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Prophylactic ignorance

Written By: - Date published: 7:23 am, September 19th, 2012 - 60 comments
Categories: accountability, john banks, john key - Tags: , ,

Notice how the only people who “believe” John Banks are the ones who haven’t (and won’t) read the police report?

Key:

But Prime Minister John Key is clinging onto Mr Banks – a crucial vote that keeps him in power. In fact, Mr Key refuses to even read the 126-page police report on the investigation. …

ACT:

The Act Party board is standing by leader John Banks, despite damning evidence in a police report into donations from Kim Dotcom and SkyCity in his 2010 mayoral campaign.

Act president Chris Simmons said Mr Banks still had the board’s confidence but did not say whether he hoped Mr Banks would stand again in 2014. He said he had not read the police report…

I wish I had coined the phrase “prohylactic ignorance” – I didn’t it was Gordon Campbell – because it is perfect. The only way Key can even pretend to “believe” Banks is to deliberately avoid the reality that everyone knows exists. It’s as slippery as a snake in wet grass, it’s “Keyvasive”, it’s pathetic. What a farce this government has become.

60 comments on “Prophylactic ignorance ”

  1. Uturn 1

    It’s inconceivable that a PM wouldn’t read a police report on a mattter concerning the stability of his government. It would be counter to strategy and sound information security. If Key hasn’t literally sat down with a cup of tea and read it, then he has certainly been briefed in detail about it’s contents and plans will already be in place to meet the likely Banks outcome. All it takes is one good interviewer to tease out the obvious.

    • RedLogix 1.1

      In fact Key is almost certainly lying about NOT having read it … and at the very least is well informed of it’s contents.

      • Lightly 1.1.1

        David Shearer: What details of the report of the police investigation into John Banks led him to comment “I think he did exactly what he’d always said, which was comply with the law.”?

        Rt Hon JOHN KEY: That is my reading of the police report.

        http://www.parliament.nz/en-NZ/PB/Business/QOA/6/e/a/50HansQ_20120731_00000001-1-Hon-John-Banks-Donations-to-Member-s-Political.htm

        31st July 2012

        • r0b 1.1.1.1

          Well found.

        • CnrJoe 1.1.1.2

          well spotted sir!

        • Kotahi Tāne Huna 1.1.1.3

          That still gives Slippery a fair amount of wriggle room.

          He can claim that when he said “my reading of it” he meant it in the sense of his understanding of it. There’s no doubt he should now be forced to answer the question though, so that the camera can focus relentlessly on his bored, shifty eyes.

          • Uturn 1.1.1.3.1

            Yeah I thought that too, however, “reading” and “understanding” aren’t special technical terms. It would be a hard sell. They might get a day or two delay out of it. But there’s also one more problem in trying for a word interpretation angle. In the final line, he openly admits that he can override the Cabinet Manual if it suits him; the only “test” of ethics is whether it pleases him or not. An attitude like that doesn’t bother to hide itself behind subtlties.

            A PM doing whatever to get what they want, and admitting it, is not new to NZ. During this last term, the idea of extra privileges for the powerful has been pushed out even further and is gaining popular support. I’d be quite interested to see how the National support base have shifted their discretionary limits. Measuring outrage by Lefty standards is not much use in this matter.

          • Mary 1.1.1.3.2

            Yes, on his dead looking shark eyes.

        • bbfloyd 1.1.1.4

          hang on a minute…… Did he say “that is my reading of the report”? I thought he was adamant that he hadn’t read it?? So he DID read the police report? or not?

          Is it just my impression, or has johnny sparkles been telling straight out lies to parliament, the news media, and the country?

          Isn’t that grounds for a privileges inquiry….?

    • Majella 1.2

      “One good interviewer” – so NOT Shane Taurima then..! Kim Hill? Chris Laidlaw? Where’s David Axel or Ian Johnstone when you need them?

  2. vto 2

    .
    Can’t trust the man at the top.

    Can’t trust anyone.

    Don’t trust anyone. What the fuck am i doing back in so-called civilization again. What a hole.

  3. ianmac 3

    “I did not have sexual intercourse ….”
    “I have not read………”
    But he has no doubt had it read to him or given extracts to read. Then he can truthfully say, “I have not read….”

  4. MikeG 4

    The National Party’s chief blogger is strangely quiet on this issue – it would seem that he can’t even bring himself to defend the (non)actions of Key.

  5. In Vino Veritas 5

    Let us remember Darren Hughes. Police say “insufficient evidence to prosecute”. Mallard says “he’s cleared his name”. Goff says “he has integrity”. Then there is always Helen Clark.

    And there is also the small matter of context. Banks was not an elected offical at the time of the alleged misdemeanours. However, Hughes? Clark?

    Labour Party will take the super sized hypocrisy, with a side of dishonesty and a drink of blind stupidity.

    • MikeG 5.1

      Just remember that Key promised higher standards. We are yet to see them.

    • ak 5.2

      Thanks Vino. “They did it too sir” is the most cast-iron admission of guilt possible. In this case it also drags your golden boy down into the the same synthetic gutter you created for the examples you give. Well done.

      • In Vino Veritas 5.2.1

        Ak, you mistake me for someone defending Banks. All I am doing is pointing out that the same people lambasting Banks now, are those who have refused, on multiple occasions, to react with the same vigour when it has been one of theirs that stepped out of line.

        • Te Reo Putake 5.2.1.1

          Except the example you gave was pretty poor, given that Hughes stood down in advance of the police ruling. Wanna try again?

        • RedLogix 5.2.1.2

          In all the cases you mention the politicians involved were stood down pretty promptly once it was clear that a real investigation was underway.

          But it’s nice to see you acknowledge that Key is vigorously defending a Minister whom you implicitly agree is guilty as sin. So are you defending John Key as well?

          And are you arguing that the Opposition should remain silent here? That when they see corruption and lies that they should have nothing to say?

        • Dr Terry 5.2.1.3

          VV Would that not be perfectly natural? What’s the problem?

    • framu 5.3

      but he was an elected official, a member of govt no less, when he claimed a position that is completely at odds with the findings of the police investigation

      remember there were two issues – one of which the evidence shows he is likely guilty of, but cant be prosecuted for due to time limitation

      waht the hell happened to higher standards of conduct and the rights sainted “personal responsibility”?

    • Te Reo Putake 5.4

      Actually, Key’s problem is not what Banks did when he was a mayoral candidate, IVV. It’s the now apparent fact that Banks (a cabinet Minister) lied to Key (a Prime Minister) earlier this year when he said he didn’t know who the donations were from.
       
      Key promised higher standards from his cabinet, now he is reduced to the Sargeant Shultz defense ( I know nuzzink …nuzzink!).

    • RedLogix 5.5

      @vino

      The main reason why the Police chose not to prosecute was that there was a time limitation that had expired.

      But if you want to go ahead and argue that Banks had no idea who those donations came from and that he is perfectly innocent … please go right ahead and make the case for us.

      • In Vino Veritas 5.5.1

        Red, you could try this, straight from the report:

        39. Police concluded that this would satisfy the requirement of “False” in respect to The Return, but believe that the circumstances do not reach the Evidential Sufficency Test (assessed against the Prosecution Guidelines) in the Police cannot prove that Mr BANKS knowingly signed The Return in respect to Section 134 (1) of the Act.

        and also:

        Conclusions

        41. The allegations do not meet the evidential threshold in respect to Section 134 (a) of the Local Electoral Act 2001.

        Yup, that pretty much sums it up. The fact that the statute of limitations excluded the possibility of prosection is also backed up by the fact that that the Police say they couldnt prove that Banks was guilty. I’m sure Red, that you will argue that he is guilty until proven innocent. Since Socialists like their law that way.

        • RedLogix 5.5.1.1

          So you are arguing that Banks was completely unaware of where those donations came from?

          • In Vino Veritas 5.5.1.1.1

            No Red, I am arguing that the Police could not undertake a successful prosecution because there was not enough evidence to prove Banks guilty. Therefore I argue that in the eyes of the law, he is innocent. Action should not be taken against people just because the likes of you, and your politically motivated friends say it should be.

            • RedLogix 5.5.1.1.1.1

              But you failed to answer the question. Do you believe that Banks was unaware of where those two $25k donations came from?

              I’m quite aware that Banks has not been prosecuted. But no Minister holds onto his/her warrant until after a successful prosecution has been made… claiming that ‘in the eyes of the law’ he is innocent is a totally untenable defense.

        • Pascal's bookie 5.5.1.2

          hahaha.

          You quote 39 and 41, but not 40.

          tell us about 134(2)

          • In Vino Veritas 5.5.1.2.1

            I believe I mentioned 40 in closing Pascal. Having read the report, the Police say in 40 that ‘elements” of 134 (2) were met, not saying whether they were referring to 134(2) (a) or (b). Bottom line, they didnt have enough evidence to prove his guilt. It would appear Pascal, that you are another “guilty until proven innocent” man.

            • Colonial Viper 5.5.1.2.1.1

              Bottom line, they didnt have enough evidence to prove his guilt.

              Your words, not theirs. My read is that they would have pressed charges to have it tested in court, had it been within the 6 month limit.

            • Pascal's bookie 5.5.1.2.1.2

              You should read 40 again.

              they say that “the elements” of 134(2) are met. That would be both of them. They then say that they cannot charge because of the statute of limitations.

              The bottom line is that there is plenty of evidence that Banks has lied to the public and the PM about the extent of his dealings with Dot Com, and that the return was false, and that the PM is actively trying to avoid getting confirmation of those things.

    • Craig Glen Eden 5.6

      Banks was a candidate and is required to abide by electoral law. I think you have been drinking from that cup of stuidity that you so quickly accused others of sipping.

      • In Vino Veritas 5.6.1

        I remember you Craig, from a good long time ago, and you made baseless, factually incorrect statements even then, and I see nothing has changed. The only person drinking from a cup of stupidity is you. Read my posts. The police said the allegations do not meet the evidentiary threshold, Banks cannot be proven guilty and therefore he is innocent in law. Therefore he abided by Electoral Law.

        • Colonial Viper 5.6.1.1

          Wow, the police NEVER made that comment about the evidentiary threshold apart for one small part of the potential complaint. Seems you are the one making baseless, factually incorrect statements now mate.

          • In Vino Veritas 5.6.1.1.1

            read the report Viper. Its at 41, just to help you. Wow.

            • Colonial Viper 5.6.1.1.1.1

              Technicalities mate. Looks like the only reason Banks escaped 134(2) is the statute of limitations. Do you agree?

              Banks is a bad liar, almost as bad as Key. He knew where those donations came from, as surely as he knows which side of the bed he rolls out of in the morning.

              • Pascal's bookie

                He’s stopped talking about 134(2) after he read section 40 of the police report wrong and completely misrepresented it. To be charitable about it.

        • Te Reo Putake 5.6.1.2

          “The police said the allegations do not meet the evidentiary threshold, Banks cannot be proven guilty and therefore he is innocent in law. Therefore he abided by Electoral Law.”
           
          The last sentence has no relationship to the first. Banks did not abide by electoral law. In fact, he deliberately broke electoral law by arranging ‘anonymous’ donations from known donors. The sad fact that he cannot be prosecuted does not change what he did or its illegality.
           
          Please note that every other candidate in the council elections that year managed to get it right, from the humblest community board applicant right up to the mayors of every other city and district in the country. But then, those candidates weren’t trying to rort the system.

          • In Vino Veritas 5.6.1.2.1

            How do you know Te Reo? Did Len Browns donations for the Mayoralty campaign come from a Trust? And if so, how do you know anything about it?

            • Kotahi Tāne Huna 5.6.1.2.1.1

              Nice attempt at diversion. The evidence shows that John Banks broke the law. He escapes through the statute of limitations. There’s no way to spin that or get people to believe your silly narrative. If you’ve got evidence that there are problems with other candidates’ returns then present it.

              This particular episode will keep on giving and giving, since, quite apart from his manifest criminality, Banks lied to the public too, repeatedly and brazenly, again as evidenced by the police report.

              Oh, and the longer the shifty, slippery, bored Prime Minister lets it drag on, the more damage the National Party will sustain 😀

              [lprent: You are getting close to the edge of what is acceptable with that “manifest criminality” comment because you are stating it as being an objective fact rather than an opinion. I realize what the police report said about the limitation period. However the police do not determine criminality (regardless how the individual police sometimes operate). That is the role of the courts. A little more care please. ]

              • In Vino Veritas

                Kotahi, hardly a diversion, since Te Reo claimed “every other candidate”. I asked him how he knew. And then asked another question. At no time did I say I had a problem with any other candidates return, though I think you will find that it is a fact that Len Brown ran $499K of his $582K of donations for the 2010 Mayoralty through a trust. Oh, you can read it here:
                http://www.nzherald.co.nz/nz/news/article.cfm?c_id=1&objectid=10693580

                • Kotahi Tāne Huna

                  IVV: Yawn. Who was it again who escaped prosecution because the statute of limitations applied? That’s right it was John Banks. What are people discussing? That’s right it’s John Banks, oh, and how he taints the National Party with every day his Ministerial warrant continues.

                  So witter on about Len Brown, the Mayor of Auckland, all you like – we’re talking about John Banks, the dodgiest MP Epsom has ever elected, and John Key, the bored and compromised Prime Minister.

                  LPrent: right you are guvnor.

                • Pascal's bookie

                  think you will find that it is a fact that Len Brown ran $499K of his $582K of donations for the 2010 Mayoralty through a trust.

                  The money went through a trust, but there is nothing to suggest that the identity of the donors was known by Len Brown, as your phrasing would imply.

    • Robert M 5.7

      He was of course the leading candidate for the Mayor of Auckland-on the citizens and ratepayers ticket,or whatever.
      The extraordinary thing about John, is why was he selected as a Nat canditdate.Why was he selected as an Act Candidate for NZ’s second richest seat. How could somebody who failed UE three times become Mayor of Auckland and be reselected as a Candidate.
      What on earth are his talents.He appears to have none,but arrogance, agression and lip and the fact for some inconcievable reason Sue Wood, Matthew Hooton etc smiled nicely on him.Why would the wet,right nats support a distant relation of Alan McCready ( an inexplicable promotion to the Marshall cabinet in 72). No 20 undoubtedly.
      Of course apparently John ran some lamb chop and red wine joints that employed a lot of waiters in the 1970’s. How much whisky and gin did Muldoon and his fellow racehorse owner Dud Mouldey sink after the laugh of making that young chubby guy John, the noted police reject an MP for the red neck and unenlightened borough of Whangarei.
      What on earth is the interest of Dot Com and his fifth size bead (‘the most beautful women, I have seen ‘)- John Banks MP for Remmers- noted connesueir of Russian dolls)- in this dull ,unintersting and very ugly Auckland MP.Why would he give him ten cents , let alone $50,000.
      I mean Eccelstone and Blair were both intelligent right wingers with attractive wives and their own children and a mutual interest in the Middle East and German politics. What an earth was the mutual interest of dot.com and John B. Champers,Matchbox 20,Pink Cangles, Political favours,payoffs for easing copyright and licensing laws, residency certificates, citizenship support letters.The Nick Smith type letter of support beyond the call of duty for a former friend and partier.
      What on earth do John and his party mates,discuss at the Act Party booze ups. There must be cake of course. Read the Basset review of the Goldsmith bio of JB.

  6. freedom 6

    As Mr Key enjoys semantics so much, let’s change the question
    ‘To the PM, Has anyone read the Police report to you?’

  7. marsman 7

    It may be wishful thinking but the title of this Post keeps giving me a mental image of Johnny with a ‘johnny’ stretched over his head.

  8. Herbert 8

    Did anyone mention David Garrett and offences committed while not a MP?
    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/David_Garrett_%28politician%29

  9. The Bank’s affair has not touched the opinion polls.
    To the MSM it is a try again at their “Ambrose” moment when one of their precious accidentally left a recorder on at a ptrivate conversation, and Key took exception (to an unexceptional conversation according to the Winston release) but the “Ambrose” was one of them, and they won’t forget it – despite “Ambrose” writing a letter of apology to Key, which was
    accepted.
    Subject getting a bore with nothing better to do in Parliament, which is getting close to year end wrap up and long holiday in Hawaii.
    There are pressing points to be made to new social legislation – let the oppositions get on with that and stop buggering around with Banks, which is water off a duck’s back.

    • lprent 9.1

      You really are a stupid politically unaware dork. That is probably because no polls have been taken through the period of maximum damage and then published.

      The OIA’s came back on about September 12th and this particular part of the saga with some definitive information only started then. Before that, it was largely supposition. After that then there has been a steadily rising firestorm (which I anticipate will continue for quite some time based on people expressing their indignation to me (usually they avoid the politically aware)).

      So there have been no polls published covering the last 7 days.

      But any way Act can’t get much lower than they already are. The story over this week has been about how Key has been too gutless to sack Banks for his perfidy of being economical with the truth with the public. Typically before this kind of screwup penetrates the polls jumping from the idiot politician to the person protecting them, it usually takes between 4 and 8 weeks. I suspect I’m going to enjoy looking at the Morgan polls towards the end of next month.

      This one has considerable traction…

      • King Kong 9.1.1

        Why are you looking forward to the next round of polls?

        If I recall correctly on numerous occaissions you have waxed lyrical about their lack of importance and how they dont matter or is that just when Labour is getting its nose rubbed in the dirt.

        • lprent 9.1.1.1

          Yes and no. If people are trying to divine the shape of a government from the numbers in a poll, then polls are about as useful as reading sheeps entrails to predict climate. The systematic sampling errors in how they pull their samples makes a mockery of the calculation or margins of error when looking at the voting populations.

          What they are measuring is the voting intentions of the population of people who have a landline, a listed phone number, landlines, and who certain enough of their voting intentions to be willing to answer. In other words an audience that is more affluent than the voting population (they have a landline), more conservative than the voting population (they listed their landline despite the telemarketers and they didn’t ignore calls from people with no caller id), older than the voting population (they have a listed landline and were at home to answer the phone), etc. By any stretch of statistics the population of who phone pollsters can get at is distinctly different to the voting population these days.

          BTW: For all of the distraction waffle I have seen about automated dialers and the like for doing polls, I haven’t seen any evidence that anyone with an unlisted phone number gets called for political polls. I certainly haven’t in a few decades of being unlisted, and nor has a sufficient sample of others I’ve asked. And of course trying to find someone under 30 with a listed landline in urban areas these days is like finding a dodo. Besides which, it will be cheaper to either scan the whitepages or buy a list from them than to auto-dial a analogue circuit..

          However I have also always said that the longer term trends in polls are useful and important. They won’t tell you the shape of election result. They will indicate shifts in voters opinions. That’s why whenever you see me looking at polls I look at the long-term charts like the Morgan poll produces. Which is why I saying that we’d have to wait for a number of the same poll to be able to see any trend (you need more than one data point to look for trends)…. The Morgan poll is published about every two weeks for the about the two weeks prior.

        • McFlock 9.1.1.2

          Indeed, ’tis the trends that matter, KK.
                 
          But trends end with the last observation.
          As an exercise, look at the current morgan polls.  Now imagine the short trend if nat go up say 1.5% (i.e. margin of error). Now down 1.5%. What does that do to the trend?
               
          Much of the time when tories post links to the polls they gloat about e.g. the feb22-mar11 poll, with a last minute upswing on a down trend. So they get called on their stupidity.
             
          Basically, since the election nat have been static/leaking support slightly, while their support parties have remained pretty constant (including Maori party). Oh, and according to RM the nats lost 1 or 2% in the last week of the election campaign. If that’s survey bias rather than a real drop, all this year the nats would have had great difficulty remaining in govt in the event of a snap election. Contrast that with the trend from the previous election

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    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    5 days ago
  • Tackling the hard issues – trust and relationships
    By Claire Grant, Genomics Aotearoa Communications Manager Community consultation is becoming an increasingly important aspect of research programmes in New Zealand, and with that comes the art of relationship building. Engagement between scientists and user-groups is certainly nothing new. But as stakeholder involvement becomes more of a requirement for science, ...
    SciBlogsBy Genomics Aotearoa
    5 days ago
  • Equality Network – September Newsletter
    Read the Equality Network newsletter here ...
    Closing the GapBy Tracey Sharp
    5 days ago
  • The Left’s Lost Allies.
    Rebels In A Wrong Cause: The truly frightening thing about Jami-Lee Ross’s and Billy Te Kahika’s success in persuading thousands of New Zealanders that Covid-19 is just another trick, just another way of stealing away their power, is realising just how many of them once marched at the Left’s side. ...
    5 days ago
  • Legal Beagle: Low-Hanging Fruit
    In a couple of months, the 53rd Parliament will meet in Wellington, and approximately 120 MPs will be sworn in, many of them for the first time.They will all have political goals, some aligning with their party platforms, some not, some complex, and some simple, but they will gain one ...
    5 days ago
  • Closing the Gap thinks that Labour’s proposal to raise the top tax rate is great but………
    Media Statement For Immediate Release 10th September 2020 The income and wealth inequality lobby group, “Closing the Gap” thinks the Labour proposal a great start says Peter Malcolm, a spokesperson for the group. But they need to be aware of what many of the rich do and of what do ...
    Closing the GapBy Tracey Sharp
    5 days ago
  • Climate Change: No nonsense
    ACT is pushing a "no-nonsense climate change plan". What does it involve? Repealing the Zero Carbon Act and Emissions Trading Scheme, reversing the fossil-fuel exploration ban, and allowing mining on conservation land. In other words, repealing any policy which might actually reduce emissions. Which is the very definition of nonsensical. ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    5 days ago
  • My Climate Story: Coming full Circle
    This blog post is a follow up to my recap of Al Gore's Climate Reality Leadership Training I recently participated in. One of the exercises we were asked to complete was to write about our respective "Climate Story". This is a slightly updated version to the one I had submitted during ...
    6 days ago
  • A bill to criminalise wage theft
    Wage theft is a problem in New Zealand, with a widespread practice of forcing employees to work without pay, and regular cases of underpayment and exploitation. One reason why its such a widespread problem is impunity: rather than a crime, wage theft is merely a tort, dealt with by the ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    6 days ago
  • Liam Hehir: What the voting age debate tells us about our disconnected political media
    New Zealand’s media and online politics often reflect the values of liberal and progressive agendas. According to Liam Hehir, the current proposals to lower the voting age to 16 years – which the media overwhelming supports – is indicative of a wider mismatch with society, which is not good for ...
    Democracy ProjectBy bryce.edwards
    6 days ago
  • Why Pay Taxes?
    My wife and I, through a combination of good luck and good management, have managed to retire in comfortable circumstances. We celebrate our good fortune by making relatively small but regular donations to a range of good causes – to rescue services like the rescue helicopters, St John’s Ambulance and ...
    Bryan GouldBy Bryan Gould
    6 days ago
  • Now everyone’s a statistician. Here’s what armchair COVID experts are getting wrong
    Jacques Raubenheimer, University of Sydney If we don’t analyse statistics for a living, it’s easy to be taken in by misinformation about COVID-19 statistics on social media, especially if we don’t have the right context. For instance, we may cherry pick statistics supporting our viewpoint and ignore statistics showing we ...
    SciBlogsBy Guest Author
    6 days ago
  • More timid bullshit from Labour
    Over the weekend, Labour released its welfare policy: an increase in benefit abatement thresholds. And that's it. Faced with clear evidence of ongoing hardship among beneficiaries and a call from its on Welfare Expert Advisory Group to raise core benefits by between 12 percent and 47 percent, Labour's response is ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    6 days ago
  • The Police Kill as Part of their Social Function
    by Gearóid Ó Loingsigh (Bogota; 09/11/2020) The murder of Javier Ordoñez in the neighbourhood of Villa Luz in Bogotá, Colombia at the hands of two policemen brings to the fore the issue of police violence and its function in society. First of all we should be clear that we are ...
    RedlineBy Admin
    6 days ago
  • 2020 SkS Weekly Climate Change & Global Warming Digest #37
    Story of the Week... La Niña Update... Toon of the Week... Quote of the Week... Coming Soon on SkS...  Poster of the Week... SkS Week in Review... Story of the Week... Humans exploiting and destroying nature on unprecedented scale – report Animal populations have plunged an average of 68% ...
    6 days ago
  • The 2019 measles epidemic in Samoa
    Gabrielle Po-Ching In November 1918, the cargo and passenger ship Talune travelled to Apia, Samoa from Auckland, carrying a number of passengers who had pneumonic influenza. From these passengers stemmed the biggest pandemic Samoa had ever seen. With around 8,500 deaths, over 20% of the country’s population at the ...
    SciBlogsBy Guest Author
    6 days ago
  • Shifting all Isolation/Quarantine Facilities to a Single Air Force Base: The Need for a Critical Ana...
    Prof Nick Wilson*, Prof Michael Baker In this blog the arguments for and against shifting all COVID-19 related isolation/quarantine facilities to a single air force base at Ōhakea are considered. The main advantage would be a reduction in the risk of border control failures, which can potentially involve outbreaks ...
    SciBlogsBy Public Health Expert
    6 days ago
  • The difference between Green and Labour: a tale of two Finance Ministers
    So the Greens co-leader James Shaw recently made a mistake. In his role as Associate Finance Minister approving funding for “shovel-ready” projects, he fought hard for a private “Green school” to get funding to expand their buildings and, therefore, their student capacity. There are many problems with what he did: ...
    Cut your hairBy calebmorgan
    7 days ago
  • Bryce Edwards: Political Roundup – The missing election policy on free dental visits
    Over the last three years there have been growing calls for the government to provide dental services under the health system – universal free dental care. This is because at the moment there’s an anomaly in which teeth are regarded as different from the rest of the body which means ...
    Democracy ProjectBy bryce.edwards
    7 days ago
  • 2020 SkS Weekly Climate Change & Global Warming News Roundup #37
    A chronological listing of news articles linked to on the Skeptical Science Facebook Page during the past week: Sun, Sep 6, 2020 through Sat, Sep 12, 2020 Editor's Choice With California ablaze, Newsom blasts Trump administration for failing to fight climate change Trinity River Conservation Camp crew members drown ...
    1 week ago
  • Letter to the Editor
    Dear Sir, As we head into the run up to the upcoming election I feel it is my duty to draw your attention to the lack of fun we are currently forced to ensure by the Adern regime. In their efforts to keep the nation’s essential workers, health compromised people, ...
    My ThinksBy boonman
    1 week ago
  • Participating in Al Gore’s Climate Reality Leadership Corps Training
    It finally happened: about 13 years after first watching Al Gore’s documentary “An Inconvenient Truth” (AIT) in 2007 when it became available in Germany, I recently completed the Climate Reality Leadership Corps Training! Participating in this particular training had been on my to-do list for quite some time but it ...
    1 week ago
  • Dysfunctional Design
    Windows 95 is famous for requiring the shutting down the system by clicking ‘start, like stopping your car by turning the ignition key on. Why are so many interfaces so user-unfriendly? The Covid app to register your entering premises can be so clumsy. Sometimes I have signed in, sat down ...
    PunditBy Brian Easton
    1 week ago
  • Josh Van Veen: Can we trust the polls?
    Is the 2020 election result really the foregone conclusion that the polls and commentators are suggesting? Josh Van Veen suggests otherwise, pointing to some of the shortcomings of opinion polling, which could ready some politicians to say “bugger the pollsters” on election night.   In November 1993, opinion polls foretold ...
    Democracy ProjectBy bryce.edwards
    1 week ago
  • The UK wants climate action
    Back in 2019, six select committees of the UK Parliament established a Citizen's Assembly to investigate how to respond to climate change. The Assembly's deliberations were forced online by the pandemic, but it has finally reported back, and overwhelmingly supports strong action: Taxes that increase as people fly further ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • In the US, the End of Days.
    I am feeling a bit impish today and so for no particular reason I thought I would share this thought, which I first posted over on twitter: “Hurricanes, wildfires, floods, heatwaves, street protests, armed vigilante militias, a lethal pandemic and a corrupt authoritarian using the federal government for partisan and ...
    KiwipoliticoBy Pablo
    1 week ago
  • Government too slow in deploying military to assist with Covid-19 response, former defence minister ...
    Wayne Mapp (Photo: Tsmith.nz via Wikimedia) A former Minister of Defence says the government was too slow to involve the New Zealand Defence Force (NZDF) in New Zealand’s response to Covid-19. But Wayne Mapp, a National MP from 1996-2011 who served as Minister of Defence for three ...
    Democracy ProjectBy Geoffrey Miller
    1 week ago
  • Underwhelming
    Transport is our second biggest polluter after agriculture, making up 17% of our national emissions. Cars and trucks emit 15 million tons of CO2 every year. So, if we're serious about tackling climate change, we need to eliminate this entirely. Public transport and better urban design will be a key ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • Five things we know about COVID-19, and five we don’t
    Five things we’ve learnt 1. We know where the virus ultimately came from We know that the virus originally came from bats, and most probably a species of horseshoe bat in South East Asia. However, the spike protein in SARS-CoV-2, which allows the virus to attach to cells and infect ...
    SciBlogsBy Robert Hickson
    1 week ago
  • Stewardship land is conservation land
    The Greens' greatest disappointment while in government this term has been the failure to implement a ban on mining on conservation land. Promised by Jacinda Ardern immediately after gaining power, it had long been assumed that the problem was NZ First (who have a long history of environmental vandalism). But ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • The price of Green co-operation just went up
    If they get into Parliament, everyone expects the Greens to form a coalition with Labour. But James Shaw has said that that might not be the case, and that they might instead choose to sit on the cross-benches: The Greens are prepared to forego a coalition or confidence and ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • Swimming with whales: you must know the risks and when it’s best to keep your distance
    Chantal Denise Pagel, Auckland University of Technology; Mark Orams, Auckland University of Technology, and Michael Lueck, Auckland University of Technology Three people were injured last month in separate humpback whale encounters off the Western Australia coast. The incidents happened during snorkelling tours on Ningaloo Reef when swimmers came too close ...
    SciBlogsBy Guest Author
    1 week ago
  • Driving Out The Money-Changers Of Reactionary Christianity.
    Den Of Thieves: They describe themselves, and the money-making rackets they dignify with the name of church, “Christian”, but these ravening wolves are no such thing. The essence of the Christian faith is the giving of love – not the taking of money. It is about opening oneself to the ...
    1 week ago
  • Could academic streaming in New Zealand schools be on the way out? The evidence suggests it should b...
    David Pomeroy, University of Canterbury; Kay-Lee Jones, University of Canterbury; Mahdis Azarmandi, University of Canterbury, and Sara Tolbert, University of Canterbury Academic streaming in New Zealand schools is still common, but according to recent reports it is also discriminatory and racist. Also known as tracking, setting and ability grouping, streaming ...
    SciBlogsBy Guest Author
    1 week ago
  • A Time To Begin Again.
    A New Holy-Day: Perhaps, by accepting this gift of Matariki from the first arrivals in Aotearoa, we late arrivals, shorn of our ancestors’ outlandish fleeces, can draw strength from the accumulated human wisdom of our adopted home. Perhaps, by celebrating Matariki, we can learn to take ownership of our colonial ...
    1 week ago
  • Labour’s tax trauma victims and how they might help the Greens
    If there was any doubt left, we can surely call it now. Time and date. End of. Finito. Perhaps you thought you saw a flickering eyelid or a finger move? You were wrong. Labour has given up on tax reform for the foreseeable future. One of the key remaining left/right ...
    PunditBy Tim Watkin
    1 week ago
  • Bryce Edwards: Political Roundup – Labour gives up on tax transformation
    Will the rich get richer under Labour’s latest tax policy? Based on the analysis in reaction to yesterday’s announcement, the answer would seem to be yes. The consensus from commentators is that inequality and severe economic problems will remain unchanged or even be made worse by Labour’s new policy. Although ...
    Democracy ProjectBy bryce.edwards
    1 week ago
  • Labour on energy: Business as usual
    Labour has released its energy policy, and its basicly business as usual: bring forward the 100% renewable target to 2030, build pumped storage if the business case stacks up, restore the thermal ban and clean car standard (but not the feebate scheme), and spread a bit of money around to ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • Climate Change: Overshoot
    California is burning down again. In Oregon, the city of Medford - a town the size of Palmerston North - has had to be evacuated due to the fires. In the Atlantic, Tropical Storm Rene has become the earliest "R"-storm to form since records began, beating the previous record by ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • Says it all
    What's wrong with Labour? The end of yesterday's RNZ health debate says it all: Do you have private health insurance? Reti: "I do." Hipkins: "Yes, I do." Hipkins is Minister of Health. But it turns out that he won't be waiting in the queue with the rest ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • Secret Lives of Lakes
    McKayla Holloway The helicopter carries a team of four Lakes380 scientists and me; we hug the Gneiss rock walls that tower over Lake Manapouri. It’s arguably one of New Zealand’s most well-known lakes – made famous by the ‘Save Manapouri’ campaign of the 1970s. My chest is drawn back into ...
    SciBlogsBy Guest Author
    1 week ago
  • Winning Joke: Why The Traditional Left Will Just Have To Live With Rainy-Day Robertson’s Disappoin...
    Rainy-Day Man: Is Labour’s tax policy a disappointment? Of course it is! But it’s the best the Traditional Left is going to get. Why? because Labour’s pollsters are telling them that upwards of 200,000 women over the age of 45 years have shifted their allegiance from National to Labour. (Where else, ...
    1 week ago
  • The Adventures of Annalax: Volume VIII
    When we last left our intrepid Drow Rogue, he was sitting in a tavern with his companions, only for a crazy Paladin to burst in, and start screaming about the Naga. It soon turned out that ...
    1 week ago
  • Skeptical Science New Research for Week #36, 2020
    Slight tweak to New Research Articles in NR are categorized by domain, roughly. This introduces the problem of items that don't neatly fit in one slot, or that have significance in more than one discipline (happily becoming more frequent as the powerful multiplier of interdisciplinary cooperation is tapped more frequently). ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Pressing the pause button after an adverse event happens to a vaccine trial participant
    Today AstraZeneca pushed the pause button on its late-stage trials of a COVID-19 vaccine. A clinical trial participant has experienced a serious health event and an investigation is underway to determine the cause. What does it mean? A cautious approach – trials can halt to assess safety data With over ...
    SciBlogsBy Helen Petousis Harris
    2 weeks ago
  • ‘Compassionate conservation’: just because we love invasive animals, doesn’t mean we should pr...
    Kaya Klop-Toker, University of Newcastle; Alex Callen, University of Newcastle; Andrea Griffin, University of Newcastle; Matt Hayward, University of Newcastle, and Robert Scanlon, University of Newcastle On an island off the Queensland coast, a battle is brewing over the fate of a small population of goats. The battle positions the ...
    SciBlogsBy Guest Author
    2 weeks ago
  • Is Euthanasia a health priority for New Zealand at present?
    Dr Ben Gray* This blog discusses what will be needed to operationalise the End of Life Choice Act in the event that it is approved at referendum. It argues that this will take significant resources. Judging by the experience in Oregon it is likely that this may only benefit ...
    SciBlogsBy Public Health Expert
    2 weeks ago
  • Tuhia ki te rangi: a new space for student science communication
    Nau mai, haere mai – welcome to our newest addition to Sciblogs: Tuhia ki te rangi. Over the eleven years Sciblogs has been operating, the face of science communication has changed dramatically. Where a decade ago there was a burgeoning number of scientists and other experts looking to stretch their ...
    SciBlogsBy Sarah-Jane O'Connor
    2 weeks ago
  • If not now, when?
    I'm grappling with my sheer fucking anger over Labour's pathetic tax policy. Yes, it utterly contradicts their pretence of being a "centre-left" party and shows that they have no interest whatsoever in fixing any of the problems facing New Zealand. Yes, its self-inflicted helplessness, which will allow them to cry ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • TikTok suicide video: it’s time platforms collaborated to limit disturbing content
    Ariadna Matamoros-Fernández, Queensland University of Technology and D. Bondy Valdovinos Kaye, Queensland University of Technology A disturbing video purporting to show a suicide is reportedly doing the rounds on the popular short video app TikTok, reigniting debate about what social media platforms are doing to limit circulation of troubling material. ...
    SciBlogsBy Guest Author
    2 weeks ago
  • Is that it?
    Labour announced its tax policy today: a new top tax rate of 39% on income over $180,000. And that's it. No intermediate rate between the current top rate of 33% at $70,000 and the new one. No land tax. No wealth tax. Nothing (in fact worse than nothing, because they ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • Methane is short-lived in the atmosphere but leaves long-term damage
    Climate Explained is a collaboration between The Conversation, Stuff and the New Zealand Science Media Centre to answer your questions about climate change. If you have a question you’d like an expert to answer, please send it to climate.change@stuff.co.nz Methane is a shorter-lived greenhouse gas – why do we ...
    SciBlogsBy Guest Author
    2 weeks ago

  • Government backing Māori landowners
    The Government will provide up to $1.69 million through the One Billion Trees programme to Māori landowners to make their whenua more productive through the planting of forests, both native and exotic, and improve economic and environmental outcomes, Forestry Minister Shane Jones has announced. “Around 1.5 million ha of land ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    24 hours ago
  • New tools to make nature more accessible
    People planning to head outdoors now have a resource that lets them know how accessible an area is for people with varying levels of mobility, Minister of Conservation Eugenie Sage announced today. The Halberg Foundation, Sensibel, and the Department of Conservation (DOC) have launched Accessibel, a new tool which helps ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • PGF makes Māori history more accessible
    One of the most significant battle sites of the 1860s Land Wars will receive $2.96 million from the Provincial Growth Fund to improve the site and help tell the New Zealand story to visitors, Māori Development Minister Nanaia Mahuta and Regional Economic Development Minister Shane Jones have announced. Nanaia Mahuta ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • Making it official: The journey of te reo Māori | Kia whakapūmautia: Ngā piki me ngā heke o te r...
    The journey towards recognising Māori as an official language and taonga has been captured as a web series and launched today during Te Wiki o te Reo Māori, announced Associate Arts, Culture and Heritage Minister Carmel Sepuloni. “Te reo Māori is a living language, and understanding its significance, and pathways to ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • Better-than-forecast GDP reflects decision to protect New Zealand
    Today’s better-than-forecast GDP figures show the expected impact of the decision to act quickly to protect New Zealanders from the global COVID-19 pandemic. GDP fell 12.2% in the June quarter from March, reflecting decisions to close New Zealand’s borders and enter Alert Level 4. “This result was better than the ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • Boost for COVID-19 related Pacific education needs
    The Government is investing $39.7 Million over four years to support the educational needs of Pacific learners and families in the regions hardest hit by COVID-19, with Auckland getting an immediate boost, Associate Minister of Education Jenny Salesa says.   “Like all New Zealanders Pacific families want learners to do well ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • More resources for kiwi conservation
    New Zealand’s goal of 100,000 kiwi by 2030 is being helped by an extra $19.7 million in funding to accelerate iwi and community efforts to protect kiwi, Minister of Conservation Eugenie Sage announced. “$19.7 million of Jobs for Nature funding is being invested in kiwi conservation activities including increased predator ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • Improving access to affordable electricity
    Ensuring New Zealanders can get the best deal on their electricity takes a step in the right direction today with the South Island launch of the EnergyMate pilot run by the Electricity Retailers’ Association, says Minister of Energy and Resources, Dr Megan Woods. EnergyMate is an industry-led programme providing coaching ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • Government achieves 50 percent women on state boards
    Minister for Women Julie Anne Genter announced today that the Government has reached its target of 50 percent on women on state sector board and committees – setting a new record level of women on state sector boards. “This Government is committed to having more women in leadership roles - ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • Record transport investment to help economic recovery and save lives
    Transport Minister Phil Twyford released today the final Government Policy Statement on land transport (GPS) 2021 which outlines the planned $48 billion investment in services and infrastructure over the next decade. “The final GPS supports our Government’s five-point plan for economic recovery by confirming our record investments in transport infrastructure ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • Advancing clean energy technology
    Three ambitious and cutting-edge research programmes that will lift New Zealand’s advanced energy technology research capability over seven years, have been supported by Government today, says Research, Science and Innovation Minister Megan Woods. The projects will each receive a share of $40.7 million investment from the Strategic Science Investment Fund. ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • Major milestone reached in Pike River Re-entry
    The critical area for forensic examination known as Pit Bottom in Stone has been reached in what is a major milestone for the Pike River re-entry project, Minister Responsible for Pike River Re-entry Andrew Little announced. “The infrastructure located in Pit Bottom in Stone is of very significant interest in ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • Economic recovery guides Govt response to retirement income policy review
    The Government is working on how New Zealand’s retirement income policies and settings can best support Kiwis in light of the COVID-19 economic recovery, with the help of the Retirement Commissioner’s latest review, Commerce and Consumer Affairs Minister Kris Faafoi said. “The Retirement Commissioner’s three-yearly review into New Zealand’s retirement ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • Iwi community hub opens in Murupara
    A new digital hub and development centre in Murupara will be instrumental in growing the region’s productivity, said Under-Secretary for Regional Economic Development Fletcher Tabuteau at the official opening of two community initiatives today. “I’m pleased to be here celebrating a significant milestone for two projects set to make a ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • PREFU shows economy doing better than forecast
    PREFU shows economy doing better than forecast Unemployment to peak at 7.8%, down from 9.8% forecast in the Budget Year-to-June accounts show tax revenue, debt and OBEGAL better than forecast Global forecast downgraded as COVID-19 second waves and uncertainty grows Balanced plan to support critical public services, manage debt and ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • Spruce-up for Ōtaki community facilities
    The Kāpiti Coast town of Ōtaki will receive $1.4 million in Government funding for two projects providing scores of jobs for locals while improving community facilities, Regional Economic Development Minister Shane Jones has announced. The Māoriland Charitable Trust will receive a $900,000 Provincial Growth Fund (PGF) grant to upgrade the ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • PGF funding for Jobs for Nature programme
    The Provincial Growth Fund will provide $11.88 million to fund fencing and waterway projects nationwide that will improve the environment and create jobs in their communities, Regional Economic Development Minister Shane Jones has announced. “These projects will create more than 100 jobs nationwide with work starting within the next couple ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • Procurement to promote jobs, Māori and Pasifika businesses and sustainability
    As part of the COVID-19 recovery, the Government has strengthened its procurement rules to ensure its annual $42 billion spend creates more jobs, uses more sustainable construction practices and results in better outcomes for Māori and Pasifika, Government Ministers announced today.   Economic Development Minister Phil Twyford says the $42 ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • Timaru’s Theatre Royal to be upgraded and new heritage facility built
    The Government is supporting a major upgrade of Timaru’s iconic Theatre Royal and the construction of a new connected Heritage Facility museum and exhibition space with $11.6 million from the Government’s Infrastructure Fund, Jacinda Ardern announced today. “We heard the call from the community and the council. The Theatre Royal ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • District Court judge appointed
    Chrissy Montague (formerly Armstrong), barrister of Auckland has been appointed as a District Court Judge with Family Court jurisdiction to be based in Wellington, Attorney-General David Parker announced today. Ms Montague commenced practice in Auckland in 1987 and went into general practice dealing with Wills, Estates, Trusts, Conveyancing, Relationship Property ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • Approval given to Commercial Film and Video Production Proposal
      A Proposal to provide for the development and operation of commercial film and video production facilities in areas of Christchurch has been given the go ahead. Hon Poto Williams, Associate Minister for Greater Christchurch Regeneration, has approved the Proposal, which was prepared and submitted by Regenerate Christchurch. Minister Williams ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • Supporting a thriving wānanga sector to benefit Māori learners
    As part of the Government’s focus on building closer partnerships with Māori and enhancing the quality of, and access to, Māori medium education, a payment of $8 million will be made to Te Wānanga o Raukawa in partial recognition of its Waitangi Tribunal claim (WAI 2698), Associate Education Minister Kelvin ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • Jobs for Nature boosts efforts to restore Kaimai-Mamaku
    The Minister of Conservation Eugenie Sage has announced a $19 million investment over four years in an important forest restoration project involving a partnership between the Department of Conservation, iwi/hapū, the Bay of Plenty and Waikato Regional Councils, community conservation groups and organisations such as Forest and Bird across the ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • New Zealand first in the world to require climate risk reporting
    New Zealand will be the first country in the world to require the financial sector to report on climate risks, the Minister for Climate Change James Shaw announced today. The changes build on the huge progress this Government has made to tackle the climate crisis. “Today is another step on ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • Economic data highlights impact of Auckland moving out of Level 3
    Economic activity across the Auckland region and the country bounced back to levels experienced under Alert Level 1 following Auckland’s move out of Alert Level 3, analysis in the Treasury’s latest Weekly Economic Update shows. The analysis of economic data since Auckland’s move out of Level 3 shows: Auckland card ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • PM statement on Cabinet COVID-19 Alert Level review
    Takiri mai te ata, ka ao, ka ao, ka awatea, tihei mauriora! Tātou katoa ngā iwi o Aotearoa, tēnā koutou! Tēnā tātou e whakanuia ana i te wiki nei, te wiki o te reo Māori Greeting to you all from Otepoti, Dunedin.  This week is the Māori Language week and ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • More mental wellbeing services for young people in regions
    More mental health and addiction services are available for young New Zealanders in Rotorua and Taupō, Wairarapa, South Canterbury, Dunedin and Southland from next month, Health Minister Chris Hipkins and Associate Health Minister Julie Anne Genter say. “The Government is serious about making sure New Zealanders struggling with mental health ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • Government joins forces with Central Otago communities to clean up waterways
    The Manuherekia catchment in Central Otago is the third exemplar catchment to be targeted as part of the Government’s plan to clean up waterways by supporting community-led programmes.   Environment Minister David Parker said the Manuherekia catchment is vitally important to the people of Central Otago.  “The Manuherekia rises in the ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • Government confirms new Dunedin Hospital design
    The Government has agreed on a preferred design for the new Dunedin Hospital featuring two separate buildings, and has provided funding for the next stages of work.   Minister of Health Chris Hipkins says Cabinet has approved in principle the detailed business case for the new hospital, giving people in ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • Join the one in a million reo Māori moment
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