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Politics is like a Traffic Jam

Written By: - Date published: 7:00 am, June 9th, 2019 - 45 comments
Categories: Politics, transport - Tags: , , ,

It feels like we are enjoying a political lull right now. Of course, there always is noise and turbulence somewhere in the world, but Trump has not spilt his milkshake over a royal, Assange has not been extradited, and the British have not yet met the rock face they are facing called Brexit. Here at home, the dust is settling after Budgetgate and Mad Mike and Cantankerous Kate are still doing their raucous rants. All is normal in Middle Earth.

So, it begs the question has anything changed? To me it feels like we are stuck in a traffic jam. It is frustratingly slow and we are going nowhere anytime fast. We cannot do much about it and it seems completely (!) outside our control. We can swap lanes, from Right to Centre to Left and vice versa. Or stoically stay in the ‘safe’ Middle lane and pretend you cannot see the cars on either side – the convenient ‘blind spot’. Other drivers can drive us mad with their behaviour and we start to recognise behaviours too. In fact, we recognise certain cars by their license plates or other standout signage but almost never the drivers in them. Weird.

While we are crawling forward, motorbikes whizz past us risking life and limb. The odd self-entitled driver uses the bus-lane to get ahead because it is ‘pretty legal’ until caught and they always have a good excuse ready.

Nine out of ten times, there is no obvious reason for a traffic jam. There is no clear cause and there is no ‘leader’ unless it is the slowpoke in front. It seems to dissolve by itself and go where it came from. What was all the fuss about? We make up explanations and ‘rationalise’ it by blaming; stupid drivers, stupid roads, stupid whatever. If we had stayed at home, would there be a traffic jam? Of course! If we had all stayed at home or had taken public transport, would there be a traffic jam? Stop asking stupid little riddles, will you! Are you some kind of Zen quiz-master?

Traffic jams are bad for the economy and environment alike. Yet, five days a week, we sit in them and contribute to them. Because we have no choice. In the morning, on the way to work – another day, another dollar. In the evening, on the way home – one day less till the weekend.

Our cars are (our) status symbols. However, in a traffic jam it does not matter what car you drive. It does not matter who you are, what job you do or have – presumably you are on your way to or from work – how much you earn. Traffic jams, just like democracy, are a great equaliser, and they force us to follow the (s)lowest denominator. Nothing ever seems to change.

Oh dear, an accident on the other side of the motorway. It looks nasty so let’s slow down some more to have a bloody good look. Oh crap, the car in front of me stopped and I hit them. I hope they are insured …

45 comments on “Politics is like a Traffic Jam”

  1. May be a little less ego, and a shitload more humility.

    "……..motorbikes whizz past us risking life and limb. The odd self-entitled driver uses the bus-lane to get ahead because it is ‘pretty legal’ until caught and they always have a good excuse ready"

    To which I'd add: some motorists plant their boot racing to the next red light; others thinking they're the world's best drivers try to be policemen; others just can't keep a constant speed; others have a complete inability to merge (like a zip) because it's all a competition and they have to get there first,  etc., etc.

    Good analogy @ Incognito

     

  2. vto 2

    aint no traffic jams when walking …. 

    free, clear head, clear air, birds twittering, insects buzzing, trees growing…

    why drive ?

    • satty 2.1

      Not too sure about that, in case you have to go somewhere the car drivers go. I work in a lot of bigger cities in Australia and New Zealand and none has “clean air” in the city centers and the “wildlife” is questionable, too.

    • aint no traffic jams when walking ….

      Having tried to walk down Oxford Street in London during a busy shopping period, I can assure you that there are traffic jams when walking.  Lots of people wanting to use the same footpath has exactly the same effect as lots of people wanting to use the same road.  

       

      • bwaghorn 2.2.1

        When I first arrived in Aberdeen many years ago I found walking in the bus lane down the main street easier than weaving through the hoards . Very crock Dundee with out  the big knife 

      • Anne 2.2.2

        I went to the supermarket yesterday and it was bedlam. It seemed like every man, woman and child was there. I seriously contemplated the need for supermarket traffic lights both ends of the aisles. 😉 It would bring about order, calm frayed nerves (we hope) and everyone would get their turn to have a fair go.

        Bit like politics really.  

        Create cohesion and a sense of order among the populace – a political version of traffic lights?  Make sure everyone gets an opportunity to have a fair go. We had an egalitarian society a few decades ago remember? The principle of "the equality of mankind" inculcated into every law of the land?

        Then along came the neoliberal political craze and it's all gone. Now it's a dog eat dog world and to hell with those left behind through no fault of their own.

        We currently have a coalition government which is trying to recreate a modern version of that egalitarian society. But it is going to take a long time to achieve, and there are plenty of blue-hued nasties intent on undermining every effort for the sake of personal, individual power and political gain.

        It isn't going to be easy. Like the fictitious supermarket traffic lights, we need to be patient, stay calm and give this coalition government a fair go.

        Rome cannot be rebuilt in a day!

        • Kat 2.2.2.1

          Those "blue-hued nasties" certainly are the handbrake preventing our once was egalitarian society from being rebuilt. At this point in time the NZ voter is the hand hovering over that brake. The 2017 election was a catalyst for a change in direction, the 2020 election is shaping up to be a real test of where we are headed. Jacinda Ardern and/or the coalition needs a very clear majority to make it happen.  

  3. Ad 3

    It only feels like a traffic jam to extremes of left and right, and to political obsessives.

     

    New Zealand popular mood is great, economy fine, stable scandal -free government, fresh funding in system, media games and shrinking, all is well.

     

    And no political drama anywhere in any major country except UK.

    • RedLogix 3.1

      Yes. That's commensurate with my customary and way more convoluted argument, that the centre is where the action is and where things get done. And in NZ we are fortunate that the centre, for all it's despised beige tones, is in reasonable health and we could a lot more damned grateful for this.

      • vto 3.1.1

        I don;t know if the centre is where the action is Red. Changes are usually pushed from the edges, into the centre, which eventually wakes up and smells the roses…

        either to vote Trump or Hitler, or to push the Monarchy out …

        they all start at the edge don't they?

        • RedLogix 3.1.1.1

          Yes and no. The edges are where we encounter the novel and unknown and I agree eventually the good ideas percolate inward. There is value in this.

          But we consistently underestimate the value of the centre. It's not the inert lump we denigrate it as. It is where the diverse elements of society meet and contend with each other, where they negotiate, compromise and sometimes reach consensus. And on this basis we can collectively take action. 

          Even if the action is nothing more glamorous than to keep the astounding edifice of our amazing world tottering on for a bit more cheeky

          • vto 3.1.1.1.1

            "the astounding edifice of our amazing world tottering on for a bit more"

            Ha, well put

    • you're not angling to become the next State Services Commissioner are you @Ad?

    • Stuart Munro. 3.3

      It's a great story, but declining home ownership, burgeoning private debt and the gig economy have laid waste to our once comfortable middle class. Time was teachers were one of the happiest groups, but decades of ill-conceived meddling have driven many out of the profession and left the rest stressed out.

      Property inflation driven by foreign capital has imposed a dead weight cost on our economy double that faced by previous generations, and things like the winter energy payment are palliatives rather than long term solutions to the gross mismanagement that characterizes a neoliberal public service.

      The once comfortable and secure public service, having short-delivered the public increasingly feel a puckering sensation as they recognize that they, and not their no-longer-in-power political masters, are going to have to account for some of their transgressions.

      And then there's Amartya Sen's HDI notes on suicide – that it is a robust measure of societal dissatisfaction, and that societies with high rates cannot be characterized as happy. A larger mental health budget will likely not ineffably cure such an ill while the socioeconomic drivers remain.

      • OnceWasTim 3.3.1

        +1 @ Stuart. I can't quite figure out if @Ad was being serious or not with that

        "New Zealand popular mood is great" bit.

        I guess it could be if everyone is kept medicated in one form or another – either the piss, pot, 'P' or Prozac, or by way of shopping therapy – KMart at those lower forms of life, or Kaaren Walker and World at the top end

      • feijoa 3.3.2

        +1

        +1

        +1
        Exactly Stuart

  4. Formerly Ross 4

    Take it easy, take the train.

  5. Jenny - How to Get there? 5

    Freedom!

    http://farefreenz.blogspot.com/

  6. Jenny - How to Get there? 6

    Free Public Transport becomes mainstream, (almost).

     

    THE NORTHERN ADVOCATE | Opinion

    Vaughan Gunson: A tourist tax could help fund free public transport in Whangārei

    1 Aug, 2018 10:30am

    https://www.nzherald.co.nz/northern-advocate/opinion/news/article.cfm?c_id=1503447&objectid=12098325

    …..

    The Government's tourist tax, otherwise known as the International Visitor Conservation and Tourism Levy, will be introduced in 2019.

    The $25 to $35 levy (the amount is still to be decided) will raise up to $80 million. Some of that money will find its way back to Whangārei to maintain public facilities near tourist attractions.

    The tourist tax is a necessary move, but there's a strong case for a more direct route between tourism money and the people living in a region…..

    ……One way would be a tax on accommodation, a "bed tax" paid to local councils rather than central government. Auckland Council has already voted to introduce one. Other councils are seriously looking at the idea.

    It would be good to know what Northland's councillors think and if there are plans to follow Auckland's lead.

    What I'd like to see, is any tax levied on tourists enjoying our harbour and publicly supported assets like the Hundertwasser, going towards helping us to fund free public transport.

    Fare-free public transport now exists in around 100 cities and towns worldwide (with the list growing). The benefits are many: reduced private transport costs, greater freedom for younger people, less road congestion and a meaningful way of reducing net carbon emissions.

    This bold idea could be sold to tourists by saying that their travel – one of the most carbon-polluting things you can do – will be offset by a levy that goes directly towards lessening the carbon emissions of the region they are visiting.

    Tourists would, of course, be able to take advantage of the free public transport themselves – an attraction in itself……

     

  7. RRM 7

    A "LULL"???

    How many Labour ministers are going to be implicated in LYING to the people of NZ about the budget "hack"?

    Will the public notice road safety has been slashed by $10 million as part of their WELLBEING BUDGET after all of Genter's grandstanding about "our goal is a zero road toll"?

    Will Kiwibuild even reach 1% of its targets? (What will happen when people start asking how much of the funding has been spent?)

    Capital gains tax is buried.

    The teachers still aren't happy.

    The nurses still aren't happy.

    Child poverty has gone up, not down under Labour.

    The Labour youth drinking camp sexual assault trial verdict won't make anybody look good.

    This is the lull before Labour starts circling the drain. A really long, really bad metaphor can't fix that.

    • Jenny - How to Get there? 7.1

      Right wing memes get a Sunday morning airing.

    • WeTheBleeple 7.2

      You need to dig deeper, surely you could write a longer list with more faux outrage.

    • SPC 7.3

      The arrogance of those on the right, is they think they can deceive people into voting against their own interest, because of their vanity that they are the smarter and therefore more deserving than others. 

    • Thoughtful of you to drop off all those Kiwiblog talking points here, but there are insufficient grumpy old white men and obnoxious dumbasses here to pick them up and run with them.  

      • RRM 7.4.1

        I'm getting more and more of it from Facebook these days. People are starting to wake up and see the stardust and the identity politics for what it is. The left doesn’t control the message any more. It is great to see.

        • SPC 7.4.1.1

          Talk about tunnel-vision, your face book pages are designed to reinforce your viewpoint and you think therefore that is reflective of popular opinion. You either understand nothing about social media, or you are just trying to con other people about what is, or is what is not, popular opinion. 

        • mpledger 7.4.1.2

          It's only identity politics because it's not your identity.

        • Psycho Milt 7.4.1.3

          I'm getting more and more of it from Facebook these days.

          As SPC says, there's a reason for that, and it's called "Facebook's business model."  Facebook is telling me that ancient punk music, obscure movies and left-wing politics are becoming more and more popular, mostly because I keep telling it via clicking on things that that's what I like.  Start following lefty politicians on Facebook and clicking on the lefty stories they link to, and you'll soon find Facebook telling you there's been a sudden sea change in politics and the left is rapidly gaining popularity.  

  8. Jenny - How to Get there? 8

    Auckland slowly, (and painfully), inches its way towards Free Public Transport

     

    Newshub
    9 June 2019

    Auckland Mayor wants to make public transport free to under 15s on weekends, public holidays

    https://www.newshub.co.nz/home/new-zealand/2019/05/auckland-mayor-wants-to-make-public-transport-free-to-under-15s-on-weekends-public-holidays.html

    Auckland Mayor Phil Goff is announcing a proposal today that children under 15 travel on public transport free of charge on weekends and public holidays.

    The proposal aims to encourage more families and young people to use public transport, helping to reduce traffic congestion……

    This measure is being sold as a way to reduce traffic congestion?

    It’s a start, in the right direction.

    But for those of us who drive around Auckland for a living, know for a fact, that traffic congestion in Auckland is almost absent during periods of school holidays!

    Even the one day student strike for the climate, made getting around Auckland noticeably easier for that day.

    The obvious next step, is to make public transport free to under 15s all the time.

    Now that really would make a difference to traffic congestion, especially at peak times.

    • RRM 8.1

      "Free" just means somebody else pays.

      Usually a third party who won’t be paying, offers on behalf of those who will be paying, without even asking them.

       

      Public transport would probably get a lot more bipartisan support if it wasn't so blatantly captured by political socialists using it as a vehicle for their own ambitions.

      • WeTheBleeple 8.1.1

        Free means getting loads of cars off the road. This improves air quality, water quality, travel times, maintenance budgets, productivity…

        You need to learn proper accounting.

      • Jenny - How to Get there? 8.1.2

        Public transport would probably get a lot more bipartisan support if it wasn’t so blatantly captured by political socialists using it as a vehicle for their own ambitions.

        RRM

        Oh no!

        A sinister left wing plot to ease congestion and pollution, has been revealed by RRM.

      • SPC 8.1.3

        You mean public transport funding would be more bi-partisan if right wing parties stop promoting car driver selfishness as a vote winner – it's the politics of the tobacco industry and coal fueled power station age. 

      • Jenny - How to Get there? 8.1.4

        Free public transport, just like free healthcare is not free…

        Bernie Sanders explains…..



      • Psycho Milt 8.1.5

        "Free" just means somebody else pays.

        Uh, duh-uh. Any other pointless truisms to post, while you're here?  "Free" has various meanings, but everyone on this thread, including you, knows that "free" in this context means users of a service are not charged for it and it is instead funded by other means.  

      • Stuart Munro. 8.1.6

        Now turn around and apply that logic to the egregious thefts of our water resources.

      • Brigid 8.1.7

        ""Free" just means somebody else pays."

        No. It means everybody pays. It's called socialism. It's the opposite of greedy, Ayn Rand, 'I'm fine Fuck the rest of You-ism.

        Ask any Scandinavian how well it works.

        • Rosemary McDonald 8.1.7.1

          ""Free" just means somebody else pays."

          No. It means everybody pays. It's called socialism. It's the opposite of greedy, Ayn Rand, 'I'm fine Fuck the rest of You-ism.

          That kinda sums it up at a fundamental level, no?

          Those who agree 100% with Brigid go Left….

    • Jenny - How to Get there? 8.2

      Auckland slowly, (and painfully), inches its way towards Free Public Transport II

      Sinister plot uncovered

      Lacking the boldness of the leftist conspirators in overseas hives of communism, like Luxembourg and LA, Leftist police here, engage in a sinister plot to lower the road toll

      More free public transport being considered for Auckland

      Todd Niall11:55, Feb 11 2019

      https://www.stuff.co.nz/auckland/110498483/more-free-public-transport-being-considered-for-auckland

       

      Aucklanders could get more chances to travel free on public transport following a pilot just before Christmas.

      Auckland Transport said it was considering suggestions, such as New Year's Eve and Auckland's Anniversary weekend, after a surge in patronage during the fare-free evening in December.

      The agency, at the request of Police, made public transport free after 4pm on the last Friday before Christmas, largely to reduce drink-driving…..

      Oh no!

      • Jenny - How to Get there? 8.2.1

        From his secret communist bunker in Mangere East, (otherwise known as the Mangere East Community Centre). Queen Service Medal winner and former bus driver, Roger Fowler publishes his blog advocating for free public transport.

         

        Fare-Free New Zealand

        Thursday, December 13, 2018

         
        By Brittany Martin, Los Angeles Magazine, 10 December 2018

        LA Metro CEO proposes free public transport for all in Los Angeles

        Last week, Metro CEO Phil Washington endorsed a bold proposal: implement congestion tolls on drivers to make public transportation free. If the proposal moves forward, it would fit into a number of projects Metro has in the works, which all aim to turn Los Angeles into a seamless public transportation utopia before the Olympics come to town…..

        http://farefreenz.blogspot.com/2018/12/la-metro-ceo-proposes-free-public.html

  9. SPC 9

    Yeah sure, there are road congestion constraints on the affording of transformation to where we would like to get to.

    1. We have the constraint of 30% of GDP as government spending Lanbour and Greens decided on in their pre-election agreement.  

    2. the second contraint of the 20% debt to GDP by 2021/2022

    3. The constraint of no new revenue stream CGT.

    Thus we have slowed the journey down. 

    And those on the right would add

    4. indexing tax thresholds, to reduce money for new (transformational) spending. 

    It seems that conservative means reducing government capacity to change – based on a fear that any change involving more (capability of) provision to the public is bad for those who have more private resources than others.

    So while that attitude persists, government capability in health, education and state/social housing diminshes – as people (and councils) face rising insurance costs if they can afford property at all (from earthquake risk and flooding/coastal erosion). 

  10. Marcus Morris 10

    Great piece by Simon Wilson in the Weekend Herald on lowering the accident rates on our road – https://www.nzherald.co.nz/nz/news/article.cfm?c_id=1&objectid=12238283. There is a clear reference to Nationals Radio loudmouth Mike Hosking – wonder what RRM has to say about it – he will no doubt have a FB reference.

  11. Jenny - How to Get there? 11

     
    Auckland slowly, (and painfully), inches its way towards Free Public Transport III

    Auckland's free buses and trains has released a genie out of the bottle

    Todd Niall12:10, Dec 19 2018

     

    The biggest surprise was not that Aucklanders could ride public transport on Friday evening for free for the first time.

    The surprise was that the initiative will cost only $120,000 in lost fare revenue…..

    ….Fare-free public transport after 4pm on Friday wasn't even Auckland Transport's idea, but an optimistic lob from police……

    …..The question of whether this can become a benchmark against which other spending is measured is more intriguing.

    An annual programme of "First-Friday Free public transport afternoons" would cost around $1.5 million.

    That's not much more than was spent on two reports commissioned unilaterally by the mayor Phil Goff, and which now lie in filing cabinets.

    One, paid for by council-owned Ports of Auckland, didn't tell the story which Goff wanted, on the value of the vehicle import trade to Auckland.

    https://www.stuff.co.nz/auckland/109460592/aucklands-free-buses-and-trains-has-released-a-genie-out-of-the-bottle?rm=m

    The decrease in road accidents is a social good. (which was the police motivation).

    Other social goods for fare free public transport that need to be explored:

    Decreasing traffic congestion during peak times.

    Decreasing air pollution

    Decreasing carbon emissions

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  • Lying about a failed war
    Since invading in 2001, the US has consistently claimed that their war in Afghanistan has been going well, even when it continued year after year after year. Of course, they were lying, and thanks to the Washington Post and the US Freedom of Information Act, we get to see just ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    3 days ago
  • Artificial Intelligence and You
    How should we think about artificial intelligence and the implications that it has for our work and leisure? There are many articles on artificial intelligence and its potential impacts on jobs, and the ethics of applications. These are important topics, but I want to focus on some less discussed aspects, ...
    SciBlogsBy Robert Hickson
    3 days ago
  • Statistical manipulation to get publishable results
    I love data. It’s amazing the sort of “discoveries” I can make given a data set and computer statistical package. It’s just so easy to search for relationships and test their statistical significance. Maybe relationships which ...
    3 days ago
  • More lies on the Twitter (Dan Hodges edition)
    The other big story concerning Leeds Hospital is Boris Johnson's bizzare behaviour at Leeds Hospital, where he was confronted by a journalist and challenged about a four year old boy with suspected pneumonia who was left sleeping on the floor, rather than getting  abed like a sick kid would in ...
    3 days ago
  • LabourActivistPunchedMattHancock’sSPADGate
    So, for a brief period of history, it was alleged that a protester had punched Matt Hancock's SPAD (not a euphemism; special adviser) when Hancock visited Leeds Hospital.This was reported by the likes of Robert Peston and Laura Keunssberg, as well as the less credible Guido Fawkes.  It also quickly ...
    3 days ago
  • France’s anti-Zionism is anti-liberté
    by Daphna Whitmore Last week France passed a law that equates anti-Zionism with anti-Semitism. It is based on a definition of anti-Semitism that includes criticism of Israel such as: “Denying the Jewish people their right to self-determination, e.g., by claiming that the existence of a State of Israel is a racist ...
    RedlineBy Daphna
    4 days ago
  • Another bus lockout
    Over the past year we've seen major bus problems in Hamilton and Wellington, as drivers have sought better wages and an end to the bullshit of split shifts, which basicly see them "married to the job". And now its Auckland's turn. When NZBus's drivers planned low-level strike action of not ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    4 days ago
  • Climate Change: Showing us how its done
    The government has been congratulating itself over the passage of the Zero Carbon Act, which sets out long-term emissions targets. But those targets are insufficient. Meanwhile, Denmark is showing us how its done:Denmark’s parliament adopted a new climate law on Friday, committing to reach 70% below its 1990 emissions in ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    4 days ago
  • New Fisk
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    4 days ago
  • Public sector dysfunction should not be allowed to undermine freedom of information
    Another day, another piece of legislation with a secrecy clause. This time its the innocuous-seeming Mental Health and Wellbeing Commission Bill, which (after establishing a new body and making it subject to the OIA in three different ways) includes the rapidly-becoming-standard clauses enabling it to request information from other public ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    4 days ago
  • “This is England, this knife of Sheffield steel…”
    The state of the United Kingdom is fractured, torn up, shredded. The Empire is gone, it died a long time ago. And yet, the country is still tracking with a lead in favour of the ones who play to the ingrained, class-bound division for political gain. It is a disgrace ...
    exhALANtBy exhalantblog
    6 days ago
  • CORSIA, coming soon to an airport near you
    On 27 September, Greta Thunberg addressed a crowd of 500,000 at the School Strike for Climate in Montreal, saying: “You are a nation that is allegedly a climate leader. And Sweden is also a nation that is allegedly a climate leader. And in both cases, it means absolutely nothing. Because ...
    SciBlogsBy Robert McLachlan
    6 days ago
  • Cloaking hate speech and fake news in the right to free expression.
    It should be obvious by now but let’s be clear: The same folk who regularly traffic in disinformation, misinformation and “fake news” are also those who most strongly claim that their freedom of expression rights are being violated when moves are made to curb hate speech (as opposed to protected ...
    KiwipoliticoBy Pablo
    6 days ago
  • The Physics (and Economics, and Politics) of Wheelchairs on Planes
    Michael Schulson When Shane Burcaw flies on an airplane, he brings along a customized gel cushion, a car seat, and about 10 pieces of memory foam. The whole arsenal costs around $1,000, but for Burcaw it’s a necessity. The 27-year-old author and speaker — who, alongside his fiancée, Hannah ...
    SciBlogsBy Guest Author
    6 days ago
  • To Advance Civil Rights, Oppose Transgender Extremism
    We are very pleased to publish this submission is from Lucinda Stoan. She is a social justice activist, mother, and educator, based in Washington State in the  US.   This detailed and comprehensive source-linked overview of trans issues and what is at stake will be useful for many people, especially in ...
    RedlineBy Daphna
    7 days ago
  • Faafoi should be fired
    Newshub last night reported that Broadcasting Minister Kris Faafoi had apparently promised to help out a mate with an immigration issue. While its normal for people to approach MPs for assistance in this area, when you're a Minister, the rules are different: as the Cabinet Manual says, Ministers must "at ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • Adrian Orr – The Reserve Bank’s Revolutionary Governor?
    New Zealand's Underarm Banker: It bears recalling that the “independence” of the Reserve Bank Governor was for decades held up by neoliberal capitalists as the most compelling justification for passing the Reserve Bank Act. Interesting, is it not, how the ruling class’s support for the Bank’s independence lasted no longer than ...
    1 week ago
  • Driving Us Up The Poll.
    Rubbish In, Rubbish Out: Put all this together, and it’s difficult to avoid the conclusion that anyone who responds positively to a pollster’s request to “answer a few questions” is just ever-so-slightly weird. Desperately lonely? Some sort of psephological train-spotter? Political party member primed to skew the poll for or against ...
    1 week ago
  • Jordan Williams, Colin Craig podcast series announced
    “Free at last, Free at last, Thank God almighty we are free at last.” ― Martin Luther King Jr. A long and bitter court feud between former Conservative Party leader Colin Craig and Jordan Williams has been settled, with an apology and compensation from Williams. On Tuesday, Craig sent out ...
    The PaepaeBy Peter Aranyi
    1 week ago
  • How plant-based meat is stretching New Zealand’s cultural and legal boundaries
    Samuel Becher, Victoria University of Wellington and Jessica C Lai, Victoria University of Wellington Earlier this year, the New Zealand-based pizza chain Hell Pizza offered a limited-edition “Burger Pizza”. Its customers weren’t told that the “meat” was plant-based. Some customers complained to the Commerce Commission, which enforces consumer law in ...
    SciBlogsBy Guest Author
    1 week ago
  • Scientific integrity requires critical investigation – not blind acceptance
    Some people seem to want to close down any critical discussion of the current research into the relationship between water fluoride and child IQ. They appear to argue that claims made by researchers should not be open to critical review and that the claims be accepted without proper consideration ...
    1 week ago
  • Climate Change: The shameful reality
    The government has been congratulating itself over the passage of the Zero Carbon Act, which sets out long-term emissions targets. Meanwhile, Climate Action Tracker has the shameful reality: those targets are insufficient:While New Zealand is showing leadership by having passed the world’s second-ever Zero Carbon Act in November 2019, under ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • More secrecy
    The government introduced a Racing Industry Bill today. As an urban who horse racing as pointless-to-cruel, and gambling as a tax on stupidity and/or hope, this isn't normally a bill which would interest me in the slightest, beyond grumpiness at more government money for a dying industry. But there is ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • Unlikely online bully, Liam Hehir
    Check. Check. One, two, three, four. Is this thing ON? Hello readers, I logged in last night (yeah, it’s been a while) to mark THE END of the landmark legal case, Jordan Williams v Colin Craig, which (gulp) reached The Supreme Court, in which New Zealand’s most-defamed man was suing the politician he ...
    The PaepaeBy Peter Aranyi
    1 week ago
  • The Birth Of Israel: Wrong At The Right Time.
    Before The Birth: Israel’s most fervent supporters set their clocks ticking in Biblical times. They cite the kingdoms of David and Solomon as proof that, in the words of the Exodus movie’s theme-song: “This land is mine.” The majority of Israel’s backers, however, start their clocks in 1933 – the year Adolf ...
    1 week ago
  • Hard News: Public Address Word of the Year 2019: Korero phase
    In an unreliable, strange and confusing world, Public Address is proud to present a measure of comfort and stability by annually asking everyone what words or phrases sum up the year that's been – and then giving some of them consumer goods as prizes for being clever or simply lucky.Well, ...
    1 week ago
  • Generalist to specialist
    Both my parents are pretty handy – and they seem to have the right tools for most jobs in the garage and they know how to fix practically anything. A similar story could be told about their generation’s experience in the workforce – being a generalist was not unusual and ...
    SciBlogsBy Guest Author
    1 week ago
  • A “coincidence”
    When it was revealed that NZ First had tried to enrich itself from public office via the Provoncial Growth Fund, the Prime Minister assured us that everything was OK as Shane Jones, the Minister responsible for the fund, had recused himself. Except it seems that that recusal came very late ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • Member’s Day
    Today is a Member's Day, and probably the last one of the year. After the marathon of the End of Life Choice Act, most of the bills up for debate today are uncontentious. First up is the second reading of Chlöe Swarbrick's Election Access Fund Bill. This will be followed ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • Worse than I thought
    The Foreign Affairs, Defence and Trade Committee has reported back on the government's odious and tyrannical control orders bill. As expected, the fraudulent select committee process has made no significant changes (partly because they couldn't agree, but mostly because it was a stitch-up from the start, with no intention of ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • The cannabis bill and the referendum
    Yesterday, the government released its draft Cannabis Legalisation and Control Bill, which will be put to a non-binding referendum at the next election. I'm not a drug policy expert, but Russell Brown is, and he thinks its pretty good. And pretty obviously, it will be a massive improvement on the ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • Hard News: The Cannabis Legalisation and Control Bill: pretty good so far
    As you're probably aware, the draft bill outlining the proposed legal cannabis regime to be put to a referendum late next year was published yesterday, and has already attracted a flurry of comment. It's notable that a good deal of the comment is about proposals that aren't actually new.A minimum ...
    1 week ago
  • Climate Change: Alignment
    One of the big problems in New Zealand climate change policy is the government working at cross-purposes with itself. It wants to reduce fossil fuel use, but encourages oil and gas exploration. It wants to reduce transport emissions, but then builds enormous new roads. The problem could be avoided if ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • How climate change will affect food production and security
    Climate Explained is a collaboration between The Conversation, Stuff and the New Zealand Science Media Centre to answer your questions about climate change. If you have a question you’d like an expert to answer, please send it to climate.change@stuff.co.nz According to the United Nations, food shortages are a threat ...
    SciBlogsBy Guest Author
    1 week ago
  • More bad faith
    Last year, the government announced it was ending offshore oil exploration by no longer issuing new permits. The idea was that the industry would then die off as permits expired. Except almost immediately the government revealed its bad faith, by saying they would extend permits and alter conditions to keep ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • Banning foreign money from our elections
    The government has said it will ban foreign donations to political parties and candidates, and will be introducing legislation to be passed under all-stages urgency this afternoon. While I agree with the goal, I don't see a particular case for urgency, unless the government is concerned about a flood of ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • Reforming the Education Acts
    The government introduced the Education and Training Bill to Parliament yesterday. Its a massive bill, which replaces both existing Education Acts, as well as various other bits of legislation (including some which are still proceeding through the House). I'll leave the serious analysis to teachers and people who actually know ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • Bite-sized learning
    Amelia SharmanThere’s no one-size-fits-all when it comes to micro-credentials, those bits of bite-sized learning that can help workers stay on top of technological change.  What’s a micro-credential? While definitions vary, micro-credentials can be understood as short courses that allow people to learn new skills or have an existing competency recognised. ...
    SciBlogsBy Guest Author
    1 week ago
  • “Not The Labour Party We Once Knew.”
    All Smiles Now: Claire Szabo is taking up her presidential role after serving as the CEO of Habitat For Humanity. Which is absolutely perfect! After KiwiBuild was so comprehensively mismanaged by Phil Twyford, the party has not only elected a new president from a thoroughly respectable not-for-profit, but one who ...
    1 week ago
  • Marxist versus liberal methodology on transgender ideology/identity politics
    While much of the NZ left has transitioned to postmodern and identity politics in relation to transgender ideology, there are some very good articles about that deploy Marxist methodology in relation to this subject.  The one below is from the British marxist group Counterfire and appeared on their site here ...
    RedlineBy Admin
    2 weeks ago
  • Book review: The Farm by Joanne Ramos
    by Daphna Whitmore At Golden Oaks, a luxurious country retreat in the Hudson Valley, pregnant women have the best care money can buy. From the organic food, personalised exercise programmes, private yoga instruction and daily massages Golden Oaks looks like a country lodge for the upper class. Set some time ...
    RedlineBy Daphna
    2 weeks ago
  • Loosening the purse strings
    When Labour was running for election in 2017, it felt it needed to demonstrate "fiscal responsibility" and signed itself up to masochistic "budget responsibility rules". It was a fool's errand: the sorts of voters who demand fiscal responsibility are also the sorts of voters who believe that labour can never ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • Climate Change: How to get there
    Writing in Stuff, Joel MacManus looks at what we need to do to meet the Zero Carbon Act's targets. The core of it:1. Convert 85 per cent of vehicles on the road to electric. 2. Eliminate fossil fuels from all industrial heating up to 300 degrees Celsius. 3. Double our ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • anti-vaxxers in a measles epidemic: so many ways to be untruthful
    “Anti-vaxers are a pro-death movement,” those comments from Dr Helen Petousis-Harris speaking about six more Measles related deaths in Samoa over the past twenty-four hours. “Anti-vaxers are a pro-death movement,” those comments from Dr Helen Petousis-Harris speaking about six more Measles related deaths in Samoa ...
    SciBlogsBy Alison Campbell
    2 weeks ago
  • Is Youth Vaping a Problem in New Zealand?
    Professors Janet Hoek and Richard Edwards, Emeritus Professor Phil Gendall, Jude Ball, Dr Judith McCool, Anaru Waa, Dr Becky Freeman Recent media reports have presented conflicting evidence on youth vaping in NZ. While some NZ school principals report concerns about increasing vaping on school grounds and confiscating vapes, ASH Year ...
    SciBlogsBy Public Health Expert
    2 weeks ago
  • In pursuit of “Freedom and Democracy”: Forever Wars in “America’s backyard”.
    “America the Beautiful!”, staunch defender of democracy, freedom and… a whole lot of despotic tyrants that play nice with what is called “the Washington Consensus.” America is indeed capable of immense good, but like any Nation, and most assuredly any aspirant to the mantle of Empire, great, immense evil. All ...
    exhALANtBy exhalantblog
    2 weeks ago
  • November ’19 – NZ blogs sitemeter ranking
    Image credit: The beginner’s guide to blogging I notice a few regulars no longer allow public access to the site counters. This may happen accidentally when the blog format is altered. If your blog is ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Whodunnit? Finding the mystery 1080 testing lab
    1080 is used to control pests in NZ. Its use is contested by a noisy few. A new report claims high levels of 1080 in rats washed up on a beach. Flora and Fauna of Aotearoa (F&F) won’t name the laboratory that did their testing. It has sparked a hunt ...
    SciBlogsBy Grant Jacobs
    2 weeks ago
  • Authoritarian Friends, Democratic Enemies.
    What Kind Of Empire? The thing for Kiwis to decide is what kind of empire they want to belong to. The kind that, while offering its own citizens democratic rights, demands absolute obedience from its “friends”? Or, the kind that, while authoritarian at home, takes a relaxed attitude to the ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Boris Johnson Goes Down
    It hasn't been a good week for the Conservatives, pollwise.  All major recent polls are showing their lead shrinking.Comparing each pollster's current (between 29/11 and 22/11) and previous most recent poll.Com Res - Conservative lead down 3 points.You Gov - Conservative lead down 1 point.Kantar - Conservative lead down 4 ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Interesting
    Within quick succession, Countdown maths wizard and twitterer Rachel Riley, alleged comedian David Baddiel and prominent lawyer Andrew Julius have all expressed very similar opinions / ideas:
    These #3billboards are going round London today, organised by ex-Labour people, horrified by what their party has become. Their principles haven’t changed, they’re ...
    2 weeks ago

  • New Zealand medical specialists to provide further support to Samoa
    Foreign Minister Winston Peters today announced further support for Samoa’s longer term needs as it continues to respond to a devastating measles epidemic. “Samoa’s health system has experienced massive strain in the wake of the measles epidemic. The volume of patients needing care during this outbreak, and the number of ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    35 mins ago
  • Discounted electric-bikes offered to public sector workers
    Discounted electric bikes will be offered up to public sector staff across the country as part of the Government’s work to reduce transport emissions and support healthier transport options.  Associate Minister of Transport Julie Anne Genter officially launched the new initiative at Wellington Hospital today.  “The Government has negotiated bulk-purchase ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 hours ago
  • Australia and New Zealand confirm joint bid for FIFA Women’s World Cup
    The Australian and New Zealand Governments today launch an historic joint bid to bring the FIFA Women’s World Cup to the Southern Hemisphere for the first time. Australian Minister for Youth and Sport, Richard Colbeck and New Zealand Minister for Sport and Recreation Grant Robertson will announce the bold campaign, ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 hours ago
  • Blackwater gold mine gets PGF boost
    The Provincial Growth Fund (PGF) has approved a $15 million loan to help re-establish a gold mining operation at Blackwater Gold Mine, near Reefton, Rural Communities Minister and local MP Damien O’Connor announced at an event on the West Coast today. “This is great news for the Coast that could ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 hours ago
  • Papakāinga model inspires whānau well-being
    Papakāinga model inspires whānau well-being A housing project by Kohupātiki whānau in Hastings is an outstanding example of a Māori-led housing initiative that can reduce financial pressure and reconnect whānau to their whakapapa says the Minister for Māori Development Hon Nanaia Mahuta.  Minister Mahuta officially opened the Aroha Te Rangi ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 hours ago
  • Housing First to help Nelson Tasman homeless
    Nelson has today seen the launch of Housing First Nelson Tasman. Today’s launch marks the expansion of the Government’s homelessness programme, Housing First, to the top of the South Island. “Housing First is a proven programme that puts people who are experiencing homelessness and multiple, high and complex needs into ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 hours ago
  • Government takes bite out of loan sharks
    The days of vulnerable consumers falling victim to loan sharks, truck shops and other predatory lenders are numbered, following the Credit Contracts Legislation Amendment Bill passing its third reading tonight. “Too many Kiwis are being given loans that are unaffordable and unsuitable, trapping them in debt and leaving their families ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    22 hours ago
  • New Zealand safer as Terrorism Suppression (Control Orders Bill) becomes law
    A Bill that prevents terrorism and supports the de-radicalisation of New Zealanders returning from overseas has passed its third reading, Justice Minister Andrew Little says. The Terrorism Suppression (Control Orders) Bill is a carefully targeted response to manage the risk posed by a small number of New Zealanders who have ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    23 hours ago
  • Foreign Minister and Pacific Peoples Minister to visit Samoa
    Foreign Affairs Minister Winston Peters and Minister for Pacific Peoples Aupito William Sio will travel to Samoa on Friday, where New Zealand medical teams are helping Samoa respond to an outbreak of measles. “New Zealand has been working closely with the Government of Samoa and offering our assistance from the ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    24 hours ago
  • New Pastoral Care Code will support tertiary students in 2020
    The Government has changed the law to improve student safety and welfare in university halls of residence and other student accommodation. The Education (Pastoral Care) Amendment Bill passed its third reading this afternoon and details of an interim Code of Practice setting out the Government’s expectations of tertiary providers have also been released. ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    24 hours ago
  • New infrastructure funding tool to build housing developments faster
    A new tool to help councils fund and finance infrastructure could mean some housing developments happen a decade earlier than currently planned, Urban Development Minister Phil Twyford said today. “This new tool, developed by the Government in partnership with industry and high-growth councils, will allow councils to access private debt ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 day ago
  • Vision to unite the primary sector launched today
    Agriculture Minister Damien O’Connor has welcomed the release of a bold new vision for the country’s vital food and fibre sector. “I’m delighted that New Zealand’s major farmer and grower organisations are today supporting the Primary Sector Council’s vision – Fit for a Better World,” he said. “The international consumers ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 day ago
  • NZ congratulates PNG and Autonomous Bougainville Government on referendum
    Foreign Minister Winston Peters has congratulated the Government of Papua New Guinea and the Autonomous Bougainville Government for completing a well-conducted referendum on the future political status of Bougainville. “New Zealand supported the referendum process by providing technical advice through the New Zealand Electoral Commission and leading a Regional Police ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 day ago
  • Next steps for Upper North Island logistics
    In light of Cabinet’s position that freight operations on prime land in downtown Auckland are no longer viable, the Government will now embark on a short work programme to enable decision-making in the first half of next year, Associate Transport Minister Shane Jones says. Minister Jones is today releasing the ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 day ago
  • Surgical mesh restorative justice report received
    Associate Health Minister Julie Anne Genter has received the report back from a surgical mesh restorative justice process undertaken by Victoria University. The process heard stories, either in person or online submission, from more than 600 people affected by surgical mesh. “The report made for heart-breaking and confronting reading,” says ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 day ago
  • The Water Services Regulator Bill – Taumata Arowai a milestone for drinking water safety
    The Water Services Regulator Bill – Taumata Arowai , introduced to Parliament today, is a milestone for drinking water safety in New Zealand and will help improve environmental outcomes for urban waterways, rivers and lakes.  “This is a breakthrough for New Zealanders in terms of providing safe drinking water throughout ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 day ago
  • Speech to new direction for criminal justice reform announcement
    Kia ora koutouE ngā mana, e ngā reo, e ngā matā wakaTēnā koutou katoaHaere ngā, moe maiKoutou ma ngā Rangatira Ko Anaru ahauKo au te Minita mo ngā TureHe Honore tino nui kei roto I ahau No reira tena koutou katoa Today, we are releasing two reports that are the ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 day ago
  • New direction for criminal justice reform
    The Government is looking to turn around the long-term challenges of criminal justice by taking a new approach to break the cycle of offending to ensure there are fewer victims of crime. Justice Minister Andrew Little released two reports today, Turuki! Turuki! from Te Uepū Hāpai I te Ora, and ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 day ago
  • New law sets up $300m Venture Capital Fund
    New Zealand firms expanding beyond the start-up phase are set for more support after today’s passage of the Venture Capital Fund Bill, Associate Finance Minister David Parker said. The Bill, which establishes a $300 million Venture Capital Fund, puts in place a key initiative of the Wellbeing Budget’s economic package. ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • New Zealand’s National Statement to COP25
    E ngā mana, e ngā reo, e ngā iwi, e ngā rau rangatira mā. Tēnā koutou, tēnā koutou, tēnā koutou katoa. Señora Presidenta, Excellencies, Delegates. International action A common thread that runs through the Paris Agreement is the commitment we have made to each other to do what we can to ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • $12 billion in extra infrastructure investment
    The Government is lifting capital investment to the highest level in more than 20 years as it takes the next step to future-proof New Zealand. Finance Minister Grant Robertson has announced $12 billion of new investment, with $8 billion for specific capital projects and $4 billion to be added to ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • Strong economy, careful spending gives $12bn of surpluses
    The Government is forecast to run $12 billion worth of surpluses across the four years to 2023/24 as the economy continues to grow. The surpluses will help fund day-to-day capital requirements each year. These include fixing leaky hospitals, building new classrooms to cover population growth and take pressure off class ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • Priorities for 2020 Wellbeing Budget outlined
    Budget 2020 will continue the Coalition Government’s focus on tackling the long-term challenges facing New Zealand while also investing to future-proof the economy. When the Government took office in 2017 it was left with crumbling infrastructure, severe underinvestment in public services, degraded rivers and lakes, a housing crisis and rising ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • Minister welcomes data-rich coastline mapping tool
    The Minister responsible for the Marine and Coastal Area (Takutai Moana) Act 2011 (te Takutai Moana Act 2011), Andrew Little has welcomed the launch of an online geospatial tool that provides data-rich, dynamic coastline maps that will significantly boost research and evidence-gathering under the Act. Te Kete Kōrero a Te ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • Chief Victims Advisor reappointed for a further two years
    The Chief Victims Advisor to Government Dr Kim McGregor, QSO, has been reappointed in her role for a further two years. Dr McGregor has held the role since it was established in November 2015. She provides independent advice to government on how to improve the criminal justice system for victims. ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • New Zealand tsunami monitoring and detection system to be established
    Foreign Affairs Minister Winston Peters and Civil Defence Minister Peeni Henare have today announced the deployment of a network of DART (Deep-ocean Assessment and Reporting of Tsunami) buoys. “New Zealand and the Pacific region are particularly vulnerable to natural disasters. It is vital we have adequate warning systems in place,” ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • DART Buoys Announcement
    DART Buoys Announcement Aotea Wharf, 9.30am 11 December 2019   Acknowledgements Acknowledgements to Minister for Civil Defence Hon Peeni Henare also here today. White Island It is with regret that this event shadows the tragic natural disaster two days ago. The volcanic eruptions on White Island have claimed 5 lives, ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • Final steps for racing industry reform
    Racing Minister Winston Peters has welcomed the first reading of the Racing Industry Bill in parliament today. This is the second of two Bills that have been introduced this year to revitalise New Zealand’s racing industry. “Our domestic racing industry has been in serious decline.  The Government is committed to ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • Funding to promote New Zealand Sign Language initiatives
    Minister for Disability Issues, Carmel Sepuloni, is pleased to announce that $291,321 is to be awarded to national and local community initiatives to maintain and promote the use of New Zealand Sign Language (NZSL). “New Zealand is one of the few countries  in the world where Sign Language is an ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • How New Zealand defines and recognises veterans
    Minister for Veterans Ron Mark has announced today the Coalition Government’s initial response to work completed by the independent statutory body, the Veterans’ Advisory Board. “When Professor Ron Paterson completed his review of the Veterans’ Support Act in 2018, he made a number of recommendations, including one which I referred ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • Government to fund lion’s share of Ohakea water scheme
    The Government will fund the bulk of the cost of a rural water supply for the Ohakea community affected by PFAS contamination, Environment Minister David Parker announced today at a meeting of local residents. This new water scheme will provide a reliable and clean source of drinking water to the ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • Prime Minister statement on White Island eruption
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