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“Post-truth” politics (and false equivalences)

Written By: - Date published: 7:56 am, July 2nd, 2016 - 38 comments
Categories: accountability, john key, national - Tags: , , , , , , ,

John Key and the National government have always attacked facts, scientists, lawyers, journalists and other experts that they don’t like. Just ask Mike Joy, Bradley Ambrose, Jon Stephenson, Rodney Harrison QC and others.

But lately National’s denial of the facts has gone to a whole new level: Inequality not growing, Govt claims. Just as a reminder, the new Statistics NZ report shows that “Wealth distribution in New Zealand is at its most uneven in more than a decade. Statistics New Zealand shows the top 10 per cent of people have almost 60 per cent of wealth … Labour market and household statistics manager Diane Ramsay said it was the biggest divide between the rich and poor since 2003”.

What to make of a government that denies its own official statistics?

Perhaps questions such as this have been puzzling others recently too. Andrea Vance:

Opinion: A post-truth era in politics

We are living in a post-truth era… and it has infected New Zealand politics.

The campaigns of Donald Trump and the Brexiteers have been a triumph of emotional populism over cold, hard facts.

And our MPs are running around the Beehive with their pants on fire. Reporting on politics now feels like dispatches from an alternate universe.

In this distorted reality there are imaginary MSD squads flying in to help the homeless, and new emergency beds that already existed.

There is no evidence that inequality in New Zealand is rising, despite actual evidence on the widening wealth gap from Statistics New Zealand.

And in this brave new era, politicians prefer the anecdotal evidence of café owners over Treasury commissioned reports on the ineffectiveness of the 90-day trial.

The Government can disown previous statements (work trials were never about creating jobs, the foreign trust regime is “world class”, we’ll only be in Iraq for two years).

And serious flaws – such as the Ombudsman’s conclusion that the MFAT leaks inquiry “failed to have proper regard to relevant evidence in making its findings” – were merely “procedural issues” that journalists had “misinterpreted” anyway. …

Claire Trevett:

House antics rather like trial over Queen’s tarts

The release of tax consultant John Shewan’s report into foreign trusts sparked scenes in Parliament reminiscent of the trial to find out who stole the Queen of Heart’s tarts in Alice in Wonderland.

Key was the Mad Hatter, trying to insist he had not said things he had said – or at least he had not meant what he was said to have meant when he said them.

The report was effectively confirmation of much that Key had denied was wrong with the foreign trust regime. Shewan found that although New Zealand was not technically a tax haven, the disclosure regime was so weak there was a perception of New Zealand as “generally a soft touch”. He also said while there was no evidence illicit funds were being stashed away, it was reasonable to assume foreign trusts were indeed being used to hide funds or help tax evasion.

Key’s response was to agree to make the changes Shewan had recommended while arguing there was barely a hair-width’s difference between what the report said and what he had said.

Shewan described the disclosure rules as “inadequate” and “not fit for purpose in the context of preserving New Zealand’s reputation”. When Key was asked how this fitted in with his own description of those rules as “broad and deep”, the PM put on his tap shoes and danced up a storm on the head of a pin. …

Vernon Small:

Foreign trust review brings out the worst in our political leaders

… the Prime Minister was blatantly claiming black was lily-white with his continued insistence – against all the facts – that the current rules for foreign trusts is a “full disclosure” regime.

Key should acknowledge there is a world of difference between holding information, ready to disclose if asked, and actual disclosure; just as there is gulf between what we have in place for foreign trusts now and what Shewan says we need – which the Government has largely committed to putting in place.

If for no other reason, than that nobody likes being treated as stupid.

Well and good that journalists are starting to pull Key up on his blatant lies (sorry – “post-truth politics”). Would that they had started eight long years ago, when Key was spouting this sort of bullshit unchallenged:

I’ve had nine years of being told what lightbulb I can screw into the house, what shower I can take, what food I can eat, what things I can do, what thoughts I am allowed to have.

Vintage post-truth politics that! The seeds of dirty politics and the “brighter future” that we now inhabit.

But I digress.

The second theme of this post is false equivalence. Each of the three scribes quoted above also writes on Andrew Little’s supposed claim that John Shewan did not request an apology (Shewan had in fact made such a request). The implication in all cases is that Little was lying, and therefore just as bad, just as “post-truth” as Key and the National government. I don’t know what Little was asked, what he knew / remembered, or what he said, but I find it difficult to believe that he decided to simply lie about the matter.

If he did deliberately lie he was of course quite wrong to do so, and it would be a very worrying sign for his leadership. But it would still not be equivalent to, not even the faintest palest shade of equivalent to, the behaviour of this execrable government that lies and denies reflexively and at all levels, and has been doing so for eight long years. Pretending that it is equivalent does no favours to a country that desperately needs a change of government.

38 comments on ““Post-truth” politics (and false equivalences) ”

  1. Fustercluck 2

    False equivalence has becom the sin qua non of this and so many reactionary right wing governments. Thank all that is good that we live in a small enough nation that the electorate occasionally has the opportunity, and even more occasionally takes it, to turn the ship of state away from the brink of turning neoliberalism into neofascism. The USA and Eurooe may not be so fortunate.

  2. North 3

    Key’s “full disclosure” was a deliberate lie.

    Making out he said more or less what Shewan subsequently reported is a deliberate lie.

    Key is an astoundingly irresponsible and cowardly man. No one would recommend him to youngsters as a role model.

    For my part I’d love to accompany him to a few of the pubs I know where this wannabe ‘regular joker’, this wannabe ABs ‘brother’, could disport his “truth” about a range of things.

    He wouldn’t of course because he’s an irresponsible and cowardly man (vernacular – “chickenhawk”) whose first reflex is to hide in lies. In the face of patent realities. Goodness me……..Fran sees it.

    http://www.nzherald.co.nz/business/news/article.cfm?c_id=3&objectid=11667232

    • RedLogix 3.1

      For my part I’d love to accompany him to a few of the pubs I know where this wannabe ‘regular joker’, this wannabe ABs ‘brother’, could disport his “truth” about a range of things.

      And therein lies one of the root causes of political collapse, the increasing isolation of the elites from the ordinary people. New Zealand used to be a small enough society that while the privileged and powerful might not be seen at your regular pub every Friday night … they were not entirely absent either.

      In a world absent focus groups, continuous polling, PR hacks and a media ensconced in it’s own thought bubble … in order to build any kind of political mandate all politicians had to mingle.

      My father worked for Muldoon’s accountancy company for a while, and I still recall a family holiday we spent at the famous fibrolite bach in Orewa. (Actually it was more accurately located at the next beach north Hatfields)) It was a very modest and humble affair, surrounded by similar places lived in by other middle-class kiwis. I’m not arguing this made Muldoon an everyman hero, but clearly his home life was something we’d all recognise. Much the same can be said for Muldoon’s working life prior to entering politics.

      Contrast this with Key, most of it spent in a long ascent of the greasy pole that is the arcane world of merchant banking, in places far away from New Zealand; as with his holidays. Ultimately Key’s legions of spin-doctors cannot save him from the fact that he is not one of us, he is not part of New Zealand. He is something foreign grafted onto us.

      • North 3.1.1

        The elites have had it so well because they all feed off one another. Disgracefully that includes the media elite. Who for their self-interest (and their moral and intellectual sluggishness) applaud whatever lies and questionable tactics the political elite, the executive, calls to its aid. John Key a good joker who cares about ordinary people. Ha !

        • KJT 3.1.1.1

          The “Elites” is a contradiction in terms.

          Money launderers, lying politicians, double dippers, cheats, financial finaglers, speculators in ponzi schemes, entitled inheritors of unearned money, beneficiaries of Government corporate welfare schemes, overpaid TV shock jocks, and tax dodgers, are not “Elite”.

          SCUM, rising to the top, more like.

          • Macro 3.1.1.1.1

            SCUM, rising to the top, more like.

            My thoughts entirely as well.

            • North 3.1.1.1.1.1

              Thank you Macro and KJT……you have me identifying the guts of things. Scum !

          • Draco T Bastard 3.1.1.1.2

            +1

            Exactly.

          • One Anonymous Bloke 3.1.1.1.3

            What’s worse, these parasites actively undermine the genuinely elite – they cannot abide facts so our best minds are subject to ratfucking and vilification.

        • Draco T Bastard 3.1.1.2

          The elites have had it so well because they all feed off one another.

          They don’t feed off of each other – they feed off of everyone else and help each other to do so. We saw that when Key/National helped his ex-lawyer/financial mates prevent the changing of the laws.

          The rich are the bludgers and we simply cannot afford them.

      • Incognito 3.1.2

        Ultimately Key’s legions of spin-doctors cannot save him from the fact that he is not one of us, he is not part of New Zealand. He is something foreign grafted onto us.

        John Key is the Clark Kent of New Zealand politics.

  3. jcuknz 4

    Yesterday I got an email from Key listing seven ways that the government was helping hard pressed NZ families…..reading the list IMO only one even mildly approached real help.

  4. Jack Ramaka 5

    Key and National’s MO is very similar to the USA Clinton/Obama model whereby you have a compliant media and big business backing. Governments world wide have been taken over by the bankers and corporates, hence they have control of the media.

    Critical analysis and independent thinking has been thrown out the window, if you are critical or opinionated about Government these days you are seen as a radical and subversive and worthy of investigation by the State, ie Stasi/GCSB.

    We are being constantly brainwashed about how well this National Government is doing, however the information can not be independently assessed/audited and is being promoted by State run media aka Mike Hoskings?

  5. Mark Wilson 6

    Please not more “4 legs good, 2 legs bad” stuff – as in if the left lie as in Little saying Shewan did not ask for an apology then that is not lying but everything the right says is automatically a lie. My point is that after 9 years you would think the left would understand that that sort of all black / all white analysis has voters turned off.
    Welcome to another 3 years in the wilderness.

    • North 6.1

      Yeah well you’re not a dishonest concern troll at all are you Wilson ?

    • Stuart Munro 6.2

      Ah yes – the Left should strive to change the government by not pointing out the $150 billion in debt, the million New Zealanders living in previously unimaginable poverty and the vicious and corrosive lies perpetrated by MSM to keep this disgusting failarchy in power – because it might hurt the liar in chief’s feelings.

      You must be an unusually stupid munter to be not only satisfied with this pathetic caricature of governance, but incapable of visualising anything better.

      • Wensleydale 6.2.1

        “Disgusting Failarchy”

        That’s probably the most apt description of this wretched excuse for a government I’ve yet heard.

  6. save nz 7

    Great post.+1000

    Essentially a growing amount of politicians using this post truth method, ultimately they are damaging democracy and society. Because once citizens realise that the government are liars, and the MSM are smearing Labour and Andrew little as liars, Greens are loony and NZ First is racist. You then get citizens who make desperate decisions and stop believing anything and become more radical to get their position across. They stop believing Doctors, Scientists, (Politicians obviously) and so they make their own information and you can get radical changes that nobody was expecting. National under Key, is destroying our country in every aspect, economically, socially, democratically and environmentally.

    Brexit, Potentially Trump becoming president and so forth are examples of unexpected post truth politics outcomes that nobody saw coming.

  7. ianmac 8

    So true Save.”Because once citizens realise that the government are a liars, and the MSM are saying everyday that Labour and Andrew little are liars, Greens are loony and NZ First is racist.”
    Key’s ultimate line is “Labour does it too.” As with Dirty Politics in his world, if he can claim that someone else does it too, then somehow this is an excuse for him. Most kids try that line but are not excused. Key is excused up till now anyway.

    • North 8.1

      Childish denials, lies ever figure in Key’s repertoire. Great to see him double down with that though. More and more people get to see it as contempt for the public. Then more and more people……..

  8. b waghorn 9

    I’m sorry but but key bullshitting is not news, how we get kiwis to give a fuck about being lead buy a bullshitter is the ?.

    • KJT 9.1

      It suits Key to continue the meme that Labour bullshits just as much.

      The public ends up believing all politicians are lairs.

      So we just get to choose between two lots of liars.

      Not much difference between choosing the bunch of Neo-Liberals that will do least harm, as at present.

  9. mosa 10

    The first lie i heard him tell was that he had NOT met with the exsclusive Brethern in 2005 despite the fact he was filmed talking too them in his Helensville electorate office.
    He really should have been picked up on that big one when the media knew it was a quite big deception as it was a major scandal at the time.
    I believe its all he knows how too do is deceive people because too tell the truth would mean being honest about what he does that quite frankly would appall many New Zealanders and run contrary too the image he has been told too project at all costs to remain electable
    Too be caught out so many times and in parliament where he has misled the house many times and has not been held accountable for what is a serious offence and when it is shown he lied and it cant be disputed he rushes back into the house and “clarifies the deliberate deception.
    We used to rely on the media to expose this type of behaviour which in Keys case is totally blatant but with the sell out too corporate interests and a keep the status quo at all costs mentality has saved him when it would have bought down a Labour PM long before now and the harsh media campaign against David Cunliffe via the National party shows how far away responsible media in NZ has moved in the last 8 years.
    If you were Key of course you would lie when you can get away with it and he does every time he speaks !

    • weston 10.1

      the most telling lie he has ever uttered i think was when he was asked where he stood on the springbok tour issue and he said he couldnt remember !!!
      the more vile liars and manipulators though i.m.o.and without which governments like ours would prob be toast are the creepy crawly cosby textor opperative types behind the scenes….the essential bacteria of governments like these …actively tutoring our politicians to lie cheat twist obfuscate who get paid huge money to get them elected and then are kept on the payroll to keep them elected. its a dirty business.

      • mosa 10.1.1

        Weston that was in a leaders debate with Helen Clark in 2008 and his response to the question was he had no OPINION on the tour because he was too busy studying at varsity to decide where he stood one way or the other.
        Strange he had no opinion on a massive event that polarised the whole country and that a lot of protesters were uni students themselves.
        I remember thinking at the time as he became rattled at being pressed on the issue that he was clearly being evasive on and that all he had too do was make clear where he stood as Helen Clark had done but he couldnt bring himself to be honest after all he was campaigning to be Prime Minister.

      • Reddelusion 10.1.2

        I can hear violins, herald ran a piece on most ridiculous excuses for loosing in sport, plenty of material here to run one for politics The reason labour or the left does not win elections is that they are bat shit useless in securing the confidence of kiwis,

  10. Draco T Bastard 11

    …the behaviour of this execrable government that lies and denies reflexively and at all levels, and has been doing so for eight long years.

    I think you’ll find that National almost always lies. They have to as reality never matches their ideology.

  11. Jack Ramaka 12

    The problem we have here in NZ is most people are politically disconnected and just go with the status quo.

  12. Whateva Next 13

    except every time people (journo’s, opposition, political commentators the people etc) speak out, it feels like we are treated as a nagging wife to a husband who is spending all the money on booze and betting, whilst the wife struggles to make ends meet running the home.

  13. One Anonymous Bloke 14

    Speaking of post-truth politics, here’s Tracey Watkins with some post-truth journalism.

    …the current debate over homelessness, the Auckland housing “problem”, which NZ First leader Winston Peters has milked as part of his wider anti immigration bandwagon, are all reminders that making stability and predictability as an election pitch can be a double edged sword.

    It can stand for certainty, security and a safe pair of hands – but it can also stand for more of the same.

    And as one insider noted wryly following Key’s speech, National’s shock Northland by-election loss was a stark reminder to the party faithful that it can’t be taken for granted the same forces propelling Britain’s Ukip, and America’s Donald Trump, aren’t bubbling beneath the surface here.

    Get that people – if you think the National Party is a homelessness factory you’re xenophobic.

  14. AlZ 15

    There a a few things driving the post truth era. Once upon a time enough people where genuinely god fearing and this “fear” compelled people to be honest and keep others honest ( accountable). With there being no “overseer” on that scale with those powers, that would hold everyone to account for every deed and un truth there has been a shift in morality generally. (NB i am atheist). The modern invented replacements for, something to “fear” that controls masses behavior, does not include morality, Aliens flying UFO’s with the power to vapourise the planet do not have, a life time of moral behavior as a criteria for ones immortality. Politicians are not directly accountable to those who elected them, it may take until the next election before the voters can do anything about a renagade MP or PM. There is no “performance review ” as there is in the private sector to justify their salaries, “client satisfaction” does not determine their still having a job after a lie is exposed. A large number of the wealthy habitually lie to maintain their lavish comfortable lives and thereby set completely the wrong standards for those who aspire to wealth and material acquisition. It has set up a “class” by any means ideal. The medias are pre occupied with their own existence and so have adopted Infotainment as their function rather than being the distributors of facts and information. The entertainment industry reveres the hero who can successfully deceive in the name of good. The anti hero robs banks of everyone’s money, and not in the Robin Hood tradition, now the booty is not shared out but kept by the individual who joins the pleasure class on a large yacht or island paradise. Any one not clear about the line between truth and false in these times is in peril.

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    Democracy ProjectBy bryce.edwards
    5 days ago
  • Bryce Edwards: Today’s constitutional disgrace in Parliament
    This Government has a problem with urgency. Critics from both left and right have long complained about their lack of urgency on issues such as climate change, housing, and inequality. Likewise, in terms of the Covid response, there’s been a chorus of criticism that Labour has been complacent and sluggish ...
    Democracy ProjectBy bryce.edwards
    5 days ago
  • Vaping needs much tighter regulation as we approach Smokefree Aotearoa 2025: Two new studies
    Nick Wilson, Janet Hoek, Jennifer Summers, Driss Ait Ouakrim, Andrew Waa, Richard Edwards, Tony Blakely* Two recent studies provide new insights into the impact vaping may have on public health. The first estimates that use of modern vaping devices could be around a third as harmful to health as smoking. ...
    SciBlogsBy Public Health Expert
    5 days ago
  • Strange Defeat: A Guest Post By Dr. Chris Harris.
    They Did Things Differently Then: And we might still be doing things differently, if the world these "Country Lads" were fighting for, and which endured for nearly 30 years after World War II, had not been supplanted by the world we inhabit now. In spite of its reality, New Zealand's ...
    5 days ago
  • More than 147km – the transformative potential of the Wellington bike network plan
    Feature image by Luke Pilkinton-Ching, University of Otago Wellington   Caroline Shaw, Anja Mizdrak, Ryan Gage* Wellington City Council is currently consulting on a cycle network for Wellington. This is a big deal. WCC are proposing a 147km cycle network around the city, the vast majority of which is new. ...
    SciBlogsBy Public Health Expert
    5 days ago
  • NZ Politics Daily: 24 November 2021
    Today’s NZPD testimonial from Liz Brown, Senior communications advisor, Association of Salaried Medical Specialists: “The NZ Politics Daily is a fabulous resource providing a comprehensive one stop shop on what’s making news and how stories are being covered. I look forward to seeing it pop into my inbox every morning.” Anyone can sign ...
    Democracy ProjectBy bryce.edwards
    5 days ago
  • Climate Change: Taking us for a ride
    Agricultural emissions has been an oozing sore in our climate change policy for over a decade. Exempted from the ETS in 2008, farmers were meant to be brought in and start paying for their emissions in 2012. Of course, National put a stop to that, and exempted them forever. When ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    6 days ago
  • Climate Change: An industry in denial
    Over the past few years it has become clear that coal has no future in Aotearoa. Rising carbon prices, a ban on new boilers and a legislated phase-out for existing infrastructure are going to drive it out of the market. To reinforce this, the government signed up for an anti-coal ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    6 days ago
  • The “most open and transparent government ever” again
    The government is about to pass new vaccination mandate legislation under urgency. So obviously, they'd want to ensure it gets the best possible scrutiny in the limited time available by releasing the supporting policy documents, right? Of course not: On the eve of legislation to enable vaccination passes being ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    6 days ago
  • Gordon Campbell on farmers playing the victim, plus Chile’s right turn
    Among the farming lobby groups, the good cop/bad cop routine has been working a treat. It suits Federated Farmers to keep daylight between itself and the Groundswell movement. Month in, year out the Federation continues to engage with the government over the very same water degradation/climate change regulations that Groundswell ...
    6 days ago
  • Important People
    The Herald has returned to form with a vengeance. In today’s issue, Barry Soper snipes at Jacinda’s handling of her regular press conferences. It seems that she did not give him an early chance to ask his very important question and took no account of his need to depart immediately ...
    Bryan GouldBy Bryan Gould
    6 days ago
  • Parliament, the Courts and the end of three strikes (for now)
    Last week, Parliament embarked on the process of repealing the so-called “three strikes” provisions in the Sentencing Act 2002. Given that Labour, the Greens and Te Paati Māori all supported this repeal Bill at first reading (and that NZ First no longer is in government to block the move), three strikes’ eventual legislative demise seems ...
    PunditBy Andrew Geddis
    6 days ago
  • NZ Politics Daily: 23 November 2021
    Today’s NZPD testimonial from Martyn Bradbury, Editor, The Daily Blog “’NZ Politics Daily’ is one of the most important news and political resources run in New Zealand. The expert collation of opinion and news makes it an invaluable day to day resource as well as an incredible treasure for researchers in the future. ...
    Democracy ProjectBy bryce.edwards
    6 days ago
  • New Zealand’s Emission Reduction Plan
    By Paul Callister and Robert McLachlan Fifty years ago, on 26 November 1971, the film “Notes on a New Zealand City: Wellington”, directed by Paul Maunder, premiered on Wellington TV. The narrator asks if Wellington’s future will involve suburban sprawl, traffic, motorways, suburban shopping malls, and the decentralization of employment; ...
    SciBlogsBy Guest Author
    6 days ago
  • Dissing The Farmers.
    Neale vs The Revolting Farmers: One has to admire the way Capital Government Relations CEO, Neale Jones, covers-off all the bases of the current political zeitgeist. In a masterfully composed tweet, he lambasts the Groundswell protesters as sexists, racists and reactionaries, clinging for dear life to “a purely extractive economic ...
    6 days ago
  • How will carbon pricing impact inflation?
    This is a re-post from the Citizens' Climate Lobby blog Inflation — the decline of purchasing power as prices rise — is currently at its highest level in 30 years. This has led to concern among the public and policymakers about the rising costs of many important products like food, shelter, gasoline, ...
    7 days ago
  • (Lack of) Public Service Announcement: The National Library of New Zealand, Internet Archive, and Al...
    The National Library of New Zealand has not covered itself in glory in recent times. The decision to axe most of the Overseas Collection (some 600,000 books) in order to make way for more New Zealand items (which it collects already, and which amounts to some 3,000 items ...
    7 days ago
  • Game over for the HRPP
    Since its election loss earlier this year, Samoa's Human Rights Protection Party has been pinning its hopes on the upcoming by-elections to regain power. That was a pretty forlorn hope - with 18 seats, they would have had to win all seven by-elections and have two additional women appointed to ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    7 days ago
  • Chinese influence and American hate diffusion.
    Over the last decade concerns have been raised about Chinese “influence operations” in NZ and elsewhere. Run by CCP-controlled “United Front” organisations, influence operations are designed to promote PRC interests and pro-PRC views within the economic and political elites of the targeted country as well as Chinese diaspora communities. The ...
    KiwipoliticoBy Pablo
    7 days ago
  • The Real Interests Of The Country.
    Off Message: Into the extremely fraught relationship between Town and Country, the Groundswell organisers have blundered like an Aberdeen-Angus steer in an organic vege-shop. Unreasonably proud of their rural economic virtues, and dangerously forthright in their enumeration of the cities’ political vices, these Kiwi equivalents of America’s “good ole boys” ...
    1 week ago
  • NZ Politics Daily: 22 November 2021
    Today’s NZPD testimonial from Minna Reid, Law student, Victoria University of Wellington “As a Uni student, staying up to date with current affairs is always important. The Daily Politics & Democracy Project by Bryce Edwards is of great service for this. It offers varying news sources I would not have found myself ...
    Democracy ProjectBy bryce.edwards
    1 week ago
  • Free speech is a people’s frank confession to itself
    by Daphna Whitmore The government is devising new “Hate Speech” laws to save New Zealand from something that has not been defined. When asked what is hate speech the Prime Minister replied “You know it when you see it”. The Human Rights Commission is supporting the law change and sees ...
    RedlineBy Admin
    1 week ago
  • 2021 SkS Weekly Climate Change & Global Warming News Roundup #47
    Listing of articles linked to on the Skeptical Science Facebook Page during the past week: Sun, November 14, 2021 through Sat, November 20, 2021 The following articles sparked above average interest during the week: Do Androids Dream Of Electric Sheeple? A.I. Maps 20 Years of Climate Conspiracies, COP Negotiators Demand Nations ...
    1 week ago
  • The F Words, by Barbara Gregorich
    Book review Barbara Gregorich is a writer and long time anti-capitalist in the US. She and her husband were interviewed for Redline about the social movements of the 1960s. Her latest book The F Words, has been reviewed by Guy Miller for Redline. The F Words by Barbara Gregorich bears ...
    RedlineBy Admin
    1 week ago
  • The Scourge of the Aimless Kick
    The below-par All Black performance against France was – sadly – afflicted, again, by what has become a feature of New Zealand rugby – the scourge of the aimless kick. It is surely a truism that, to win a rugby match, you must have the ball. But time and time ...
    Bryan GouldBy Bryan Gould
    1 week ago
  • Delta Rocks Gibraltar: Lessons to be learned from Covid-19’s global resurgence.
    Hard To Beat: Perhaps the most important lesson to be drawn from what is happening in Gibraltar is that vaccination is not a magic bullet. Yes, it makes it harder to contract the virus, and significantly ameliorates its worst effects, but it does not confer absolute immunity to Covid-19 – ...
    1 week ago
  • I’ll take the masks and vaccines, thank you
    From Stuff:I don't want to be pedantic, but I'm pretty sure neither masks nor vaccines figure much in the Gospel of Saint John; nor has Jesus shown much efficacy in protecting people from anything. ...
    1 week ago
  • Hell To Pay: The alarming similarities between the Anti-Vaccination Movement and the creators of the...
    Never Let Go: If the violent prejudices of the Jim Crow South, echoing through contemporary struggles, teach us anything, it is that the defence of rationality, science and progressivism must never be allowed to falter. Those pre-modern night-riders, filled with unrelenting hate, are still out there. If the troops of ...
    1 week ago
  • A Peak Out of Auckland? + Other Covid Musings
    At last, we have some cause for optimism out of Auckland’s interminable Covid outbreak. Knowing our luck, it might be a false dawn… but there are some signs that we have seen the peak:
    1 week ago
  • Sing Song about Hard Times
    Celebrating Poet Anne KennedyThe 2021 Prime Minister's Award for Literary Achievement for Poetry went to Anne Kennedy. I have enjoyed her work since her first collection Sing Song. The poems’ setting is in the domestic life of a family of four, told from the mother’s perspective: moving house, the gruelling ...
    PunditBy Brian Easton
    1 week ago
  • A good problem to have
    Norway is the global success story on electric car uptake, with early policy and a well-signalled 2025 cutoff point for fossil vehicles resulting in 77% of new cars being EV's. But now they have a problem: not enough dirty cars to tax: Norway’s electric dream has been credited to ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • Gordon Campbell on the politics of anger, plus a music playlist
    Angry? Are you talkin’ to ME? Of late, the Code Red levels of resentment inspired by the government’s Covid policy almost make one hanker for the days when people could write best-selling books about New Zealanders being The Passionless People. Not anymore. A hissy fit arms race seems to be ...
    1 week ago
  • No, vaccinated people are not ‘just as infectious’ as unvaccinated people if they get COVID
    Jack Feehan, Victoria University and Vasso Apostolopoulos, Victoria University   Some recent studies have shown similar peak viral loads in vaccinated people compared to unvaccinated people who contract COVID. This has raised concerns for the efficacy of vaccines for preventing transmission. How concerned should we be? Are vaccinated people just ...
    SciBlogsBy Guest Author
    1 week ago
  • Electric cars alone won’t save the planet. We’ll need to design cities so people can walk and cy...
    Timothy Welch, University of Auckland   At the COP26 climate summit, world politicians patted themselves on their backs for coming to a last-minute agreement. Humanity now waits with bated breath to see if countries implement the commitments they made, and if those commitments help the planet. If the rest of ...
    SciBlogsBy Guest Author
    1 week ago
  • Worn down by bad news? You’re not alone…
    Feature image: The weight of the world’s news can be too much. (Shutterstock) Neill Fitzpatrick, MacEwan University In 1983, Canada’s Anne Murray released another hit song. This one, though, was different than what her fans were accustomed to. A Little Good News is a sombre ballad summarizing the mood of ...
    SciBlogsBy Guest Author
    1 week ago
  • Alexander Gillespie, University of Waikato   Last week’s COVID protest outside parliament served as a warning that New Zealand is not immune to the kinds of anger seen overseas. As Labour Party whip Kieran McAnulty put it, “I think everyone needs to be aware that things are starting to escalate.” ...
    SciBlogsBy Guest Author
    1 week ago
  • NZ Politics Daily: 19 November 2021
    Today’s NZPD testimonial from Brendon Burns, Marlborough-based communications consultant, former Christchurch MP “Politics Daily is simply the best go-to summary of everything in and around central and local government and much more besides. Compulsory daily reading.” Anyone can sign up to NZPD for free at: https://democracyproject.nz/nz-politics-daily/ Today’s content Govt management of Delta outbreak Michael ...
    Democracy ProjectBy bryce.edwards
    1 week ago
  • Buying Back The Whenua.
    Dangerous Visionaries: Rex Connor wanted to “buy back the farm” (i.e. nationalise Australia’s mineral wealth) and ended up bringing down the government of Gough Whitlam. Nanaia Mahuta’s Three Waters Project is seen by many as a first step to “buying back the whenua” (repatriating Māori lands and waters). A policy which threatens the longevity of ...
    1 week ago
  • nuremberg, and history
      There’s a lot been said recently about the Nuremberg code. So what is it, and why is it popping up now? As described in this excellent NEJM article, the Code was developed over 80 years ago in August 1947, by judges involved in the “Doctors Trial” at Nuremberg. There were ...
    SciBlogsBy Alison Campbell
    2 weeks ago
  • Skeptical Science New Research for Week #46, 2021
    Housekeeping: New content New Research is primarily focused on reports published in "the academic literature." Thanks to a diversity of publishers, journals, editors, reviewers, researchers and institutional affiliations, such publications are statistically highly successful at approximating and reflecting our best dispassionate understanding of research topics. Any given personal agenda not ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Another OIA horror-story
    NewsHub reports on another OIA horror story, a simple request for information on the supply and distribution of PPE which required the intervention of the Ombudsman to get a response. And reading the article, it seems to be the usual story of an overly-secretive agency abusing the process to hide ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • Bribing for convictions
    Imagine that you've been arrested and are facing criminal charges. Now imagine that the government tries to bribe your lawyer to encourage you to plead guilty. It's obviously corrupt and a complete mockery of justice. But that's exactly what the New Zealand Government wants to do: The Criminal Process ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago

  • New Ambassador to Russia announced
    Foreign Affairs Minister Nanaia Mahuta today announced the appointment of Sarah Walsh as New Zealand’s next Ambassador to Russia. “Aotearoa New Zealand and Russia have a long-standing relationship, engaging on a range of regional and global interests including disarmament and Antarctica issues. We also work together as members of the East ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 hours ago
  • New Permanent Representative to the UN announced
    Foreign Affairs Minister Nanaia Mahuta today announced the appointment of Carolyn Schwalger as Permanent Representative to the New Zealand Permanent Mission to the United Nations in New York. “Aotearoa New Zealand is a founding member of the UN and we have worked hard to ensure our stance on human rights, ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 hours ago
  • Further COVID-19 economic support for Cook Islands and Fiji announced
    Foreign Affairs Minister Nanaia Mahuta today announced a further package of support for the Cook Islands and Fiji for COVID-19 economic support and recovery. “Aotearoa New Zealand remains committed to supporting our Pacific fanau and vuvale to respond to the impacts of COVID-19 on their economies, and move towards long-term ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 day ago
  • New law will clear the air for tamariki in vehicles
    From today, it’s illegal to smoke or vape in most vehicles carrying children aged under 18 years old - whether the vehicle is moving or not. “Second-hand smoke poses an unacceptable risk to our tamariki and rangatahi,” Associate Minister of Health Dr Ayesha Verrall said. “We know children in vehicles ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 day ago
  • Nine countries designated very high risk
    Nine southern African countries are being added to the very high risk countries list following public health advice around the newly discovered COVID-19 variant Omicron, COVID-19 Response Minister Chris Hipkins said. This afternoon, a public health risk assessment was carried out to assess the emerging evidence and any risk to ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 day ago
  • Foreign Affairs Minister concludes final stage of world trip
    Foreign Affairs Minister Hon Nanaia Mahuta today departed North America to return home to Aotearoa, concluding the last stage of her 17-day world trip. The final leg of her trip saw her visit the United States of America and Canada for a number of high-level discussions. While in Washington D.C., ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • Milestone launch of Pacific Languages Unit
    Today’s official launch of the Pacific Languages Unit is a milestone for our Pacific communities, the Minister for Pacific Peoples, Aupito William Sio said. The Pacific Languages Unit brings together a new set of language supports within the Ministry for Pacific Peoples to provide advice, commission research, maintain standards, promote ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • Public Health Lecture – University of Otago
    Public Health - Lessons from New Zealand’s COVID-19 response and opportunities for the future E nga mana, E nga reo,                                          E nga iwi. Tēna koutou katoa. Ka huri ki nga mana whenua o te rohe nei. Tēna koutou. He mihi hoki ki a tatou kua tau mai nei I raro I ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • New Zealand statement on situation in Honiara, Solomon Islands
    Aotearoa New Zealand is deeply concerned by the events which have been unfolding in Honiara, Solomon Islands, since Wednesday. “New Zealand is a long-standing partner of Solomon Islands, and there are deep and enduring connections between our two countries,” Acting Foreign Affairs Minister David Parker said. “Our engagement in Solomon ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • Nailed it! Over 500 apprentices get jobs boost
    Over 500 apprentices and cadets have been placed into work across New Zealand thanks to the Government’s booming build programme, that’s both constructing public houses, and maintaining older homes. Housing Minister Megan Woods announced the milestone today at a public housing construction site in Riccarton, Christchurch. “This Government’s investment in ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • Investment to support maternal mental health
    Associate Minister of Health Dr Ayesha Verrall has announced an investment to help expand maternal mental health services in five District Health Boards. “Supporting parent’s mental wellbeing during their child’s first 1000 days, from conception to two years of age, is critical to the long-term emotional, mental and physical wellbeing ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • Workplace vaccination requirements extended to cover Police and NZ Defence Force
    With the support of the organisations, additional vaccination requirements will cover sworn members, recruits and authorised officers of the New Zealand Police, and all New Zealand Defence Force staff. First doses of the vaccine for workers in these organisations are required by 17 January 2022, and second doses by 1 ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • Aotearoa New Zealand and Canada to pursue greater Indigenous collaboration
    During her visit to Ottawa, the Honourable Nanaia Mahuta, New Zealand Minister of Foreign Affairs and Associate Minister for Māori Development, met with the Honourable Patty Hajdu, Canadian Minister of Indigenous Services, and the Honourable Marc Miller, Canadian Minister of Crown-Indigenous Relations, to further expand and develop the positive relationship ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • Māori vaccination rates reach 80% first dose
    Associate Minister of Health (Māori) Hon Peeni Henare today confirmed that Māori across the motu have now reached 80 percent for first doses of the COVID-19 vaccination nationally. “We have seen a huge increase in vaccinations for Māori throughout November, since the beginning of the month the increase for first ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • Subsequent Children legislation to change
    The Government has today introduced legislation that will reverse provisions in the Oranga Tamariki Act as part of a path to rebuild trust and confidence in the organisation. “The Oranga Tamariki Amendment Bill makes a number of changes but by far the most important is the partial repeal of the ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • Security Information in Proceedings Legislation Bill introduced to Parliament
    The Minister of Justice has confirmed the introduction of the Security Information in Proceedings Legislation Bill to Parliament. National security information is information which, if disclosed, would be likely to prejudice New Zealand’s security, defence, or international relations. “This Bill adds to the Government’s work to strengthen New Zealand’s protections ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • Shortcomings revealed in power cut investigation
    No household should have had their power disconnected 18 recommendations, mostly EA and Transpower related The EA must strengthen its oversight of the system operator An investigation into power cuts that left more than 34,000 households without electricity on one of the coldest nights of the year has found that ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • COVID-19 Protection Framework supported by new testing and contact tracing strategy
    Wider use of rapid antigen testing from 1 December Increasing daily laboratory capacity to 60,000 PCR tests Q1 2022 A new national telehealth case investigation service with 475 investigators A nearly $1 billion investment in testing, contact tracing and case investigation A new national testing strategy will provide better protection ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • Supporting New Zealanders to recover from COVID-19 in the community
    $300 million boost to Pharmac to buy new medicines to treat COVID-19 Care in the Community approach will see most cases receive initial contact from a healthcare provider wiithin 24 hours Support pack provided within 48 hours Regular health checks throughout recovery The Government is increasing the support for New ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • Additional support for people isolating at home
    New regional MSD COVID-19 welfare teams to coordinate social service support for those isolating at home Regional teams working alongside other government agencies, iwi/Māori and community providers for housing, food and income support Government investment of $204.1m into welfare system support for Care in the Community Minister for Social Development ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • Tax bill provides vital support for families
    A boost to Working for Families tax credits, as part of a package of financial support that will see 346,000 families better off, has been passed into law late last night.  Revenue Minister David Parker said the measures would lift the incomes of those receiving the Family Tax Credit, the ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • New text service to support disabled peoples’ vaccinations
    Efforts to support disabled peoples’ vaccinations go from strength-to-strength with the launch of a new text service, Minister for Disability Issues Carmel Sepuloni announced today. The service, run by Whakarongorau Aotearoa on behalf of the Ministry of Health, is in response to feedback from the disability community and is an ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • Proactive Calendar Release – October 2021
    ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • Pacific community reach vaccination milestone
    Pacific communities across the nation have rolled up their sleeves and played their part to reach a major vaccination milestone, 90 percent  have now had their first vaccination, Aupito William Sio, Minister for Pacific Peoples and Associate Minister of Health said. “Reaching this milestone reflects the work Pacific Health Providers ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • Reconnecting New Zealand – the next steps
    Fully vaccinated Kiwis and other eligible travellers can travel to NZ from Australia without staying in MIQ from 11.59pm Sunday, 16 January 2022 Fully vaccinated Kiwis and other eligible travellers can travel to NZ from all other countries from 11.59pm Sunday, 13 February 2022 All fully vaccinated individuals will be ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • Shot in the arm for Canterbury tourism
    A brand new tourism attraction launched in the Canterbury high country is designed to transform the regional economy from seasonal peaks and troughs of past visitor trends. Regional Economic Development and Tourism Minister Stuart Nash has officially opened the Ōpuke Pools at Methven, which received government backing from the Provincial ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • Combined efforts connecting locals to nature
    A Government investment in six community and iwi-led projects across the Hawke’s Bay district will provide nature-based jobs for more than 60 locals, Conservation Minister Kiri Allan says. “Combined, these projects are contributing to a really ambitious conservation effort across the region, while at the same time up-skilling and offering ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • Empowering Diverse Communities
    Minister for the Prevention of Family Violence and Sexual Violence Marama Davidson has approved five funding grants to support national-level family violence and sexual violence prevention initiatives for LGBTQIA+ people, disabled people, older people and new migrant communities. “Local community initiatives are a key lever in reducing violence. The Government ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • Moriori Claims Settlement Bill passes Third Reading
    The Moriori Claims Settlement Bill has passed its third reading at Parliament, marking the completion of the historical Treaty of Waitangi settlement process for Moriori. “This is the final milestone for Moriori and the Crown and is a new beginning in our relationship,” Minister for Treaty of Waitangi Negotiations Andrew ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • Permanent drug-checking law passed and new providers appointed
    Drug-checking services will continue to operate legally at festivals, pop-up clinics, university orientation weeks and other places this summer and beyond, thanks to a law passed today, Health Minister Andrew Little says. The services have been legal since last summer under temporary legislation that expires next month. The Government’s Drug ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • Pacific communities supported to transition to the COVID-19 Protection Framework
    The Government has agreed to support Pacific health providers and communities’ transition to the new COVID-19 Protection Framework, Minister for Pacific Peoples and Associate Minister of Health, Aupito William Sio said. The Government recognises that there is a clear need to prepare new systems and healthcare approaches, to protect and ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • Government helps Pasifika Festivals to ride the COVID wave
    As we transition into a new way of managing COVID and take steps towards giving vaccinated New Zealanders more freedoms to enjoy Aotearoa’s arts and culture, 19 Pasifika festivals across the motu are receiving funding through the Pasifika Festivals Initiative, Minister for Arts, Culture and Heritage Carmel Sepuloni said. These ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • Tech ready for businesses and events to open up for summer
    Businesses and events will be set for summer, with the free NZ Pass Verifier app to scan and verify My Vaccine Passes now available to download, Minister for COVID-19 Response Chris Hipkins said today. “New Zealand will move into the traffic light system (COVID-19 Protection Framework) from Friday 3 December, ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • Govt providing business the tools to vaccinate workforces
    Simplified vaccination assessment tool will be able to be used mid-December to help employers decide if they would require vaccination for different types of work. Workers covered by the My Vaccine Pass mandate need to have their first dose by 3 December and be fully vaccinated by 17 January 2022. ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • The talanoa about the future of our Pacific Languages
    A ground-breaking survey launched today will give researchers valuable insights into the state of Pacific languages in Aotearoa, said the Minister for Pacific Peoples, Aupito William Sio. The Leo Moana o Aotearoa Pacific Languages Survey is part of a wider project that will support the revitalisation, and sustainability of Te ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Foreign Minister concludes successful visit to the United Arab Emirates and Qatar
    Foreign Affairs Minister Hon Nanaia Mahuta departed the Middle East today for Washington DC, concluding a successful visit to the United Arab Emirates (UAE) and Qatar. Her visit to the UAE saw her host New Zealand’s most important event at Expo 2020, Te Aratini, and meet with Emirati leaders including ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Govt to review high cost of residential building supplies in market study
    Ensuring Kiwis have access to fairly priced building materials is a driving factor in Government’s decision to review the residential building supply market, Minister of Commerce and Consumer Affairs, David Clark, announced today. “We’re looking at how we can lay the foundations for a more competitive building sector,” David Clark ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Speech to NZ Sepsis Conference 2021
    E nga mana, E nga reo, E nga iwi, Tēna kotou katoa. Ka huri ki nga mana whenua o te rohe nei. Tēna koutou. He mihi hoki ki a tatou kua tau mai nei I raro I te kaupapa o te rā. No reira tēna koutou katoa. Opening It’s a ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • New Centre for the Child to be established in Tā Wira Gardiner’s name
    A research centre dedicated to improving the lives and wellbeing of tamariki is to be established within Te Whare Wānanga o Awanuiarangi in recognition of Tā Wira Gardiner’s contributions to society. The Minister for Children, Hon Kelvin Davis made the announcement with Te Whare Wānanga o Awanuiarangi at an event ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
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    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
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