Post TPPA signing

Written By: - Date published: 6:14 am, March 12th, 2018 - 34 comments
Categories: capitalism, climate change, Economy, trade - Tags: , , , ,

 

It’s Our Future spokesperson Oliver Hailes was interviewed by Wallace Chapman on Sunday (RNZ) yesterday. It’s only five and half minutes, but Hailes is succinct and clear in pointing to the problems.

It’s not a shiney new deal, it’s basically the same deal that David Parker and Labour were protesting about a few years ago. It’s not about trade, it’s about setting the agenda for the global economy.

The rules are wrong for NZ. Business can’t trust democracy to protect its profits. Governments are under pressure to deal with social issues and climate change and meaningful action on these will negatively affect foreign investors and multinationals.

They’ve kind of highjacked the popular discourse of free trade and expanded the scope of these treaties to include legal obligations that make it very difficult for future governments to regulate in the public interest.

Wallace Chapman suggests that the TPPA will create lots of jobs. Hailes cites Tufts University that there will be a net decrease in jobs from the TPPA. MFAT says there will be only a slight net increase.

This discrepancy means there needs to be independent analysis of cost benefits before ratification. This is an opportunity for Labour and NZ to be different from National and not rush to complete the deal without bringing everyone in.

Haile cites MFAT’s own figures to show that the benefit to the economy as a whole is trifling over time. Chapman uses the example of reduced tariffs putting meat exporters back in the game, and again, jobs! But Hailes points out that the meat industry will be increasingly automated (e.g. in abattoirs), so the promise of jobs isn’t reliable.

Hailes also co-authored this article published in the New Zealand Medical Journal last week,

In this viewpoint article, however, we focus on the CPTPP in the context of the global climate crisis and its potential downstream impacts on health. While the treaty pays lip service to broader social and environmental concerns, we will highlight how the CPTPP is geared fundamentally towards the interests of transnational corporations and foreign investors at the expense of concerns about human and environmental health.

There’s a good summation of the direct and indirect impacts on health from climate change (some already happening), along with pointing to the health benefits of an approach of mitigating climate change. However,

Only six of the 30 chapters to the TPPA, now the CPTPP, deal with trade in goods such as meat, milk and motorcars. The rest of the 6,000 pages cover a vast range of matters such as Electronic Commerce, Government Procurement, Labour and Environment. Yet nowhere in the final text is the term “climate change” mentioned.18

(my emphasis).

Article 20.15 appears to address the climate crisis obliquely…

But it is important to realise from a legal standpoint that these soft acknowledgements and the vagaries of the environmental “Cooperation Frameworks” (Article 20.12) contrast starkly to the enforceable rules designed to protect the profitability of foreign investments.

Investor protections under the CPTPP effectively introduce a backdoor mechanism to constrain New Zealand’s law-making process by enabling investors to sue governments if they adopt regulations that, for example, erode the expected value of their assets through environmental regulations such as the phasing out of fossil fuel extraction. These protections are not available to New Zealand citizens and businesses, yet they extend to “every asset that [a foreign] investor owns or controls, directly or indirectly, that has the characteristics of an investment, including such characteristics as the commitment of capital or other resources, the expectation of gain or profit, or the assumption of risk” (Article 9.1). This expansive definition goes well beyond real estate and physical assets to cover almost everything that can be wrapped in the cloak of property rights, including this non-exhaustive list of examples: regulatory permits; intellectual property rights; financial instruments such as stocks and derivatives; “turnkey, construction, management, production, concession, revenue-sharing and other similar contracts”; and “licences, authorisations, permits and similar rights conferred pursuant to the [country’s] law”.

The effect of the Investment Chapter, in particular, is not so much to reform current policy but to prevent future progressive or precautionary reforms through obligations that make it more difficult for governments to regulate in response to public health and environmental risks.

Concluding remarks

Since 1984, successive governments in New Zealand and other countries in the Organisation of Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) have actively pursued a broadly neoliberal policy agenda characterised by transforming public property and social services into tradable assets and creating a regulatory landscape that prioritises interests of foreign investors.30 As we have noted, international economic treaties such as the CPTPP have been a key mechanism through which this agenda has been consolidated and expanded. However, in light of climatic impacts alone, it is now clear that this model of economic development is unsustainable, dangerous to population health and in urgent need of fundamental reform.

The Labour-led Government has launched into its first term with bold plans to align New Zealand’s economy with priorities dictated by the urgency of the climate crisis. This will include introducing a Zero Carbon Bill to set statutory targets for transitioning to net-zero carbon emissions by 2050; health professionals will have the opportunity to contribute to the nationwide consultation beginning in May. Ironically, the Government’s ambition in this regard would be seriously undercut by signing a treaty that underwrites the economic status quo and creates strong legal headwinds for essential regulatory action. A systematic and independent assessment of the CPTPP’s anticipated impacts on climate disruption, and on mitigation strategies, should therefore be undertaken and released for public discussion before the treaty is ratified. The assessment should also include an analysis of the projected impacts on population health and equity. Such an assessment is particularly critical as climate change poses such clear risks to the health of New Zealanders, and the constraints on climate action conferred by the CPTPP (as presently formulated) would prevent important steps to protect our health and create a fairer society.

Authors:

  • Oliver Hailes, Solicitor and Legal Scholar, Wellington
  • Rhys Jones, Senior Lecturer, Te Kupenga Hauora Māori, University of Auckland, Auckland
  • David Menkes, Academic Psychiatrist, Waikato Clinical Campus, University of Auckland, Auckland
  • Joshua Freeman, Consultant Clinical Microbiologist, Canterbury District Health Board
  • Erik Monasterio, Clinical Director Canterbury Regional Forensic Service and Senior Clinical Lecturer, Christchurch School of Medicine, University of Otago, Christchurch.

34 comments on “Post TPPA signing ”

  1. Loop 1

    Could not have said it better myself. Government needs to listen and act in the interests of it’s citizens! The economic and social engineering of the past 3 decades is an abysmal failure for the majority.

  2. Ed 2

    Both main political parties in New Zealand are neoliberal.
    This treaty is another nail in the coffin of citizens rights.
    The banks and corporations already own us.
    Now they can take us to court if we try to end that.

    • soddenleaf 2.1

      Thirty years ago middle east oil gushed cheaply out onto the world. We did not ask what the consequences were, in fact a extremist ideology encapsulating see, hear, speak no govt. The idea was accepted by most as the regulatory mix held back the economy from utilizing the gushing cheap, high density fuel. Several mistaken assumptions were mythologized, that the right were now experts, that they delivered the economic growth, that the market would limit externaitites. The right, who are funded by those big corps want to capture free trade agreements for their own rent seeking activities, and most business were happy to oblige thinking what’s good for the goose… …however something changed, not only are the assumption bad for businesses, the environment, but it makes the right look stupid for continuing them.

      But wait, the left come to their defense. Arguing freer trade is bad, or checks a balances are anti human rights. We all should want fewer rent seekers, and means to curtail them. I oppose the tpp as it’s checks were hidden ends in private courts, i eelcome harmonization as it aids dealing with ecological crisises. And most people do also, so please stop and think about consequences of international agreements that target hidden costs and what it would be like without them.

      True the right has done little to pass on the benefits of the freer trade, sure owning several homes, getting lavish pay and benefits stops as our mps leave parliament. you might say at the door of parliament.

  3. Johnr 3

    Good post Weka,
    It confirms what I believe that this agreement is another step towards a one world government.

    This one world government will be covert and owned and controlled by the 0.01%.

    They will not form any governing body as we know it, but rather let our current governing bodies exist as they do now. But, they will control those governing bodies.

    There is ample evidence that this is so through powerful lobby groups as well as legal agreements such as the CPTPP

  4. chris73 4

    I’ll admit I’ve been critical of Labour but this is a good thing they’ve done for the country so well done to them

    • Molly 4.1

      Is your reading comprehension lacking? Or did you not find anything inaccurate in the post, so you resort to tired baiting?

      • chris73 4.1.1

        When Labour do something I disagree with I post it, when they do something I agree with I post it

        We’re an island nation which has to trade and its a trade deal which opens up markets for us, its a good deai

        • dukeofurl 4.1.1.1

          The trouble with saying that, is people who disagree seem to think we can become like Albania or Cuba.
          Its just a fact of life that ‘rules and regulations’ about trade pop up all the time, see the recent turn-around of phosphate from Western Shahara

        • Molly 4.1.1.2

          “We’re an island nation which has to trade and its a trade deal which opens up markets for us, its a good deai”
          It’s not expected to deliver in terms of jobs, or provide a significant increase in GDP. So what makes it a “good deal”?

        • lprent 4.1.1.3

          The amount of ‘trade’ in this dsft agreement for NZ is so small that it resembles Cameron Slater’s moral and ethical depth. So small that it vert nearly isn’t measurable.

          Basically it is a crap deal for trade because the only benefits are for a few rural industries with decreasing employment and margins plus the bankers who suck among them.

          It causes increased hidden costs for every local export industry with good margins and increasing employment. Curiously MFAT hasn’t analyzed that

          • Ad 4.1.1.3.1

            Tariffs will be eliminated on all NZ exports to CPTPP countries – with the exception of beef to Japan, and dairy to Japan, Canada, and Mexico.

            Compare: early estimates of tariff savings at the signing of the NZ-China FTA were estimated at $115m. Our trade with China has now quadrupled.

            Not saying I like all of TPPA. It’s just not all bad.

            • lprent 4.1.1.3.1.1

              Are you deliberately being a dimwit with false equivalences? Or are toy simply being a MFAT (lying by omission)?

              Outside of rural industries – are there any tariffs worth mentioning in any of the countries ? I don’t know of any at all.. Even places like Japan have limited tariffs – they specialize in the types of restrictions that this agreement won’t cover. Ask the flower exporters.

              Are there any on these countries where we cannot access resources (including their manufacturing) in those countries ? Again, I don’t know of any.

              Trying to compare it to China is just stupid. China had major import tariffs and restrictions across the board. It still does.

              But outside of the rural sector this country also gained a great deal by being able to access the manufacturing inside China. I can’t see any of that happening from ANY other nation in this abortion of a trade agreement.

              I can’t see anything good in this agreement apart from for the 0.05% of the population who are shareholders in a few rural industries. Which are effectively an industries that are slowly dying due to incompetence and a lack of innovation over many decades.

              I can however see how it is going to negatively impact on everyone else. Something that neither you nor MFAT are apparently willing to deal with.

              Of course I have only had 40 years of actually exporting – so what would I know eh?

              • Stunned Mullet

                This site is useful for determining the various tariffs to those markets one exports to.

                https://tariff-finder.fta.govt.nz/

              • Ad

                You are clearly not in a ‘rural’ industry, or one needing their ingredients.

                Nor are you from a developing country, for whom agricultural tariffs are the core driver of global trade inequality.

                No doubt this agreement should have done so much more. You won’t hear me praising extrajudicial conflict resolution.

                But I think you are confusing a trade argument for a productivity argument: you want fewer bulky high-mass commodities and more digital ones.

                Few would disagree with that general direction, but this agreement was never going to be a substitute for a national high end manufacturing strategy.

          • weka 4.1.1.3.2

            “Basically it is a crap deal for trade because the only benefits are for a few rural industries with decreasing employment and margins plus the bankers who suck among them.”

            Which begs the question of why Labour were so keen. They had a way out, why didn’t they take it?

            • lprent 4.1.1.3.2.1

              Labour are interested in getting another term or two.

              They simply can’t do that without the provincial areas and NZ First. National made it perfectly clear that they’d use this particular issue that benefits their larger donors to attack both NZF and Labour if they did anything to disrupt it.

              Plus of course the idiots employed in MFAT like going to conferences on it more than they like actually doing some legwork on trade. They have been incredibly slack for the last decade. It has been noticeable that the increase in the tech sector has been going on despite them rather than with them.

        • Incognito 4.1.1.4

          We’re an island nation which has to trade and its a trade deal which opens up markets for us, its a good deai [sic]

          I’m with Molly @ 4.1 that either your reading comprehension is lacking, you’re baiting, you didn’t read the OP at all, or all of the above:

          It’s not about trade, it’s about setting the agenda for the global economy.

          It’s not an FTA but something that goes much deeper & further.

  5. CHCOff 5

    When New Zealand is no longer weak it can be unsigned later.

    Lets fire up the engines of independent communities via traditional NZ equalitarian sports club culture boys and girls!

  6. Drowsy M. Kram 6

    Thanks for this excellent post, Weka. Transnational corporates are the grasping global governance ‘arms’ of the 0.001%.

    Isn’t it extraordinary that David Parker and other pro-CPTPPA authorities feel it necessary to reassure the public that future NZ governments will be able to regulate/legislate in the public interest.

    That such reassurances are considered necessary says it all. Whereas I thought that regulating/legislating in the public interest is the priority function of any sovereign government, and any NZ government that knowingly undermines our sovereignty is a treasonous government.

    Regardless, expect reassurances, of the ‘sustaining sovereignty’ type, to continue until they become untenable.

    • UncookedSelachimorpha 6.1

      And of course, what is and isn’t in the Public Interest, is now open for costly debate by lawyers of wealthy corporations in ISDS….

  7. dukeofurl 7

    This is what Labour did say before the election ( by Little) about the previousTPA.

    “It is important that trade agreements are carefully negotiated, and that provisions in these agreements do not undercut the regulatory sovereignty of New Zealand.
    Labour opposes the sale of our farms, homes, state-owned enterprises, and monopoly
    infrastructure to overseas buyers. Investment protocols in trade agreements should not prevent a future government controlling such sales.
    The current National government traded away these rights in NZ’s Free Trade Agreement with South Korea and in the proposed Trans Pacific Partnership.

    Ceding this was wrong in principle. It was also unnecessary, given that other
    countries including Australia retained their rights to do so. Labour will renegotiate these provisions.
    https://d3n8a8pro7vhmx.cloudfront.net/nzlabour/pages/8555/attachments/original/1504500586/Trade_Manifesto.pdf?1504500586

    ‘Labour will renegotiate these provisions’, and they did

    I understand Greens pre election policy was similar:
    We support open and rules-based trade, but have concerns over agreements that extend into intrusive rules on government regulation, and the inclusion of Investor State Dispute Settlement. We would work with like-minded governments towards agreements that embody fair and sustainable trade, and which ensure that governments’ right to regulate in the public interest is fully protected….

    I dont see an newer posting on Greens Blog about TPPA, but presumably they say CPTPP ‘doesnt go far enough’ but not sure exactly the details and whether they ‘future weaknesses’ rather than existing issues

    • weka 7.1

      Can’t make sense of the grammar in your last paragraph, but the Greens have made their stance on the latest version of the TPPA clear, and that has been covered on TS. Try reading their trade policy as well, and it will be clear why the TPPA is still considered a dog.

      “‘Labour will renegotiate these provisions’, and they did”

      Yes, but not in any adequate way, and either they mislead the voters, or the voters were daft for believing Labour, depending on how you see it. Labour initially said they wouldn’t sign unless they could protect NZ sovereignty etc, and then their messaging (post leadership change) became they would sign and they would do their best. Those are very different messages.

      • dukeofurl 7.1.1

        “‘Labour will renegotiate these provisions’, and they did”
        Yes, but not in any adequate way

        Thats not what Shaw said

        ““We recognise Trade Minister David Parker has made significant progress on some controversial provisions in the TPP, including investor-state dispute settlement, and we support those changes. However, we still don’t believe there are sufficient safeguards for people and the environment that would enable us to support the deal,” Mr Shaw said”
        https://thestandard.org.nz/no-change-to-green-position-on-tpp/

        I can see the Greens are not totally happy, after all ‘not-far-enough-ism’ is a legitimate political strategy.[Which labour used on TPA]
        But I beg to differ on it ‘not in any adequate way’ (Your words) when the party leader was much more positive.

        • weka 7.1.1.1

          still no idea what you are on about. Obviously I’m not Shaw, and I disagree with his framing.

    • Carolyn_Nth 7.2

      Labour signed side letters with 5 mainly minor countries, out of 11 against ISDS.

      This will not stop corporations relocating to other countries in the 11 to launch ISDS suits against NZ legislation.

      Those side letters are like saying we’ve now got an ocean going boat with 5 leaks instead of 10 – or like saying a condom with holes is better than no condom.

  8. savenz 8

    Agree 100%

    Also the ecommerce laws are designed to circumvent privacy of Kiwi’s data and also conveniently means that records of Kiwis such as medical records or criminal records can be kept offshore.

    What got the EU residents up in arms (as well as the ISDS) was the ability for their ‘social’ services to be outsourced.

    Trade agreements around the world have already killed worker jobs or lowered the wages to below liveable levels (see our high skilled transport industry that pays $16 – $20 p/h in AUCKLAND) , now the managerial jobs are cleared to go offshore for health, police, defence, councils, education etc.

    Our Labour and NZ First government just signed that one away for future jobs in this country.

    If you don’t like it, don’t forget government are not allowed to give preference to their own countries under these trade agreements.

    All this so according to David Parker, things like beef exports MAY be increased because of our export declines in Japan. Maybe that’s also because Silver Fern is under new Chinese management and Japan does not like it, there’s a million reason’s it could be, a rise in bowel cancer, vegetarianism, not just Australian tariffs and no reason to assume anything is gonna change by signing a ridiculous agreement that they know is going to take jobs away from this country and lower wages even more – it’s already going to cost a absolute fortune in compliance alone that starts from day 1!

    I think CleanGreen described his local council as ‘demented’ because they refused to fund public services like rail because ‘they could not afford it’ while spending millions on new/upgraded council premises.

    Demented is the word that describes these government idiots who are so impractical and without any inkling of creative brain matter to be able to envision a future with the clauses and risks of their own deals they spend millions on organising to sign and cheerlead against their own countries interests. When asked what will happen if, do they put their hands to their heads and chant ‘it’ll be ok, eat beef’ while rocking backwards and forwards?

    If you are one of the 75% who do not think this deal should have been signed then make sure you vote Green so that you send Labour and NZ First and National a message 2020!

  9. Philg 9

    I’ve always suspected Labour, and Jacinda were neolibs. This is another Con(intentional) firmation. She was not voted into leadership by the membership.

  10. savenz 10

    As time goes on, guess what exports change… NZ government is actually trying to keep the low wage economy and unsustainable business practises going by subsidising it with ludicrous agreements or immigration scams to prop up failing corporations and fake/flakey educational qualifications, while wrecking the reputations of the good corporations and educators.

    Time to look out of the box … I’m not a fan of drugs but hey, life changes.. it’s called diversification! NZ is very rich in natural resources and there is plenty of interest in anything to help pain relief for example…. (At last they found something Kiwi worker’s after decades of neoliberalism can excel at:)

    https://www.stuff.co.nz/business/industries/102044376/medical-marijuana-a-billiondollar-industry-says-budding-exporter-whose-has-staff-with-a-past?cid=facebook.post.102044376

  11. Korero Pono 11

    There is no proof that the CPTPP will benefit New Zealand and without independent analysis no one can make such claims. Evidence suggests (based on the TUFT paper) that job losses are inevitable, along with the resulting increase in inequality. Jane Kelsey’s analysis paints a very grim picture indeed. Never mind that Labour failed miserably in fulfilling the three P’s component of te Tiriti when it comes to this absurd monstrosity of a ‘deal’.

    None of Labour’s five bottom lines were met when they signed this ‘dog’ of a deal, yet their spin merchants have been out in force trying to claim otherwise. Labour have proven once and for all that there is little difference between them and the Nats. I am disgusted at how blatantly they have spun this illusion and equally disgusted how the die-hard Labour fans continue to defend the party’s lies and broken promises.

    They foisted Rogernomics and all of its subsequent tragedies onto us and now they give us CPTT. Way to go Labour. Can’t wait for next election…I imagine that there will be a huge switch in allegiances farther away from the right leaning toss pots we currently have to contend with.

  12. Draco T Bastard 12

    Business can’t trust democracy to protect its profits.

    It’s not a government’s job to protect a businesses profits.

    Governments are under pressure to deal with social issues and climate change and meaningful action on these will negatively affect foreign investors and multinationals.

    That’s the multi-national’s problem – not ours. Ours is ensuring that we have a sustainable and equitable society which actually means getting rid of businesses that prevent that from occuring.

  13. timeforacupoftea 13

    I always thought Parker was in the wrong party.
    Perhaps this time it will be proven.

  14. SPC 14

    The only sensible response is

    1. to ask Labour to oppose the USA joining TPP 11 or develop TPP 11 whereby others can only join on its existing terms and any agreement with changes to those terms is a separate arrangement only including those members that agree. This to make us immune to the nefarious agendas of American corporates.

    2. Labour oppose ISDS in RCEP

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    More Than A FeildingBy David Slack
    3 days ago
  • Aotearoa, you’re being dismantled… so take the blinkers off and start talking honestly about it.
    Is the solution to any of the serious, long term issues we all have to face as a nation, because many governments of all stripes we can probably all admit if we’re deeply truthful with ourselves haven’t done near enough work at the very times they should have, to basically ...
    exhALANtBy exhalantblog
    3 days ago
  • Has Labour Abandoned the Welfare State They Created in 1938?
    The 2018 Social Security Act suggests that Labour may have retreated to the minimalist (neo-liberal) welfare state which has developed out of the Richardson-Shipley ‘redesign’. One wonders what Michael Joseph Savage, Peter Fraser and Walter Nash would have thought of the Social Security Act passed by the Ardern Labour Government ...
    PunditBy Brian Easton
    3 days ago
  • Bryce Edwards: MPs’ financial interests under scrutiny
    MPs are supposed to serve the public interest, not their own self-interest. And according to the New Zealand Parliament’s website, democracy and integrity are tarnished whenever politicians seek to enrich themselves or the people they are connected with. For this reason, the Parliament has a “Register of Pecuniary Interests” in ...
    Democracy ProjectBy bryce.edwards
    3 days ago
  • Mastering FLICC – A Cranky Uncle themed quiz
    By now, most of you will have heard about the FLICC taxonomy of science denial techniques and how you can train your skills in detecting them with the Cranky Uncle game. If you like to quickly check how good you are at this already, answer the 12 quiz questions in the ...
    3 days ago
  • Shane Jones has the zeal, sure enough, but is too busy with his mining duties (we suspect) to be ava...
    Buzz from the Beehive The hacks of the Parliamentary Press Gallery have been able to chip into a rich vein of material on the government’s official website over the past 24 hours. Among the nuggets is the speech by Regional Development Minister Shane Jones and a press statement to announce ...
    Point of OrderBy Bob Edlin
    3 days ago
  • Cut the parliamentary term
    When Labour was in power, they wasted time, political capital, and scarce policy resources on trying to extend the parliamentary term to four years, in an effort to make themselves less accountable to us. It was unlikely to fly, the idea having previously lost two referendums by huge margins - ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    4 days ago
  • More terrible media ethics
    David Farrar writes – The Herald reports: When Whanau Ora chief executive John Tamihere was asked what his expectations for the Budget next Thursday were, he said: “All hope is lost.” Last year Whānau Ora was allocated $163.1 million in the Budget to last for the next four years ...
    Point of OrderBy poonzteam5443
    4 days ago
  • Bringing our democracy into disrepute
    On Monday the government introduced its racist bill to eliminate Māori represntation in local government to the House. They rammed it through its first reading yesterday, and sent it to select committee. And the select committee has just opened submissions, giving us until Wednesday to comment on it. Such a ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    4 days ago
  • The censors who’ll save us from ourselves… yeah right!
    Nick Hanne writes – There’s a common malady suffered by bureaucracies the world over. They wish to save us from ourselves. Sadly, NZ officials are no less prone to exhibiting symptoms of this occupational condition. Observe, for instance, the reaction from certain public figures to the news ...
    Point of OrderBy poonzteam5443
    4 days ago
  • The case for commissioners to govern the capital city
    Peter Dunne writes – As the city of Tauranga prepares to elect a new Mayor and Council after three and a half years being run by government-appointed Commissioners, the case for replacing the Wellington City Council with Commissioners strengthens. The Wellington City Council has been dysfunctional for years, ...
    Point of OrderBy poonzteam5443
    4 days ago
  • Thoughts about contemporary troubles.
    This will be s short post. It stems from observations I made elsewhere about what might be characterised as some macro and micro aspects of contemporary collective violence events. Here goes. The conflicts between Israel and Palestine and France and … Continue reading ...
    KiwipoliticoBy Pablo
    4 days ago
  • Gordon Campbell On Blurring The Lines Around Political Corruption
    It may be a relic of a previous era of egalitarianism, but many of us like to think that, in general, most New Zealanders are as honest as the day is long. We’re good like that, and smart as. If we’re not punching above our weight on the world stage, ...
    4 days ago
  • MPs own 2.2 houses on average
    Bryce Edwards writes – Why aren’t politicians taking more action on the housing affordability crisis? The answer might lie in the latest “Register of Pecuniary Interests.” This register contains details of the various financial interests of parliamentarians. It shows that politicians own real estate in significant numbers. The ...
    Point of OrderBy Bob Edlin
    4 days ago
  • King Mike & Mike King.
    I built a time machine to see you againTo hear your phone callYour voice down the hallThe way we were back thenWe were dancing in the rainOur feet on the pavementYou said I was your second headI knew exactly what you meantIn the country of the blind, or so they ...
    Nick’s KōreroBy Nick Rockel
    4 days ago
  • Bryce Edwards: MPs own 2.2 houses on average
    Why aren’t politicians taking more action on the housing affordability crisis? The answer might lie in the latest “Register of Pecuniary Interests.” This register contains details of the various financial interests of parliamentarians. It shows that politicians own real estate in significant numbers. The register published on Tuesday contains a ...
    Democracy ProjectBy bryce.edwards
    4 days ago
  • How much climate reality can the global financial system take without collapsing?
    Microsoft’s transparency about its failure to meet its own net-zero goals is creditable, but the response to that failure is worrying. It is offering up a set of false solutions, heavily buttressed by baseless optimism. Photo: Lynn Grieveson / The KākāTL;DR: Here’s the top six news items of note in ...
    The KakaBy Bernard Hickey
    4 days ago
  • Weekly Roundup 24-May-2024
    Another Friday, another Rāmere Roundup! Here are a few things that caught our eye this week. This Week in Greater Auckland On Monday, our new writer Connor Sharp roared into print with a future-focused take on the proposed Auckland Future Fund, and what it could invest in. On ...
    Greater AucklandBy Greater Auckland
    4 days ago
  • Earning The Huia Feather.
    Still Waiting: Māori land remains in the hands of Non-Māori. The broken promises of the Treaty remain broken. The mana of the tangata whenua languishes under racist neglect. The right to wear the huia feather remains as elusive as ever. Perhaps these three transformations are beyond the power of a ...
    4 days ago
  • Bernard’s Dawn Chorus and pick ‘n’ mix for Friday, May 24
    Posters opposing the proposed Fast-Track Approvals legislation were pasted around Wellington last week. Photo: Lynn Grieveson / The KākāTL;DR: One of the architects of the RMA and a former National Cabinet Minister, Simon Upton, has criticised the Government’s Fast-Track Approvals bill as potentially disastrous for the environment, arguing just 1% ...
    The KakaBy Bernard Hickey
    4 days ago
  • The Hoon around the week to May 24
    There was less sharing of the joy this week than at the Chinese New Year celebrations in February. China’s ambassador to NZ (2nd from right above) has told Luxon that relations between China and New Zealand are now at a ‘critical juncture’ Photo: Getty / Xinhua News AgencyTL;DR: The podcast ...
    The KakaBy Bernard Hickey
    4 days ago
  • Beijing troubleshooter’s surprise visit
    The importance of New Zealand’s relationship with China was surely demonstrated yesterday with the surprise arrival in the capital of top Chinese foreign policy official Liu Jianchao. The trip was apparently organized a week ago but kept secret. Liu is the Minister of the Chinese Communist Party’s (CCP) International Liaison ...
    PolitikBy Richard Harman
    4 days ago
  • UK election a foregone conclusion?  That’s why it’s interesting
    With a crushing 20-plus point lead in the opinion polls, all the signs are that Labour leader Keir Starmer will be the PM after the general election on 4 July, called by Conservative incumbent Rishi Sunak yesterday. The stars are aligned for Starmer.  Rival progressives are in abeyance: the Liberal-Democrat ...
    Point of OrderBy xtrdnry
    4 days ago
  • Skeptical Science New Research for Week #21 2021
    Open access notables How much storage do we need in a fully electrified future? A critical review of the assumptions on which this question depends, Marsden et al., Energy Research & Social Science: Our analysis advances the argument that current approaches reproduce interpretations of normality that are, ironically, rooted in ...
    4 days ago
  • Days in the life
    We returned last week from England to London. Two different worlds. A quarter of an hour before dropping off our car, we came to a complete stop on the M25. Just moments before, there had been six lanes of hurtling cars and lorries. Now, everything was at a standstill as ...
    More Than A FeildingBy David Slack
    4 days ago
  • Forget about its name and focus on its objective – this RMA reform bill aims to cut red tape (and ...
    Buzz from the Beehive A triumvirate of ministers – holding the Agriculture, Environment and RMA Reform portfolios – has announced the introduction of legislation “to slash the tangle of red and green tape throttling development in key sectors”, such as farming, mining and other primary industries. The exact name of ...
    Point of OrderBy Bob Edlin
    4 days ago
  • More National corruption
    In their coalition agreement with NZ First, the National Party agreed to provide $24 million in funding to the charity "I Am Hope / Gumboot Friday". Why were they so eager to do so? Because their chair was a National donor, their CEO was the son of a National MP ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    5 days ago
  • Submit!
    The Social Services and Community Committee has called for submissions on the Oranga Tamariki (Repeal of Section 7AA) Amendment Bill. Submissions are due by Wednesday, 3 July 2024, and can be made at the link above. And if you're wondering what to say: section 7AA was enacted because Oranga Tamariki ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    5 days ago
  • Reading the MPS numbers thinking about the fiscal situation
    Michael Reddell writes –  The Reserve Bank doesn’t do independent fiscal forecasts so there is no news in the fiscal numbers in today’s Monetary Policy Statement themselves. The last official Treasury forecasts don’t take account of whatever the government is planning in next week’s Budget, and as the Bank notes ...
    Point of OrderBy poonzteam5443
    5 days ago
  • Charter Schools are a worthwhile addition to our school system – but ACT is mis-selling why they a...
    Rob MacCulloch writes – We know the old saying, “Never trust a politician”, and the Charter School debate is a good example of it. Charter Schools receive public funding, yet “are exempt from most statutory requirements of traditional public schools, including mandates around .. human capital management .. curriculum ...
    Point of OrderBy poonzteam5443
    5 days ago
  • Paranoia On The Left.
    How Do We Silence Them? The ruling obsession of the contemporary Left is that political action undertaken by individuals or groups further to the right than the liberal wings of mainstream conservative parties should not only be condemned, but suppressed.WEB OF CHAOS, a “deep dive into the world of disinformation”, ...
    5 days ago
  • Budget challenges
    Muriel Newman writes –  As the new Government puts the finishing touches to this month’s Budget, they will undoubtedly have had their hands full dealing with the economic mess that Labour created. Not only was Labour a grossly incompetent manager of the economy, but they also set out ...
    Point of OrderBy poonzteam5443
    5 days ago
  • Rishi calls an Election.
    Today the British PM, Rishi Sunak, called a general election for the 4th of July. He spoke of the challenging times and of strong leadership and achievements. It was as if he was talking about someone else, a real leader, rather than he himself or the woeful list of Tory ...
    Nick’s KōreroBy Nick Rockel
    5 days ago
  • Photo of the Day: GNR
    This post marks the return of an old format: Photo of the Day. Recently I was in an apartment in one of those new buildings on Great North Road Grey Lynn at rush hour, perfect day, the view was stunning, so naturally I whipped out my phone: GNR 5pm Turns ...
    Greater AucklandBy Patrick Reynolds
    5 days ago
  • Choosing landlords and the homeless over first home buyers
    The Government may struggle with the political optics of scrapping assistance for first home buyers while also cutting the tax burden on landlords, increasing concerns over the growing generational divide. Photo: Lynn Grieveson / The KākāTL;DR: The Government confirmed it will dump first home buyer grants in the Budget next ...
    The KakaBy Bernard Hickey
    5 days ago
  • Orr’s warning; three years of austerity
    Yesterday, the Reserve Bank confirmed there will be no free card for the economy to get out of jail during the current term of the Government. Regardless of what the Budget next week says, we are in for three years of austerity. Over those three years, we will have to ...
    PolitikBy Richard Harman
    5 days ago
  • An admirable U-turn
    It doesn’t inspire confidence when politicians change their minds.  But you must give credit when a bad idea is dropped. Last year, we reported on the determination of British PM Rishi Sunak to lead the world in regulating the dangers of Artificial Intelligence. Perhaps he changed his mind after meeting ...
    Point of OrderBy xtrdnry
    5 days ago
  • Climate Adam: Can we really suck up Carbon Dioxide?
    This video includes conclusions of the creator climate scientist Dr. Adam Levy. It is presented to our readers as an informed perspective. Please see video description for references (if any). Is carbon dioxide removal - aka "negative emissions" - going to save us from climate change? Or is it just a ...
    5 days ago
  • Public funding for private operators in mental health and housing – and a Bill to erase a bit of t...
    Headed for the legislative wastepaper basket…    Buzz from the Beehive It looks like this government is just as ready as its predecessor to dip into the public funds it is managing to dispense millions of dollars to finance – and favour – the parties it fancies. Or ...
    Point of OrderBy Bob Edlin
    5 days ago
  • Why has Einstein Medalist Roy Kerr never been Knighted?
    Rob MacCulloch writes – National and Labour and ACT have at various times waxed on about their “vision” of NZ as a high value-added world tech center What subject is tech based upon? Mathematics. A Chicago mathematician just told me that whereas last decade ...
    Point of OrderBy poonzteam5443
    6 days ago
  • Contestable advice
    Eric Crampton writes –  Danyl McLauchlan over at The Listener on the recent shift toward more contestability in public policy advice in education: Education Minister Erica Stanford, one of National’s highest-ranked MPs, is trying to circumvent the establishment, taking advice from a smaller pool of experts – ...
    Point of OrderBy poonzteam5443
    6 days ago
  • How did it get so bad?
    Ele Ludemann writes – That Kāinga Ora is a mess is no surprise, but the size of the mess is. There have been many reports of unruly tenants given licence to terrorise neighbours, properties bought and left vacant, and the state agency paying above market rates in competition ...
    Point of OrderBy poonzteam5443
    6 days ago
  • How serious is an MP’s failure to declare $178k in donations?
    Bryce Edwards writes –  It’s being explained as an “inadvertent error”. However, National MP David MacLeod’s excuse for failing to disclose $178,000 in donations for his election campaign last year is not necessarily enough to prevent some serious consequences. A Police investigation is now likely, and the result ...
    Point of OrderBy poonzteam5443
    6 days ago
  • Gordon Campbell on the privatising of state housing provision, by stealth
    The scathing “independent” review of Kāinga Ora barely hit the table before the coalition government had acted on it. The entire Kāinga Ora board will be replaced, and a new chair (Simon Moutter) has been announced. Hmm. No aspersions on Bill English, but the public would have had more confidence ...
    6 days ago
  • Our House.
    I'll light the fireYou place the flowers in the vaseThat you bought todayA warm dry home, you’d think that would be bread and butter to politicians. Home ownership and making sure people aren’t left living on the street, that’s as Kiwi as Feijoa and Apple Crumble. Isn’t it?The coalition are ...
    Nick’s KōreroBy Nick Rockel
    6 days ago
  • Getting to No
    Politics is about compromise, right?  And framing it so the voters see your compromise as the better one.  John Key was a skilful exponent of this approach (as was Keith Holyoake in an earlier age), and Chris Luxon isn’t too bad either. But in politics, the process whereby an old ...
    Point of OrderBy xtrdnry
    6 days ago
  • At a glance – How does the Medieval Warm Period compare to current global temperatures?
    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 ...
    6 days ago
  • Bryce Edwards: How serious is an MP’s failure to declare $178k in donations?
    It’s being explained as an “inadvertent error”. However, National MP David MacLeod’s excuse for failing to disclose $178,000 in donations for his election campaign last year is not necessarily enough to prevent some serious consequences. A Police investigation is now likely, and the result of his non-disclosure could even see ...
    Democracy ProjectBy bryce.edwards
    6 days ago
  • Get your story straight, buddy
    The relentless drone coming out of the Prime Minister and his deputy for a million days now has been that the last government was just hosing  money all over the show and now at last the grownups are in charge and shutting that drunken sailor stuff down. There is a word ...
    More Than A FeildingBy David Slack
    6 days ago
  • A govt plane is headed for New Caledonia – here’s hoping the Kiwis stranded there get better ser...
    Buzz from the Beehive Foreign Minister Winston Peters has confirmed a New Zealand Government plane will head to riot-torn New Caledonia in the next hour in the first in a series of proposed flights to begin bringing New Zealanders home. Today’s flight will carry around 50 passengers with the most ...
    Point of OrderBy Bob Edlin
    7 days ago
  • Who is David MacLeod?
    Precious declaration saysYours is yours and mine you leave alone nowPrecious declaration saysI believe all hope is dead no longerTick tick tick Boom!Unexploded ordnance. A veritable minefield. A National caucus with a large number of unknowns, candidates who perhaps received little in the way of vetting as the party jumped ...
    Nick’s KōreroBy Nick Rockel
    7 days ago
  • The Four Knights
    Rex Ahdar writes –  The Rt Hon Winston Peters, Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Foreign Affairs, likes to trace his political lineage back to the pioneers of parliamentary Maoridom.   I will refer to these as the ‘big four’ or better still, the Four Knights. Just as ...
    Point of OrderBy poonzteam5443
    7 days ago
  • Could Willie Jackson be the populist leader that Labour need?
    Bryce Edwards writes –  Willie Jackson will participate in the prestigious Oxford Union debate on Thursday, following in David Lange’s footsteps. Coincidentally, Jackson has also followed Lange’s footsteps by living in his old home in South Auckland. And like Lange, Jackson might be the sort of loud-mouth scrapper ...
    Point of OrderBy poonzteam5443
    7 days ago

  • Minister to Singapore for defence, technology talks
    Defence and Science, Innovation and Technology Minister Judith Collins departs for Singapore tomorrow for defence and technology summits and meetings. First up is the Asia Tech X Singapore Summit, followed by the Five Power Defence Arrangements Defence Ministers Meeting and wrapping up with the Shangri-La Dialogue for Defence Ministers from ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    15 hours ago
  • Major investment in teacher supply through Budget 24
    Over the next four years, Budget 24 will support the training and recruitment of 1,500 teachers into the workforce, Education Minister Erica Stanford announced today. “To raise achievement and develop a world leading education system we’re investing nearly $53 million over four years to attract, train and retain our valued ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • Joint statement on the New Zealand – Cook Islands Joint Ministerial Forum – 2024
    1.  New Zealand Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Foreign Affairs Rt Hon Winston Peters; Minister of Health and Minister for Pacific Peoples Hon Dr Shane Reti; and Minister for Climate Change Hon Simon Watts hosted Cook Islands Minister of Foreign Affairs and Immigration Hon Tingika Elikana and Minister of Health Hon Vainetutai Rose Toki-Brown on 24 May ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • Middle East, Africa deployments extended
    The Government has approved two-year extensions for four New Zealand Defence Force deployments to the Middle East and Africa, Defence Minister Judith Collins and Foreign Minister Winston Peters announced today. “These deployments are long-standing New Zealand commitments, which reflect our ongoing interest in promoting peace and stability, and making active ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • Climate Change Commission Chair to retire
    The Climate Change Commission Chair, Dr Rod Carr, has confirmed his plans to retire at the end of his term later this year, Climate Change Minister Simon Watts says. “Prior to the election, Dr Carr advised me he would be retiring when his term concluded. Dr Rod Carr has led ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • Inaugural Board of Integrity Sport & Recreation Commission announced
    Nine highly respected experts have been appointed to the inaugural board of the new Integrity Sport and Recreation Commission, Sport & Recreation Minister Chris Bishop says. “The Integrity Sport and Recreation Commission is a new independent Crown entity which was established under the Integrity Sport and Recreation Act last year, ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • A balanced Foreign Affairs budget
    Foreign Minister Winston Peters confirmed today that Vote Foreign Affairs in Budget 2024 will balance two crucial priorities of the Coalition Government.    While Budget 2024 reflects the constrained fiscal environment, the Government also recognises the critical role MFAT plays in keeping New Zealanders safe and prosperous.    “Consistent with ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • New social housing places to support families into homes
    New social housing funding in Budget 2024 will ensure the Government can continue supporting more families into warm, dry homes from July 2025, Housing Ministers Chris Bishop and Tama Potaka say. “Earlier this week I was proud to announce that Budget 2024 allocates $140 million to fund 1,500 new social ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • New Zealand’s minerals future
    Introduction Today, we are sharing a red-letter occasion. A Blackball event on hallowed ground. Today  we underscore the importance of our mineral estate. A reminder that our natural resource sector has much to offer.  Such a contribution will not come to pass without investment.  However, more than money is needed. ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • Government sets out vision for minerals future
    Increasing national and regional prosperity, providing the minerals needed for new technology and the clean energy transition, and doubling the value of minerals exports are the bold aims of the Government’s vision for the minerals sector. Resources Minister Shane Jones today launched a draft strategy for the minerals sector in ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • Government progresses Māori wards legislation
    The coalition Government’s legislation to restore the rights of communities to determine whether to introduce Māori wards has passed its first reading in Parliament, Local Government Minister Simeon Brown says. “Divisive changes introduced by the previous government denied local communities the ability to determine whether to establish Māori wards.” The ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • First RMA amendment Bill introduced to Parliament
    The coalition Government has today introduced legislation to slash the tangle of red and green tape throttling some of New Zealand’s key sectors, including farming, mining and other primary industries. RMA Reform Minister Chris Bishop says the Government is committed to  unlocking development and investment while ensuring the environment is ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • Government welcomes EPA decision
    The decision by Environmental Protection Authority (EPA) to approve the continued use of hydrogen cyanamide, known as Hi-Cane, has been welcomed by Environment Minister Penny Simmonds and Agriculture Minister Todd McClay.  “The EPA decision introduces appropriate environmental safeguards which will allow kiwifruit and other growers to use Hi-Cane responsibly,” Ms ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • Speech to Employers and Manufacturers Association: Relief for today, hope for tomorrow
    Kia ora, Ngā mihi nui ki a koutou kātoa Tāmaki Herenga Waka, Tāmaki Herenga tangata Ngā mihi ki ngā mana whenua o tēnei rohe Ngāti Whātua ō Ōrākei me nga iwi kātoa kua tae mai. Mauriora. Greetings everyone. Thank you to the EMA for hosting this event. Let me acknowledge ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • Government invests in 1,500 more social homes
    The coalition Government is investing in social housing for New Zealanders who are most in need of a warm dry home, Housing Minister Chris Bishop says. Budget 2024 will allocate $140 million in new funding for 1,500 new social housing places to be provided by Community Housing Providers (CHPs), not ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • $24 million boost for Gumboot Friday
    Thousands more young New Zealanders will have better access to mental health services as the Government delivers on its commitment to fund the Gumboot Friday initiative, says Deputy Prime Minister Winston Peters and Mental Health Minister Matt Doocey.  “Budget 2024 will provide $24 million over four years to contract the ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • Residential Tenancies Amendment Bill passes first reading
    The Coalition Government’s Residential Tenancies Amendment Bill, which will improve tenancy laws and help increase the supply of rental properties, has passed its first reading in Parliament says Housing Minister Chris Bishop. “The Bill proposes much-needed changes to the Residential Tenancies Act 1986 that will remove barriers to increasing private ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • Montecassino Commemorative Address, Cassino War Cemetery
    Standing here in Cassino War Cemetery, among the graves looking up at the beautiful Abbey of Montecassino, it is hard to imagine the utter devastation left behind by the battles which ended here in May 1944. Hundreds of thousands of shells and bombs of every description left nothing but piled ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • First Reading – Repeal of Section 7AA of the Oranga Tamariki Act 1989
    I present a legislative statement on the Oranga Tamariki (Repeal of Section 7AA) Amendment Bill Mr. Speaker, I move that the Oranga Tamariki (Repeal of Section 7AA) Amendment Bill be now read a first time. I nominate the Social Services and Community Committee to consider the Bill. Thank you, Mr. ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • First reading of 7AA’s repeal: progress for children
    The Bill to repeal Section 7AA of the Oranga Tamariki Act has had its first reading in Parliament today. The Bill reaffirms the Coalition Government’s commitment to the care and safety of children in care, says Minister for Children Karen Chhour.  “When I became the Minister for Children, I made ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • China Business Summit 2024
    Kia ora koutou, good morning, and zao shang hao. Thank you Fran for the opportunity to speak at the 2024 China Business Summit – it’s great to be here today. I’d also like to acknowledge: Simon Bridges - CEO of the Auckland Chamber of Commerce. His Excellency Ambassador - Wang ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • Assisted depatures from New Caledonia
    Foreign Minister Winston Peters has confirmed a New Zealand Government plane will head to New Caledonia in the next hour in the first in a series of proposed flights to begin bringing New Zealanders home.    “New Zealanders in New Caledonia have faced a challenging few days - and bringing ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    7 days ago
  • Assisted departures from New Caledonia
    Foreign Minister Winston Peters has confirmed a New Zealand Government plane will head to New Caledonia in the next hour in the first in a series of proposed flights to begin bringing New Zealanders home.  “New Zealanders in New Caledonia have faced a challenging few days - and bringing them ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    7 days ago
  • Government to rollout roadside drug testing
    The Coalition Government will introduce legislation this year that will enable roadside drug testing as part of our commitment to improve road safety and restore law and order, Transport Minister Simeon Brown says.  “Alcohol and drugs are the number one contributing factor in fatal road crashes in New Zealand. In ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Minister responds to review of Kāinga Ora
    The Government has announced a series of immediate actions in response to the independent review of Kāinga Ora – Homes and Communities, Housing Minister Chris Bishop says. “Kāinga Ora is a large and important Crown entity, with assets of $45 billion and over $2.5 billion of expenditure each year. It ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Pseudoephedrine back on shelves
    Associate Health Minister David Seymour is pleased that Pseudoephedrine can now be purchased by the general public to protect them from winter illness, after the coalition government worked swiftly to change the law and oversaw a fast approval process by Medsafe. “Pharmacies are now putting the medicines back on their ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • New Zealand-China Business Summit
    Tēnā koutou katoa. Da jia hao.  Good morning everyone.   Prime Minister Luxon, your excellency, a great friend of New Zealand and my friend Ambassador Wang, Mayor of what he tells me is the best city in New Zealand, Wayne Brown, the highly respected Fran O’Sullivan, Champion of the Auckland business ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • New measures to protect powerlines from trees
    Energy Minister Simeon Brown has announced that the Government will make it easier for lines firms to take action to remove vegetation from obstructing local powerlines. The change will ensure greater security of electricity supply in local communities, particularly during severe weather events.  “Trees or parts of trees falling on ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
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  • Wairarapa Moana ki Pouakani win top Māori dairy farming award
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