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Qanon is here

Written By: - Date published: 7:37 am, September 14th, 2020 - 132 comments
Categories: covid-19, Deep stuff, election 2020, health, Left, megan woods, Politics, uncategorized - Tags:

While a few in the media leapt at the opportunity to vilify a small evangelical community at the latest COVID 19 spread, the really big COVID 19-conspiracy story landed by the thousand this weekend to general shoulder-shrugging and eye-rolling. It’s overdue we woke up to QAnon here.

The National Rally for Freedom, organised by political party Advance New Zealand and the Liberty March movement on Saturday, saw thousands turn out in Auckland and across the country – in fact on that day the marches were simultaneous right across much of the world. Twitter and Facebook just exploded across New Zealand networks.

Here’s one of the protest signs:

“At this point I would feel safer if coronavirus held a press conference telling us how it’s going to save us from the government”.

Another one:
“No Vaxx
No Mask
No Fear”

Now for the immediate impact on the coming election, this may just look like more wasted vote to redistribute. But the global extent of the gatherings including here isn’t going to go away while this COVID 19 rages over every global governmental defence.

Ever rational, Minister Megan Woods reassured us on Sunday of of ‘robust systems’ being in place, after two health workers in west Auckland tested positive. A model of calm and rationality, she keeps most of us believing in the necessity of unemotional almost unpatriotic trust in the benevolence of the state as a source of truth and good.

But for some who were required to give up their freedom to travel, to see the people they loved, to shop, to be in public, and to work, every explanation sounds more like excuses justifying more sustained repression and removal of freedom.

The marchers are rising; they come from a deep anti-establishment position both left and right. This is our version of Q Anon, and Q Anon itself was an organising power behind it. The combination of authoritarian democracies (both those from the minimal government spectrum like Trump, and those from the maximal government spectrum like ours) and the worldwide rage of COVID 19 has led to deep distrust of government to tell the truth, be good for citizens, and be in control when it matters. It’s an epistemic crisis.

As noted by Anna-Sophie Harling the head of media evaluation startup NewsGuard quoted in The Hill:

Pandemics fuel a lot of questions and make people very skeptical, especially in cases when what we would consider to be credible and trustworthy institutions all of a sudden don’t seem to have the right answers or are not aligned on how to manage the situation.”

People will satiate their hunger for answers when every institution appears to have lost control of the world.

In late August Facebook deleted over 790 groups, 1000 pages and 1,500 ads tied to QAnon and restricted the accounts of hundreds of other Facebook groups and thousands of Instagram accounts. Q-Anon newsfeed rankings and search results were also downgraded.

It’s not going to work. Q Anon has its roots on the bulletin boards of the websites 4Chan and 8Chan.

We’ve seen a series of global “save the children” protests in the last few weeks – proof of how resilient and adaptable that community is.

One of the main sources is the hyper-viral short documentary “Out of the Shadows” which fueled baseless theories linking COVID 19’s origins to Bill Gates, 5G towers, and the World Health Organisation. I’m not linking to it – you can seek it if you want.

There’s supposed to be a big ring of paedophiles across the world who are deep within the government. During Australia’s Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Abuse, Senator Bill Heffernan tried to table a list of 28 names of prominent Australians who he alleged were paedophiles. It’s not hard to imagine the same kind of “outing” occurring when the findings of our own Royal Commission into Abuse in State Care brings its own findings out soon.

This is not an unreasonable instinct. New Zealand levels of incarceration and institutional abuse should shake to your core the foundations of traditional leftie belief in the benevolence of the state. And that’s where the seed of deep distrust begins. Then pile on to that Police blocking the motorways, the military taking over border control at airports, police patrolling hotels, and media-fed witch-hunts of Pacifika people whenever there’s an outbreak. Because within this sustained public health crisis, the state is showing that it can adjust your level of daily freedom every week at the whim of Cabinet decision. No one respecting freedom is going to put up with that for long.

The marches and the political party are a sign that patience is running out, anger is alive, and those who are fed up have very strong global support.

Institutional mistrust is one element, but Covid-19 made it worse by isolating people and leaving them with little to grasp it but to go online: the virus amplified the tendencies already evident within societal epistemic capture by unregulated and globally dominant information agglomerator networks.

We saw a few millennial cults rise and fall with the Depression in Pentecostal tentpole frothings in midwestern USA. But this one is different. It has no church or belief structure of much note. It’s totally secular. It has no eschaological (end-times-anticipating), or apocalyptic drives. It’s a rising anarchist spirit, corresponding to the multiple crises rising in the world right now. It may well have hard-right backers, but that matters not to those marching – not one whit.

We have the new post-Covid society arising: a society divided about whether the state should be trusted, a network of growing anti-establishment rebellion, and a global movement reaching our shores.

132 comments on “Qanon is here ”

  1. observer 1

    It's not "totally secular". Far from it. Read the signs – literally.

    There is little evidence yet that this is more than the ultra-conservative religious fringe in a new guise. There were more protestors back in the day for Destiny against civil unions ("Enough is Enough") or at Parliament against abortion reform, end of life choice etc.

    Yes it's sad to see people buying into imported conspiracy theories. But all we're seeing is a gathering of people who agree on basically nothing (Tino Rangatiratanga says Free Tommy Robinson?), except … I dunno, Cindy bad?

    Climate change protestors outnumbered this lot 50 to 1.

  2. Robert Guyton 2

    Hone Harawira is scathingly critical, on behalf of real Maori activists, of Jonny-come-lately, whip-up-a-treat evangelist, Billy Te Kihaka.

    Everyone's dismissive of Jamie-Lee Ross.

    The adherents, however, don't/won't care a jot!

    • Gabby 2.1

      [deleted]

      [if you have a political point or something to add to the conversation, please do so. Random offensiveness isn’t that – weka]

  3. RedLogix 3

    Institutional mistrust is one element, but Covid-19 made it worse by isolating people and leaving them with little to grasp it but to go online: the virus amplified the tendencies already evident within societal epistemic capture by unregulated and globally dominant information agglomerator networks.

    Humans outsource a lot of their mental health to other humans, we rely on them to trim back our excesses and for our daily sanity check. But the big social media algorithms work by noting what we are interested in and pushing more of the same at us. Effectively it becomes a positive feedback loop confirmation bias machine.

    When an algorithm inserts itself into the process it literally drives us crazy.

    • Robert Guyton 3.1

      My question to the gathered faithful was: From where do your views come? Whose word do you trust? With whom do you test your beliefs?

      From the heart. Billy. Each other. Studiously avoided acknowledging Facebook.

      • RedLogix 3.1.1

        Without wanting to sound overly virtuous about it, there was something about both FB and Twitter that irked me right from when I first encountered them. Nothing that I could put into words at the time, but now I suspect we're seeing the outcomes. (Even YT does it, but it seems more transparent and gives the user more control on that platform.)

        This algorithm driven confirmation bias is something we've encountered before, it's similar to what happens inside cults that use the same basic mechanisms of social isolation from our usual networks, and a high degree of selectivity to control the message.

        But the algorithm is largely invisible to us, and so much more relentless ….

        • Robert Guyton 3.1.1.1

          Agreed. This one has built-in defences against attack from non-infected (or not-yet-affected) parties; every appeal to reason, all advice, all expressions of concern are neatly countered before they are met; we expected you would say that, our Leader described this line of attack, you're asleep as we wake from our mesmerisation, etc. So yes, cult through and through. In minor cases, a cult-breaker is employed to rescue lost souls from the sticky web, but it looks as though something of a greater scale is going to have to occur across the globe in order to cauterise this one – coz, internet.

        • satty 3.1.1.2

          Same here. I can remember how everyone tried to convince me using Facebook. Glad I trusted my instincts and gave it a miss from the start.

          I have / had a twitter account, but only used it one or two times early on. Still don't see much of a point in it (personally).

          The other problem now is that many news (paper) websites get some of there info from twitter – even embed the twitter post – and it's not overly clear how well "fact-checking" has been done. It's all about getting the info out as quick as possible and not like the old paper format, where there always has been a good bit of time between receiving information and publishing the information.

    • Draco T Bastard 3.2

      When an algorithm inserts itself into the process it literally drives us crazy.

      Citation?

  4. Andre 4

    Malicious foreign states may be a quiet push behind amplifying this kind of nonsense, even here in our little islands way out in the middle of a big ocean.

    At the moment it appears most of the really harmful nutso stuff has its origins in the USA, but is getting amplified by Russia. Maybe even here, though who knows what the perceived benefit might be. Who knows what the next nutso idea to catch on might be and which state might think it's in their interests to amplify it.

    Here's just the first hit from googling q-anon russia:

    https://www.aljazeera.com/news/2020/08/russian-backed-organisations-amplify-qanon-conspiracy-theories-200824140346496.html

    Another example of maliciously acting to boost divisive fake ideas:

    https://www.motherjones.com/politics/2020/09/wildfires-antifa-russian-state-media-right-wing-reddit-facebook-conspiracy/

    • Climaction 4.1

      you can't really trust Al Jazeera on anything. the mouthpiece for the failed state of Iran would say anything to create tension between Russia and the USA.

      • Ad 4.1.1

        They are owned by the Qatari state and headquartered in Doha, not Iran.

        • Climaction 4.1.1.1

          Thank you Ad. I do realise that not all countries in Arabia are the same.

          Al Jazerra, the qatari state owned broadcaster and the Iranian Islamic Republic News Agency, mouthpiece for the Mullahs in Iran have signed cooperation agreements. The Qatari sheik recognises Iran as their local regional power.

          Doesn't take much to draw a line between Al Jazerra editorial policy and the Iranian Islamic state lines.

          • barry 4.1.1.1.1

            "Arabia"? Iran?

          • Ad 4.1.1.1.2

            Excellent conspiracy there.

            Qatar hosts the largest US military base in the entire Middle East.

            It got on for a few years with Iran, then early this year realised the error of its ways. They were tight with Israel for a while too.

    • Adrian Thornton 4.2

      Yep as is neatly pointed out here by Andre…the crazy liberal left has Russiagate and its associated bullshit and the crazy conservative right have Qanon…two side of the same coin.

  5. Robert Guyton 5

    Are we kiwis sensible enough to render this contagion harmless?

    I suspect, yes. Well, Southland anyway smiley

  6. Peter 6

    There's a thought, don't trust the state, trust Billy Te Kahika and Jami-Lee Ross!

    • aom 6.1

      Yes – a brilliant thought. We could all join with then in their circle of fruit-cakes, hark back in history, and sing, "Ring a ring of roses, a pocket full of posies – I'll cough on you and cough on you so we ALL fall down!"

  7. Hanswurst 7

    This is not an unreasonable instinct.

    The instinct to out various individuals as a ring of paedophiles deep within government on the basis of findings about abuse in state care? I would say that's pretty bloody unreasonable, actually. Conceivable, yes, but unreasonable all the same.

    No one respecting freedom is going to put up with that for long.

    No-one 'respecting' freedom, eh? I would have been more inclined to say, 'No-one who values freedom above all else […]'. It's possible to respect freedom, while believing that health considerations can justify wide-ranging limits to it, depending on their severity.

    The marches and the political party are a sign that patience is running out […]

    Whose? It shouldn't really be much cause for worry if a small number of people are losing patience, especially if it tends to be people who would otherwise be voting Conservative or ACT. It would, in fact, be more surprising if there weren't a certain number of people losing patience with a government initiative – any government initiative – related to an issue that had been prominently in the news for more than a few weeks.

    In terms of the religious element, I see that I was ninja'd by Observer

  8. AB 8

    "the state is showing that it can adjust your level of daily freedom every week at the whim of Cabinet decision. No one respecting freedom is going to put up with that for long"

    All the trash talk about 'freedom' isn't helping. Both the phenomenon this post attempts to describe, and the post itself, show a defective understanding of freedom. The truth is that the state's action is creating more freedom than it removes. Freedom from infection by a lethal virus versus temporary loss of freedom to do daily stuff. This is so self-evident that the vast majority of us see it immediately and instinctively – and approve of what's being done. We are collectively creating this net surplus of freedom together.

    "It’s a rising anarchist spirit"

    Only if by "anarchist" you mean the peculiar far-right phenomenon also called 'libertarianism'. It's an ideology that is (ironically) popular among highly authoritarian, patriarchal church congregations in the USA – making it about as far from classical philosophical anarchism as it's possible to be.

    • mauī 8.1

      "The truth is that the state's action is creating more freedom than it removes."

      That's an interesting spin on it… Look at the lack of mask wearing in public that went on when Auckland went back into lockdown. That is people exercising their freedom right there. Or imagine if we went into a 8 week Level 4 lockdown, the amount of people exercising their freedom and rule breaking would be astronomical.

    • Ad 8.2

      Great to see you get into that definition of freedom. I decided not to unpack it here – there's such a navigation between generative definitions, constraint definitions, absence definitions, and all the rest down to Bobbie McGee and "freedom's just another word for nothing left to lose".

      I'd recommend to you Daren Acemoglu's The Narrow Corridor: States, Societies, and the Fate of Liberty

      https://www.penguinrandomhouse.com/books/555400/the-narrow-corridor-by-daron-acemoglu-and-james-a-robinson/

      The modernist view of freedom within the state as necessarily arising out of the Elightenment doesn't work much in reality: it's going to stay open within a fundamental struggle between state and society that must always be refreshed.

      Acemoglu will take you through all kinds of examples including the American Civil Rights Movement, the Zapotec civilisation circa 500BCE, modern Lagos, colonialism in the Pacific, Saudi Arabia's suffocating cage of norms, and the paper Leviathan's of many South American and African nations to show how countries can and are drifting away from it, and explain some of the feedback loops that make getting it back really really hard.

      I'm not usually one for taxonomic splitting, but it's always fun to see the ends of one version start to join into another.

  9. Stuart Munro 9

    No-one should be particularly surprised at the strength of anti-authoritarian sentiment. Since Roger Douglas began playing his music of decay, the NZ state has broken every tenet of its political contract to benefit a lazy and corrupt yet curiously ignorant and uncultured "elite". The voices that lead our culture aren't conspicuous for their arete, Dr Bloomfield excepted. Why would our serially betrayed citizens repose any trust whatsoever in the wankers who wrecked our nation so they could steal its assets?

    This is the fertile ground into which charlatans and predatory foreign interests sow their disinformation. And people know our political leaders are not trustworthy; they have lied to us and failed us again and again. Not understanding the mechanics of gravitas, even otherwise intelligent people are susceptible to manipulation.

    But the solutions are simple up to a point – go after funded charlatans like Billy TK – deprive them of any improper funding. Issue takedowns against Youtube and Facebook posts that misinform or incite. And be prepared to disperse unmasked crowds – Riot Act style – "Mask up, or go home, or you will be fined".

    • Anne 9.1

      Stuart Munro's contribution should be a post in its own right.

      … the solutions are simple up to a point – go after funded charlatans like Billy TK – deprive them of any improper funding. Issue take downs against Youtube and Facebook posts that misinform or incite. And be prepared to disperse unmasked crowds – Riot Act style – "Mask up, or go home, or you will be fined"

      Wholeheartedly agree. This is in the interest of ALL peoples of NZ. Self-centred crackpots should be totally sidelined until at least the pandemic has been beaten.

      Edit: I think we can leave Ardern out of “our political leaders are not trustworthy” though. She has rightly gained the trust of most people.

      • Stuart Munro 9.1.1

        Yes – she is exceptional.

        "There is a quiet but not so small heroism of the moral life which is crucial here. It is very much easier to be intolerant, angry, jealous and resentful than it is to be generous, patient, kind and considerate. Without question it takes far more thought, and far more work, to treat others from the standpoint of these virtues than from that of those vices, which is why the latter are so prevalent."

        A C Grayling.

        • greywarshark 9.1.1.1

          I'd add to that to be aware of the possible dishonest and sly person who can be behind even the pleasant or apparently moral person. Yes to the above qualities in behaviour and attitude, but even more thought is needed than not getting angry over obvious faults and shortalls.

          Wariness and measurement of character looking at word, deed and repute is required these days especially. Labour have their own petard to note, the experience of the weak-kneed neolib susceptibles Roger Douglas et al.

          To not absolve every warning sign, while still carrying forward the duty laid on you to work and mix with those of doubtful integrity or alternative agendas not agreed with, is a larger heroism and can be exhausting. I wonder if Marilyn Waring might think this.

    • Draco T Bastard 9.2

      But the solutions are simple up to a point – go after funded charlatans like Billy TK – deprive them of any improper funding. Issue takedowns against Youtube and Facebook posts that misinform or incite. And be prepared to disperse unmasked crowds – Riot Act style – "Mask up, or go home, or you will be fined".

      • The spreading of misinformation needs to be a crime including, maybe especially, by those who would be politicians. And, yes, hit them in the funding by including the funders in the charge and the crime.
      • The endangering of others is actually a crime but we seem to be ignoring that in favour of being nice to those endangering the whole of society.

      A society cannot survive with corruption spreading as it is.

      • Stuart Munro 9.2.1

        I might mention that police typically arrest rioters. The Covidiots are not rioting, but they are endangering public health. If the police delivered some of them back to their homes it would break up the dangerous crowds without giving them the relevance or the chance to infect others that mass arrests would. It would not be inconsistent with the kindness approach which is current policy in this area.

    • Red lion seratus 9.3

      This is such a well worded & thought-out, I have commend thee,well done Stuart

      • Stuart Munro 9.4.1

        "If their thinking is … that they're being lied to by authorities, authorities coming and stepping in and starting to be very forceful in the way that they disperse people and perhaps go and fine them, all it does it entrench those beliefs and disenfranchises these people more," she said.

        The argument can be made. But there are many such instances in our state. A little north of Timaru there is a stretch of road as flat as a pancake and dead straight for about 50km. However good the visibility or perfect the road conditions and light the traffic I still may not travel it at 120k, because the rule has been set, arbitrarily, somewhat lower, in the interests of public safety.

        If masks are a rule, then the rule should be enforced. Not enforcing it also contributes to the discourse of fakery – "Mask wearing was not enforced because it's all a big fake." Discretion should be used so that people choose to mask up or disperse rather than being fined, but allowing large unmasked gatherings inciting further rule-breaking erodes compliance.

        • Incognito 9.4.1.1

          When exercising discretion, authorities have to weigh up the consequences too. The diplomatic (respectful) educational approach may have a better outcome, on the whole, than a more rigid (hard-line) punitive one. I lean to the former, by default 🙂

          • greywarshark 9.4.1.1.1

            I'm feeling that the government is being tested by these anti-mask and anti-isolation people, some of whom are being asked to sacrifice much ie attendance at funerals being denied. But the recent protests are outrageous and government must start to insist, setting a time by which masks should be on hand. Public transport is compromised otherwise.

            And instructions should be given, advice that masks should be put in pockets when worn and may have to be used multiple times in a day. Then there should be instructions for washing and rolling in a towel and drying to use next day if there are no spares available. We will have to include this in behaviour like brushing teeth. Get the information out there, be helpful, be insistent, and lastly be threatening about the spread of the virus. In the end people will monitor each other.

            And people who are being good citizens and pick up rubbish as they go on their daily walks are seeing masks just thrown away on the ground. They don't want to touch them and fair enough. Mention what is to be done with masks. Put them in a rubbish bin or take them home and do so. People have to have things spelled out for them. We have had decades of be a free individual looking after yourself, and now we want people to be part of a community again and work together. It's a different mindset and an example of the results of corrosive neolib attitudes about people and society.

            • Incognito 9.4.1.1.1.1

              Boundaries are being tested, for sure. What you and others seem to be advocating is a zero-tolerance approach. I’m ok with that under certain circumstances but each situation is different and the bar is and should be set high, in my view. I have strong anti-authoritarian blood running through my veins.

              • greywarshark

                NZ take things for granted. I want us to be on L1. You don't get to that with wishing. She’ll be right doesn’t cut it. People will have to knuckle down including me. I'm putting one on in stores now, need to do it all the time. Till recently the only one.

                It's not time for going the diplomatic route, the smaller the Lockdown No,. the higher the commitment must be. Our economy depends on having some commerce. The anti-authoritarians with no sense of proportion will need to be slapped down. I wrote to the PM about one I considered serious, it went to the Internal Affairs, Tracy Martin is it. Haven't caught up with it yet but may take it further. Pussy footing doesn't work with yobboes/esses.

          • Stuart Munro 9.4.1.1.2

            It's all a matter of where one draws the line of course – but allowing large crowds of unmasked Covid deniers establishes a woeful precedent.

  10. tc 10

    These anti-vaxers are costing some health systems valuable resources countering the influence.

    Like all vaccines there will be risks, same ones we’ve been dealing with for decades.

  11. Draco T Bastard 11

    Because within this sustained public health crisis, the state is showing that it can adjust your level of daily freedom every week at the whim of Cabinet decision. No one respecting freedom is going to put up with that for long.

    Actually, everyone respecting freedom will put up with that for as long as need be. They understand that people have the right not to be endangered by others.

    It's the selfish individualists, those who only care about what they want, who are going to be upset. They don't care that their actions are going to endanger others. Its seen in their demands for property rights as they demand that they be able to whatever they like on their property with no regard for how that affects others and we're seeing it again now in their demands that they be able to endanger and kill others without consequences.

    I'm now at the point where I think all these people who go against the government's actions to keep us safe need to be treated as terrorists.

    It’s a rising anarchist spirit, corresponding to the multiple crises rising in the world right now.

    No its not, Anarchists would be in that group of respecting freedom.

    We have the new post-Covid society arising: a society divided about whether the state should be trusted, a network of growing anti-establishment rebellion, and a global movement reaching our shores.

    All the more need, then, of getting engagement in politics working better. To ensure that all voices are heard in parliament and that parliament then follows the will of the people.

    We can even make it so that credible information is available to people and that they can't vote unless they've read it.

    • RedLogix 11.1

      Same argument the CCP uses to justify it's concentration camps and ethnic cleansing policies.

      • McFlock 11.1.1

        In some ways, the difference between a psychopath and a trauma surgeon is that one of them is cutting people open to save the person's life.

        The temporary constraints on freedoms we currently have are for the duration of the pandemic. The constraints in China are for the duration of the CCP.

        • Robert Guyton 11.1.1.1

          Very scary analogy, McFlock!

        • RedLogix 11.1.1.2

          The constraints in China are for the duration of the CCP.

          And mainly for their benefit.

          I do agree with your argument here, it's essentially the same as the one I made above around the road code, but it's worth noting that it's easily mis-used for unworthy purposes.

          • McFlock 11.1.1.2.1

            Any argument can be parroted. Their justification relies, in part, on whether their premises are true.

            "Covid is an infectious disease that will kill thousands of NZers without restrictions on personal freedoms for the duration" is an objectively reasonable and factual statement.

            "Growing a long beard is a threat to the security of China" seems to be a significantly more debatable proposition.

      • Draco T Bastard 11.1.2

        Explain?

  12. RedBaronCV 12

    Interesting that they see it as confronting the government rather than endangering the rest of the community who have collectively agreed to a decision limiting contact.

    Do we have a local facebook moderator here that can quickly shut down local misinformation sites or commentators – does anyone know? And yes remove the money.

    • bruce 12.1

      Some insight into the process, not by any means quick

      ” I've been notified of my latest posts that Facebook has geoblocked in Thailand on the orders of the regime. A few times a month, I get several notifications, which shows that Facebook processes the requests in batches.

      There were six posts blocked in the latest batch, dating from April 30 to June 6. So the geoblocking process has taken more than three months in all cases. I wrote in detail about the process here: https://www.facebook.com/zenjournalist/posts/10158153997111154

  13. Dennis Frank 13

    Trotter connects the dots: http://bowalleyroad.blogspot.com/

    When Simon Collins asked a member of the Mt Roskill Evangelical Fellowship Trust (which runs the church) if he had anything to say in response to Health Minister Hipkins’ comment that members of his church “don’t accept, or haven’t previously accepted, the science involved here”, the trustee replied: “What would Trump say?”

    It is hard to imagine a more startling indication of just how deeply the deranged ideas of American far-right evangelism have penetrated the desperate communities of South, West and Central Auckland.

    However the three of my old friends who believe the conspiracy theory aren't christians, so that's a red herring in the big picture, even though it's a causal driver of the sub-culture. As Stuart mentioned, delinquent behaviour by the establishment has been alienating folks for a long time. Critical mass may have been reached, and the left & right are both part of the problem…

    • Peter 13.1

      They're not christians but they're travelling on that bandwagon. So what are the conspiracy theories that have them along?

      • Dennis Frank 13.1.1

        In early March, it was the 5G thing morphing into the 5G/covid-denier hybrid. Who knows since then – they stopped responding to emails I sent to the entire group. Shaming is usually effective as a deterrent. When there's an audience, I mean.

    • Ad 13.2

      It's amazing where you find intersections between conspiracy believers and anti-vaxxers. I know a couple of them. There's a lot of those hiding from the law and from US enforcement in the international yachting community, in the marine bars of Suva and Samoa. There are definitely some in low-church Christianity – who have had very strong US evangelical indoctrination in all its cultural forms. There's still a few in our own communes and shanties in the way far north. There are some I know who are big into both alternative health practices, and also into deep sustainability practices.

      They're not all poor by any stretch, but they are definitely a suspicious lot who are determined to strike out on their own, and be beholden to no one.

      They all make for challenging conversations – and their books and sites are usually more ready-to-hand than mine are.

      • Dennis Frank 13.2.1

        Yeah, alt health has been a part of kiwi counter-culture since the hippie era. Widespread & deeply-embedded. I do a range of stuff in that category, and have used some for that long. Some obviously & reliably works, some depends on timing of use, some you can't validate via experience so it starts to seem a matter of faith & I bail out.

        I get that rebels don't take mainstreamers seriously, since that has long been my stance, but common ground can always be found if you try, and when folks give up on that they tend to drift away with the fairies. I get irritated by alternative thinkers who are so captivated by their interior world that they lose the ability to communicate effectively. Get real! But they've lost that ability. When you see this happen to people with advanced university degrees who've put a successful career behind them, you start to wonder about premature senility…

        • weka 13.2.1.1

          it also works the other way. While the rational is god left have been ridiculing alt health, some alt health people have been radicalising away from the left while the left wasn't paying attention. This should be alarming the left, but what I am seeing is people still using language like nutters and apparently thinking that ostracising people is a winning strategy.

          The concerns about vaccination predate Wakefield by many years, but likewise in the last decade the debate about vaccination has included a large degree of hubris from the rational is god left, and an extreme polarisation including lefties arguing for compulsory or coerced vaccination and not being honest about the authoritarianism in the position. Chickens coming home to roost now.

          • weka 13.2.1.1.1

            it's similar to the anti-religion position by some on the left, and then we wonder why religious conservatism is on the rise.

            • Descendant Of Smith 13.2.1.1.1.1

              it's similar to the anti-religion position by some on the left, and then we wonder why religious conservatism is on the rise.

              Nonsense blaming the left for the rise of the religious conservatism. The rise has come about because they and the capitalists make cosy bedfellows. Always have, always will.

              No tax, no government, charity not welfare, patriarchy rules.

              They have been actively courted by the right using issues like abortion and scare-mongering about communism in order to do so. They have wheedled their way into the education system through their mates in government first through private school access to funding and then through BOT's allowing their religious teachings to be inflicted in public schools.

              If by not listening you mean we should cave in to their demands around things like access to abortion or being able to teach their particular brand of religion in a school then you are way off track.

              The left is highly tolerant of the religious in my opinion – rarely is there an example of actual left wing malice in my experience. Indeed all the attacks I can think of on churches have been from the far-right or by disaffected, sometimes abused, members of a religious group and the occasional random miscreant who certainly wasn't political.

              Then of course there are the churches who are intolerant of other religions.

              "In a rage of hatred towards Christianity, a neo-Nazi and his accomplice smashed nine windows of a Feilding church on Easter Sunday, a court has heard."

              https://www.stuff.co.nz/manawatu-standard/news/3914200/Neo-Nazi-in-attack-on-church

              But there's another side to Arps.

              He's a white supremacist – and Newshub has obtained a video of him delivering a box containing a severed pig's head to the Al Noor Mosque in Christchurch in 2016.

              https://www.newshub.co.nz/home/new-zealand/2019/05/christchurch-attack-the-dark-truth-about-new-zealand-s-white-supremacists.html

              Now Tamaki has further claimed "we can not accept the proliferation of Islam in our country" in a post on his Facebook page.

              "We can not … think Just because you're tolerant, accepting and inclusive that we won't end up like Great Britain, South East Asia and most of Europe with violence, loss of the host country's identity, their values and culture destroyed and Sharia Law enacted," he said.

              https://www.nzherald.co.nz/nz/news/article.cfm?c_id=1&objectid=12241008

          • Robert Guyton 13.2.1.1.2

            yes

          • Dennis Frank 13.2.1.1.3

            Denial of the experience of others is the mistake the rationalists make. Science education is to blame for that: individual experiences are discounted due to not being repeatable (to enable others to verify them).

            Validation as praxis is sensible, but validation as ideology runs into the problem of real things that actually happen but aren't countable. Those get dismissed as anecdotal due to prevalent ideology.

            So when your kid dies from being vaccinated nobody believes you. Then you hear of a support group formed by others who have had similar experiences. You join, because like-mindedness produces solidarity, which is empowering.

            Never happened to me but easy for me to accept. Exceptions to a general rule are real hard for conventional people to comprehend.

            • Robert Guyton 13.2.1.1.3.1

              "The planet Mars was named for the God of War. So it makes sense that astrologically, the red orb is thought to rule anger, action, egos, and desire. So the fact that it's about to go retrograde in Aries — after being direct for the past two and a half years — is worth paying attention to. The sign of the ram is this planet's "home"; as Mars tracks backward through determined and passionate Aries, we can expect plenty of drama and fiery chaos. Oh, and the red planet will stay retrograde for two whole months, from 9th September until 13th November."

              "The truth is that it will take tons of self-care and anger management to deal with the impulsivity and fire coming from this retrograde," Montúfar says. "It’s also helpful to know that when facing obstacles, the more we push, the harder things will become."

              https://www.refinery29.com/en-gb/2020/09/10013666/mars-retrograde-in-aries-september-2020-meaning

              smiley

            • McFlock 13.2.1.1.3.2

              So when your kid dies from being vaccinated nobody believes you.

              such things are countable, and taken very seriously.

              Whatever "praxis" is supposed to mean, the problem we have with the … "anecdotal" crowd isn't real things happening but being ignored by the mainstream, it mostly seems to be likely (or even demonstrably) false things being latched onto for a variety of reasons, each reason unique to the individual.

              Mockery might lead to radicalisation, but I suspect that far more often it merely follows it.

              • weka

                "such things are countable, and taken very seriously."

                Are they? Because before Wakefield, the stories from parents were that it was very hard to get medical doctors to report adverse effects from vaccination. I have no doubt that a child going into anaphylaxis after receiving a shot would be treated very seriously and reported. But something less dramatic happening in the following days? Probably not so much. And that's where the gap is that Qanon or Wakefield or whoever now fills. Telling a distressed parent that doctor knows best and then that the parent is a nutjob doesn't actually make the parent believe in the safety of vaccinations.

                I can't believe I had to actually write that last sentence, but here we are. I don't care if the radicalisation happens before or after the ridicule, because this was set up a long time ago and the basis of it is authoritarianism (I'm right, you're wrong, my side has the bigger stick). Like I said, chickens coming home to roost. It blows my mind that even at this stage the left still seems to think that we will win just because our cause is righteous.

                • McFlock

                  As the countries undertesting for covid are finding, deaths are pretty obvious and not difficult to attribute when you get into decent percentages of the population, even if you pretend individual cases weren't caused by that new thing that thousands or millions of people are being exposed to.

                  Maybe there are some real cases which have been ignored, but were actually caused by vaccines/1080/5g/UN or whomever else was at the march.

                  Maybe.

                  But maybe the chickens aren't actually coming home to roost – maybe the damned things have nothing to do with you, and they're crapping all over the patio.

                  • weka

                    you lost me on your analogy there.

                    Not sure why you are comparing known mass covid deaths to possible, rare vax reactions.

                    • McFlock

                      Because while the complications might be rare, the complaints are not. There is a disconnect between the claimed observed (or unobserved) cases and the total number of people with a possible complication in the population.

                      If A(vac/covid) actually causes B(whatevs/death), then even if you refuse to say that a particular case of A caused B, an increase in A will cause an increase in B.

                      The equation can be confounded, but that's the basic principle.

                      Anyhow, I was actually ruminating recently on our frequent disagreement about approaches to the sort who turned up at the march. I think my worldview is largely affected by dealing with drunk people and idiots: some people cannot be reasoned with, and can even be damaging to try.

                      It takes up time, distracts folk from the task at hand and people who might need genuine assistance, and they usually end up taking a swing at you anyway. Sure, if nothing else is going on you might handhold or shepherd the individual for five hours, but if it's going to be a busy night then you should be seriously considering just kicking them out right now. It's not so much a bias towards rationality (although, yeah, fair call, I value the rational over the irrational. It's not god, but at least it's rational), it's a recognition of futility.

                    • weka

                      lost me on the analogy there again I'm afraid. Are you saying that ostracising the people perceived as a problem is valid because it saves time that can be better spent on other things?

                      "If A(vac/covid) actually causes B(whatevs/death), then even if you refuse to say that a particular case of A caused B, an increase in A will cause an increase in B"

                      So? It's a given that there will be more reports of vaccine injury than there are actual injuries. Most people talking about this aren't referring to something as obvious as death. If we're talking about small numbers, of reactions that aren't well understood and aren't taken seriously, and probably have multiple causes, I just don't think medical science is very good at dealing with that.

                      In an environment were parents reporting concerns has been ignored over a long period of time, it makes sense that in the absence of a system taking them seriously some of those parents are going to gravitate towards people who do take them seriously.

                    • McFlock

                      They're only a problem if people waste time on them in that field or give them credibility by pretending their opinions are worthy of debate. That's not ostracism. I'll share a bus with an anti-1080 person, and I might even stay in their store unless they start rabbiting on about 5g. But I generally won't bother debating the issue with them, because there's no point. If they start doing it to other people, then I might get involved. Or I'll flag their social media shares.

                      But there's no point trying to argue against an irrational belief – rationality is not generally contagious, unfortunately.

                      The problem with small numbers is that any old shit can happen coincidentally alongside any other event. Just because stats can't detect it and there's no known biologically-plausible mechanism of causation, it doesn't mean that anyone else has a better idea about what caused something. It just means that nobody knows what caused something.

                    • weka

                      "It just means that nobody knows what caused something."

                      Now we're getting somewhere.

                      "But there's no point trying to argue against an irrational belief – rationality is not generally contagious, unfortunately."

                      One of my fav counters to this argument is security specialist Gavin Debecker telling women to trust their intuition to not get into an elevator with a man if it feels wrong even if there's no rational explanation. I'm sure there are all sorts of ways to try and explain that rationally (we pick up unconscious cues etc) but it's still an utterly rational act based in the non-rational. Also important to note that a woman trusting her gut there might be right, or wrong, and there is no way to know.

                      It doesn't take too much to dig below the rational position on 5G and see that people have concerns and just can't articulate them very well and end up using pseudoscience or belief to justify their gut instinct. It's not that they're right/wrong about 5G, it's that they understand perfectly well that there are massive problems with technology, we're in deep shit globally, and in the absence of agency and respect in the mainstream they will gravitate towards parts of the culture that met them in some way.

                      I'm not convinced that they are small enough numbers to ignore any more. I think we are at a dangerous tipping point and it's not hard to see how this could get out of control fast, as the world becomes an even scarier place. The US shows us just how bad this can get and how fast.

                    • McFlock

                      Isn't Debecker the guy who developed a statistical matrix in order to demonstrate the actual level of danger to people being stalked or subjected to domestic violence?

                      Refusing to get into a lift with someone based purely on a feeling can be reasonable, given the amount of sexual violence in the world.

                      But applying that principle to other situations with risks orders of magnitude less than that in society, and with actual demonstrable benefits to doing that course of action, and it looks more silly. If the parking garage is on fire and your instincts are a bit dodgy about the guy who ran into the fire escape before you, would Debecker recommend going into the fire escape anyway (don't use lifts in a fire)?

                      And there's a difference between mitigating risk based on instinctive impressions and attributing causation based on instinctive impressions (then writing a blog post or youtube video so people get that instinctive impression and start "mitigating risk" based on that video, so essentially they're acting on warped information be it conscious or subconscious).

                      edit: as for the number at the protest, I would like to see how established they remain when the current white house occupant moves out. He definitely fuels the fire.

              • Dennis Frank

                Whatever "praxis" is supposed to mean

                You could google it. Applying a belief in practice, via consistent behaviour. It combines self-discipline with method. Walking one's talk conveys the meaning too.

                The social problem caused by anecdotes is that the facts experienced often tend to morph into something else as the story goes around. Sceptics rightly get suspicious of this because it is human nature to embroider a story.

                • McFlock

                  I have googled it. Still can't see the point to the word, i.e.:

                  Validation as [applying a belief in practice, via consistent behaviour] is sensible, but validation as ideology runs into the problem of real things that actually happen but aren't countable.

                  Very Deepak Chopra-ey

            • weka 13.2.1.1.3.3

              "Science education is to blame for that: individual experiences are discounted due to not being repeatable (to enable others to verify them)"

              Yep. And the rationalists are blind to the fact that empirical evidence is at the core of much of the alt communities. In addition to non-rationalist beliefs and lack of evidence, there are solid bodies of evidence for efficacy. When rationalists frame the alt people as nutters disconnected from reality, there's nowhere for the alt people to go apart from away. If the crystal waving works for them, then it works for them and they're not going to give that up just because someone who hates them tells them it doesn't.

              Lest the crystal waving upsets some, it's pretty easy to point to alt health that was once considered woo and is now supported by science (acupuncture, herbs, meditation).

              The inability to hold two contradicting realities at the same time is one of the biggest flaws in the western mind set. Followed closely by not understanding that that inability is not in any way universal or cross cultural.

            • Incognito 13.2.1.1.3.4

              Personal and even shared (as in: collective) experiences can be misleading and in fact incorrect.

              https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/False_memory#Mandela_effect

              • weka

                as can science.

                • Incognito

                  Very much so, but it is meant to be self-correcting and self-consistent. Science is also full of outdated conventions that are wrong based on current knowledge. The direction of an electrical current is a textbook example of this: the convention says that is goes from the positive battery terminal to the negative one while, in actual fact, the negatively charged electrons flow in the opposite direction. Lightning starts at (the) ground level.

                  • weka

                    that's cool, didn't know that.

                    Yes, science is meant to be self-correcting, but unfortunately science is practiced by humans within human societies that bring all sorts of pressures to bear on all aspects of science and interrupt the self-correction. Then there is the issue of how fast something can correct. This is one of the reasons why I prefer to see science as one body of knowledge amongst others and that we are better off not elevating it above all others, but using it in the ways that best work.

                  • Draco T Bastard

                    Very much so, but it is meant to be self-correcting and self-consistent.

                    And generally is.

                    Science is also full of outdated conventions that are wrong based on current knowledge. The direction of an electrical current is a textbook example of this

                    Is that science or people not updating their textbooks regularly?

                    It was, after all, science that proved that electricity flows from negative to positive. Semi-conductors would not have been discovered without that knowledge.

                    • Incognito

                      Those conventions were based on what they knew, or thought they knew, at the time, although some were intelligent and humble enough to realise that it was (at) the forefront of knowledge that was moving all the time. That was my point. As I mentioned in a recent reply (to you, IIRC), Science is a human endeavour, by humans, for humans. Make of that what you will.

                      Interestingly, the education and training of a scientist is a gradual step-wise process through the various stadia of past knowledge until they arrive at our current point of knowledge evolution. Some ‘enlightened’ scientists appear to believe that we are almost done and that the final theory of everything is just around the corner.

                    • RedLogix

                      It's more subtle than this; electrical energy is essentially the flow of an electromagnetic field that exists inside the loop formed by the conductors of the circuit.

                      That is why when you close a switch the energy transfer happens at close to the speed of light (it's usually somewhat slower than this due to the presence of dielectric insulators) while the actual electrons move at a much, much lower drift velocity.

                      Cause and effect is the opposite way around to what most people think, it's the electrons that move in response to the electromagnetic field, rather than the electrons carrying the energy. What the electrons are doing is essentially constraining the boundaries of the field to the circuit so that it can usefully deliver energy from source to sink in a controlled and directed fashion.

            • Draco T Bastard 13.2.1.1.3.5

              Denial of the experience of others is the mistake the rationalists make. Science education is to blame for that: individual experiences are discounted due to not being repeatable (to enable others to verify them).

              What a load of bollocks.

              If they describe the experience perfectly then its repeatable. If trying to repeat what the person said through experimentation and it doesn't happen as they describe then its most likely that they didn't describe it perfectly and, in fact, probably misunderstood what they saw. Correlation is not causation after all.

              What has most likely happened when someone describes an experience is that they're misremembering (human memory is highly fallible) and misreading the experience.

              This is why we go to the effort of trying to get things to repeat as it confirms causation.

          • PsyclingLeft.Always 13.2.1.1.4

            Not sure what you are driving at here. Alt Health? Homeopathy? Science is surely better than pseudoscience?

            • Dennis Frank 13.2.1.1.4.1

              Science is surely better than pseudoscience?

              I'm okay with that most of the time, but it does run into the same credibility problem that most over-generalisations encounter: the reality of exceptions to the rule.

              My perspective is based on a lifetime of experience with both science and alt belief systems (since the early 1960s).

              It often amuses me how psychology still gets called a science. Despite nobody ever proving anything about how the psyche operates, I mean. Pseuds even call economics a science – incredible though that seems.

              And beliefs & practices that many sceptics call pseudoscience work surprisingly well for a large part of humanity. Jeez, even the govt has adopted magical thinking (imaginary money via quantitative easing). Your faith in the old simple binary implied by your question needs a reality check…

              • PsyclingLeft.Always

                Well you seem to be off on a tangent there somehow….(apart from the question wasnt asked of you : ). Anyway…there is of course the pseudoscience Placebo effect. I'll take Evidence based and Peer reviewed thanks : )

              • Stuart Munro

                Lots of things can be science – even sociology was, when Durkheim did it. Linguistics was for Sausurre but not for Chomsky. Economics may be for Krugman and Picketty – they like evidence.

                Psych is a chimera though – Jung is a bit of an alchemist I think, but Freud was a charlatan.

            • weka 13.2.1.1.4.2

              "Not sure what you are driving at here. Alt Health? Homeopathy? Science is surely better than pseudoscience?"

              Homeopathy isn't pseudoscience or science though, that's a strawman. Not sure I can be bothered with another cul de sac debate about it, but science doesn't apply rational processes to the study of homeopathy, so it's not like there's even enough good data yet on efficacy.

              But anyone paying attention can tell if something works for them or not despite the absence of scientific explanation and/or despite a person working in the science paradigm telling them that it can't work. Even science has finally managed to figure out that placebo effect is useful, although it hasn't quite managed to figure out how to use it.

              I'm old enough to remember when acupuncture was considered not real by people in the science frame, despite 3,000 years of empirical evidence to the contrary. Now that science has gotten round to studying it, it's suddenly real. Oops.

              The weird thing about all that is the position from science-framed people that something can't be real if science doesn't say it is, when it's patently obvious that the practice of science research is both limited (can't studying everything) and flawed (plenty of discussion in medical science about this). It's such a non rational position, almost like it's driven by complete trust in something without relying on evidence (or despite the evidence) 😉

  14. joe90 14

    The other global pandemic.

    • Draco T Bastard 14.1

      Misread that guys shirt as:

      I don't breathe

      And wondered if he'd reported his zombyism to the doctor yet.

      • greywarshark 14.1.1

        edit
        Dr No opines – The size of his stomach is putting pressure on his lungs I would say.

        And my diagnosis for the outbreak of this mass hysteria, is unemployment. If they were all working and spending all their spare time boozing, as is the pattern for many working class men, they wouldn’t have time to get up to shenanigans like this.

        Cure therefore is for government to fund jobs around the community, beautifying it, building and digging and making physical stuff. Without work, idle hands etc that old saying. Keep people busy, give them small wage rises for staying on at a job for over six months, offer them a house loan if they can demonstrate they can save a fixed amount for two years. The atmosphere would be buzzy and positive, not negative with anomic people trying to be clever and pointing the finger at authority just because it’s there.

  15. Jackel 15

    Well there is positive liberty ie what good is freedom of the press if you can't read, and negative liberty which is what libertarians peddle.

    If you don't have some sort of feel for basic scientific facts, and many people don't, then you become susceptible to all kinds of weird and wonderful viewpoints.

  16. Robert Guyton 16

    Can Jacinda's love protect us from this contagion (like the Colgate "ring of confidence" – I hesitate to use this phrase, you'll soon learn why if you have an inquisitive mind, but used it any way smiley

  17. Incognito 17

    So, by trying to eliminate Covid-19 we let in another contagious disease, Convid-20. Of course, this one didn’t have to jump species, as it had been latent in humans all along, just waiting for the right time to become virulent and spread. There is no cure but there are things that can be done to boost ‘herd immunity’. And no, ‘herd immunity’ does not mean picking on individuals or small groups that are infected, punishing, isolating, and ostracising them. Contrary to Covid-19, isolating cases with Convid-20 makes it worse.

  18. JohnSelway 18

    I got into a debate with some conspiracy theorist about how masks starve you of oxygen and and all that bullshit. When I countered with explaining people in the Andes regularly deal with low oxygen environments without suffering ill effect the only answer I got was “Wake up!” Followed by a kick-ban when I pressed further.

  19. observer 19

    I'm so old I can remember when Vernon Tava was the New Big Thing that the established parties should sit up and take notice of. Or was it Alf Ngaro's new party? Or was it the March for Democracy, paid for by Colin Craig?

    5,000? Long way to go, Billy.

    And then there was … oblivion. If headlines were votes, Brian Tamaki would be PM.

  20. Ad 20

    Anti-maskers on the Titanic:

  21. Andre 21

    Thinking about it, it's probably just as well ACT had a crack at hoovering up the gun nuts before this next lot came along. Keep the crazies separated into a bunch of different camps.

  22. PsyclingLeft.Always 22

    "Billy Te Kahika, leader of the NZ Public Party, Advance NZ co-leader and Te Tai Tokerau candidate" …and CT spreader/Loon.

    Reading the article…

    'One supporter, who asked not to be named, told RNZ he has never voted before, but will be supporting Te Kahika in the Te Tai Tokerau electorate.

    He described Te Kahika as an honest guy with integrity, qualities he said most politicians don't have.

    "They seem to be making a rad hysteria about a virus that doesn't seem to be causing that much of an effect on the health of people, no more different than the common winter flu … do we believe the health officials?" he said.

    Another supporter, who also asked not to be named, is a long-time Labour supporter, but this year she's voting for Te Kahika.

    "He's here for not just one culture, but for all cultures, especially for the Te Tai Tokerau people … he is right. We do need someone for us here," she said.'

    https://www.rnz.co.nz/news/political/425970/the-outliers-fears-about-te-kahika-s-controversial-covid-19-views

    Huh? This is really a worry. I give Jacinda Ardern big ups for engaging with Maori…Matariki announcement a real Positive. But somehow…there is still distrust. Or is it just a few? Who are CT believers anyway?

    • greywarshark 22.1

      Were do these people hear PM Jacinda? Where do they get their news, their information, their measured opinions? It seems that there have to be two types of approach to voters, the reasoned one, and the one that feeds straight into the emotions, the desires etc – not with lies that's not what I mean, but like talking to the little child that is inside all of us but remains large in emotional adults. Going to that part of the brain with words that will satisfy, uplift, calm, empower (that's always as good motivating word), I think going through that checklist would mean that the message should reach a target. Labour and Greens take note – have you thought along the above lines? Perhaps you should do more than glance at it.

      • PsyclingLeft.Always 22.1.1

        And indeed. It should be engagement.Talking with, not at. Actual Listening. Empathy. So they dont feel they are othered. I find when talking to people…you can find some common ground…even stereotypical Rugby/Hunter etc etc "types"(well, not always : )

        (edit this was re Recycling…kinda surprising, but cool : )

  23. Stuart Munro 23

    QAnon may not be much longer for this world.

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  • Much of the commentariat’s reporting of the most recent GDP figure was misleading and unhelpful. The prize for the stupidest remark about the GDP figure for second quarter 2020 (2020Q2) released on Thursday (17 Sept) goes to Judith Collins, whose response to Grant Robertson’s comments indicated she did not ...
    PunditBy Brian Easton
    2 days ago
  • Love and Hate as Complementary Revolutionary Acts
    by Gearóid Ó Loingsigh goloing@gmail.com (19/09/2020) Che Guevara said that a true revolutionary is motivated by love i.e. love of the oppressed, the poor, the children dying from preventable illnesses. This phrase of his is true but has been used by reformists and their more hippy wing have taken advantage ...
    RedlineBy Admin
    3 days ago
  • 2020 SkS Weekly Climate Change & Global Warming News Roundup #38
    A chronological listing of news articles linked to on the Skeptical Science Facebook Page during the past week: Sun, Sep 13, 2020 through Sat, Sep 19, 2020 Editor's Choice Get to Net-Zero by Mid-Century? Even Some Global Oil and Gas Giants Think it Can Be Done A report by a ...
    3 days ago
  • Tax cuts for all!!! (except you, you, and you)
    With the National Party this week announcing a new policy of tax cuts to spice up the election campagin. MyThinks went along to the launch and afterwards we spoke to the party’s finance spokesperson Paul “Golden Touch” Goldsmith. MT: Thanks for speaking to us Mr Goldsmith. PG: No. Thank you. ...
    My ThinksBy boonman
    4 days ago
  • Great Waves Washing Over New Zealand
    Always to islanders danger Is what comes over the seas ‘Landfall in Unknown Seas’ (Allen Curnow)Six economic issues external to New Zealand, which will greatly impact upon us. 1.         The Diminishing Global Dominance of the US. Since 1941 America has dominated the world economically and politically. Probably it could ...
    PunditBy Brian Easton
    4 days ago
  • New Zealand has role to play in resolving crisis on ‘geopolitical fault line’, Helen Clark says
    By Geoffrey Miller New Zealand should continue to champion human rights in Belarus amidst an ongoing crackdown on protests by the country’s regime, former Prime Minister Helen Clark says. Protests in the country often referred to as ‘Europe’s last dictatorship’ erupted after the country’s disputed presidential elections on August 9 ...
    Democracy ProjectBy Geoffrey Miller
    4 days ago
  • Euthanasia referendum: How to cut through the emotions
    Jacqui Maguire, registered clinical psychologist This podcast episode highlights how difficult it is to have effective conversations about euthanasia due to how polarised people’s views are. I’m a clinical psychologist, with a passion for science communication. In early 2020 I founded the podcast Mind Brew, with an aim to make psychological ...
    SciBlogsBy Guest Author
    4 days ago
  • Why we need cameras on boats
    In case anyone needed further convincing, there's another example today of why we need cameras on fishing boats: reported seabird bycatch doubled during a camera trial: Commercial fishers operating off Auckland's coast around vulnerable seabirds are twice as likely to report accidentally capturing them when cameras are on ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    4 days ago
  • Graham Adams: The religious right’s campaign to spike the euthanasia referendum
    In the leadup to the euthanasia referendum, an array of conservative Christian political organisations is running an expensive campaign to sow doubt about the safety of assisted dying. Graham Adams argues that these religious forces know that Christian arguments aren’t convincing the public, but that it is in the public ...
    Democracy ProjectBy bryce.edwards
    4 days ago
  • Opportunistic looting
    The National Party has spent the last six months acting horrified at the cost of supporting people through the pandemic and banging on about how the debt must be repaid. So what was their economic policy released today? Massive tax-cuts for the rich, of course! National has walked back ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    4 days ago
  • Uncomfortable Choices.
    Dangerous Times: This will be the choice confronting those coming of age in the 2020s. Embrace Neoliberalism’s belief in racial and sexual equality; adopt its secular and scientific world view; and cultivate the technocratic, multicultural, global outlook required of those who keep the machinery of hyper-capitalism humming. Or, throw your ...
    4 days ago
  • Tony Burton: Covid and benefit payments
    It would be a great time to reform the benefit system, according to former Deputy Chief Economic Advisor at the Treasury, Tony Burton. He argues the complexity of benefit system means that it’s failing to achieve its difficult three core objectives, which form an “iron triangle”.   New Zealand’s benefit ...
    Democracy ProjectBy bryce.edwards
    5 days ago
  • Talking tax: How to win support for taxing wealth
    Tax Justice UK, September 2020 Serious tax reform is on the political agenda for the first time in decades due to the coronavirus crisis. As this debate hots up it is important to understand what people think about public spending, wealth and tax. Tax Justice UK, along with Survation and ...
    Closing the GapBy Tracey Sharp
    5 days ago
  • Getting Tough.
    Not Mucking Around: With upwards of 800 dead from the virus’s resurgence in the Australian state of Victoria, leniency is not on Premier Daniel Andrews’ agenda. The Victorian Police are cracking down hard on the protesters the Australian press has labelled "Covidiots".IMAGES OF POLICE, some in riot gear, others on ...
    5 days ago
  • Media Link: Nuclear strategy, then and now.
    Although I had the fortune of being a graduate student of some of the foremost US nuclear strategists of the day (1970s) and later rubbed shoulders with Air Force and Naval officers who were entrusted with parts of the US nuclear arsenal, I seldom get to write or speak about ...
    KiwipoliticoBy Pablo
    5 days ago
  • The Chinese List.
    News that Zhenhua Data, an arm of China Zhenhua Electronics Group, a subsidiary of the military-connected China Electronic Information Industry Group (CETC), maintains a list of 800 New Zealanders on a “Overseas Key Information Database” that contains personal information on more than 2.4 million foreign individuals, has caused some consternation ...
    KiwipoliticoBy Pablo
    5 days ago
  • Things that grow fast, and things that surprise us
    Marie Becdelievre January 2020. The number of news article mentioning coronavirus exploded and anxious voices whispered about a global pandemic. Whisper? To me, it was only a whisper. I tend to learn about the world through non-fiction books, conferences, and academic research rather than news and social media, so ...
    SciBlogsBy Guest Author
    6 days ago
  • Skeptical Science New Research for Week #37, 2020
    2,082,476,000,000,000 Viability of greenhouse gas removal via the artificial addition of volcanic ash to the ocean  (not open access, unfortunately) walks us through the numbers on a particular means of CO2 removal, addition of volcanic tephra to the ocean. The mechanism is straight chemistry and the cost is fully an order of ...
    6 days ago
  • Barbados to become a republic
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    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    6 days ago
  • Party Like It’s 1989: Bait and Switch is a Bad Look, Mr Hipkins
    At the 2017 election, the New Zealand Labour Party promised a Fees Free Policy for tertiary students. Basically, it would make the first year of university education free in 2018, with a second year in 2021, and a third in 2024. It also promised to restore Post-Graduate access to the ...
    6 days ago
  • Will the tropics eventually become uninhabitable?
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    SciBlogsBy Guest Author
    7 days ago
  • A first-hand look: What it’s like to live in a 2020 California wildfire evacuation zone
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    7 days ago
  • COVID-19 is not the only infectious disease New Zealand wants to eliminate, and genome sequencing is...
    Nigel French, Massey University Genome sequencing — the mapping of the genetic sequences of an organism — has helped track the spread of COVID-19 cases in Auckland, but it also plays an important role in the control of other infectious diseases in New Zealand. One example is Mycoplasma bovis, a ...
    SciBlogsBy Guest Author
    1 week ago
  • A flaw in our electoral transparency regime
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    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • Don’t Steal This Book
    On “In Defense of Looting” Matt Taibibi takes an entertaining look at this generation of woke activists and how they compare with Abbie Hoffman the iconic anti-Vietnam war counter-culture figure of the 1960s On Thursday, August 27th, the same day Donald Trump formally accepted the Republican nomination, National Public Radio ...
    RedlineBy Daphna
    1 week ago
  • Climate Change: Carbon prices must rise
    When Parliament introduced the Emissions Trading Scheme, it was worried that carbon prices might get too high. So it introduced a "fixed price option", allowing polluters to pay the government $25 in the place of surrendering credits. The result was predictable: after we were thrown out of international carbon markets ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • Climate Change: Disclosure
    The government will finally be requiring large New Zealand companies to disclose their climate change risks: New Zealand finance companies will be made to report on climate change risk, Climate Change Minister James Shaw has announced. The policy will force around 200 large financial organisations in New Zealand to ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week 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
    1 week ago
  • Equality Network – September Newsletter
    Read the Equality Network newsletter here ...
    Closing the GapBy Tracey Sharp
    1 week ago
  • The Left’s Lost Allies.
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    1 week 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 ...
    1 week ago
  • Closing the Gap thinks that Labour’s proposal to raise the top tax rate is great but………
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    Closing the GapBy Tracey Sharp
    1 week 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
    1 week 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 ...
    1 week 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
    1 week 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
    1 week 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
    1 week ago
  • Now everyone’s a statistician. Here’s what armchair COVID experts are getting wrong
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    SciBlogsBy Guest Author
    1 week 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
    1 week 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
    1 week 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% ...
    1 week ago
  • The 2019 measles epidemic in Samoa
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    SciBlogsBy Guest Author
    1 week 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
    1 week 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
    1 week 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
    1 week 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 ...
    2 weeks 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
    2 weeks 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
    2 weeks 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
    2 weeks 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
    2 weeks 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
    2 weeks 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
    2 weeks 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
    2 weeks 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
    2 weeks 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
    2 weeks ago

  • Eligibility expanded for COVID-19 leave support
    The expanded scheme will cover: People who have COVID-19 like symptoms and meet the Ministry of Health’s criteria, and need to self-isolate while awaiting the results of a COVID-19 test. People who are directed to self-isolate by a Medical Officer of Health or their delegate or on advice of their ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    10 hours ago
  • Seasonal work visa available to more people
    The Government is putting in place a range of immigration policy changes to help fill labour shortages in key industries while ensuring New Zealanders, who have lost jobs due to COVID-19, have the chance to find new employment. “Two key sectors we are moving to help are horticulture and wine ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    11 hours ago
  • More border exceptions for critical roles
    The Government has established class exceptions for border entry for a limited number of veterinarians, deep sea fishing crew, as well as agricultural and horticultural machinery operators. “Tight border restrictions remain the backbone of the Government’s border strategy to protect New Zealand against COVID-19 and ensure New Zealand citizens and ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    11 hours ago
  • Crown will not appeal Dodds v Southern Response decision
    The Crown will not appeal the Court of Appeal decision in the Dodds v Southern Response case, Grant Robertson announced today. “Southern Response will be paying the damages awarded by the Court to Mr and Mrs Dodds shortly. The Crown was already meeting their legal costs for this appeal. “The ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    11 hours ago
  • Crucial PGF investments for Northland
    The Provincial Growth Fund is investing nearly $30 million in a diverse range of projects that will create immediate and long-term jobs and lift economic and social outcomes for Northland and its people. Deputy Prime Minister Winston Peters and Regional Economic Development Minister Shane Jones made the announcement today in ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    12 hours ago
  • $27million investment in global vaccine facility
    The Coalition Government has committed to invest $27 million in COVID-19 vaccine development through the global COVAX Facility, Foreign Minister Winston Peters announced today. “The COVAX Facility is a key part of our COVID-19 Vaccine Strategy to obtain safe and effective vaccines. It allows us to invest in a high-quality, ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 day 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
    4 days 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
    4 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
    4 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
    5 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
    5 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
    5 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
    5 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
    6 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
    6 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
    6 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
    6 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
    6 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
    6 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
    6 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
    6 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
    6 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
    7 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
    7 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
    1 week 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
    1 week 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 ...
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    1 week 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 ...
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    1 week 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 ...
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    1 week 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 ...
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    1 week 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 ...
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    1 week 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 ...
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    1 week 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 ...
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    1 week 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 ...
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    1 week 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
    1 week ago
  • Join the one in a million reo Māori moment
    New Zealanders across the country are set to mark history as part of the Māori Language Week commemorations led by Te Taura Whiri i te reo Māori this year.  Māori Development Minister, Nanaia Mahuta says the initiative will mark history for all the right reasons including making te reo Māori ...
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    1 week ago
  • Education initiatives add to momentum of Te Wiki o te Reo Māori 2020
    More than 1000 teachers, support staff and school leaders have graduated from a programme designed to grow their capability to use te reo Māori in their teaching practice, as part of the Government’s plan to integrate te reo Māori into education, Associate Education Minister Kelvin Davis announced today. Being trialled ...
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    1 week ago
  • The Toloa Tertiary Scholarships for 2021 aims to increase Pacific participation in STEM
    The Minister for Pacific Peoples, Aupito William Sio, says the Toloa Tertiary Scholarships which aims to encourage more Pacific student numbers participating and pursuing STEM-related studies in 2021, are now open. “These tertiary scholarships are administrated by the Ministry for Pacific Peoples (MPP), and are part of MPP’s overall Toloa ...
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    1 week ago
  • Financial support for timber industry
    Four Bay of Plenty timber businesses will receive investments totalling nearly $22 million through the Provincial Growth Fund to boost the local economy and create jobs, Regional Economic Development Minister Shane Jones has announced. Rotorua-based sawmill Red Stag Wood Solutions will receive a $15 million loan to develop an engineered ...
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    1 week ago
  • New Zealand seeks answers to the Gulf Livestock 1 tragedy
    Foreign Affairs Minister Winston Peters has announced that New Zealand is exploring the viability of working with partners to conduct a search for the black box on the Gulf Livestock 1. “We know how much it would mean to the families of those on the ship to understand more about ...
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    1 week ago