Red ink

Written By: - Date published: 11:01 pm, December 12th, 2008 - 26 comments
Categories: interweb, Media - Tags:

Hilarious.

Jon’s got a serious point though. Newspapers worldwide are in trouble. Many predict they will soon have to be handed out free to commuters in an attempt to keep circulation high enough to run on advertising. Here in New Zealand, the major newspapers’ circulation fell 4% in the last year alone. APN and Fairfax, the duopoly which between them own most of our newspapers are both in deep financial trouble. 

Basically, the Internet is displacing newspapers. David Kirk, the disastrous former head of Fairfax who asset-stripped half of New Zealand’s newspapers (and, incidentally, promotes free-trade zones in NZ with no labour rights and environment laws), blames the decline in revenue from classified advertising as people use Trade Me and the like instead. I think that’s only part of the story. Another part has been that the Internet provides more convenient, specific, and detailed information – both on the mainstream media websites and on topic-specific websites like this one. But the real problem has been the mindset of the likes of Kirk and APN’s Tony O’Reilly, who have fired hundreds of journalists to squeeze a little more profit. That has led to a serious decline in quality as the remaining journos are over-stretched and, too often, not on top of their issues. So not only is the Internet pulling profits and readership from the newspapers, declining quality is driving more and more people away from them.

Now, you might think that as an Internet-based writer I would be happy at that but I’m not. The slow collapse of the newspapers we are seeing leaves us with a serious problem. How will professional journalism be funded if media consumption is moving to a free format where there is little ad revenue to be made? And what ramifications will that have for the media’s crucial role calling those in power to account?

26 comments on “Red ink ”

  1. Lindsey J Rea 1

    I can understand why advertisers have left the Herald in droves. Early this year I tried to advertise my flat in the Herald. I put in the advert and then stayed home on the Saturday morning, waiting for calls that never came. The Herald had not listed my add – some “pagination” problem and had not even had the decency to ring and advise me.
    I put it on Trade Me for a third of the cost and rented it within a week.
    My letter of complaint to the Herald was unanswered and I will never use them again.

  2. Byron 2

    “David Kirk, the disastrous former head of Fairfax…blames the decline in revenue from classified advertising as people use Trade Me and the like instead.”

    Explains why Fairfax purchased Trademe. If thats their main revenue stream though (I have no idea whether it is or not) I wonder if they’d ever stop doing news publishing? Stuff.co.nz must still turn a profit from advertising and archive subscriptions.

    The way to keep quality journalism could be to have a trust that funds journalists to research and write articles which people could donate to, the resulting articles could then be published online with no need for advertising as the costs have already been covered. An idea like this was discussed on Public Address a while back.

  3. lombear 3

    Nanna Herald has been a bad newspaper, biased, insubstantial on world affairs, fine though if you think sports are world affairs.
    I could not tell you the number of times I have picked up that rag to find the world section was about 5 pages and 60% of that was ads. Disgraceful.
    But. I will be sad to see it go.
    The internet is transient, most of what we do on the net will be recorded by someone, somewhere and will live on in some archive, but a newspaper is a commitment, it is printed and handed out, it is never recalled, it is publicly archived (for future reference for, perhaps, our great grandchildren) and it is a slice of life at this point in time. Who doesn’t like finding an old newspaper from the 50’s and chuckling at the naive advertising and cheesy stories, think of all the fun future generations are going to have laughing at George Bush.
    The internet is about to change, moving towards a more controlled, censored pay per view, pay per email model, because basically governments just aren’t making enough money off of it, oh and the fact that some websites have the nasty habit of talking about unpopular truths i.e. ones some governments don’t like. Internet2, here we come.
    Anything digital is a history that can be re-written or removed “he who controls the past blah blah blah…”

  4. Kevin Welsh 4

    Newspapers only have themselves to blame. The increasing ‘tabloidisation’ of a large number of stories, whilst pandering to a specific audience, only turns off people you would classify as regular readers.

    I used to be a newspaper subscriber, but have not done so in about 5 years beacuse of the utter rubbish that gets printed today in the name of journalism.

    I use the internet now as my main source of information and even that has its moments. I find it more than a little disturbing that it is getting harder and harder to find relevant, intelligent journalism that does more than just trivialise or sensationalise.

  5. toms 5

    What the idiots who run APN and Fairfax have done by firing their journalists is they have closed the gap between the blogs – largely unresourced information or op-ed sites for like minded people – and the quality of news and opinion in what their newspapers publish. Since blogs are free, it is a no brainer that people will stop buying, say, the Herald. After all, why read the rubbish Garth George serves up (I defy anyone to argue that he isn’t kept on simply to generate sales by publishing his obnoxious and “controversial” views) when you can see Jon Stewart for free, or read Salon.com for nothing or hang out with angry American liberals at Alternet.org or see the Standard rail against the NUM-Nuts or enjoy the erudite chardonnay socialists at public address?

    Magazines like the Spectator, New Statesman and The Economist are holding steady or actually growing their circulation. To me, this points to a significant market for informed journalism. In a similar vein, the dumbing down of TV so as to make it unwatchable to anyone with an IQ in the top 50% of the population has also driven much of its audience onto the internet, even though the boom is Michael Moore style feature length documentaries shows the hunger for in depth news and current affairs remains. On radio, Radio New Zealand consistantly holds and grows its audience as more and more listeners abandon the banal hate speech of Leighton Smith and formulaic top 40 programming.

    The fact that this should come as a surprise to the executives of Fairfax and APN and to the TV programmers tells a lot about how their globalised, Hobbesian, new-right world view with its inherent contempt for the common weal and democracy has coloured their perceptions of what the public wants to see, hear, and read.

    All humans, rich and poor, well educated and badly educated, retain an inherent fascination and curiosity of the world around them and all of us have the genetic human compulsion to want to know more about those things which might interest us. The hunger remains. The new right ideologues only see the $$$.

  6. ianmac 6

    I get most of my reading news from on-line. The Herald’s redeeming feature is that on-line it is well sorted, quick to navigate. The downside is its bias in my opinion. I read the Press on-line but it is slow and difficult to navigate. It does represent Fairfax as an alternative but….. The interesting up to date stuff comes from blogs like this one and Public Address and I think Pundit will become valuable. No Right Turn has heaps of succinct factual material, and Gordon Campbell does in-depth writing. I do buy the local provincial paper but the internet is far more interactive, like instant letters to the editor with instant publishing and instant debate. Great and wouldn’t mind advertising on this site, especially if it paid for a jounalist or two. How about a subscription here to help cover costs?

  7. Draco T Bastard 7

    I refuse to buy paper versions of newspapers. The worlds already in a bad enough shape due to our depredations and I see no point in making it worse by using up resources that don’t need to be used.

  8. gingercrush 8

    It’d be a sad day when and if we have to depend on blogs for news and the like. Don’t get me wrong, blogs are great. But they have clear biases. The Standard is clearly left, Kiwiblog right. Tumeke iI think they all go too far there Public Address I find rather disinteresting. Pundit is great, really applaud what they’re doing there. We need newspaper or more professional media simply because even if they are bias. They still can mostly post rational viewpoints and are fairly balanced. Most blogs generally can’t offer that balance.

    —-

    I don’t buy newspapers simply because it came to the point I was reading one page and completely skimming the rest. Just felt like a complete waste of time.

  9. Lew 9

    Anyone who’s particularly interested in why newspapers the world over are failing horribly would do well to read Nick Davies’ Flat Earth News.

    Incidentally, the question of whether the paper versions subsidise the websites or vice versa is a tricky one. A large chunk of the readership never sets eyes on a dead-trees paper from day to day – but many people use the sites, and most of the actual ad revenue comes from the paper version, still – despite the death of classified advertising, which was the cash cow. Without that ad revenue the newsgathering and production infrastructure to establish a viable online media presence simply can’t happen. Yet.

    L

  10. Lew 10

    GC: There will never be a time when the notional `we’ of which you speak will have to depend on blogs for news. The small reason for this is that blogs aren’t news agencies – they’re opinion, commentary and rarely analysis agencies. Practically none of what blogs do would be possible without the newsgathering apparatus provided by the mainstream media bloggers spend so much of their time bleating about.

    The big reason is already becoming apparent: as blogs tend to become more popular, they will be absorbed and adopted by the mainstream media. If a bunch of amateurs can do it for almost free, imagine what a media company with trained and dedicated staff could do – whether it’s by setting up competing sites (as they are doing), or by making bloggers offers they can’t refuse: here’s $70k a year, let us run advertising on your site and integrate it with our newsgathering infrastructure, and change nothing else. This is already happening as well.

    L

  11. gingercrush 11

    Yes I see what you’re saying but somehow that balance Newspapers can provide etc will eventually disappear and that is the real danger.

  12. Lew 12

    GC: How would it? You answer the question yourself: excessively partisan offerings in a market open up space for other offerings. This is the major constraint which keeps the mainstream media relatively unbiased (or not of consistent bias, shall we say) in small markets like NZ – the business model relies on retaining a substantial audience, which means not ceding ground to major competitors. By the same token, the mainstream media agencies aren’t really all that concerned about the blogs detracting from their audience – in fact, there is a symbiotic relationship, since bloggers must use their resources (and therefore be exposed to their advertising) to be informed about the issues of the day.

    L

  13. John BT 13

    I really like newspapers. A lot. Without them we would not have leftwingers moaning about the rightwing MSM and their capitalist agenda. Nor would we have rightwingers bitching about the looney leftwing MSM and whatever their agenda is.
    Since so much of political blogs relate to stuff from the media what would there be to talk about? And what reasonable person would eat their fish and chips from a plate
    I hope newspapers will always be with us in the same way I hope computers are just a passing fad.

  14. bobo 14

    I thought the herald was a blog? Cut n paste world news papers articles with local commentary..

  15. Chris G 15

    Anyone who wants world news (They dont cover NZ, mind) try Al Jazeera English. Top Quality stuff, you can hit up their daily podcasts and they are fantastic I reckon. Not owned by News Ltd. they get out that crap that pollutes MSM.

    Podcast the other day included a feature on how Murdochs empire will engage with the Obama presidency… interesting stuff.

    Plus they have a habit of showing relatively uncensored news, and why not I say? Fuck the dumbing down of us that the MSM and crap television rams down us. Im sure even you blimmen tories should appreciate that, none of that “Cotton’ wool crap!” aye fellas?

    Plus Jon Stewart is Awseome. What a legend. Although I think he gets most (If not all) material written for him – during the writers strike his show started doing re-runs.

    And to the guy 2 posts above… yeh newspapers are awseome, as Denzil says in Training Day re. papers: “This is 90% bullshit and 10% entertainment!”

  16. the sprout 16

    print media has been enjoying double digit profits for years and their owners’ insistence on maintaining those profit levels had lead to ongoing cuts in staff to the point where their quality has declined disasterously.

    no wonder people don’t bother with them so much any more. most of the time the information is either useless or so transparently biased as to be insulting to anyone with more than half a wit.

    their demise is the fault of greedy owners. what’ll be interesting is how the capital flight they now face will affect ownership patterns: more conglomeration or a re-splintering? i know which would be better for democracy.

  17. infused 17

    Yes, this has been happening for the last 6 or so years. It’s hardly news. Netguide will be dead next year.

  18. Draco T Bastard 18

    Anything digital is a history that can be re-written or remove…

    This has been bugging me and here’s why. Everything on-line has multiple copies backed up in multiple places. To change it would take a massive effort and people will notice and it would only take a simple search of all the digital data to find where and when it was changed. The old print media was probably far more susceptible to being changed simply because of the difficulty in checking. I’d say that with more people knowing the chance of successfully changing something becomes even more remote.

    The problem that we have with blogs is that the people blogging usually aren’t the people going out and getting the information that they blog about. Although I can see this happening in the future as popular blogs do go to a subscription model. I only have one word concerning an advertising model – Adblock+

  19. Redbaiter 19

    The decline in newspapers is a direct result of journalism schools producing journalists who are leftist propagandists rather than those who seek out truth.

    “Journalists” were faced with the dilemma- force our ideology down reader’s throats and go broke or seek out the truth and expose leftism as a fraud.

    They chose the former, and are now reaping their just reward.

    The “Global Warming” fraud being the most salient example. Others include- George Bush lied. The Iraq war was lost. Sarah Palin is a bimbo. Obama will save the world.

    From the New York Times to the Herald and the Dominion, they’ve all lustily promoted the above false templates.

    All just rank left wing propaganda. Who needs it?

    Go broke please. The lot of you. The sooner the better. The better for truth that is.

    BTW, same thing is happening to mainstream television. For the same reasons. Hollywood too. Another disgusting left liberal device. Can’t wait to see them collapse and disappear too. Without these propaganda organs, the left are almost totally disemboweled.

  20. Lew 20

    Redbaiter: One of the ironies of this little rant of yours is that you redefine everything with which you disagree as `left-wing propaganda’. It’s this casual and convenient reclassification which makes it possible for you to discard expert opinion in favour of ideological talking-points. Once the reclassification is done all that remains in your canon of `truth’ is what the rest of the world calls `right-wing propaganda’. Fundamentally your appeal to truth is nothing more than ideological grandstanding: genuine, accepted definitions of `right’, `left’ and `truth’ don’t get a look in. But I suppose you’d argue that that’s because only you and those who agree with you, by virtue of your ideological rectitude, are properly qualified to judge these matters?

    The question of the media and scientific community’s alleged conspiracy against truth comes back to Hume’s Maxim, which governs the choice between unknowable, unverifiable or unbelievable phenomena. Rationally, when faced with an improbable phenomenon (Hume refers to a `miracle’) one may only legitimately accept it if the alternative (that the phenomenon is not so) is less plausible. Essentially, that one must accept the least implausible of given implausible phenomena.

    They chose the former, and are now reaping their just reward.

    So, per Hume’s Maxim, you believe it more plausible than any given alternative that the mass media agencies of the world would collude to suppress the truth in such a way as to destroy their own business model and the foundations of their wealth and power in the world, and that the international scientific community would collude to suppress the truth in such a way as to destroy the economic, technical and industrial base which funds its research?

    That’s ideology talking, not rationality.

    L

  21. Redbaiter 21

    Thanks for that opinion Lew. I take it with the usual grain of salt I take all such subjective rantings from politically one dimensional leftist academics.

    People in the real world observe such simple instances as mainstream media journalists flocking by the plane load to Alaska to seek dirt on Sarah Palin and her family while Obama, a cheap opportunist thug from the most corrupt state in the US, escapes even cursory examination. I don’t need Hume’s Maxim, I merely need my eyes and my common sense.

  22. Pascal's bookie 22

    Shorter Redbaiter:

    What Lew said.

  23. Lew 23

    Redbaiter: Thanks for that opinion Lew.

    It’s not an opinion, it’s an argument based on declared principles and supporting evidence, with which you have chosen not to engage. The fact that you seem unable to differentiate between the two further reinforces my point – that the quality of information or argument matters less to you than its ideological alignment.

    politically one dimensional leftist academics

    `One-dimensional’ would imply that I’m incapable of understanding or accepting any ideological positions other than my own. In fact, by citing Hume’s Maxim in the argument above I explicitly acknowledge the uncertainty of ideas – the possibility that I might be wrong, but that sufficient evidence hasn’t yet become apparent to make me conclude that I am. This is wholly at odds with your own position, which is to discard anything which doesn’t confirm your existing prejudices without even considering it. On the basis of the evidence here, `one dimensional’ applies more aptly to you than to me.

    People in the real world observe […] I don’t need Hume’s Maxim, I merely need my eyes and my common sense.

    Your common sense trumps any part of the theory of rational thought and common logic with which you might disagree in a given case? Let’s try Hume’s own canonical application of his maxim: if a person comes to you and tells you he has seen a man be raised from the dead, do you believe the larger miracle (that the man has in fact been raised from the dead) or the smaller miracle (that the person reporting it has either been deceived, or is deceiving you by saying so)? Go on, Redbaiter – tell me you’d believe that the man had been raised from the dead.

    You’ve done just as I predicted and argued nothing but the line that “only you and those who agree with you, by virtue of your ideological rectitude, are properly qualified to judge these matters”. By your own logic, your assertions should be disqualified on the grounds that they’re one-dimensional and based in ideology rather than rationality. Except now, you’ll argue that the logic applies in only one dimension – if you can do so with a straight face.

    L

  24. Stephen 24

    Would a better word for Redbaiter’s ‘common sense’ be ‘faith’?

    There was actually an article in the Economist recently about Murdoch and the NY Times, and the troubles that they are both experiencing. Interestingly the Times has apparently moved to the internet quite well in terms of the number of people who view it, but hasn’t quite got the ‘business’ side of the sorted:

    …trying to make the Times a national newspaper loosened its essential ties with New York. Mr Sulzberger’s excessive chumminess with some journalists contributed to two scandals that hurt the paper’s reputation: the invented stories of Jayson Blair and the jailing (over her refusal to disclose sources in the Valerie Plame affair) of Judith Miller, a reporter who, the Times later said, it had protected too much…

    …Mr Sulzberger’s [of the Times] problems are largely those of the newspaper industry as a whole, the business model of which has been knocked sideways by the rise of the internet. News Corp’s shares have actually fallen by more this year than those of the New York Times Company…Moreover, the Times has done a better job than almost any other paper (except perhaps the Journal) in moving online. It now boasts the most visited American newspaper website…

    …Yet the harsh fact is that, his fault or not, Mr Sulzberger has yet to find a business model on the web that generates enough money to support the Times’s high-quality, but expensive, global network of reporters. He is running out of time to do so.
    http://www.economist.com/people/displaystory.cfm?story_id=12723791

    Not sure how useful it is to compare the gigantic News Corp with the NY Times though, seeing as News is so much more than one mere newspaper.

  25. Lombear 25

    I think Redbaiter needs to look up what ‘perceived liberal bias’ is.
    Reddy also sounds like an American who is sad that the puppet on the right didn’t win. 🙁 chin up mate. its just a game.

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    This is a repost from a Yale Climate Connections article by SueEllen Campbell published on June 3, 2024. The articles listed can help you tell fact from fiction when it comes to solar and wind energy. Some statements you hear about solar and wind energy are just plain false. ...
    4 days ago
  • Juggernaut
    Politics were going on all around us yesterday, and we barely noticed, rolling along canal paths, eating baguettes. It wasn’t until my mate got to the headlines last night that we learned there had been a dismayingly strong far right result in the EU elections and Macron had called a ...
    More Than A FeildingBy David Slack
    4 days ago
  • Numbers Game.
    Respect Existence, Or Expect Resistance? There may well have been 50,000 pairs of feet “Marching For Nature” down Auckland’s Queen Street on Saturday afternoon, but the figure that impresses the Coalition Government is the 1,450,000 pairs of Auckland feet that were somewhere else.IN THE ERA OF DRONES and Artificial Intelligence, ...
    4 days ago
  • Media Link: AVFA on post-colonial blowback.
    Selwyn Manning and I discuss varieties of post colonial blowback and the implications its has for the rise of the Global South. Counties discussed include Palestine/Israel, France/New Caledonia, England/India, apartheid/post-apartheid South Africa and post-colonial New Zealand. It is a bit … Continue reading ...
    KiwipoliticoBy Pablo
    4 days ago
  • Policy by panic
    Back in March, Ombudsman Peter Boshier resigned when he hit the statutory retirement age of 72, leaving the country in the awkward (and legally questionable) position of having him continue as a temporay appointee. It apparently took the entire political system by surprise - as evinced by Labour's dick move ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    4 days ago
  • PSA: NZ's Richest Company, Zuru, Sucks
    Hi,Today the New Zealand press is breathlessly reporting that the owners of toy company Zuru are officially New Zealand’s wealthiest people: Mat and Nick Mowbray worth an estimated $20 billion between them.While the New Zealand press loses its shit celebrating this Kiwi success story, this is a Webworm reminder that ...
    David FarrierBy David Farrier
    4 days ago
  • Bernard's Dawn Chorus and pick 'n' mix for Monday, June 10
    TL;DR: The six things to note in Aotearoa-NZ’s political economy around housing, climate and poverty in the past day to 8:36 pm on Monday, June 10 were:20,000 protested against the Fast-track approval bill on Saturday in Auckland, but PM Christopher Luxon says ‘sorry, but not sorry’ about the need for ...
    The KakaBy Bernard Hickey
    4 days ago
  • In Defence of Kāinga Ora
    Given the headlines around the recent findings of the ‘independent’ review of Kāinga Ora by Bill English, you might assume this post will be about social housing, Kāinga Ora’s most prominent role. While that is indeed something that requires defending, I want to talk about the other core purpose of ...
    Greater AucklandBy Connor Sharp
    4 days ago
  • Baby You're A Rich Man
    “How does it feel to beOne of the beautiful peopleNow that you know who you areWhat do you want to beAnd have you traveled very far?Far as the eye can see”Yesterday the ACT party faithful were regaled with craven boasts, sneers, and demands for even more at their annual rally.That ...
    Nick’s KōreroBy Nick Rockel
    4 days ago
  • Stopping a future Labour government from shutting down gas exploration
    A defiant Resources Minister Shane Jones has responded to Saturday’s environmental protests by ending Labour’s offshore oil exploration ban and calling for long-term contracts with any successful explorers. The purpose would be to prevent a future Labour Government from reversing any licence the explorers might hold. Jones sees a precedent ...
    PolitikBy Richard Harman
    4 days ago
  • 2024 SkS Weekly Climate Change & Global Warming News Roundup #23
    A listing of 32 news and opinion articles we found interesting and shared on social media during the past week: Sun, June 2, 2024 thru Sat, June 8, 2024. Story of the week Our Story of the Week is Yale Climate Connection's Resources for debunking common solar and wind myths, by ...
    5 days ago
  • Fission by the river
    This is where we ate our lunch last Wednesday. Never mind your châteaux and castles and whatnot, we like to enjoy a baguette in the shadow of a nuclear power plant; a station that puts out more than twice as much as Manapouri using nothing more than tiny atoms to bring ...
    More Than A FeildingBy David Slack
    5 days ago
  • Fact Brief – Is the ocean acidifying?
    Skeptical Science is partnering with Gigafact to produce fact briefs — bite-sized fact checks of trending claims. This fact brief was written by John Mason in collaboration with members from the Gigafact team. You can submit claims you think need checking via the tipline. Is the ocean acidifying? Acidification of oceans ...
    6 days ago
  • 20,000+ on Queen St.
    The largest protest I ever went on was in the mid 90s. There were 10,000 people there that day, and I’ve never forgotten it. An enormous mass of people, chanting together. Stretching block after block, bringing traffic to a halt.But I can’t say that’s the biggest protest I’ve ever been ...
    Nick’s KōreroBy Nick Rockel
    6 days ago
  • Josh Drummond's Columns
    Hi there,I wanted to put all of Josh Drummond’s Webworm pieces all in one place. I love that he writes for Webworm — and all of these are a good read!David.Why Are So Many “Christians” Hellbent on Being Horrible?Why do so many objectively hideous people declare themselves “Christian”?Meeting the Master ...
    David FarrierBy David Farrier
    6 days ago
  • Bernard’s Saturday soliloquy and weekend Pick ‘n’ Mix for June 8/9
    Photo: Lynn Grieveson / The KākāTL;DR: On reflection, the six things to note in Aotearoa-NZ’s political economy around housing, climate and poverty this week were:The Government-driven freeze in building new classrooms, local roads and water networks in order to save cash for tax cuts is frustrating communities facing massive population ...
    The KakaBy Bernard Hickey
    6 days ago
  • The no-vision thing
    Hello! Here comes the Saturday edition of More Than A Feilding, catching you up on the past somewhat interrupted week. Still on the move!Share Read more ...
    More Than A FeildingBy David Slack
    6 days ago
  • When Journalists are Disingenuous
    Hi,One of the things I like the most about Webworm is to be able to break down the media and journalism a little, and go behind the scenes.This is one of those times.Yesterday an email arrived in my inbox from journalist Jonathan Milne, who is managing editor at Newsroom.I don’t ...
    David FarrierBy David Farrier
    6 days ago
  • Me, elsewhere: Just say you’ll do the thing
    Wrote something over at 1/200 on a familiar theme of mine: The way we frame the economy as a separate, sacred force which must be sacrificed to, the way we talk about criminals as invaders who must be repelled, the constant othering of people on the benefit, people not in ...
    Boots TheoryBy Stephanie Rodgers
    7 days ago
  • A Voyage Among the Vandals: Accepted
    A nice bit of news today: my 4600-word historical fantasy-horror piece, A Voyage Among the Vandals, has been accepted by Phobica Books (https://www.phobicabooks.co.uk/books) for their upcoming Pirate Horror anthology, Shivering Timbers. This one is set in the Mediterranean, during the mid-fifth century AD. Notable for having one of history’s designated ...
    7 days ago
  • Ministerial conflicts of interest
    Since the National government came to power, it has been surrounded by allegations of conflicts of interest. Firstly, there's the fast-track law, which concentrates power in the hands of three Ministers, some of whom have received donations from companies whose projects they will be deciding on. Secondly, there's the close ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    7 days ago
  • The 2024 Budget Forecasts Are Gloomy Prognosis About The Next Three Years.
    There was no less razzamatazz about the 2024 Budget than about earlier ones. Once again the underlying economic analysis got lost. It deserves more attention.Just to remind you, the Budget Economic and Fiscal Update (BEFU), is the Treasury’s independent assessment and so can be analysed by other competent economists (although ...
    PunditBy Brian Easton
    7 days ago
  • A government that can't see twenty feet ahead
    There are two failings that consistently characterise a National government. One is a lack of imagination, the other is their willingness to look after their mates, no matter what harm it might do to everyone else.This is how we come to have thousands of enormous trucks carving up our roads. ...
    More Than A FeildingBy David Slack
    1 week ago
  • A post I hope is incorrect
    In May, we learned that National MP David MacLeod had "forgotten" to declare $178,000 in electoral donations. Filing a donation return which is false in any material particular is a crime, and the Electoral Commission has now referred MacLeod to police, since they're the only people who are allowed to ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • Māori Cannot Re-Write New Zealand’s Constitution By Stealth.
    The Kotahitanga Parliament 1897: A Māori Parliament – at least in the guise of a large and representative body dedicated to describing the shape of New Zealand’s future from a Māori perspective – would be a very good idea.THE DEMAND for a “Māori Parliament” needs to be carefully unpicked. Some Pakeha, ...
    1 week ago
  • Cowpats and Colonials.
    Dumbtown, is how my friend Gerard refers to people like ZB listeners - he’s not wrong.Normally on a Friday I start by looking at Mike Hosking’s moronic reckons of the week which he vomits down the throats of his audience like helpless baby birds in a nest, grateful for the ...
    Nick’s KōreroBy Nick Rockel
    1 week ago
  • Gordon Campbell on cutting the sick leave of vulnerable workers
    Should sick leave be part and parcel of the working conditions from Day One on the job, just like every other health and safety provision? Or should access to sick leave be something that only gradually accumulates, depending on how long a worker has been on the payroll? If enacted ...
    WerewolfBy lyndon
    1 week ago
  • Nobody Move: Ageing Boomers, Laurie & Les, Talk Politics.
    So long as we live in a democracy, economic policy can never be anything other than social-democratic.“HEH!”, snorted Laurie, as he waved his debit card over the EFTPOS machine. “Same price as last week. I guess budgets aren’t what they used to be.”“I wouldn’t know,” replied the young barman, wearily, ...
    1 week ago
  • In Search Of Unity.
    Kotahitanga: New Zealand’s future belongs to those who do not fear a nation carved out of unity and solidarity, and are willing to trust the carvers. Some New Zealanders will be required to step up, and others, perhaps for the first time in their lives, will be expected to step ...
    1 week ago
  • Weekly Roundup 7-June-2024
    Welcome to another Friday roundup! Here are some recent links and stories that caught our eye, perfectly timed for your watercooler discussions and weekend reading. As always feel free to share more in the comments. Our header image this week is by Patrick Reynolds, and shows Te Komititanga from above. ...
    Greater AucklandBy Greater Auckland
    1 week ago
  • The Hoon around the week to June 7
    As Workplace Relations and Safety Minister, ACT’s Brooke van Velden is fronting proposed changes to sick pay regulations and The Holiday Act. Photo: Lynn Grieveson / The KākāTL;DR: The podcast above of the weekly ‘hoon’ webinar for paying subscribers features talking with:The Kākā’s climate correspondent talking about the ...
    The KakaBy Bernard Hickey
    1 week ago
  • Did we boil the oceans by cutting pollution?
    Lowering aerosol emissions from shipping has altered clouds, with potentially drastic effects. Photo: Getty ImagesTL;DR: Here’s the top six news items of note in climate news for Aotearoa-NZ this week, and a discussion above between Bernard Hickey and The Kākā’s climate correspondent Cathrine Dyer:New evidence is increasingly pointing at efforts ...
    The KakaBy Bernard Hickey
    1 week ago
  • Skeptical Science New Research for Week #23 2024
    Open access notables Abrupt reduction in shipping emission as an inadvertent geoengineering termination shock produces substantial radiative warming, Yuan et al., Communications Earth & Environment: Human activities affect the Earth’s climate through modifying the composition of the atmosphere, which then creates radiative forcing that drives climate change. The warming effect ...
    1 week ago
  • Fragments
    The best observation I’ve read this week about the deep, profound harm Trump is doingTrump has hurled threats and smears at witnesses, jurors and the judge (including his family)... [he] has tried to intimidate witnesses and delegitimize the New York courts as corrupt. In continuing to incite his mob (that ...
    More Than A FeildingBy David Slack
    1 week ago
  • March for Nature
    Do do do do do do do doDo do do do do doDi di di di di di di di di di diNature enter me…In 2018 the Labour lead government banned new oil and gas exploration in Aotearoa. A change welcomed by those who care deeply for our environment and ...
    Nick’s KōreroBy Nick Rockel
    1 week ago
  • Bernard’s Dawn Chorus and pick ‘n’ mix for Thursday, June 6
    The Transport Minister is trying to push through urgent legislation that would allow him to change emissions standards for car imports without approval from Parliament, after only consulting car importers. Photo: Lynn GrievesonTL;DR: Just as two major reports showed fossil fuel burning was warming the planet to dangerous levels and ...
    The KakaBy Bernard Hickey
    1 week ago
  • A Better Broadway: Act 2
    This is a guest post by reader Grant A, the second of a pair about how to fix Broadway. If you missed the beginning of the show, here’s the link to Act 1 from yesterday. Yesterday, I discussed changing traffic circulation around Broadway in Newmarket. This included implementing a car-free ...
    Greater AucklandBy Guest Post
    1 week ago
  • National breaks another health promise
    National has broken another manifesto health promise, apparently to save only $550,000. It will now train an additional 25 med students next year rather than the 50 it promised. This comes on top of the delays caused by National’s coalition partners in pushing ahead with the Waikato Medical School and ...
    PolitikBy Richard Harman
    1 week ago
  • Climate Adam: Coping as the world’s best known climate scientist
    This video includes conclusions of the creator climate scientist Dr. Adam Levy. It is presented to our readers as an informed perspective. Please see video description for references (if any). Katharine Hayhoe is quite possibly the world's most famous climate scientist. She's produced wide ranging research, and communicated climate change with ...
    1 week ago
  • SIS “evidence” isn’t, again
    Back in 2016, then-Internal Affairs Minister Peter Dunne cancelled a New Zealand woman's passport, claiming she was a terrorist. The basis for his decision was a secret briefing by the SIS, which claimed that if she was allowed to travel, the woman would "engage with individuals who encourage acts of ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • As Low As You Go
    Taking you as low as you goAs low as you goA sense of Déjà vu this morning. How many times have I begun a newsletter, “just when you thought they couldn’t go any lower…” Only for the groundhog to reappear, more pissed off than the day before.Another day with headlines ...
    Nick’s KōreroBy Nick Rockel
    1 week ago
  • Bernard's Dawn Chorus and pick 'n' mix for Wednesday June 5
    TL;DR: The public health costs of human-caused air pollution in Aotearoa-NZ is estimated at $38.8 billion a year because it kills 3,300 people each year, which is almost ten times more than the death toll on roads from accidents. Yet the Ministry for the Environment has just one staff member ...
    The KakaBy Bernard Hickey
    1 week ago
  • A Better Broadway: Act 1
    This is the first of a two-part guest post by Grant A, a long time reader and commenter with a keen interest in all things urban, especially cycling and public transport. He’s been thinking about how to fix Broadway. Stay tuned for Act 2! Readers might remember the pre-Christmas traffic snarl-ups in ...
    Greater AucklandBy Guest Post
    1 week ago
  • Road trance
    Sometimes technology is your friend and sometimes it can’t be bothered with you. Once you’re away from home and your dependable wifi, well, there’s no telling what will happen. I’ve been going in and out of high-speed and low-speed no-speed Internet pockets all over England and France and look, I’m ...
    More Than A FeildingBy David Slack
    1 week ago
  • You Can't Undo Fake News
    Hi,I’ve been thinking a lot about Corey Harris, the 44-year old man who went viral after Zooming into his court appearance while driving. The headlines generated were basically all the same: “Man With Suspended Driver's License Dials Into Court Hearing While Driving”. The headlines said it all, and most people ...
    David FarrierBy David Farrier
    1 week ago

  • Government delivers landmark specialist schools investment
    The coalition Government is delivering record levels of targeted investment in specialist schools so children with additional needs can thrive. As part of Budget 24, $89 million has been ringfenced to redevelop specialist facilities and increase satellite classrooms for students with high needs. This includes: $63 million in depreciation funding ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 hours ago
  • Major health and safety consultation begins
    A substantial consultation on work health and safety will begin today with a roadshow across the regions over the coming months, says Workplace Relations and Safety Minister Brooke van Velden.  This the first step to deliver on the commitment to reforming health and safety law and regulations, set out in ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 hours ago
  • Growing the potential of New Zealand’s forestry sector in partnership
    Forestry Minister Todd McClay, today announced the start of the Government’s plan to restore certainty and confidence in the forestry and wood processing sector. “This government will drive investment to unlock the industry’s economic potential for growth,” Mr McClay says. “Forestry’s success is critical to rebuilding New Zealand’s economy, boosting ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 hours ago
  • Government cancels forestry ETS annual service charges for 2023-24
    Annual service charges in the forestry Emissions Trading Scheme (ETS) will be cancelled for 2023/24, Forestry Minister Todd McClay says. “The sector has told me the costs imposed on forestry owners by the previous government were excessive and unreasonable and I agree,” Mr McClay says. “They have said that there ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 hours ago
  • Speech to the LGNZ Infrastructure Symposium
    Introduction Thank you for having me here today and welcome to Wellington, the home of the Hurricanes, the next Super Rugby champions. Infrastructure – the challenge This government has inherited a series of big challenges in infrastructure. I don’t need to tell an audience as smart as this one that ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 hours ago
  • Government boosts Agriculture and food trade with China
    Trade and Agriculture Minister Todd McClay and Food Safety Minister Andrew Hoggard welcomed outcomes to boost agricultural and food trade between New Zealand and China. A number of documents were signed today at Government House that will improve the business environment between New Zealand and China, and help reduce barriers, including on infant formula ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    22 hours ago
  • NZ and China launch Services Trade Negotiations
    Trade Minister Todd McClay, and China’s Commerce Minister Wang Wentao, today announced the official launch of Negotiations on Services Trade between the two countries.  “The Government is focused on opening doors for services exporters to grow the New Zealand’s economy,” Mr McClay says.  As part of the 2022 New Zealand-China Free Trade Agreement Upgrade ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    22 hours ago
  • Prime Minister Luxon meets with Premier Li
    Prime Minister Christopher Luxon met with Chinese Premier Li Qiang at Government House in Wellington today.  “I was pleased to welcome Premier Li to Wellington for his first official visit, which marks 10 years since New Zealand and China established a Comprehensive Strategic Partnership,” Mr Luxon says. “The Premier and ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    22 hours ago
  • Government and business tackling gender pay gap
    The coalition Government is taking action to reduce the gender pay gap in New Zealand through the development of a voluntary calculation tool. “Gender pay gaps have impacted women for decades, which is why we need to continue to drive change in New Zealand,” Acting Minister for Women Louise Upston ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 day ago
  • Funding Boost for Rural Support Trusts
    The coalition Government is boosting funding for Rural Support Trusts to provide more help to farmers and growers under pressure, Rural Communities Minister Mark Patterson announced today. “A strong and thriving agricultural sector is crucial to the New Zealand economy and one of the ways to support it is to ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 day ago
  • Latest data shows size of public service decreasing
    Spending on contractors and consultants continues to fall and the size of the Public Service workforce has started to decrease after years of growth, according to the latest data released today by the Public Service Commission. Workforce data for the quarter from 31 December 23 to 31 March 24 shows ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 day ago
  • Speech to the Law Association
    Thank you to the Law Association for inviting me to speak this morning. As a former president under its previous name — the Auckland District Law Society — I take particular satisfaction in seeing this organisation, and its members, in such good heart. As Attorney-General, I am grateful for these ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 day ago
  • 25 years on, NZ reaffirms enduring friendship with Timor Leste
    New Zealand is committed to working closely with Timor-Leste to support its prosperity and resilience, Foreign Minister Winston Peters says.   “This year is the 25th anniversary of New Zealand sending peacekeepers to Timor-Leste, who contributed to the country’s stabilisation and ultimately its independence,” Mr Peters says.    “A quarter ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 day ago
  • Inquiry requested into rural banking
    Promoting robust competition in the banking sector is vital to rebuilding the economy, Finance Minister Nicola Willis says.  “New Zealanders deserve a banking sector that is as competitive as possible. Banking services play an important role in our communities and in the economy. Kiwis rely on access to lending when ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 day ago
  • Ministry for Regulation targets red tape to keep farmers and growers competitive
    Regulation Minister David Seymour, Environment Minister Penny Simmonds, and Food Safety Minister Andrew Hoggard have today announced a regulatory sector review on the approval process for new agricultural and horticultural products.    “Red tape stops farmers and growers from getting access to products that have been approved by other OECD countries. ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 day ago
  • Government to reverse blanket speed limit reductions
    The Coalition Government will reverse Labour’s blanket speed limit reductions by 1 July 2025 through a new Land Transport Rule released for public consultation today, Transport Minister Simeon Brown says.  The draft speed limit rule will deliver on the National-ACT coalition commitment to reverse the previous government’s blanket speed limit ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 day ago
  • Chair appointments for NZSO, CNZ and NZ On Air
    Minister Paul Goldsmith is making major leadership changes within both his Arts and Media portfolios. “I am delighted to announce Carmel Walsh will be officially stepping into the role of Chair of the New Zealand Symphony Orchestra, having been acting Chair since April,” Arts Minister Paul Goldsmith says.  “Carmel is ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 day ago
  • Government focus on long-term food, fibre growth
    Food and fibre export revenue is tipped to reach $54.6 billion this year and hit a record $66.6b in 2028 as the Government focuses on getting better access to markets and cutting red tape, Agriculture Minister Todd McClay and Oceans and Fisheries Minister Shane Jones say. “This achievement is testament ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 day ago
  • Govt consulting on cutting red tape for exporters
    A new export exemption proposal for food businesses demonstrates the coalition Government’s commitment to reducing regulatory barriers for industry and increasing the value of New Zealand exports, which gets safe New Zealand food to more markets, says Food Safety Minister Andrew Hoggard.  “The coalition Government has listened to the concerns ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • New Zealand and Philippines elevating relationship
    New Zealand and Philippines are continuing to elevate our relationship, Foreign Minister Winston Peters says.   “The leaders of New Zealand and Philippines agreed in April 2024 to lift our relationship to a Comprehensive Partnership by 2026,” Mr Peters says. “Our visit to Manila this week has been an excellent ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • Paid Parental Leave increase to help families
    Workplace Relations and Safety Minister, Brooke van Velden says paid parental leave increase from 1 July will put more money in the pockets of Kiwi parents and give them extra support as they take precious time off to bond with their newborns. The increase takes effect from 1 July 2024 ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • Defence increases UN Command commitment
    The number of New Zealand Defence Force (NZDF) personnel deployed to the Republic of Korea is increasing, Defence Minister Judith Collins and Foreign Minister Winston Peters announced today.  NZDF will deploy up to 41 additional personnel to the Republic of Korea, increasing the size of its contribution to the United ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • New Zealand to attend 'Summit on Peace in Ukraine' in Switzerland
    New Zealand will be represented at the Summit on Peace in Ukraine by Minister Mark Mitchell in Switzerland later this week.    “New Zealand strongly supports Ukraine’s efforts to build a comprehensive, just, and lasting peace,” Foreign Minister Winston Peters says.   “Minister Mitchell is a senior Cabinet Minister and ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • Big step forward for M.bovis programme
    Farmers’ hard work is paying off in the fight against Mycoplasma bovis (M. bovis) with the move to a national pest management plan marking strong progress in the eradication effort, says Biosecurity Minister Andrew Hoggard.  “The plan, approved by the Coalition Government, was proposed by the programme partners DairyNZ, Beef ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • Build To Rent opening welcomed by Housing Minister
    Prime Minister Christopher Luxon and Housing Minister Chris Bishop formally opened a new Build to Rent development in Mt Wellington this morning. “The Prime Minister and I were honoured to cut the ribbon of Resido, New Zealand’s largest Build to Rent development to date.  “Build to Rent housing, like the ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • Agriculture to come out of the ETS
    The Government will deliver on its election commitment to take agriculture out of the New Zealand Emissions Trading Scheme (NZ ETS) and will establish a new Pastoral Sector Group to constructively tackle biogenic methane, Coalition Government Agriculture and Climate Change Ministers say. Agriculture Minister Todd McClay says New Zealand farmers ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • Luxon Tokyo-bound for political and business visit
    Prime Minister Christopher Luxon will travel to Japan from 16-20 June, his first visit as Prime Minister.   “Japan is incredibly important to New Zealand's prosperity. It is the world’s fourth largest economy, and our fourth largest export destination.  “As you know, growing the economy is my number one priority. A strong economy means ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • Bayly travels to Singapore for scam prevention meetings
    Minister of Commerce and Consumer Affairs, Andrew Bayly, travels to Singapore today to attend scam and fraud prevention meetings. “Scams are a growing international problem, and we are not immune in New Zealand. Organised criminal networks operate across borders, and we need to work with our Asia-Pacific partners to tackle ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • More help for homeowners impacted by severe weather
    People who were displaced by severe weather events in 2022 and 2023 will be supported by the extension of Temporary Accommodation Assistance through to 30 June 2025. Social Development and Employment Minister Louise Upston says the coalition Government is continuing to help to those who were forced out of their ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • Government to reverse oil and gas exploration ban
    Removing the ban on petroleum exploration beyond onshore Taranaki is part of a suite of proposed amendments to the Crown Minerals Act to deal with the energy security challenges posed by rapidly declining natural gas reserves, Resources Minister Shane Jones says. “Natural gas is critical to keeping our lights on ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • New Zealand and Malaysia to intensify connections
    New Zealand and Malaysia intend to intensify their long-standing, deep connections, Foreign Minister Winston Peters says.    “Malaysia is one of New Zealand’s oldest friends in South-East Asia – and both countries intend to get more out of the relationship," Mr Peters says.   "Our connections already run deep and ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • Ending contracted emergency housing motels in Rotorua
    The end of Contracted Emergency Housing (CEH) motels in Rotorua is nearing another milestone as the Ministry of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) announces it will not renew consents for six of the original 13 motels, Associate Housing Minister Tama Potaka says. The government is committed to stop using CEH ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • First Home Grant closure exemptions
    The Government is providing a narrow exemption from the discontinuation of the First Home Grant for first home buyers who may face unfair situations as a result, Housing Minister Chris Bishop says. “The First Home Grant scheme was closed with immediate effect on 22 May 2024, with savings being reprioritised ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    7 days ago
  • Faster consenting for flood protection projects in Hawke's Bay
    Work to increase flood resilience in Hawke’s Bay can start sooner, thanks to a new fast consenting process, Minister for Emergency Management and Recovery Mark Mitchell and Environment Minister Penny Simmonds say.  “Faster consenting means work to build stop banks, spillways and other infrastructure can get underway sooner, increasing flood ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Judge Craig Coxhead and Nathan Milner newest Māori Land Court appointments
    Tangata tū tangata ora, tangata noho tangata mate. Minister for Māori Development Tama Potaka today announced acting Deputy Chief Judge Craig Coxhead as the new Deputy Chief Judge, and Nathan Milner as Judge of the Māori Land Court. "I want to congratulate Judge Coxhead and Mr Milner on their appointments ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Government signs Indo-Pacific Economic agreements to boost trade
    Trade Minister Todd McClay and Climate Change Minister Simon Watts, today signed three Indo Pacific Economic Framework (IPEF) agreements that will boost investment, grow New Zealand’s digital and green economies and increase trade between New Zealand and the 14 IPEF partners. IPEF’s partners represent 40 per cent of global GDP ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
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  • Government signs Indo-Pacific Economic agreements to boost trade and cooperation
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