a better position to know than many people.

  17. Anne 17

    It would not surprise me one little bit if, further down the track, Kiri Allan returns to parliament. She has such a lot to offer that she will be encouraged to do so when the time is right.

    In the meantime she will have time to recover from her personal troubles and perhaps take on a pastoral role of some sort among her own people.

    There are plenty of instances of people who, for one reason or another, lose their positions of authority and return at a later date to pick up where they left off.

    A good example was Colin Moyle back in the 1970s. He, too, had been a victim of dirty politicking and he didn't in the first instance handle it well. He lost his ministerial responsibilities and resigned from parliament. He returned a few years later, older and wiser, and had a successful parliamentary career.


  18. Ffloyd 18

    Anne. Totally agree.yes

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  • Climate Change: Fossils
    When the new government promised to allow new offshore oil and gas exploration, they were warned that there would be international criticism and reputational damage. Naturally, they arrogantly denied any possibility that that would happen. And then they finally turned up at COP, to criticism from Palau, and a "fossil ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    21 hours ago
  • GEOFFREY MILLER:  NZ’s foreign policy resets on AUKUS, Gaza and Ukraine
    Geoffrey Miller writes – New Zealand’s international relations are under new management. And Winston Peters, the new foreign minister, is already setting a change agenda. As expected, this includes a more pro-US positioning when it comes to the Pacific – where Peters will be picking up where he ...
    Point of OrderBy poonzteam5443
    21 hours ago
  • Gordon Campbell on the government’s smokefree laws debacle
    The most charitable explanation for National’s behaviour over the smokefree legislation is that they have dutifully fulfilled the wishes of the Big Tobacco lobby and then cast around – incompetently, as it turns out – for excuses that might sell this health policy U-turn to the public. The less charitable ...
    22 hours ago
  • Top 10 links at 10 am for Monday, December 4
    As Deb Te Kawa writes in an op-ed, the new Government seems to have immediately bought itself fights with just about everyone. Photo: Lynn Grieveson / The KākāTL;DR: Here’s my pick of the top 10 news and analysis links elsewhere as of 10 am on Monday December 4, including:Palau’s President ...
    The KakaBy Bernard Hickey
    23 hours ago
  • Be Honest.
    Let’s begin today by thinking about job interviews.During my career in Software Development I must have interviewed hundreds of people, hired at least a hundred, but few stick in the memory.I remember one guy who was so laid back he was practically horizontal, leaning back in his chair until his ...
    Nick’s KōreroBy Nick Rockel
    24 hours ago
  • Geoffrey Miller: New Zealand’s foreign policy resets on AUKUS, Gaza and Ukraine
    New Zealand’s international relations are under new management. And Winston Peters, the new foreign minister, is already setting a change agenda. As expected, this includes a more pro-US positioning when it comes to the Pacific – where Peters will be picking up where he left off. Peters sought to align ...
    Democracy ProjectBy Geoffrey Miller
    1 day ago
  • Auckland rail tunnel the world’s most expensive
    Auckland’s city rail link is the most expensive rail project in the world per km, and the CRL boss has described the cost of infrastructure construction in Aotearoa as a crisis. Photo: Lynn Grieveson / The KākāTL;DR: The 3.5 km City Rail Link (CRL) tunnel under Auckland’s CBD has cost ...
    The KakaBy Bernard Hickey
    1 day ago
  • First big test coming
    The first big test of the new Government’s approach to Treaty matters is likely to be seen in the return of the Resource Management Act. RMA Minister Chris Bishop has confirmed that he intends to introduce legislation to repeal Labour’s recently passed Natural and Built Environments Act and its ...
    PolitikBy Richard Harman
    1 day ago
  • The Song of Saqua: Volume III
    Time to revisit something I haven’t covered in a while: the D&D campaign, with Saqua the aquatic half-vampire. Last seen in July: https://phuulishfellow.wordpress.com/2023/07/27/the-song-of-saqua-volume-ii/ The delay is understandable, once one realises that the interim saw our DM come down with a life-threatening medical situation. They have since survived to make ...
    1 day ago
  • Chris Bishop: Smokin’
    Yes. Correct. It was an election result. And now we are the elected government. ...
    My ThinksBy boonman
    2 days ago
  • 2023 SkS Weekly Climate Change & Global Warming News Roundup #48
    A chronological listing of news and opinion articles posted on the Skeptical Science  Facebook Page during the past week: Sun, Nov 26, 2023 thru Dec 2, 2023. Story of the Week CO2 readings from Mauna Loa show failure to combat climate change Daily atmospheric carbon dioxide data from Hawaiian volcano more ...
    2 days ago
  • Affirmative Action.
    Affirmative Action was a key theme at this election, although I don’t recall anyone using those particular words during the campaign.They’re positive words, and the way the topic was talked about was anything but. It certainly wasn’t a campaign of saying that Affirmative Action was a good thing, but that, ...
    Nick’s KōreroBy Nick Rockel
    2 days ago
  • 100 days of something
    It was at the end of the Foxton straights, at the end of 1978, at 100km/h, that someone tried to grab me from behind on my Yamaha.They seemed to be yanking my backpack. My first thought was outrage. My second was: but how? Where have they come from? And my ...
    More Than A FeildingBy David Slack
    2 days ago
  • Look who’s stepped up to champion Winston
    There’s no news to be gleaned from the government’s official website today  – it contains nothing more than the message about the site being under maintenance. The time this maintenance job is taking and the costs being incurred have us musing on the government’s commitment to an assault on inflation. ...
    Point of OrderBy Bob Edlin
    3 days ago
  • What's The Story?
    Don’t you sometimes wish they’d just tell the truth? No matter how abhorrent or ugly, just straight up tell us the truth?C’mon guys, what you’re doing is bad enough anyway, pretending you’re not is only adding insult to injury.Instead of all this bollocks about the Smokefree changes being to do ...
    Nick’s KōreroBy Nick Rockel
    3 days ago
  • The longest of weeks
    Hello! Here comes the Saturday edition of More Than A Feilding, catching you up on the past week’s editions.Friday Under New Management Week in review, quiz style1. Which of these best describes Aotearoa?a. Progressive nation, proud of its egalitarian spirit and belief in a fair go b. Best little country on the planet c. ...
    More Than A FeildingBy David Slack
    3 days ago
  • Suggested sessions of EGU24 to submit abstracts to
    Like earlier this year, members from our team will be involved with next year's General Assembly of the European Geosciences Union (EGU). The conference will take place on premise in Vienna as well as online from April 14 to 19, 2024. The session catalog has been available since November 1 ...
    3 days ago
  • Under New Management
    1. Which of these best describes Aotearoa?a. Progressive nation, proud of its egalitarian spirit and belief in a fair go b. Best little country on the planet c. Under New Management 2. Which of these best describes the 100 days of action announced this week by the new government?a. Petulantb. Simplistic and wrongheaded c. ...
    More Than A FeildingBy David Slack
    4 days ago
  • While we wait patiently, our new Minister of Education is up and going with a 100-day action plan
    Sorry to say, the government’s official website is still out of action. When Point of Order paid its daily visit, the message was the same as it has been for the past week: Site under maintenance Beehive.govt.nz is currently under maintenance. We will be back shortly. Thank you for your ...
    Point of OrderBy Bob Edlin
    4 days ago
  • DAVID FARRAR: Hysterical bullshit
    Radio NZ reports: Te Pāti Māori’s co-leader Debbie Ngarewa-Packer has accused the new government of “deliberate .. systemic genocide” over its policies to roll back the smokefree policy and the Māori Health Authority. The left love hysterical language. If you oppose racial quotas in laws, you are a racist. And now if you sack ...
    Point of OrderBy Bob Edlin
    4 days ago
  • Skeptical Science New Research for Week #48 2023
    Open access notables From this week's government/NGO section, longitudinal data is gold and Leisorowitz, Maibachi et al. continue to mine ore from the US public with Climate Change in the American Mind: Politics & Policy, Fall 2023: Drawing on a representative sample of the U.S. adult population, the authors describe how registered ...
    4 days ago
  • ELE LUDEMANN: It wasn’t just $55 million
    Ele Ludemann writes –  Winston Peters reckons media outlets were bribed by the $55 million Public Interest Journalism Fund. He is not the first to make such an accusation. Last year, the Platform outlined conditions media signed up to in return for funds from the PJIF: . . . ...
    Point of OrderBy Bob Edlin
    4 days ago
  • Weekly Roundup 1-December-2023
    Wow, it’s December already, and it’s a Friday. So here are few things that caught our attention recently. This Week in Greater Auckland On Monday Matt covered the new government’s coalition agreements and what they mean for transport. On Tuesday Matt looked at AT’s plans for fare increases ...
    Greater AucklandBy Greater Auckland
    4 days ago
  • Shane MacGowan Is Gone.
    Late 1996, The Dogs Bollix, Tamaki Makaurau.I’m at the front of the bar yelling my order to the bartender, jostling with other thirsty punters on a Friday night, keen to piss their wages up against a wall letting loose. The black stuff, long luscious pints of creamy goodness. Back down ...
    Nick’s KōreroBy Nick Rockel
    4 days ago
  • The Hoon around the week to Dec 1
    Nicola Willis, Chris Bishop and other National, ACT and NZ First MPs applaud the signing of the coalition agreements, which included the reversal of anti-smoking measures while accelerating tax cuts for landlords. Photo: Lynn Grieveson / The KākāTL;DR: The five things that mattered in Aotearoa’s political economy that we wrote ...
    The KakaBy Bernard Hickey
    4 days ago
  • 2023 More Reading: November (+ Writing Update)
    Completed reads for November: A Modern Utopia, by H.G. Wells The Vampire (poem), by Heinrich August Ossenfelder The Corpus Hermeticum The Corpus Hermeticum is Mead’s translation. Now, this is indeed a very quiet month for reading. But there is a reason for that… You see, ...
    4 days ago
  • Forward to 2017
    The coalition party agreements are mainly about returning to 2017 when National lost power. They show commonalities but also some serious divergencies.The two coalition agreements – one National and ACT, the other National and New Zealand First – are more than policy documents. They also describe the processes of the ...
    PunditBy Brian Easton
    5 days ago
  • Questions a nine year old might ask the new Prime Minister
    First QuestionYou’re going to crack down on people ram-raiding dairies, because you say hard-working dairy owners shouldn’t have to worry about getting ram-raided.But once the chemist shops have pseudoephedrine in them again, they're going to get ram-raided all the time. Do chemists not work as hard as dairy owners?Second QuestionYou ...
    More than a fieldingBy David Slack
    5 days ago
  • Questions a nine year old might ask the new Prime Minister
    First QuestionYou’re going to crack down on people ram-raiding dairies, because you say hard-working dairy owners shouldn’t have to worry about getting ram-raided.But once the chemist shops have pseudoephedrine in them again, they're going to get ram-raided all the time. Do chemists not work as hard as dairy owners?Second QuestionYou ...
    More Than A FeildingBy David Slack
    5 days ago
  • Finally
    Henry Kissinger is finally dead. Good fucking riddance. While Americans loved him, he was a war criminal, responsible for most of the atrocities of the final quarter of the twentieth century. Cambodia. Bangladesh. Chile. East Timor. All Kissinger. Because of these crimes, Americans revere him as a "statesman" (which says ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    5 days ago
  • Government in a hurry – Luxon lists 49 priorities in 100-day plan while Peters pledges to strength...
    Buzz from the Beehive Yes, ministers in the new government are delivering speeches and releasing press statements. But the message on the government’s official website was the same as it has been for the past several days, when Point of Order went looking for news from the Beehive that had ...
    Point of OrderBy Bob Edlin
    5 days ago
  • DAVID FARRAR: Luxon is absolutely right
    David Farrar writes  –  1 News reports: Christopher Luxon says he was told by some Kiwis on the campaign trail they “didn’t know” the difference between Waka Kotahi, Te Pūkenga and Te Whatu Ora. Speaking to Breakfast, the incoming prime minister said having English first on government agencies will “make sure” ...
    Point of OrderBy poonzteam5443
    5 days ago
  • Top 10 at 10 am for Thursday, Nov 30
    There are fears that mooted changes to building consent liability could end up driving the building industry into an uninsured hole. Photo: Lynn Grieveson / The KākāTL;DR: Here’s my pick of the top 10 news and analysis links elsewhere as of 10 am on Thursday, November 30, including:The new Government’s ...
    The KakaBy Bernard Hickey
    5 days ago
  • Gordon Campbell on how climate change threatens cricket‘s future
    Well that didn’t last long, did it? Mere days after taking on what he called the “awesome responsibility” of being Prime Minister, M Christopher Luxon has started blaming everyone else, and complaining that he has inherited “economic vandalism on an unprecedented scale” – which is how most of us are ...
    5 days ago
  • We need to talk about Tory.
    The first I knew of the news about Tory Whanau was when a tweet came up in my feed.The sort of tweet that makes you question humanity, or at least why you bother with Twitter. Which is increasingly a cesspit of vile inhabitants who lurk spreading negativity, hate, and every ...
    Nick’s KōreroBy Nick Rockel
    5 days ago
  • Dangling Transport Solutions
    Cable Cars, Gondolas, Ropeways and Aerial Trams are all names for essentially the same technology and the world’s biggest maker of them are here to sell them as an public transport solution. Stuff reports: Austrian cable car company Doppelmayr has launched its case for adding aerial cable cars to New ...
    5 days ago
  • November AMA
    Hi,It’s been awhile since I’ve done an Ask-Me-Anything on here, so today’s the day. Ask anything you like in the comments section, and I’ll be checking in today and tomorrow to answer.Leave a commentNext week I’ll be giving away a bunch of these Mister Organ blu-rays for readers in New ...
    David FarrierBy David Farrier
    5 days ago
  • National’s early moves adding to cost of living pressure
    The cost of living grind continues, and the economic and inflation honeymoon is over before it began. Photo: Lynn Grieveson / The KākāTL;DR: PM Christopher Luxon unveiled his 100 day plan yesterday with an avowed focus of reducing cost-of-living pressures, but his Government’s initial moves and promises are actually elevating ...
    The KakaBy Bernard Hickey
    5 days ago
  • Backwards to the future
    Prime Minister Christopher Luxon has confirmed that it will be back to the future on planning legislation. This will be just one of a number of moves which will see the new government go backwards as it repeals and cost-cuts its way into power. They will completely repeal one ...
    PolitikBy Richard Harman
    5 days ago
  • New initiatives in science and technology could point the way ahead for Luxon government
    As the new government settles into the Beehive, expectations are high that it can sort out some  of  the  economic issues  confronting  New Zealand. It may take time for some new  ministers to get to grips with the range of their portfolio work and responsibilities before they can launch the  changes that  ...
    Point of OrderBy tutere44
    6 days ago
  • Treaty pledge to secure funding is contentious – but is Peters being pursued by a lynch mob after ...
    TV3 political editor Jenna Lynch was among the corps of political reporters who bridled, when Deputy Prime Minister Winston Peters told them what he thinks of them (which is not much). She was unabashed about letting her audience know she had bridled. More usefully, she drew attention to something which ...
    Point of OrderBy Bob Edlin
    6 days ago
  • How long does this last?
    I have a clear memory of every election since 1969 in this plucky little nation of ours. I swear I cannot recall a single one where the question being asked repeatedly in the first week of the new government was: how long do you reckon they’ll last? And that includes all ...
    More Than A FeildingBy David Slack
    6 days ago
  • National’s giveaway politics
    We already know that national plans to boost smoking rates to collect more tobacco tax so they can give huge tax-cuts to mega-landlords. But this morning that policy got even more obscene - because it turns out that the tax cut is retrospective: Residential landlords will be able to ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    6 days ago
  • CHRIS TROTTER: Who’s driving the right-wing bus?
    Who’s At The Wheel? The electorate’s message, as aggregated in the polling booths on 14 October, turned out to be a conservative political agenda stronger than anything New Zealand has seen in five decades. In 1975, Bill Rowling was run over by just one bus, with Rob Muldoon at the wheel. In 2023, ...
    Point of OrderBy poonzteam5443
    6 days ago
  • GRAHAM ADAMS:  Media knives flashing for Luxon’s government
    The fear and loathing among legacy journalists is astonishing Graham Adams writes – No one is going to die wondering how some of the nation’s most influential journalists personally view the new National-led government. It has become abundantly clear within a few days of the coalition agreements ...
    Point of OrderBy gadams1000
    6 days ago
  • Top 10 news links for Wednesday, Nov 29
    TL;DR: Here’s my pick of top 10 news links elsewhere for Wednesday November 29, including:The early return of interest deductibility for landlords could see rebates paid on previous taxes and the cost increase to $3 billion from National’s initial estimate of $2.1 billion, CTU Economist Craig Renney estimated here last ...
    The KakaBy Bernard Hickey
    6 days ago
  • Smokefree Fallout and a High Profile Resignation.
    The day after being sworn in the new cabinet met yesterday, to enjoy their honeymoon phase. You remember, that period after a new government takes power where the country, and the media, are optimistic about them, because they haven’t had a chance to stuff anything about yet.Sadly the nuptials complete ...
    Nick’s KōreroBy Nick Rockel
    6 days ago
  • As Cabinet revs up, building plans go on hold
    Wellington Council hoardings proclaim its preparations for population growth, but around the country councils are putting things on hold in the absence of clear funding pathways for infrastructure, and despite exploding migrant numbers. Photo: Lynn Grieveson / The KākāTL;DR: Cabinet meets in earnest today to consider the new Government’s 100-day ...
    The KakaBy Bernard Hickey
    6 days ago
  • National takes over infrastructure
    Though New Zealand First may have had ambitions to run the infrastructure portfolios, National would seem to have ended up firmly in control of them.  POLITIK has obtained a private memo to members of Infrastructure NZ yesterday, which shows that the peak organisation for infrastructure sees  National MPs Chris ...
    PolitikBy Richard Harman
    6 days ago
  • At a glance – Evidence for global warming
    On February 14, 2023 we announced our Rebuttal Update Project. This included an ask for feedback about the added "At a glance" section in the updated basic rebuttal versions. This weekly blog post series highlights this new section of one of the updated basic rebuttal versions and serves as a ...
    7 days ago
  • Who’s Driving The Right-Wing Bus?
    Who’s At The Wheel? The electorate’s message, as aggregated in the polling booths on 14 October, turned out to be a conservative political agenda stronger than anything New Zealand has seen in five decades. In 1975, Bill Rowling was run over by just one bus, with Rob Muldoon at the wheel. In ...
    7 days ago
  • Sanity break
    Cheers to reader Deane for this quote from Breakfast TV today:Chloe Swarbrick to Brook van Velden re the coalition agreement: “... an unhinged grab-bag of hot takes from your drunk uncle at Christmas”Cheers also to actual Prime Minister of a country Christopher Luxon for dorking up his swearing-in vows.But that's enough ...
    More Than A FeildingBy David Slack
    7 days ago
  • Sanity break
    Cheers to reader Deane for this quote from Breakfast TV today:Chloe Swarbrick to Brook van Velden re the coalition agreement: “... an unhinged grab-bag of hot takes from your drunk uncle at Christmas”Cheers also to actual Prime Minister of a country Christopher Luxon for dorking up his swearing-in vows.But that's enough ...
    More than a fieldingBy David Slack
    7 days ago
  • National’s murderous smoking policy
    One of the big underlying problems in our political system is the prevalence of short-term thinking, most usually seen in the periodic massive infrastructure failures at a local government level caused by them skimping on maintenance to Keep Rates Low. But the new government has given us a new example, ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    7 days ago
  • NZ has a chance to rise again as our new government gets spending under control
    New Zealand has  a chance  to  rise  again. Under the  previous  government, the  number of New Zealanders below the poverty line was increasing  year by year. The Luxon-led government  must reverse that trend – and set about stabilising  the  pillars  of the economy. After the  mismanagement  of the outgoing government created   huge ...
    Point of OrderBy tutere44
    7 days ago
  • KARL DU FRESNE: Media and the new government
    Two articles by Karl du Fresne bring media coverage of the new government into considerations.  He writes –    Tuesday, November 28, 2023 The left-wing media needed a line of attack, and they found one The left-wing media pack wasted no time identifying the new government’s weakest point. Seething over ...
    Point of OrderBy poonzteam5443
    7 days ago
  • PHILIP CRUMP:  Team of rivals – a CEO approach to government leadership
    The work begins Philip Crump wrote this article ahead of the new government being sworn in yesterday – Later today the new National-led coalition government will be sworn in, and the hard work begins. At the core of government will be three men – each a leader ...
    Point of OrderBy poonzteam5443
    7 days ago
  • Black Friday
    As everyone who watches television or is on the mailing list for any of our major stores will confirm, “Black Friday” has become the longest running commercial extravaganza and celebration in our history. Although its origins are obscure (presumably dreamt up by American salesmen a few years ago), it has ...
    Bryan GouldBy Bryan Gould
    7 days ago
  • In Defense of the Media.
    Yesterday the Ministers in the next government were sworn in by our Governor General. A day of tradition and ceremony, of decorum and respect. Usually.But yesterday Winston Peters, the incoming Deputy Prime Minister, and Foreign Minister, of our nation used it, as he did with the signing of the coalition ...
    Nick’s KōreroBy Nick Rockel
    7 days ago
  • Top 10 news links at 10 am for Tuesday, Nov 28
    Nicola Willis’ first move was ‘spilling the tea’ on what she called the ‘sobering’ state of the nation’s books, but she had better be able to back that up in the HYEFU. Photo: Lynn Grieveson / The KākāTL;DR: Here’s my pick of top 10 news links elsewhere at 10 am ...
    The KakaBy Bernard Hickey
    7 days ago
  • PT use up but fare increases coming
    Yesterday Auckland Transport were celebrating, as the most recent Sunday was the busiest Sunday they’ve ever had. That’s a great outcome and I’m sure the ...
    1 week ago
  • The very opposite of social investment
    Nicola Willis (in blue) at the signing of the coalition agreement, before being sworn in as both Finance Minister and Social Investment Minister. National’s plan to unwind anti-smoking measures will benefit her in the first role, but how does it stack up from a social investment viewpoint? Photo: Lynn Grieveson ...
    The KakaBy Bernard Hickey
    1 week ago
  • Giving Tuesday
    For the first time "in history" we decided to jump on the "Giving Tuesday" bandwagon in order to make you aware of the options you have to contribute to our work! Projects supported by Skeptical Science Inc. Skeptical Science Skeptical Science is an all-volunteer organization but ...
    1 week ago
  • Let's open the books with Nicotine Willis
    Let’s say it’s 1984,and there's a dreary little nation at the bottom of the Pacific whose name rhymes with New Zealand,and they've just had an election.Jesus, Mary, and Joseph, will you look at the state of these books we’ve opened,cries the incoming government, will you look at all this mountain ...
    More Than A FeildingBy David Slack
    1 week ago
  • Climate Change: Stopping oil
    National is promising to bring back offshore oil and gas drilling. Naturally, the Greens have organised a petition campaign to try and stop them. You should sign it - every little bit helps, and as the struggle over mining conservation land showed, even National can be deterred if enough people ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • Don’t accept Human Rights Commission reading of data on Treaty partnership – read the survey fin...
    Wellington is braced for a “massive impact’ from the new government’s cutting public service jobs, The Post somewhat grimly reported today. Expectations of an economic and social jolt are based on the National-Act coalition agreement to cut public service numbers in each government agency in a cost-trimming exercise  “informed by” head ...
    Point of OrderBy Bob Edlin
    1 week ago

  • New Zealand welcomes European Parliament vote on the NZ-EU Free Trade Agreement
    A significant milestone in ratifying the NZ-EU Free Trade Agreement (FTA) was reached last night, with 524 of the 705 member European Parliament voting in favour to approve the agreement. “I’m delighted to hear of the successful vote to approve the NZ-EU FTA in the European Parliament overnight. This is ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 weeks ago
  • Further humanitarian support for Gaza, the West Bank and Israel
    The Government is contributing a further $5 million to support the response to urgent humanitarian needs in Gaza, the West Bank and Israel, bringing New Zealand’s total contribution to the humanitarian response so far to $10 million. “New Zealand is deeply saddened by the loss of civilian life and the ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 weeks ago

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