web analytics

Regional Realities.

Written By: - Date published: 11:06 am, August 31st, 2015 - 133 comments
Categories: cost of living, economy, employment, jobs, Social issues - Tags: , ,

Hundreds of job vacancies across various industries in Clutha. House prices a fraction of what they are elsewhere. What could possibly be wrong? Why aren’t people uprooting and getting up there? Clutha District mayor Bryan Cadogan reckons the Catlins might well act as something of an irresistible magnet pulling you to a place where you can be the mother or father you always wanted to be. You savouring that 1950’s nostalgia yet? On the downside, internet access and air travel are less than desirable. But hey, if we are nought beyond mere cogs in an economic contraption, and if we aspire to be ‘rationally optimising economic units’, then, in spite of the planes and internet, Clutha ought to be the latest ‘go to’ place.

But we aren’t merely walking and talking economic units, and I don’t want to sound too harsh, but I wouldn’t live in Clutha. Not if you paid me to.

Let me put it this way. I had a recent visit from a person hailing from the Czech Republic. They waxed lyrical on how lovely New Zealand is. They shared that they had an urge to move here permanently, until… well, here’s the nub of it. New Zealand’s flora, fauna and landscapes are wonderful. But there’s nothing here. It’s one step – a fairly large one – to go from the rich cultural heritage of Europe to a major centre in new Zealand. It’s quite another to drop into what some would term the ‘black holes’ of the Clutha’s of this country.

Seriously. Who the fuck wants to live in a places where (a real example) rubber necking locals on the street and disapproving service workers mean that Buddhists can feel compelled to remove their robes and wear ‘normal’ clothes? That was Invercargill.

Who wants to live in a place where ‘normal’ is forcibly pushing ‘normal’ into the face of anyone who isn’t pushing ‘normal’ into the faces of others? Who wants to negotiate social norms that are bound by lines that time has consigned to a deep and distant obscurity for those who ever had horizons? I mean, it’s not as if the social expectations present in some of New Zealand’s small towns are quaint or in any way culturally interesting; they’re plain fucking nasty, narrow and backwards.

In fairness, I could make similar comments on any country’s small town mentality, right before observing that many people get the hell out as quickly as possible. Just think though – if we were all just economic pragmatists, then the Cluthas of the world would be humming… in a quietly content, machine like kind of a way.

133 comments on “Regional Realities.”

  1. aj 1

    “I mean, it’s not as if the social expectations present in some of New Zealand’s small towns are quaint or in any way culturally interesting; they’re plain fucking nasty, narrow and backwards”

    Unfair and sweeping generalisation. There are pockets of the attitudes you describe amongst all centres of population in New Zealand.

    • Bill 1.1

      It was neither unfair nor generalised. Did your eyes slide over the qualifier? (Hint: the word you’re looking for is ‘some’).

      And yes, similar shit can be found in larger centres, but it ain’t pervasive.

      • mac1 1.1.1

        I think your qualifier ‘some’ should apply to some of the inhabitants rather than to some of the towns, Bill.

        In every society, every city, town, village, family I’m sure has its nasty, narrow and
        ‘normal’. My town of 20 thousand has its white power gang, as did Timaru and Christchurch, its racists and its ignorant. Same as everywhere.

        But, it also has a thriving arts, theatre and music culture. It commemorated Hiroshima day. It ran a recognition of the role of WW1 conscientious objectors in publicly hung posters and in the local paper earlier this year.

        No, small towns are not small-minded- not pervasively so.

        Deliverance has come- da da da DA da.

        • Bill 1.1.1.1

          As I say below, I live in a small town (pop ~ 500). There are, in common with other small places, deeply conservative elements and various stripes of nutters and nice people. The dominant culture is deeply conservative. I’d suggest that’s the norm for small places rather than the exception.

          Think about Clutha and the Mayor’s suggestion that *you* can be the mother or father you always wanted to be (whatever the fuck that’s meant to mean). Then move forward in time to your son’s or daughter’s teenage years and a scenario where it becomes quite clear that they are ‘different’ in some way or another.

          How’s that going to be working out?

          In (say) Christchurch, they can at least ‘anonymise’ themselves and so be themselves, or possibly find others who are just like themselves. But in places like Clutha?

          Now sure, maybe your kids would grow up and be very content with the opportunities and life on offer. Maybe.

          • mac1 1.1.1.1.1

            Kids and small towns. Both ours couldn’t wait to get away, so they both went on AFS overseas. Both to cities for Uni and then both overseas for work.

            Now one lives back here in our home town and the other is coming home in a fortnight after three years in China.

            Small towns call out to their young to return.

          • dukeofurl 1.1.1.1.2

            Balclutha 1996 census 4140
            2013 census 3918

            http://www.citypopulation.de/php/newzealand-southisland.php

            Thats one way to make sure there are jobs for locals, you leave if there isnt one.

      • aj 1.1.2

        Yes I read it. Refer to Mac1 +1.
        Thank you Mac1.

  2. BM 2

    Yep, small town NZ is great if you’re the same colour as the locals, lived there for a couple of generations and you are an active member in all aspects of the community.

    if that is isn’t you, small towns suck badly.

    Having said that, this isn’t just an NZ issue, it’s world wide.

  3. Undecided about my wormy arse 3

    Does anyone else wonder why Labour doesn’t do so well in rural communities when this (unfair) attitude exists towards it

    [lprent: We aren’t a Labour site read the about. If you want to be a unfair narrow minded stupid fuckwit slinging crap, then I suggest that you go to lauda finem. But last I’d heard, they’d turned their comments off. ]

    [lprent: See /regional-realities/#comment-1064787 ]

    • Bill 3.1

      What the fuck does that even mean?

      • Undecided about my wormy arse 3.1.1

        It means you just took a big, steaming dump on small town, rural communities and you probably wonder why Labour does so poorly in rural areas

        [lprent: See above. I guess they didn’t give you a brain when they assembled you.. ]

        [lprent: See /regional-realities/#comment-1064787 ]

        • Bill 3.1.1.1

          Maybe better if you don’t assume to read minds. You’re crap at it.

        • Lanthanide 3.1.1.2

          Maybe small town and rural communities need a wake up call to the reality of modern life, and why their populations are declining?

          I doubt they will take it, though.

          • Pat 3.1.1.2.1

            are you suggesting small towns with declining populations are that way because of the prevailing attitudes of the local population?

      • weka 3.1.2

        I think they mean you are Labour Bill, lolz.

        • Undecided about my wormy arse 3.1.2.1

          No but all it takes is some nosy journalist to read this blog (I assume they do) and they’ll take that left-wing activists (journalists are lazy asfter all) hate small-town rural communities and write some article on it

          [lprent: Oh FFS. You really are a idiotic fool… Ok, lets return in the same vein.

          Journalists appear to generally be brighter that you are, with a few noticeable exceptions. If you read the about rather than grunting on the keyboard while apparently ringing your arse in search of arsepirational inspiration (you should really get those worms seen to – like some other children I know), you’d have found that authors actually write their own opinions here. Just as commenters do. People of any political persuasion know better than to try to tell us how we should act. They are liable to lose their ‘helping’ hands.

          Usually most people on the ‘left’ disagree to some degree or another (I haven’t read Bill’s post yet, so I can’t comment on that), and we authors tend to as much as anyone does. However we do believe that others on the left need to be heard. So we tolerate a lot of shit from the cheap seats and from each other.

          But if you want a fast boot off from being able to write on this site, then going off and trying to label authors as having some kind of hivemind in the machine is a very fast way to do it. Read the policy, or I’d do more than merely reflect your insulting tones and fictional stories back to you.

          If you want to be a dickhead, then go ahead. I have no compunction about dealing with worm infested fuckwits. In fact, lets adjust your name… ]

          • weka 3.1.2.1.1

            sure but you appear to be confusing ‘Labour’ with ‘left-wing activists’. This isn’t a Labour party site (read the rules).

            I thought that Bill’s post was pretty over the top, but I took that to be about his views today rather than him representing left wing activists (again, read the rules).

            At this point in the game, I see ts authors as not caring too much about what journos think. Lynn steps up occassionally and gives them the special lprent treatment, but by and large the MSM ignored and ridiculed non-professional blogs until recently when they realised how influential they’re becoming. In that sense I’m grateful to the people who run the standard for taking such a ‘we don’t give a shit’ attitude. It’s not beholden to anyone and it gives the site a huge freedom.

            Besides which, we know that some in the MSM will write whatever they want anyway. If Bill had written a much more toned down and conciliatory post, the MSM would still be going ‘it’s Labour’s fault!’ or, as we see today from Gower ‘Labour leaderhip in crisis!’.

            Don’t buy into the bullshit. Tell us why you think Bill was wrong about small town NZ. Or the point he is making about economic units and people.

            • dukeofurl 3.1.2.1.1.1

              Have you looked up populations of small towns in South Island

              Try this and see how many are increasing

              http://www.citypopulation.de/php/newzealand-southisland.php

              Even Invercargill has dropped from 49,400 to 47,900 (93-2013)

              • weka

                What’s your point? I don’t see increasing population as always good or decreasing as always bad.

                • dukeofurl

                  Schools close, shops close, bank closes, garage /petrol closes or reduced choice
                  What happens when doctor retires and isnt replaced ?

                  Rates go up, not as much as big cities, but make it more expensive for small towns with same services.
                  How does the local high school cope with a falling roll, less money to run the same buildings, fewer teachers means less choice of subjects being taught

                  To me the hollowed out rural towns is definitely a bad thing, as we all suffer.
                  While its true some dont have to grow, they are very small to start with so its a downward effect of services.
                  AS we can see those small towns that have increased a small amount havent changed much, but their future is secured

  4. shorts 4

    looking at the job vacancies on Trademe and Seek for Clutha I feel that Bill may want to check the first sentence in his post, there are not hundreds of listings, not even close

    And for those like myself who’d happily leave the big city for a smaller centre … the reality is myself and my partner would have to find an entirely new careers or downgrade our job expectations drastically – such is the dilemma for the regions and those who would happily live there, lack of opportunity

    • Bill 4.1

      The claim of hundreds of job vacancies was made by the Mayor, not me. And yes, I’m aware the figure has been challenged. The point remains. We…maybe I should say “many of us” – aren’t just economic cogs to be turned by mere financial opportunity.

      • shorts 4.1.1

        sorry Bill

        I agree with your point regarding financial cogs – though for anyone thinking of moving or staying in the regions it is one of the driving concerns, if only it wasn’t so

      • weka 4.1.2

        The claim of hundreds of job vacancies was made by the Mayor, not me. And yes, I’m aware the figure has been challenged. The point remains. We…maybe I should say “many of us” – aren’t just economic cogs to be turned by mere financial opportunity

        True, although to be fair, the Mayor probably quite likes living there and wouldn’t get what you are saying. I didn’t listen to the audio though, is it really that bad?

        • Bill 4.1.2.1

          It was a puff piece by Ryan (surprised?) that dovetailed too nicely with National’s line about the provinces being hotbeds of opportunity. Nothing on the social reality of ‘going provincial’…just stuff on lack of internet speed and domestic flights. Oh yeah. And the Catlins and being the mum or dad you always wanted to be.

          edit – and I’ve little doubt that the mayor’s head moves in different circles to mine. But that was kind of the point of the post, yes? Small towns and diversity don’t really tend to go hand in hand.

          • weka 4.1.2.1.1

            ah, ok that makes sense then. There is no depression in NZ, all will be well if enough people just realise that they can have a rock star economy in Balclutha too.

  5. weka 5

    Holy Hell. Ok, I can see the probably point of this post is to point out that real humans have other needs beyond being economic units. But…

    I’m kind of surprised to see you espousing European high culture as more valid than other kinds Bill ;-p (I’ve also had contact with someone from the Czech Republic who thought where I lived was a cultural backwater). Some of us put quite a bit of effort in in recent decades to get NZ past its cultural cringe.

    Invercargill has a very good museum and art gallery. There are some very good painters in Southland, who paint there because of the light (you can’t get that anywhere else in NZ). You can get a free tertiary education there. Hone Tuwhare lived and wrote in the Clutha district. By choice. Didn’t Cilla McQueen end up in Bluff? Keri Hulme lives in a tiny village on the West Coast. The people that can’t find culture in Balclutha don’t know where to look and are probably used to having it laid out for them on a plate. People that live in conservative communities know that it works differently, that culture comes in different forms and is something that you have to engage with rather than be served up. Which isn’t to say that it should suit everyone, obviously not. But I would see it as a bad match rather than cultured individuals being good and rural towns being black holes.

    I know people who live in Clutha who don’t want the place filling up with Aucklanders slash townies. If I lived there I’d be one of them and I’d trade having to wear normal looking clothing to avoid latte drinkers any day of the week.

    In terms of social tolerance, I’ll also take the overt but often superficial bigotry of rural, small town NZ over the deception that goes with those city liberals who have hidden their bigotry behind a pleasant facade but it often runs deeper. Yes there are enclaves of social freedom in cities, but there are also enclaves of bullshit, and suburbs where it’s not so different than small town NZ.

    All of which is to say that yes, I agree there would be many city folk who wouldn’t want to leave Auckland because of the reasons you mention, but I suspect it’s more complex than that. People don’t want to leave family and friends. There is a flight from rural areas to cities because of cultural and societal expectations. If you send all the young people off to uni why would they come back? what if instead you provided education and career opportunities locally? Are the jobs on offer secure and with good conditions or would the Aucklander just be exchanging one set of problems for another? But beyond all that I think it’s the fractured nature of communities now and that so many people don’t know how to belong to them. The govt wants a highly mobile population and don’t consider community to be a priority, and that’s what we’ve got.

    • Colonial Viper 5.1

      In terms of social tolerance, I’ll also take the overt but often superficial bigotry of rural, small town NZ over the deception that goes with those city liberals who have hidden their bigotry behind a pleasant facade but it often runs deeper. Yes there are enclaves of social freedom in cities, but there are also enclaves of bullshit, and suburbs where it’s not so different than small town NZ.

      When I was campaigning in South Otago I ran across an older woman who said she didn’t like Asians. She said that they made good doctors and dentists but other than that she didn’t have much time for them. She said she’d vote for me though because although I was Chinese I seemed nice enough and quite like a Kiwi.

      Fine by me.

    • Bill 5.2

      A slight tangent here. I wasn’t espousing European high culture…that’s opera and all that other stuff that goes over my head, innit? Neither was I suggesting that NZ contemporary culture (artistic, literary or whatever ) is cringe worthy.

      Maybe think more ‘physical cultural history’; the stories or myths attached to quite obvious buildings, ruins, standing stones or whatever that are often thousands of years old. I’d punt it all adds up to a subtle yet deep influence on any sense of belonging and (this is a further aside) just might help explain why so many ‘white/grey’ people from settler colonies (NZ, US, Canada etc) are so interested in their pre-colonial European roots while Europeans in Europe tend to just shrug at such endeavours.

      Back to the guts of the post, overall population and population density exacerbates or ameliorates small town mentality, which yes, is a problem everywhere and not something unique to NZ…or small towns 😉

      I should probably add for the benefit of those who might be suspecting I’m just another ‘city kid’ or ‘townie’, that I live in a rural community and wild horses wouldn’t drag me away from here. And yes, although not as isolated as some places, it’s fractured and lacking in services and infrastructure to some degree .

    • Phil 5.3

      I know people who live in Clutha who don’t want the place filling up with Aucklanders slash townies. If I lived there I’d be one of them and I’d trade having to wear normal looking clothing to avoid latte drinkers any day of the week.

      When I was a kid in Chch, our christmas holiday would usually be a week caravaning around the South Island. I still have fond memories of the baking heat in Wanaka. I went back a couple of years ago with my partner and was devastated to see pretty much all the Queenstown Lakes District towns have turned into a cheap amalgam of Taupo and Auckland.

      • ianmac 5.3.1

        I think the same of Kaikoura Phil. Once was a wild rustic town where you could buy a large crayfish for 1/6d from a boiling copper on the side of the road. Now Kaikoura is a town shaped for tourists. Sad.

        • Phil 5.3.1.1

          you could buy a large crayfish for 1/6d

          Dude, you’re OLD. 🙂

          Kaikoura’s quite bi-polar. The part of the town that services the main trunk line is lousy with tourists, but step off the Esplanade and you could be in any little provincial town.

    • aj 5.4

      If you go to a provincial town to watch a super rugby match, or visit a small town pub to watch an all blacks game (both of which I uncharacteristically did in recent months) you will definitely be hard put not to come to Bill’s conclusions. Crowd behaviour in both instances was quite revealing (and revolting). What struck me was how referees sexual preferences chop and change according to the score. To say that the crowd mentality was primary school would insult most 5-10 yr. olds and this is from all age groups.

  6. Phil 6

    Just think though – if we were all just economic pragmatists, then the Cluthas of the world would be humming… in a quietly content, machine like kind of a way.

    Here’s the thing about ‘rational economic agents’ that many critiques, including yours, of economics fail to understand; it’s not all about the money.

    Economists, as a field, fully understand that individuals place value upon things like freedom of choice and access to opportunity and quality of life and community inclusiveness that are not directly wage/salary based.

    We get that. We understand how people work. The Clutha’s population is shrinking is neither a puzzle to economists nor a critique of economic theory.

    • Colonial Viper 6.1

      Rational economic agents in neoclassical theory have complete knowledge of all their choices and the effect of those choices both on the present and into the future.

      Which is of course, utter BS.

      We get that. We understand how people work. The Clutha’s population is shrinking is neither a puzzle to economists nor a critique of economic theory.

      Funny how economists pushing a neoliberal agenda never predicted the demise of small towns in the 80s and 90s.

      Or did they and just hide it from the people?

      • weka 6.1.1

        I was under the impression they didn’t care. They already knew from the Clearances and the Māori urban migrations that rural people could be moved on to wage slavery where it was needed and the wealth consolidated into the hands of the few. Same shit all over again.

      • Phil 6.1.2

        Funny how economists pushing a neoliberal agenda never predicted the demise of small towns in the 80s and 90s.

        Small towns have been in decline since at least the oil crises of the 70’s or the European Common Market closed us out of the UK in the 60’s. I suppose you’d also like to blame your 20th year of smoking for getting lung cancer, when you weren’t diagnosed in any of the previous 19?

        Rational economic agents in neoclassical theory have complete knowledge of all their choices and the effect of those choices both on the present and into the future.

        Wrong. Those assumptions are the foundation of what is, effectively, a thought experiment within classical economics of what a ‘perfect’ free market would look like. It’s as relevant to today’s understanding of economics as the idea of a ‘perfect’ communist polity is to modern left wing thought and practice.

        • Colonial Viper 6.1.2.1

          Wrong. Those assumptions are the foundation of what is, effectively, a thought experiment within classical economics of what a ‘perfect’ free market would look like. It’s as relevant to today’s understanding of economics as the idea of a ‘perfect’ communist polity is to modern left wing thought and practice.

          Then point me to the widely accepted economic theory which has replaced the concept of rational economic agents, and in particular, how the behaviour of individual rational economic agents is assumed to be scalable up to the analysis of entire markets and entire economies?

          • Phil 6.1.2.1.1

            You mean, like, the entirety of behavioral economics? I’m not your Google, CV. Take your pick!

            Or, to paraphrase Dan Carlin: I’m not an economist, just a fan of economics.

            I still fondly recall reading this back in the late 90’s…
            http://www.econ.ucla.edu/people/papers/hirshleifer/hirshleifer172.pdf

            … or you could try this as a starting point? I dunno, I just googled irrational rationality and clicked the first thing.
            https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Rational_irrationality

            —-

            Basically, here’s how I see it – you don’t need to have an entire nation of perfectly rational “Homo economicus” to have a market that functions in ways that look, and generate outcomes, pretty similar to what you might think of as “the free market”. If you put a bunch of people together and they generally act in ways that they think will generally advance their self interest, you get predictable outcomes (regardless of whether or not they’ve taken 300-level economics papers).

            Why? Because incentives matter. I cannot stress that enough; incentives matter. Let me labour the point once more: INCENTIVES MATTER.

            We see this today in the housing market – the relative tax incentives of housing versus other forms of savings/investment mean that NZers are probably over invested in housing. Add into that restrictive Local Auth planning and our comparatively open borders, and you get elevated house prices. No one should be surprised by this.

            • McFlock 6.1.2.1.1.1

              If you put a bunch of people together and they generally act in ways that they think will generally advance their self interest, you get predictable outcomes

              Economics can’t predict a damned thing: short term fluctuations, or intermittent long term crashes. But with hundreds of thousands of economists creating magical faith-based models, the ones that coincidentally “predict” fluctuations are lauded as successful. In reality, it’s all bullshit with captain hindsight rationalising what has happened (i.e. your “relative tax incentives” ball-gazing).

              • Phil

                As opposed to the thousands of commentators who have been predicting the demise of the financial system specifically and the western world generally for the last, what, three decades? Oh, don’t worry. I’m sure it’s just around the corner… any minute now… brace yourselves…

                it’s all bullshit with captain hindsight rationalising what has happened (i.e. your “relative tax incentives” ball-gazing).

                The supply of land is restricted. Every dollar invested in housing is subject to less tax than a dollar invested in pretty much any other kind of asset. What the fuck did YOU think was going to happen to house prices?

                There ain’t one economist I’ve talked to in the last decade that is surprised Auckland prices are where they are now.

                • Colonial Viper

                  As opposed to the thousands of commentators who have been predicting the demise of the financial system specifically and the western world generally for the last, what, three decades? Oh, don’t worry. I’m sure it’s just around the corner… any minute now… brace yourselves…

                  You’re a damn fool. An intelligent one, but a damn fool nonetheless.

                  If the western financial system is so healthy, why have trillions in QE been needed?

                  Why do central bankers say that they are in never before explored territory trying to react to situations in the financial system that have never been come across before?

                  Why are central bank balance sheets and reserves now at gargantuan levels?

                  Why are we sitting on zero or negative interest rates and everyone so damn scared to raise them even a smidgeon?

                  You think that we can keep playing games of pretend and extend, and that the music is going to keep playing in this ridiculous game of musical chairs that the 0.01% have placed us in?

                  A very smart fool.

                  EDIT and just start taking a look at the unexplained flash crashes and trading stoppages which have been affecting some of the big exchanges over the last couple of years. Not to mention Libor, gold, commodities price rigging. The whole system is utterly gamed, at this stage.

                • McFlock

                  Oh, we’ll see what happens if China’s economy collapses without the USA heating up again.

                  But then my point was that economics is not a science. At best it’s an art with a lot of charlatans and self-deluders who are indistinguishable from the true masters. And over the last thirty years it’s been a convenient excuse to justify the widening gap between employee productivity and employee wages.

                  • Draco T Bastard

                    You’re wrong there. Economics is a science. Unfortunately most economists focus upon the money and incentives rather than the actual economy which means we end up with BS as economic theory.

                    • McFlock

                      Apart from the fact that it’s not repeatable, so accurate predictions are indistinguishable from inaccurate fantasy.

                    • Colonial Viper

                      You’re wrong there. Economics is a science.

                      Nah, you’re wrong there. Lord Skidelsky said it best when he noted that debates between economists on the relative merits of their theories were largely interminable and inconclusive, unlike the real sciences.

                    • Draco T Bastard

                      Apart from the fact that it’s not repeatable, so accurate predictions are indistinguishable from inaccurate fantasy.

                      Incorrect again. In many ways the physical economy (the real economy) is predictable within acceptable margins of error:

                      1. We know how many people are in NZ and how many calories per person is needed to feed them all and we even know where those people are thus we can predict how much food we need to grow, where to grow it and what transport will be needed. All perfectly predictable. Even what foods to grow could be easily determined.
                      2. We know how many businesses there are, how many people they employ and where they are thus we can predict where, when and how much public transport is needed to get everyone to/from work.
                      3, We know how many smart-phones are needed to get full coverage of the population, we know how many will needed replacing both through accident and through obsolescence and thus we know how many smart-phones we need to be making on a daily basis.

                      All perfectly predictable. What’s getting in the way of that predictability is the delusion that we need rich people calling the shots.

                    • McFlock

                      1. We know how many people are in NZ and how many calories per person is needed to feed them all and we even know where those people are thus we can predict how much food we need to grow, where to grow it and what transport will be needed. All perfectly predictable. Even what foods to grow could be easily determined.

                      Apart from the fact that I hate pumpkin and you hate swede.

                      2. We know how many businesses there are, how many people they employ and where they are thus we can predict where, when and how much public transport is needed to get everyone to/from work.

                      Because work and home are the only possible destinations? Why do so many pensioners take the bus, then?

                      3, We know how many smart-phones are needed to get full coverage of the population, we know how many will needed replacing both through accident and through obsolescence and thus we know how many smart-phones we need to be making on a daily basis.

                      No, we don’t. and we never will, because suddenly there will not be a demand for smartphones and something else will be the fad du jour.

                      Both communists and libertarians have fantasised about being able to rationally predict supply and demand for an entire society. It will never happen, because people are fickle and go through fads, and a large sector of society just wants to be different.

                      There was a nice documentary series about this automaticarian prediliction a few years ago – it was called “all watched over by machines of loving grace”. Assuming one can predict the needs and wants of a society with any significant granularity is the ultimate hubris, IMO.

                    • Draco T Bastard

                      Apart from the fact that I hate pumpkin and you hate swede.

                      Actually, I hate pumpkin and swede. But, as I said, it’s easy enough to determine what to grow. Hell, we just have to look at what the market does which is to look at what was bought one week and duplicate it the next week. Whatever made you think that it wasn’t planned for?

                      Because work and home are the only possible destinations?

                      Well, that’s the beauty of public transport – it operates reliably 24 hours a day, 7 days a week and goes everywhere. The amount available at any one time changes as demand changes. I was just using the work/home commute to show that the amount of demand is predictable.

                      No, we don’t. and we never will, because suddenly there will not be a demand for smartphones and something else will be the fad du jour.

                      Smart-phones are no longer a ‘fad’ but are an essential part of living in a modern society thus we do know the demand. Some people don’t have them because the market is failing.

                      The essentials can be predicted because they apply to everyone. You then have a market in niche goods and services. Some of those niche goods and services will become essentials of which smart-phones and computers and internet are good examples.

                    • McFlock

                      Hell, we just have to look at what the market does which is to look at what was bought one week and duplicate it the next week. Whatever made you think that it wasn’t planned for?

                      But the aggregate isn’t “planned” by the market. Lots of individual businesses plan, and the ones that get the plans wrong fail. Then if they happen, through design or good luck, to get their plans right, they tell themselves it was because of their brilliance and then try and kick the ladder away from their competitors. That’s market “planning” for you.

                      Because work and home are the only possible destinations?

                      Well, that’s the beauty of public transport – it operates reliably 24 hours a day, 7 days a week and goes everywhere. The amount available at any one time changes as demand changes. I was just using the work/home commute to show that the amount of demand is predictable.

                      lol the otago regional counncil would love to know that.

                      The supply is reasonably predictable. The demand is not.

                      Smart-phones are no longer a ‘fad’ but are an essential part of living in a modern society thus we do know the demand. Some people don’t have them because the market is failing.

                      and thirty years ago the fax machine was essential for business. Information transfer is essential – it’s the definition of living in a society. People existing in a society with no exchanges of information are like time without any state change to mark it. But how we exchange that information only currently, and possibly briefly, involves smartphones. And the instance of that change away from phones will be unpredictable.

                      The essentials can be predicted because they apply to everyone. You then have a market in niche goods and services. Some of those niche goods and services will become essentials of which smart-phones and computers and internet are good examples.

                      Where market libertarians and communists fail is not so much predicting aggregate demand, but in getting specific product to specific individual who wants it, when they want it. But those microfailures ripple out in the social chaos to distort the aggregate demand unpredictably in the real world, resulting un bubbes and collapses.

                    • Draco T Bastard

                      But the aggregate isn’t “planned” by the market. Lots of individual businesses plan, and the ones that get the plans wrong fail.

                      Yes it is. Without planning the food produced and delivered would never be right. And even with all that the resultant waste is quite high. As for failing businesses – you may not have noticed but we effectively have a duopoly here in NZ for distribution. That’d be a monopoly quick-smart if we didn’t have laws preventing it. As far as groceries go the monopoly is the better, more efficient option. That’s always true of ubiquitous services.

                      lol the otago regional counncil would love to know that.

                      The supply is reasonably predictable. The demand is not.

                      When is the demand not predictable? During rugby matches? Even then it’s predictable because you can know how many, max, are going to the stadium and adding a few extra buses to cater for the pub crowd. You take a look at what happened and then adjust accordingly next time there’s a game on.

                      But how we exchange that information only currently, and possibly briefly, involves smartphones.

                      And pretty much will be forever more. They may get smaller but it’s still going to be a smart device that connects to the internet. The demand will remain the same. All we need is the manufacturing capability to meet that demand.

                      Where market libertarians and communists fail is not so much predicting aggregate demand, but in getting specific product to specific individual who wants it, when they want it.

                      There’s a reason why I mentioned a small private sector supplying niche goods and services and even then they’d still be using that same manufacturing capability.

                      The future does not look like the past.

                    • McFlock

                      But the aggregate isn’t “planned” by the market. Lots of individual businesses plan, and the ones that get the plans wrong fail.

                      Yes it is. Without planning the food produced and delivered would never be right. And even with all that the resultant waste is quite high.

                      High levels of waste = not a right prediction.
                      Not to mention the times I go into a store looking for an item and it is not there.

                      As for failing businesses – you may not have noticed but we effectively have a duopoly here in NZ for distribution. That’d be a monopoly quick-smart if we didn’t have laws preventing it. As far as groceries go the monopoly is the better, more efficient option. That’s always true of ubiquitous services.

                      And the duopoly became a duopoly because many other general stores failed and were sold. This is not a planning system. At best, market theory is a series of inductive, local corrections after the fact, most of which only fail to have catastrophic consequences simply because of the likelihood that the weight of oppositely incorrect predictions will broadly even them out.

                      lol the otago regional counncil would love to know that.

                      The supply is reasonably predictable. The demand is not.

                      When is the demand not predictable? During rugby matches? Even then it’s predictable because you can know how many, max, are going to the stadium and adding a few extra buses to cater for the pub crowd. You take a look at what happened and then adjust accordingly next time there’s a game on.

                      Every day I see an empty bus, or an overflowing one, is the result of unpredictable demand.
                      But even in your rugby match analogy, maybe it’s sunny and everyone walks. Maybe the match sucks so most people leave half way through. Predict that.

                      But how we exchange that information only currently, and possibly briefly, involves smartphones.

                      And pretty much will be forever more. They may get smaller but it’s still going to be a smart device that connects to the internet. The demand will remain the same. All we need is the manufacturing capability to meet that demand.

                      Really?
                      Maybe biometric recognition becomes so good that, with some LRAD tech applied to sound and vision, what becomes ubiquitous is not a power-hungry processor but billboards that double as private messagers and web browsers that only you can see or hear. Or maybe the real tech means that people carry little more than a quantumly entangled i/o device that goes months without recharging, but the real development and resources involve what the device is entangled with.
                      Basically, in 1700 you would have said that people talking to each other still involves some manner of physical transport. Yeah, well, while still correct after a fashion, it still fundamentally fails to describe our current society.

                      Where market libertarians and communists fail is not so much predicting aggregate demand, but in getting specific product to specific individual who wants it, when they want it.

                      There’s a reason why I mentioned a small private sector supplying niche goods and services and even then they’d still be using that same manufacturing capability.
                      The future does not look like the past.

                      No, it doesn’t. But if we fail to learn from the past, we are doomed to repeat it. The conceit of the “perfectly” or even “acceptably” predictable economy has a long and proud history of utter failure.

                      Which makes economics a pseudoscience.

                    • Draco T Bastard

                      High levels of waste = not a right prediction.

                      Correct but the stock level was still based upon a prediction, i.e, even the market can’t get by without planning.

                      Not to mention the times I go into a store looking for an item and it is not there.

                      In this day and age, why are you even going to the store? Far better to get online and order it and have it delivered in your weekly shopping. Of course, that would remove all the need for prediction and waste that we presently endure under the present market based system.

                      And the duopoly became a duopoly because many other general stores failed and were sold.

                      Actually, I suspect it’d be more that a number of previously successful businesses failed because of the rise of the duopoly. As I say, the monopoly version is more efficient. People pay more at a supermarket because it’s cheaper in time and effort.

                      At best, market theory is a series of inductive, local corrections after the fact, most of which only fail to have catastrophic consequences simply because of the likelihood that the weight of oppositely incorrect predictions will broadly even them out.

                      Yeah, I’m pretty sure I’ve it delusional several times now.

                      Maybe biometric recognition becomes so good that, with some LRAD…

                      Wow, you wrote all that and didn’t actually have a point.

                      Which makes economics a pseudoscience.

                      No it doesn’t. It makes the present economic hypothesis delusional BS. But actual economics, the supply and distribution of scarce resources, that would be a science.

                      The market was probably a good idea back in Adam Smith’s time but not any more as we really do know how much food is needed and how much it takes to grow it and distribute it and thus we can plan it. With 3D printing and the internet we really are on the verge of having manufacturing on demand rather than large factories which produce lots of a single item and then hoping to sell them all.

                      https://www.thevenusproject.com/en/
                      http://www.alfiekohn.org/article/case-competition/

                    • McFlock

                      The thing about science is that if the predictions based on a model or theory are incorrect, then the model or theory is incorrect. It’s not just about prediction – soothsayers reading entrails make predictions, but that doesn’t mean a damned thing.

                      Retreating to a no-true-scotsman fallacy (“actual economics”) is all well and good, but until you can demonstrate that there exists a set of economists who make repeatable and accurate predictions based on robust models and theories without post hoc captain hindsight explanations of why reality didn’t match their prediction precisely, your assertions that economics (even “actual economcs”) is a science are purely faith-based assertions. Just like your prediction that we’ll always universally have smartphones or something similar (hell, not being in 24hr contactability might end up being a social custom, like a siesta).

                  • greywarshark

                    Coincidence McFlock – the word charlatan just came to me though I hadn’t used it or seen it for years. Now I see it in your comment.

                    I think it is very apt for the present. Perhaps it should be declared as the in word in NZ or the month of September. I could make that an acronym and be very modern IWINZ. There is a department not too unlike that to which the word could apply.

        • Draco T Bastard 6.1.2.2

          Small towns have been in decline since at least the oil crises of the 70’s or the European Common Market closed us out of the UK in the 60’s.

          Actually, small rural towns have been declining for 5000 years or more. It’s a factor of increased productivity in the agricultural sector. As productivity increases the number of warm bodies needed to support farmers decreases causing people to leave. This has a flow on effect to the community because of the decreasing mutual support networks. Increasing productivity in other areas has a similar effect.

          People move from the small town to the large town where that increased productivity can be put to use boosting development.

  7. swordfish 7

    Small town mentality

    In Balclutha’s case, probably not helped by what some have suggested was a certain amount of ‘in-breeding’ over the generations. Balclutha was always known in the IHC for having by far the highest proportion of IHC kids and adults in the Country and (usually in hushed whispers, behind closed doors), it was sometimes speculated that this might have been the corollary of the locals swimming in an unusually small gene pool.

    Much like the Blue Ridge Mountains of old Kentucky.

  8. keith ross 8

    Having lived in several rural communities, over the years, around Otago. The main problem with the “hundreds of Jobs” is that for one they don’t exist and the ones that do are for minimum wage or just over. This is before you take into account that you have to often travel a long way to get to one of “the hundreds of jobs”. Saying that there are hundreds of jobs does not make it so. I have found that the well off rural people who may well be offering employment expect that you will work for next to nothing with an attitude that tends to be a hundred years out of date. The more money they have the more that they expect for less remuneration. It could be expressed as a mathematical formula if I could be bothered working it out and had the time to gather the statistics. Clutha could offer decent money and those jobs would be filled, except the market is only supposed to work in favor of employers not employees. Are you not supposed to offer more money till the position is filled letting the market decide on the value of the remuneration?
    Now living in the city ex rural person.

    • weka 8.1

      I think that’s a big part of it. I’ve seen this too and I’d love to know if any research has been done on just how poor working conditions are in smaller places. Lot of people I know don’t have employment contracts. Or regular hours and they’re not working for the big fast food companies players, they’re working for small businesses who get away with what they want because people are desperate for the work. I wonder if the Mayor has done any work on the Living Wage in the Clutha?

      • dukeofurl 8.1.1

        Trademe Jobs only lists 15 jobs in Clutha District and for ‘Catlins’ and thats zero.

        The mayor must think it cant be checked

        • aj 8.1.1.1

          I thought I heard him say there were 1200 jobs in Southland/Invercargill, bs I’d think. Seek = 141

        • greywarshark 8.1.1.2

          There was an interesting point made – The Mayor had been on the Mayors Taskforce for Jobs. I wonder what they did when they were holding meetings about it? Sit around and have a beer or coffee and sandwiches while trying to care.

          http://www.radionz.co.nz/audio/player/201768655
          Because he talked freely about jobs – 700 I think he said. It seems to fit in with the idea that they are just lying around and employers kneel and beg at the entrance to their establishments while haughty unemployed stride past and say I’m oss to the Pub to get shlozled. And guess what it is all schools fault. The training of young people for trade jobs was taken on by the ITOs Industry Training. still the business leaders moan and blame education. NZ business is pathetic.
          http://www.itf.org.nz/itos/

          Mayor says regions awash with job, but schools must do better
          9:19 AM. Clutha District mayor Bryan Cadogan has just retired as head of the Mayors Taskforce for Jobs. He says the regions are awash with job vacancies, but schools need to better prepare young people for employment. Rachel Hopkins is the spokesperson for Got A Trade Week, a collaboration by Industry Training Organisation to highlight the opportunities for young people in trades and services.

        • Realblue 8.1.1.3

          I worked as a teacher in South Otago a while back. All the students got jobs on leaving school. Very few are advertised because those towns are communities in the best sense of the word. There was also very low unemployment. There are jobs in NZ that don’t use seek you know, particularly in the regions.

          • RedLogix 8.1.1.3.1

            Very few are advertised because those towns are communities in the best sense of the word.

            Absolutely my experience too. Mind you it is a sword that cuts both ways. If they don’t like the look of your face, or you come with a bad rep – then you’re fucked.

            I guess that is the nature of community – it protects itself.

            • greywarshark 8.1.1.3.1.1

              It can be a double edged sword. Community protects itself, or puts picket fences with pointy tops around itself. There tends to be a pecking order that the new person needs to find out. And be careful if someone is rude or difficult and you mention that to someone you are chatting to. It is likely to be that person’s first cousin and you don’t have the honest right of free speech, and they will tell the disputative person that you were complaining. Keeping schtum is the order of the day. Not every community is warm and fuzzy.

    • greywarshark 8.2

      Keith R
      Are you not supposed to offer more money till the position is filled letting the market decide on the value of the remuneration?
      Now living in the city ex rural person.

      Now that is a correct statement of an important part of economic theory. With the emphasis being on the word theory.

  9. Golden Jon 9

    Very glad that I live in a small community that is actually quite liberal in its outlook. Buddhists wearing robes would not be the most outlandish thing to be seen here. (Don’t want to spoil the place by giving away it’s location… but there’s one road in, and one road out. And a big hill…)

  10. I live in a small town and my mother was born in Milton – your generalisations about small town culture are the opposite of my experience. Community does exist in small towns. You become part of the community over time.

    ” it’s not as if the social expectations present in some of New Zealand’s small towns are quaint or in any way culturally interesting; they’re plain fucking nasty, narrow and backwards.”

    That is actually backwards.

    • Colonial Viper 10.1

      Yeah there’s quite a lot to be said for small town NZ. But it takes time and effort to get to know the place and the people. You won’t make quick friends, but you will make real friends. More than can be said for the big smoke.

      • marty mars 10.1.1

        Yep. That area is rich in cultural history from tangata whenua onwards…

        • RedLogix 10.1.1.1

          Wholeheartedly agree with both of you CV and marty.

          Although we both grew up in Auckland, we’ve been pro-small town people for a while now. We will never go back to a big city by choice.

          The thing is that while the locals in the rural places will leave you in little doubt as to what they think of you – it will be real.

  11. BM 11

    Couldn’t think of anything worse than living in a small town, probably only living in Dunedin could be worse.

    Give me the hustle and bustle of a city any day.

    • ianmac 11.1

      Largely an illusion of belonging BM. We humans can only handle about 100 “friends/aquaintances” each.

    • lprent 11.2

      I didn’t mind Dunedin when I was there from 1985-1988. The first part was doing a MBA. Then I spent two and half years doing computer support and learning how to seriously program while I waited for my partner to finish her Llb/BCom. Once you got over the shock of dealing with the cold valleys and heaving coal in winter, it was a pretty nice cheap place to live.

      Just no particularly interesting jobs – but that did allow me to pursue a programming obsession. I only did one more stint in non-programming management after that, and then went into building code and projects full-time.

      • BM 11.2.1

        Visited Dunedin once, but it did leave a lasting memory.

        Sitting round getting on the piss with the locals when one guy came out with the comment.
        “If I have kids and have a daughter and she’s good looking I’d root her.

        I was thinking to myself, seriously WTF! and then all the other guys I was with chimed in with a “bloody oath, mate!” and a nodding of heads.

        Christ, bunch of god damn inbred banjo plucking mofos

        That was a while ago though, hopefully attitudes have changed.

        • RedLogix 11.2.1.1

          Probably not.

          It’s likely they still get a kick taking the piss out Jaffa’s 🙂

          • McFlock 11.2.1.1.1

            Jaffas we throw into the street.

            JAFAs are for urine extraction. Occasionally young hoons get confused, though.

            • Anno1701 11.2.1.1.1.1

              “JAFAs are for urine extraction”

              you drink it ?

              some sort of witch-doctory to make you more sophisticated?

          • greywarshark 11.2.1.1.2

            Anyone who can find amusement in such a situation virtually pisses over their daughter’s body and integrity and right of place of respect n the heart of her father and finally, human rights

            There is not even snide amusement for good people in the situation. Anyone who doesn’t find it totally unacceptable even as an inflated story, needs to reassess their own values.

        • lprent 11.2.1.2

          Ah.. South Dunedin?

          Now I guess I will have to wear a disguise if I go down there again.

  12. Gabby 12

    Can’t help feeling Dunedin dodged a bit of a bullet there.

  13. vto 13

    What a total ignoramus

    Small town nz is simply concentrated big town nz

    Fool to miss it – such an opportunity right in front of your blinkered eyes Bill.

    • greywarshark 13.1

      It is well known and documented that people in rural areas are slower to accept change and more stuck in their ways with some having deep prejudices, especially against ‘outsiders’. So Small town NZ is not concentrated Big town NZ.

      But all Small town NZ aren’t the same. Some can decide to change if leaders in the small town can get the numbers behind them and a new idea but it’s often a case of lack of vision and lack of self-awareness – not knowing that they don’t know so much.

      • vto 13.1.1

        greywarshark “It is well known and documented that people in rural areas are slower to accept change and more stuck in their ways with some having deep prejudices, especially against ‘outsiders’. So Small town NZ is not concentrated Big town NZ. ”

        Being “slower to accept”, “more stuck” and “having deep prejudices” is exactly concentrated big town nz, that’s what I said. It is the exact same characteristics found in big town, just in more concentrated (or exaggerated) form.

        You inadvertently explained how I was correct in that “small town NZ is simply concentrated big town NZ”. Thanks

        • greywarshark 13.1.1.1

          Right vto I am happy if you think I helped your point. In the end I think it is better to live in a medium sized town. I think small towns can get terribly stuck in their ways and minds as I said, and in cities the community can be hard to gather though that might improve where there are wards and local boards for local issues.

  14. weston 14

    i lived in karamea for a couple of years in the eighties woulndnt have been ageneralization to say at that time at least the native locals hated hippies even thgough hippies were all over the place cause land was so cheap on the ,;coast ; The editor of the local paper in wesport even ran editorials suggesting that all the ;outsiders ;should leave and go back from whence they came despite the fact that the town was desperately poor and the benifits or otherwise of the ;outsiders would surely have added to the areas bottom line .I remember reading an article by rosemary mckloud who had visited westport and was so shocked she wrote a story on it . The last line was brillient ;and i caught the last stagecoach out of town;actually now that i think about it the word the locals liked to describe non locals was loopies and even regular tourists got that nic. there were some big positives about the place tho and it provided a perfect place for some healthy kids

  15. Ad 15

    And here the writer is…

    – Commenting on a leftie site, nursing the wounded neurosis of being surrounded by solid rural Nats.
    – Wanting something more for the culture of a place, but not sure what.
    – Pulling down the local Mayor – for trying to change things but just not the right way
    – Not wanting to negotiate social norms, as if there’s a place without them
    – Wanting something better for the town, the place, the people. Just not this, done this way, and not prepared to risk saying what it would be.
    – Wondering why people stare when they dress to stand out. Well duh.

    Bill, every single small town in New Zealand under 5,000 is dying: aging, stagnating, decaying. There’s so few exceptions that the rule is firm. it’s largely irreversible.

    The people around you in your small town are not from the Undead. Shrunk and disempowered through 30 years of restructuring, mechanization, service cuts, and no job earning over $60k for a hundred kilometers (grant the exception for Sharemilkers), they have been forgotten for so long they have forgotten what’s it’s like to remember.
    Even Northland people – those dirt-poor dopers – figured they had got to their limit of being mocked like that.

    Bill, you give these people so little credit, writing with so little grace, with such sneering misanthropy, you can’t see that the place you hold up to examine is a mirror to your own face.

    • weka 15.1

      “Bill, every single small town in New Zealand under 5,000 is dying: aging, stagnating, decaying. There’s so few exceptions that the rule is firm. it’s largely irreversible.”

      That is simpy not true.

      • Ad 15.1.1

        Go right ahead.

        • weka 15.1.1.1

          I don’t know where you live, but where I live many small towns are doing ok. Admittedly some of those towns are living off the tourism bubble and are in a for a big shock when that breaks, and it’s true that many face serious challenges around the demise of family farming. But most small towns in NZ terminally ill? Doubt it. Might be different up north of course.

          • RedLogix 15.1.1.1.1

            Exactly. My observation was that while it was common for many young people to move away from town as soon as they could – a fair proportion of them returned at some point in their lives. Often when they have kids themselves.

            And there are many quite excellent retirement options in these towns as well – places where people (count us in) do choose for positive reasons. Cost, convenience, community and a real sense of belonging.

            We looked at this place very closely. Bloody impressive and a fraction of the cost an Auckland equivalent:

            http://www.lansdownepark.co.nz/

            This does make the demographic profile a bit skewed towards the older – but it’s not necessarily a sign of terminal decline.

      • dukeofurl 15.1.2

        What an absurd statement.

        heres a list of all South Island towns with population over 1996-2013 ( census)

        http://www.citypopulation.de/php/newzealand-southisland.php

        Work out how many are same population or less from 1996-2013

        Some places are just extensions of larger towns
        eg Brightwater is inland from Nelson is 1200 up to 1700

        Bluff was 2000 is now 1800

        Cheviot was 440 is 370, Clinton was 350 is now 380

        Hokitika was 3800 is now 3450

        Timaru was 27,800 is now 27,050

        • weka 15.1.2.1

          Are you making an argument that large towns are also terminally ill?

          What is it about those numbers that makes you think small towns are terminally ill? Apart from the small drops in numbers, which could mean anything and don’t necessarily relate to the health and wellbeing of that community.

          I’d also like you to explain your analysis of that chart because you appear to be ignoring the towns whos populations increased. I haven’t done a count, did you?

          • dukeofurl 15.1.2.1.1

            What is it with you that cant face facts. You are the most fact challenged person around, with room up top for dancing.

            These towns are dying. End of story. That they are nice places to see out your retirement is one thing. They can be of a certain size that all is sweet for quite a while longer.
            Simply put more people are leaving than arriving .

            The schools get smaller, the sports teams reduce. The post office closes, the bank(s) close. The shops close and are not replaced, the supermarket closes.
            The doctors close and no one replaces them.
            Simply put more people are leaving than arriving .

            The falling numbers are mostly young people, the older people stay as they have a job or are close to retirement and stay for good or go to be near family

            • weka 15.1.2.1.1.1

              Fuck off with the ad homs.

              You seem to be arguing that x drop in population automatically means a town will decline and never recover and eventually die. Here’s how Ad put it,

              Bill, every single small town in New Zealand under 5,000 is dying: aging, stagnating, decaying. There’s so few exceptions that the rule is firm. it’s largely irreversible.

              I’m saying that’s not true, at least not where I live (I spend most of my time in Otago, Southland and occaccionally Canterbury). But let’s follow this through. At what point do you consider a town to be dead? Then take 4 towns, let’s say Te Anau, Cromwell, Balclutha and Waimate, and tell me when you think they will be offically dead (rough estimate is fine). Then tell me what are the signs of decay and stagnation that you see in each.

              • dukeofurl

                ASk the Principles of local schools what a falling roll means.

                Is the cell phone coverage patchy already, because it isnt going to increase, as for broadband , dream on.

                Things like police , fire ambulance are scaled down, or only served from neighbouring towns.

                What happens when the bank closes ? A local regional center like Balclutha may be Ok but the other towns are hollowed out, and are lucky to have any shops , service stations.

                BUt as Ive found before with you, reality isnt something you deal with. It almost as though you are the poster child of the small minded small town person. I dont know if you are in a small declining town, but there are heaps just like you.

                [You will cut out the ad hom shit. There won’t be any more of it coming from your keyboard, understand? Until you acknowledge reading this, you’re in moderation] – Bill

                • weka

                  I’m well aware of all those issues duke. I’ve been seeing them in small towns my whole life and I agree there are serious issues there. I just disagree with Ad’s original statment that most towns in NZ under 5,000 population are going to die. It’s simply not true. I’ve asked you to qualify your own argument by defining what town death is, you haven’t. I’ve asked you to look at 4 specific towns and tell me what the signs of decline are there, you haven’t.

                  You can name things in the abstract all you like, but you don’t then get to tell me I don’t deal in facts. What you mean is you don’t like my argument and you have no way of refuting what I say apart from ad hominems and assertions without back up.

                  I don’t live in a small declining town. At the moment I live in a rural area a bit out from a small town that’s fine. But I’m not basing my ideas or argument on where I live, I’m basing them on 30+ years of watching what happens to small towns, including talking to people who live there and visiting those places. I know full well what happens to communities when post offices close or school roles drop. But I also know the things that people in those places do to make the town survive and some of that is successful.

                  I do wonder if you don’t actually understand what I am saying here. It’s like you think I am saying the opposite of what Ad said, that most towns are doing well. I’m not.

                • dukeofurl

                  Point taken

    • b waghorn 15.2

      Thank you Ad

  16. dukeofurl 16

    Heres list of North island towns
    http://www.citypopulation.de/php/newzealand-northisland.php

    dannevirke – down
    dargaville – down
    Edgecumbe – down
    Ektahuna – down
    Eltham – down
    Featherston -down
    Foxton – down
    Frasertown -down
    Gisborne- static
    Hawera – down
    Huntly – down
    Kaikohe -down
    Kaitaia -down
    Kawakawa – down
    Kawerau – down
    Marton – down
    Moerewa – down
    Ohakune – down
    Opotiki – down
    Opunake – down
    Otorohanga – down
    Paeroa – down
    Pahiatua – down
    patea – down
    Putaruru -down
    Raetihi – down
    Reporoa – down
    Ruatoria – down
    Russell- down
    Shannon – down
    Stratford -down
    Taihape -down
    Tairua -down
    Taumarunui -down
    Te Kuiti – down
    Te Teko -down
    Thames -down
    Tokoroa – down
    Turangi – down
    Waiouru -down
    Waipukurau – down
    Waitara -down
    Wairoa -down
    Wanganui -down
    Waverley -down
    Whangamata – down
    Woodville -down

    That doesnt include a lot of small settlements under 500, most of those would be down , that arent on outskirts of major towns

    • weka 16.1

      What’s your point?

    • weka 16.2

      In the South Island these have all gone up (I left out the cities)

      Alex, Amberly, Arrowtown, Brightwater, Clyde, Cromwell, Culverden, Cust, Darfield, Dunsandel, Fox, Franz, Geraldine, Hamner, Tekapo, Leetson, Lincoln, Manapouri, Mapua, Methven, Motueka, Outram, Oxford…

      Have given up at the O’s, because I think I’ve made my point.

      Gore has gone down. I’d love to know how you think it’s in irreversible decline. Bet Gore people would love to know too.

      Populations change. Some of it is demographics, some economics, some of it cultural etc. To suggest all the youn uns are leaving and the tumbleweeds are arrving misses the compexities and also misses the resiliency of those communities.

      • dukeofurl 16.2.1

        How many of those are fairly close to a larger city ie Culverden, Cust, Darfield- which would be Christchurch
        No doubt Central otago an other towns which are spillovers from Queenstown, Cromwell, Clyde etc. are growing, some quite quickly

        I think with a few areas like Golden Bay, Nelson, around outskirts of Christchurch and central otago – ‘pretty towns’ are far less than the declining small towns.
        -which means shops closing, schools declining rolls, services decreasing while costs like water supply sewerage increase.

        • weka 16.2.1.1

          Manapouri? Tekapo? Fox?

          So, now it’s not ‘every single small town under 5,000’, just the ugly ones, is that right?

  17. Ad 17

    One of the few exceptions to my point is Wanaka.
    This is a boomtown, with permanent residency well over 5,000, holiday peak over 25,000, and full of cashed-up 55+ Europeans.

    I go down for holidays, and plan to retire there, soon as I get to 55 myself.

    • weka 17.1

      God help us if Wanaka is to be held up as an example of what small town NZ should be 😉

    • mac1 17.2

      Ad, sounds like you could have misread the title of the post as being “Regional Realties”. 🙂

      But seriously, according to the 2013 census, the 65+s are heading to Bay of Plenty, followed by Tasman, Nelson then Marlborough.

      The median age of Marlborough in 2025 will be 51.4 years of age.

      65+s will outnumber children.

      Even though populations might still be growing, they are changing. There are some challenges ahead, whatever side of the political fence we sit, and how much wealth we possess.

      One is the % decrease on regional income as pensioners become a bigger %. Another is the lowering of wages as more low paid workers get jobs caring for the elderly. Another is sea level rise. Another is the cost of health care for an aging population. Living in gated or secluded communities dependent on fossil fuel-driven vehicles will bring challenges.

      These too are looming regional realities.

      At least in Wanaka with the wannabies you won’t have a problem with sea levels.

      • weka 17.2.1

        Big, fat earthquake waiting in the wings though. Never mind, all those blue voters will no doubt pull together and help each other through.

        • mac1 17.2.1.1

          Surprisingly, people do pull together. I was a farm worker as a young married man and after a house fire that destroyed our house and all its contents, we were well supported by our community, including no doubt many blue voters.

          The same during the floods of 1983. People did pull together.

          And earthquakes are an ever present threat throughout our shaky isles. Perhaps our flag should have a blurred motion-affected look, to reflect our land and its leaders.

          • weka 17.2.1.1.1

            We’re a long way from 1983. I look to Chch to see how we treat each other now.

            I think it’s a bit different when it’s an individual or family and they’re considered to be important to the community and where the community is intact and where there is a timeframe on the help. I see those people getting looked after as well. It’s a different story when a large scale disaster happens that doesn’t go away. Chch is still in the disaster, it hasn’t ended yet.

        • Ad 17.2.1.2

          They will get the best help money can buy.

      • Ad 17.2.2

        Wanaka: one of the world’s last rich, white, remote enclaves – and as yet still ungated.

        And the more severe the storms, the greater the snow dumps. At least until end of next century.

        Wanaka-Queenstown, and Nelson-Golden Bay, are two of the only growing bits of the South Island outside of Christchurch area. I still prefer Central.

        By the next census, about half of New Zealand will live from Hamilton north.

        If I have a moment I will run a proper post responding to Bill.
        Meantime, the 2013 census breakdowns by income, ethnicity, age, and population, together with the Deprivation Index and regional GDP, tell a more compelling story that a couple of put-downs about Clutha.

        At some point someone will revive the concept of regional economic development, and recognise the place that civic leadership really can play.

        • weka 17.2.2.1

          “Wanaka-Queenstown, and Nelson-Golden Bay, are two of the only growing bits of the South Island outside of Christchurch area. I still prefer Central.”

          I disagree, but then I measure growth differently than you.

          Agree with your last paragraph, although think the way things are going it’s going to have to come from the people.

      • Ad 17.2.3

        You don’t have to be a Wannabie in Wanaka, because you’ve already arrived.
        It’s Better in Central.

    • Anno1701 17.3

      you forgot the cheapest & most readily available heroin in the country !

      well thats queenstown technically, but you get my drift

  18. Lara 18

    I grew up in a small town, at least Whangarei was small in the 70’s when I had my childhood. Tiny.

    I got sucked into the shit hole that is Auckland for too long and finally escaped. But it seems not far enough.

    Mangawhai Heads is growing, now Aucklanders live here and commute (!) to work. And it’s full of holiday makers in the summer and weekends. Young people on holiday are often not very well behaved.

    It’s too much. I’m seriously considering moving. I’d go to the Catlins if it wasn’t so damned cold. I much prefer nature to human beings.

    And I’m not the only one.

    And there’s nothing wrong with those of us who aren’t quite as social and there’s plenty good about enjoying living closer to nature, closer to the forest and wild spaces.

    And there’s plenty of assholes in big cities.

    • Ad 18.1

      Where will you go and why?

      • Lara 18.1.1

        Either way up into the far north, or to the tip of Coromandel.

        Somewhere there are less people basically.

        Why? I don’t like people so much, maybe I’m too socially awkward to feel comfortable around them. It’s not that I hate or dislike them, I’m just not comfortable with too many of them. Not entirely uncommon really.

  19. photonz 19

    Bill obviously doesn’t like the character of small town folk, yet it seems to me more likely to be Auckland where there’s such a lack of community that most people don’t know most of the people in their very own street.

    And you’re over 600% more likely to have your car nicked, and over 300% more likely to have your house broken into.

    Yeah right – the people are so much nicer in big cities.

Recent Comments

Recent Posts

  • Softy Jejune Parson – the new Mother Superior of Wellington
      The Council of Disobedient Women has learned that the Prefect of Aro Valley has been promoted to a new role with the blessing of the Pope of Wellington. Softy Jejune Parson has been appointed Mother Superior of Woke Wellington for the work she has been doing calling out heretics, ...
    RedlineBy Admin
    2 hours ago
  • Atlantic shakeup: US and UK leadership contenders ripping up the usual scripts?
    On both sides of the Atlantic, some purportedly “contentious” and “difficult to deal with” leadership contenders to lead the US and UK, as President and Prime Minister respectively, seem to have thrown a few spanners into the works of the normal messaging most are used to hearing constantly. Except they’re ...
    exhALANtBy exhalantblog
    4 hours ago
  • Winston is the PM’s problem
    In Question Time today the Prime Minister was naturally facing questions about Deputy Prime Minister Winston Peters and his dubious party financing arrangements, which seem to violate electoral finance law. Her response was to pretend that it was nothing to do with her, and that she is not responsible for ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    9 hours ago
  • Australia’s secret prisoner
    A prisoner stripped of their name, imprisoned for a secret crime after a secret trial, with all details legally suppressed for secret reasons. A story by Kafka or Dumas? China? No, its just the latest stage of Australian tyranny:An Australian citizen was prosecuted, convicted, and jailed in the ACT last ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    11 hours ago
  • Bridges should put his money where his mouth is
    Stuff has more details on what New Zealand First's slush-fund has been funding, with much of the spending directly benefiting the party. Which makes it look a lot like hidden donations, rather than the completely-innocent-giant-pile-of-cash Winston is trying to portray it as. The Electoral Commission is now investigating, but Simon ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    11 hours ago
  • The APEC police state enabling bill
    I've joked before about how hosting international summits effectively turns part of your country into a police state for the duration. Well, New Zealand is hosting APEC in 2021, with events throughout the year in Christchurch, Wellington, and Auckland. And the government has put up a bill to give itself ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    11 hours ago
  • Why coastal floods are becoming more frequent as seas rise
    Climate Explained is a collaboration between The Conversation, Stuff and the New Zealand Science Media Centre to answer your questions about climate change. If you have a question you’d like an expert to answer, please send it to climate.change@stuff.co.nz I saw an article claiming that “king tides” will increase in ...
    SciBlogsBy Guest Author
    13 hours ago
  • The cost of a range clearance.
    It has been revealed that firing ranges used by the NZDF while deployed to the Provincial Reconstruction Team (PRT) in Bamyan Province, Afghanistan, contained unexploded ordnance that caused numerous deaths and injuries after the NZDF withdrew the PRT in April 2013. In 2014 seven children were killed when an unidentified ...
    KiwipoliticoBy Pablo
    14 hours ago
  • Still denying responsibility
    Stuff's story on NZDF's negligence around its Afghan firing ranges has produced a result, with a commitment from the Prime Minister for an urgent cleanup. But this doesn't mean NZDF is accepting responsibility for the deaths and injuries that have occured - they're still refusing compensation. Which given that the ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 day ago
  • A corrupt practice
    Last week RNZ broke the news on NZ First's mysterious "foundation" and its dodgy-looking loans. The arrangement seemed to be designed to evade the transparency requirements of the Electoral Act, by laundering donations. But now Stuff has acquired some of their financial records, and it gone from dodgy to outright ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 day ago
  • Democracy “A Bit Bonkers” – Thoughts Inspired By Lizzie Marvelly’s Latest Co...
    Didn't See It Coming: NZ Herald columnist Lizzie Marvelly's latest column merits serious scrutiny because such a clear example of anti-democratic thinking is encountered only rarely on the pages of the daily press. Which is not to say that the elitism which lies at the heart of such social disparagement ...
    2 days ago
  • Colombia: historic memory, massacres and the military
    by Gearóid Ó Loingsigh Initially it was reported that in an aerial bombardment that took place on August 30th seven children were massacred; the figure then went up to eight and then on November 11th Noticias Uno reported that, according to people from the community in close proximity to the ...
    RedlineBy Admin
    2 days ago
  • On the road to Net Zero, the next step is to update our UN pledge
    A lot has happened since the UN’s report on 1.5ºC was released in October 2018. New Zealand’s Zero Carbon Bill has passed, and enshrines the 1.5ºC goal in law. The UK and France have also legally strengthened their targets to Net Zero 2050. The School Strike For Climate and Extinction ...
    SciBlogsBy Robert McLachlan
    2 days ago
  • Corruption as usual
    Next year is an election year, and Labour needs money to fund its campaign. So naturally, they're selling access:Labour is charging wealthy business figures $1500-a-head to lunch with Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern at its annual conference later this month. [...] On the weekend beginning November 29th, around 800 delegates will ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 days ago
  • Fairer rentals
    Yesterday the government announced its changes to tenancy laws, including an end to no-cause evictions, limits on rent increases, and anonyminity for tenants who defend their rights against bad landlords (sadly necessary because landlords are scum who maintain blacklists of "uppity" tenants). They're all good moves, and have resulted in ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 days ago
  • Another NZDF coverup
    In 2003 New Zealand sent a Provincial Reconstruction Team to Afghanistan to support America's doomed war there. While there, they conducted regular weapons practice on local firing ranges, littering the landscape with unexploded ammunition. These ranges weren't secure - they're on land used by locals for animal herding - so ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    3 days ago
  • A loss for the Greens
    Green MP Gareth Hughes has announced he will retire at the election. Its understandable - he's been there ten years, and wants to actually see his children grow up rather than miss it while drowning in the toxic parliamentary sewer. But his departure is also a huge loss for the ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    3 days ago
  • New era for Ngāti Kuri and Auckland Museum
    Words and images by Jacqui Gibson Gone are Auckland Museum’s days of doing science using a museum-centric academic approach, after Māori land rights holders Ngāti Kuri gave the museum an ultimatum.
    Tom Trnski holding a fossilised whale tooth from the Far North.Aussie-born Head of Natural Sciences at Auckland Museum ...
    SciBlogsBy Guest Author
    3 days ago
  • Circling vultures: Why MediaWorks TV is really in trouble
    MediaWorks announced in October 2019 that it intended to sell off its struggling television business and cancel or cut back on several popular local programmes, including New Zealand Today, Married at First Sight New Zealand and 7 Days. Its radio and outdoor advertising arms are currently performing well, but MediaWorks’ ...
    Briefing PapersBy Peter Thompson
    3 days ago
  • Scary Opinium Poll
    Westminster voting intention:CON: 44% (+3)LAB: 28% (-1)LDEM: 14% (-1)BREX: 6% (-)via @OpiniumResearch, surveyed this weekChgs. w/ 08 Nov— Britain Elects (@britainelects) 16 November 2019 This, of course, doesn't look good.  Labour have been chucking big, headline grabbing policies left, right and centre ... Well, maybe not right.  Left, left ...
    3 days ago
  • A coward’s ploy.
    Some readers may remember that I mentioned last year that I was applying for NZ citizenship. I filled out the paperwork and had my original citizenship interview in February. Everything went well until they discovered that, because I had spent five months in the US in 2017, I had not ...
    KiwipoliticoBy Pablo
    3 days ago
  • Left censorship and exclusion against gender-critical women: a Marxist critique
    by Deirdre O’Neill It is becoming quite acceptable for certain sections of the left to declare that people like me – women who are ‘gender critical’ – should not be allowed in leftist or anarchist spaces. Leaving aside the arrogance and implicit authoritarianism of this claim, its lack of critical ...
    RedlineBy Admin
    3 days ago
  • “Uncertainty” can be better solved with a better grasp of life’s inherent complexities…
    There is an article in The Conversation, written by Jeremy P. Shapiro (Adjunct Assistant Professor of Psychological Sciences, Case Western Reserve University), about what he sees as the psychologically-based underpinnings of three main matters that seem to vex people all around the planet. The article is titled “The Thinking ...
    exhALANtBy exhalantblog
    4 days ago
  • Citizens vs the Rogue Deep State
    . .   Blogger Martyn Bradbury has won his case against unreasonable search and surveillance against the NZ Police; and subsequent Police attempts to produce evidence in secrecy, in a closed Court. His case highlights a disturbing growing trend in Aotearoa New Zealand for State power to be used against ...
    Frankly SpeakingBy Frank Macskasy
    5 days ago
  • Massey University’s free speech policy double-plus-good
    The Committee of Disobedient Women has intercepted an email from Dr Emma Eejut, Senior Lecturer in Sociology, Massey University to the university’s Vice-Chancellor, Jan Thomas. Dear Jan, Thank you for your courageous move.  I think 10 pages of blether** should tie any of the students game enough to try holding ...
    RedlineBy Admin
    5 days ago
  • Unacceptable
    That's the only response to the findings of the Ombudsman's investigation into LGOIMA practices at the Christchurch City Council:My investigation identified serious concerns about the Council’s leadership and culture, and its commitment to openness and transparency. In particular, Council staff raised concerns with me about various methods employed by some ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    5 days ago
  • There is what corruption looks like
    NZ First seems to be nakedly trying to enrich itself from public office:A powerful New Zealand First figure helped establish a forestry company that then pushed for money from two key funding streams controlled by a New Zealand First Minister. An RNZ investigation has found Brian Henry, lawyer for Winston ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    5 days ago
  • Escape from Manus Island
    Behrouz Boochani is an award winning author and journalist. He is also a refugee, who for the past six years has been detained in Australia's offshore gulag on Manus Island, and in Papua New Guinea. But last night, with the cooperation of the WORD Christchurch festival and Amnesty International, he ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    5 days ago
  • When World’s Collide.
    Different Strokes: If a multicultural immigration policy imposes no obligation on immigrant communities to acknowledge and ultimately embrace their host nation’s most cherished traditions and values, then how is that nation to prevent itself from being reduced to a collection of inward-looking and self-replicating ethnic and cultural enclaves?THE COALITION GOVERNMENT’S ...
    6 days ago
  • Could There Be Method In Massey University’s Madness?
    Protective Zone: Reading the rules and guidelines released by Massey University, it is impossible to avoid the conclusion that its governing body considers the whole concept of free speech a disruptive threat to the orderly imparting of orthodox academic knowledge.IN TRUE ORWELLIAN fashion, Massey University has announced its commitment to ...
    6 days ago
  • Climate Change: We need more trees, not less
    Farmers held a hate-march on Parliament today, complete with MAGA hats, gun-nut signs, and gendered insults. While supposedly about a grab-bag of issues - including, weirdly, mental health - it was clear that the protest was about one thing, and one thing only: climate change. And specifically, forestry "destroying" rural ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    6 days ago
  • The IGIS annual report: Dead letters and secret law
    The Inspector-General of Intelligence and Security released their annual report today, and I've been busy reading through it. In amongst the usual review of what they've been doing all year, there's a few interesting bits. For example, a discussion on "agency retention and disposal of information", which points out that ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    6 days ago
  • A referendum on bigotry
    The End of Life Choice Bill passed its third reading last night, 69 - 51. Thanks to a compromise with NZ First - which looks to have been necessary on the final numbers - the commencement of the bill will be subject to a referendum. Given the ugliness of the ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    6 days ago
  • Political parties and GMOs: we all need to move on
    Recently more than 150 post-graduate students and young scientists presented an open letter to the Green Party via The Spinoff, encouraging them to reconsider their position on genetic modification. Their target is tackling climate change issues.[1] Can any party continue to be dismissive about genetic modification (GM) contributing to ...
    SciBlogsBy Grant Jacobs
    7 days ago
  • Class, Identity Politics and Transgender Ideology
    by Deirdre O’Neill Under Thatcher and then Blair and continuing up until our contemporary moment, the working class has seen its culture slowly and progressively destroyed. The change from an industrial society to a service society produced a marked shift in focus from the working class as the backbone of ...
    RedlineBy Admin
    1 week ago
  • Irony
    Since 2013, the Australian government has detained refugees without trial in Pacific gulags, where they are abused, tortured, and driven to suicide. The policy is not just an abuse of human rights and possible crime against humanity; it has also had a corrosive effect on the states Australia uses as ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • An age of protest.
    It seems fair to say that we currently live in a problematic political moment in world history. Democracies are in decline and dictatorships are on the rise. Primordial, sectarian and post-modern divisions have re-emerged, are on the rise or have been accentuated by political evolutions of the moment such as ...
    KiwipoliticoBy Pablo
    1 week ago
  • Another captured agency
    Last month, Greenpeace head Russel Norman surrendered his speaking slot at an EPA conference to student climate activist Sorcha Carr, who told the EPA exactly what she thought of them. It was a bold move, which confronted both regulators and polluters (or, as the EPA calls them, "stakeholders") with the ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • NZ First’s dodgy loans
    The core principle supposedly underlying New Zealand's electoral finance regime is transparency: parties can accept large donations from rich people wanting to buy policy, but only if they tell the public they've been bought. Most parties abide by this, so we know that TOP was wholly-owned by Gareth Morgan, and ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • Member’s Day: The choice on End of Life Choice
    Today is a Member's Day, probably the second-to-last one of the year, and its a big one, with the Third Reading of David Seymour's End of Life Choice Bill. last Member's Day it was reported back from committee, after MPs voted narrowly to make it subject to a (rules TBA) ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • How growth in population and consumption drives planetary change
    Climate Explained is a collaboration between The Conversation, Stuff and the New Zealand Science Media Centre to answer your questions about climate change. If you have a question you’d like an expert to answer, please send it to climate.change@stuff.co.nz The growth of the human population over the last 70 ...
    SciBlogsBy Guest Author
    1 week ago
  • The disappearing Women …
    by The Council of Disobedient Women In her excellent oral submission to the Abortion reform select committee on 31st October on behalf of Otago University’s Department of Public Health, historian and public health researcher Hera Cook stated: “We would ask that the committee not use the term ‘pregnant persons’ and ...
    RedlineBy Daphna
    1 week ago
  • “A Passage to India”: enduring art in changing times
    by Don Franks In 1957, E M Forster wrote, of his greatest work: “The India described in ‘A Passage to India’ no longer exists either politically or socially. Change had begun even at the time the book was published ( 1924) and during the following quarter of a century it ...
    RedlineBy Daphna
    1 week ago
  • Contemptuous
    The Referendums Framework Bill was due back from select committee today. But there's no report on it. Instead, the bill has been bounced back to the House under Standing order 29593) because the Committee didn't bother to produce one. They probably tried. But given the membership of the committee (which ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • Zero Carbon: It’s not just a good idea, it’s the law
    Two years into New Zealand’s Labour-led government, the long-delayed Zero Carbon Bill became law on 7 November. Passed essentially unanimously, the lengthy public debates and political manoeuvring faded away until the final passage was even anticlimactic: Flipping through the @nzstuff @DomPost I was starting to wonder if I’d dreamt ...
    SciBlogsBy Robert McLachlan
    1 week ago
  • Climate Change: What happens next?
    Now the Zero Carbon Bill is law, what's next? Obviously, the ETS changes currently before select committee are going to be the next battleground. But we're also going to get a good idea of where we're going, and if the progress the Zero Carbon Act promises is good enough, during ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • Climate change will fuel bush fires
    Grant Pearce The effects of the current Australian bushfires in New South Wales and Queensland (and also again in California) are devastating and far-reaching. To date, the fires have resulted in several lives being lost and many homes and properties destroyed. Here in New Zealand, the impacts have been only ...
    SciBlogsBy Guest Author
    1 week ago
  • Participation rates
    A passing comment in a post the other day about the labour force participation rates of older people prompted me to pull down the fuller data and see what we could see about various participation rates over the decades since the HLFS began in 1986.   As it happens, the ...
    SciBlogsBy Michael Reddell
    1 week ago
  • Not So Much “OK Boomer” As “OK Ruling Class”.
    Distract And Divert: The rise of what we have come to call “Identity Politics” represents the ideological manifestation of the ruling class’s objective need to destroy class politics, and of the middle-class’s subjective need to justify their participation in the process.THE RELIEF of the ruling class can only be imagined. ...
    1 week ago
  • Asking for it …
    "I saw a newspaper picture,From the political campaignA woman was kissing a child,Who was obviously in pain.She spills with compassion,As that young child'sFace in her hands she gripsCan you imagine all that greed and avariceComing down on that child's lips?" ...
    1 week ago
  • New Zealand’s Poor Pandemic Preparedness According to the Global Health Security Index
    Dr Matt Boyd, Prof Michael Baker, Prof Nick Wilson The Global Health Security Index which considers pandemic threats has just been published. Unfortunately, NZ scores approximately half marks (54/100), coming in 35th in the world rankings – far behind Australia. This poor result suggests that the NZ Government needs to ...
    SciBlogsBy Public Health Expert
    1 week ago
  • Climate Change: Thank Winston
    The Zero Carbon Act is inadequate, with a weak methane target designed to give farmers a free ride. But it turns out it could have been worse: Climate Change Minister James Shaw was so desperate to get National on board, he wanted to gut that target, and leave it in ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • Illicit markets and Bali Booze
    The Herald reprints an Australian story on a couple of tragic deaths in Bali from drinking cocktails that had methanol in them.  The story argues that methanol is likely the result of home distillation. But what the young tourists were experiencing was far from a hangover. They’d consumed a toxic cocktail ...
    SciBlogsBy Eric Crampton
    1 week ago
  • This is not what armed police are for
    Last month, the police announced a trial of specialist roaming armed units, which would drive round (poor, brown) areas in armoured SUVs, armed to the teeth. When they announced the trial, they told us it was about having armed police "ready to attend major incidents at any time if needed". ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • Spain’s failed electoral gamble
    Spain went to the polls today in the second elections this year, after the Socialists (who had come to power in a confidence vote, then gone to the polls in April) rejected the offer of a coalition with the left-wing PoDemos, and instead decided to gamble n a better outcome ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • The astroturf party
    National has finally rolled out its "BlueGreen" astroturf party, fronted by an array of former nats and people who were dumped by the Greens for not being Green enough. Its initial pitch is described by Stuff as "very business-friendly", and its priorities are what you'd expect: conservation, predator-free funding, a ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • How to cheat at university
    A couple of days ago I attended (and spoke at) the University of Waikato’s “LearnFest” event. There were lots of talks and sessions on very diverse aspects of teaching, mostly at tertiary level. One was by Myra Williamson from Te Piringa Faculty of Law here at Waikato, on Contract Cheating ...
    SciBlogsBy Marcus Wilson
    1 week ago
  • How NZ was put on world maps using a transit of Mercury
    There will be a transit of Mercury – the planet Mercury will pass across the face of the Sun – taking place at sunrise in New Zealand on Tuesday, 12th November. It was by observing such an event 250 years ago that James Cook and his scientist colleagues were able ...
    SciBlogsBy Duncan Steel
    1 week ago
  • Georgina Beyer: We need to be able to talk without being offended
    Since becoming the world’s first openly transexual mayor and member of parliament, Georgina Beyer has been recognised as a trailblazer for trans rights. Daphna Whitmore talks with her about where she sees the current trans movement We start out talking about legislation the government put on hold that would have ...
    RedlineBy Daphna
    1 week ago
  • The anti-fluoride brigade won’t be erecting billboards about this study
    If FFNZ really put their faith in “Top Medical Journals” they would now be amending their billboards to recognise new research results. Image from FFNZ but updated to agree with the latest research. ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Chosen To Rule? What Sort Of Christian Is Chris Luxon?
    National Messiah? Chris Luxon identifies himself as an evangelical Christian. If he is genuine in this self-characterisation, then he will take every opportunity his public office provides to proselytise on behalf of his faith. He will also feel obliged to bear witness against beliefs and practices he believes to be ...
    2 weeks ago
  • War of the worms
    I'm going to make a Reckless Prediction™ that the Tories have 'topped out' in the 'poll of polls' / Britain Elects multipoll tracker at about 38%, and in the next week we will start to see Labour creep up on them.In fact, we might just be seeing the start of ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Marvelly shows us how to be a feminist without feminism
    by The Council of Disobedient Women Lizzie Marvelly: “I may have missed this… has @afterellen gone all terf-y? Or am I reading something incorrectly? “ https://twitter.com/LizzieMarvelly/status/1191840059105742849 After Ellen is a lesbian website that is unashamedly pro-lesbian, as you’d expect. So why is Ms Marvelly so bothered about lesbians having their ...
    RedlineBy Daphna
    2 weeks ago
  • Out of the past – Tories to revive racist laws from the 16th century
    Did you know there once was a time when it was illegal to be a gypsy (aka Romani) in Britain?That was between 1530, when the Egyptians Act was passed, and 1856, when it was repealed.Amongst other things, the act forbade the entry of 'Egyptians' into England, ordered those already there ...
    2 weeks ago
  • 1000 of these now
    Some days I sit and think, “what will I write…?” What do you say when you get to 1000 posts? Maybe you just start where you are, diverge to where this all began, then offer a collection of reader’s favourite posts, and a few of your own? (And throw in ...
    SciBlogsBy Grant Jacobs
    2 weeks ago
  • Has Shane Jones Just Saved NZ First?
    Counter-Puncher: The “activists” and “radicals” (his own words) from the Indian community who took such strong exception to Shane Jones’ remarks about Immigration NZ’s treatment of arranged marriages, may end up bitterly regretting their intervention. Jones is not the sort of person who turns the other cheek to his critics.SHANE ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Climate Change: As predicted
    Yesterday, when National voted for the Zero Carbon Bill, I predicted they'd gut it the moment they regained power, just as they had done to the ETS. And indeed, they have explicitly promised to do exactly that within their first hundred days in office. What would their amendments do? Abandon ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • Let this never be forgot
    In the spirit of Remember, remember the fifth of November, let's keep this in mind FOREVER.
    Oh dear. Extraordinary interview on PM with Andrew Bridgen and @EvanHD just now. Bridgen was defending Jacob Rees Mogg’s Grenfell comments. Evan asked him if JRM had meant to say he would have left ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Too Late To Change Capitalism’s Flightpath?
    Collision Course? In conditions of ideological white-out, the international bankers’ “Woop-Woop! Pull Up!” warning may have come too late to save global capitalism.WHAT DOES IT MEAN when international bankers are more willing to embrace radical solutions than our politicians and their electors? At both the International Monetary Fund and the ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Whooping cough vaccine works well despite its imperfections
    Pertussis (whooping cough) is a conundrum. It is a disease that was described hundreds of years ago and the bacteria that causes it (Bordetella pertussis) isolated in 1906. We have had vaccines for about 80 years but this disease is defiant in the face of human immunity. I wanted to ...
    SciBlogsBy Helen Petousis Harris
    2 weeks ago
  • Climate Change: Passed
    The Zero Carbon Bill has just passed its third reading, uanimously. In the end, National supported it - but we all know they'll turn around and gut it the moment they regain power. Meanwhile, I guess ACT's David Seymour didn't even bother to show up. I am on record as ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • Retailing of vaping products – New NZ Research
    Dr Lindsay Robertson, Dr Jerram Bateman, Professor Janet Hoek Members of the public health community hold divergent views on how access to vaping products or electronic nicotine delivery systems (ENDS) products should be arranged. Some believe ENDS should be as widely available as smoked tobacco and argue for liberal ...
    SciBlogsBy Public Health Expert
    2 weeks ago
  • Justice for Bomber
    When the Police were trying to cover up for the National Party over Dirty Politics, they went all-in with their abuses of power. They illegally search Nicky Hager's house, violating his journalistic privilege and invading his privacy. They unlawfully acquired Hager's bank records. They did the same to left-wing blogger ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • Britain’s climate tyranny was unlawful
    Last month, in response to a wave of protests by Extinction Rebellion, the British government purported to ban their protests from the whole of London. It was a significant interference with the freedoms of expression and assembly, and another sign of the country's decline into tyranny. But now, a court ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • More crime from the spies
    Last year, the Inspector-General of Intelligence and Security reported on significant problems with the intelligence warrant system. While they were unwilling to declare any warrant "irregular" (meaning unlawful) due to the recent law change, they were also not willing to give the system a clean bill of health. Now, they've ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago

  • Cowboy clampers will be stymied
    Clayton Mitchell, Spokesperson for Consumer Affairs The ‘wheel clamping’ Bill that will cap clamper fees to $100 passed its third reading in Parliament today. New Zealand First welcomes The Land Transport (Wheel Clamping) Amendment Bill to combat predatory wheel clamping behaviour in what is currently a largely unregulated business. Cowboy clampers are: gouging ...
    14 hours ago
  • Mental Health Commission back on track
    Jenny Marcroft, Spokesperson for Health New Zealand First welcomes the passage of the Mental Health and Wellbeing Commission Bill through its first reading in Parliament. “Today’s progress takes serious action on the mental health and addiction crisis the country is facing,” says New Zealand First Health Spokesperson Jenny Marcroft. “The re-establishment ...
    14 hours ago
  • New Zealand’s key assets are not for sale: national interest test delivered
    Mark Patterson, Spokesperson for Primary Industries Today the Government announced the delivery of the promise to protect New Zealand interests by applying a new National Interest Test to the sales of our most sensitive and high risk assets to overseas buyers. This further strengthening of the Overseas Investment Act will ...
    1 day ago
  • National interest test added to protect New Zealanders’ interests
    The Coalition Government is delivering on its promise to protect New Zealanders’ interests by applying a new national interest test to the sales of our most sensitive and high-risk assets to overseas buyers. Under current Overseas Investment Act (OIA) rules, assets such as ports and airports, telecommunications infrastructure, electricity and ...
    1 day ago
  • Electoral law breach allegations
    Rt Winston Peters, Leader of New Zealand First Allegations raised this morning by Stuff Limited / Fairfax concern a party matter but I am confident that New Zealand First has operated within electoral laws, now and for the last 27 years. Declarable donations were declared to the Electoral Commission. Our ...
    1 day ago
  • Wayne Brown hits back at critics: Ports of Auckland has to move
    The chairman of the Upper North Island Supply Chain Strategy (UNISCS) working group, Wayne Brown, has hit back at critics of his group’s recommendations to relocate the Ports of Auckland cargo operations to Whangarei’s deepwater port of Northport. The working group's recommendation to close Auckland waterfront to all but cruise ...
    2 days ago
  • Week That Was: Supporting our schools
    We're setting our young people up for success, investing in education around the country.  ...
    3 days ago
  • Kiwis to have their say on End of Life Choice
    Jenny Marcroft MP, Spokesperson for Health New Zealand First backs the public to decide on the End of Life Choice Bill via a referendum at the 2020 General Election. The Bill, with New Zealand First’s referendum provision incorporated, passed its final reading in Parliament this evening. New Zealand First Spokesperson for ...
    7 days ago
  • Addressing miscarriages of justice
    Darroch Ball, Spokesperson for Justice New Zealand First is proud that a key Coalition Agreement commitment which will provide for a more transparent and effective criminal justice system has been realised. Legislation to establish the Criminal Cases Review Commission, an independent body focused on identifying and responding to possible miscarriages of ...
    1 week ago
  • Week That Was: Historic action on climate change
    "Today we have made a choice that will leave a legacy... I hope that means that future generations will see that we, in New Zealand, were on the right side of history." - Jacinda Ardern, Third Reading of the Zero Carbon Bill ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Tax-free deployments for Kiwi troops
    Darroch Ball, New Zealand First List MP A Member’s bill has been proposed that would provide income tax exemptions for all New Zealand Defence Force (NZDF) personnel while on operational deployment overseas. The Income Tax (Exemption for Salary or Wages of NZDF Members on Active Deployment) Amendment Bill proposed by New Zealand First ...
    2 weeks ago
  • A balanced Zero Carbon Bill passed
    Rt Hon Winston Peters, New Zealand First Leader New Zealand First is proud to have brought common sense to the Climate Change Response (Zero Carbon) Amendment Bill, which passed its final reading in Parliament today. Party Leader Rt Hon Winston Peters says months of hard work went into negotiating a balanced ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Paramedics’ status to be recognised
    Jenny Marcroft MP, Spokesperson for Health New Zealand First has listened to calls to recognise paramedics as registered health professionals under the Health Practitioners’ Competence Assurance Act (the Act). Today, the Coalition Government announced plans for paramedics to be registered as health practitioners under the Act, and the establishment of a ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Week That Was: 2,000 teachers in two years
    We began the week by commemorating the New Zealand Wars and celebrating a major increase in the number of teachers. Then, we were busy supporting offenders into work and getting our rail back on track after years of underinvestment. And that's just the start! ...
    3 weeks ago
  • Winning an election one conversation at a time
    In October I was sworn in as the Mayor of Lower Hutt. It’s the privilege of my life to serve Hutt people as their Mayor. There is something really special to be able to serve the community where I was raised, and where I live.   ...
    3 weeks ago

  • APEC 2021 Bill passes first reading
    Foreign Affairs Minister Winston Peters has welcomed the first reading of the Asia Pacific Economic Cooperation 2021 (APEC 2021) Bill in Parliament today. The temporary bill supports New Zealand’s security preparations for hosting the Asia Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) Forum in 2021. “APEC is the leading economic and trade forum ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 hours ago
  • Making progress for our kids
    The Government is making progress on improving the wellbeing of the one million New Zealanders under the age of 18,” Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern said on World Children’s Day. The Government has today recommitted to the most widely ratified human rights treaty in history – the United Nation’s Convention on ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    11 hours ago
  • Māori women in business contribute to our economy, whānau and communities
    Minister for Women Julie Anne Genter has released a new report celebrating the contribution of Māori women in business across Aotearoa New Zealand. “Māori women are leaders in our communities, they employ many people and support our economy and our communities,” Julie Anne Genter said. The report, Ngā wāhine kaipakihi: ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    12 hours ago
  • Two schools on the way for Omokoroa
    Four parcels of land have been bought in Omokoroa, in the Western Bay of Plenty District, for an education facility that will accommodate both a primary and secondary school on a campus-like facility, Education Minister Chris Hipkins said today. Two parcels were acquired from private land owners and two were ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    13 hours ago
  • Families Package helps over 1 million New Zealanders in first year
    1 million New Zealanders warmed by the Winter Energy Payment 36,000 families bank the Best Start Payment in first year 6,000 more families received the Family Tax Credit, 220,600 in total   They receive an increase too – from an average of $117 to $157 a week for Inland Revenue clients, ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    16 hours ago
  • Clamp down on wheel clamping passes third reading
    New rules to clamp down on overzealous wheel clamping and extortionate fees charged in order to release a vehicle have passed their final stage in Parliament today. The Land Transport (Wheel Clamping) Amendment Bill has now passed its third reading. “These changes mean $100 will be the maximum wheel clamping ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 day ago
  • Mental Health and Wellbeing Commission Bill passes first hurdle
    An independent Mental Health and Wellbeing Commission is a step closer after it unanimously passed its first vote in Parliament today.  The Mental Health and Wellbeing Commission Bill lays the groundwork for establishing the Commission as a fully independent crown entity – delivering on a key recommendation of He Ara ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 day ago
  • Boosting border security with electronic travel authority – now over 500,000 issued
    We’ve improved border security with the NZeTA, New Zealand Electronic Travel Authority, which helps us to screen travellers for border and immigration risks off-shore before they travel to New Zealand. It was launched in August and became mandatory on 1 October 2019. More than 500,000 NZeTAs have been issued since ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 day ago
  • Plan of action to protect seabirds
    A proposed national plan of action to reduce the number of seabirds caught in fisheries is being circulated for public feedback. Fisheries Minister Stuart Nash and Conservation Minister Eugenie Sage say New Zealand is a global centre of seabird diversity with about 145 species in our waters. It has more ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 day ago
  • National interest test added to overseas investment rules
    The Government is delivering on its promise to protect New Zealanders’ interests by applying a new national interest test to the sales of our most sensitive and high risk assets to overseas buyers. Associate Finance Minister David Parker said under current Overseas Investment Act rules, assets such as ports and ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 day ago
  • New housing part of support for Kaumātua
    The Government is building special housing to accommodate one of Aotearoa’s greatest taonga- our kaumātua, says the Minister for Māori Development, Hon Nanaia Mahuta.  Speaking at a National Kaumātua Service Providers Conference in Rotorua today, the Minister reinforced the importance kaumātua play in maintaining and passing on mātauranga Māori, knowledge, ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • Forestry helps prisoners into jobs
    Eleven men from a pilot forestry training programme for prisoners in Northland now have full time jobs or job offers upon release, Corrections Minister Kelvin Davis and Forestry Minister Shane Jones announced today. The ‘release to work’ programme was a collaboration between Te Uru Rākau and the Department of Corrections, ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • Reform of public service a step closer
    Minister of State Services Chris Hipkins today introduced into Parliament a Bill that will make it easier for the public service to tackle the biggest challenges facing Governments. The Bill represents the most significant change in the public service in 30 years. The State Sector Act 1988 will be repealed ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • Donations scheme to relieve pressure on families
    The families of more than 416,000 students will be better off next year as their schools have signed up to the Government’s donations scheme, Education Minister Chris Hipkins said today. The scheme will see almost $62.5 million in additional Government funding go to schools nationwide next year. “I’m really pleased ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • Further support for Samoan measles outbreak
    Foreign Affairs Minister Winston Peters has announced further support as the Government of Samoa responds to a serious measles outbreak. “New Zealand will deploy a further 18 vaccination nurses, bringing the total to 30 working in Samoa over the next four weeks,” Mr Peters said. “A New Zealand Medical Assistance ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • Speech to the Child Poverty Action Group 2019 Summit
      Fa’atalofa atu, malo e lelei, Kia ora koutou katoa Thank you to the Child Poverty Action Group for asking me to be here today to provide an update on some of the things that have been happening across my the social development portfolio.  Can I firstly acknowledge the vast ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • Speech to the New Zealand Thoroughbred Racing Annual Conference
    ***Please check against delivery*** Good morning everyone. It is a pleasure to be with you this morning to open this year’s New Zealand Thoroughbred Racing Conference and AGM. Firstly, thank you Dr Alan Jackson, NZTR Chair for your introduction. And let us acknowledge also: The NZTR Board; Dean McKenzie, Chair ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • Fairer rules for tenants and landlords
    The Government has delivered on its promise to the over one million New Zealanders who now rent to make it fairer and more secure, Associate Minister of Housing (Public Housing) Kris Faafoi has announced today. Both renters and landlords will benefit from the suite of practical changes to the Residential ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • Two decades of marine protection celebrated at Te Tapuwae o Rongokako in Tairawhiti
    A marine conservation milestone - the 20th anniversary of the establishment of Te Tapuwae o Rongokako Marine Reserve - is being celebrated today at a community event in Tairāwhiti/East Coast attended by the Minister of Conservation, Eugenie Sage. “The creation of this marine reserve in November 1999 was a game ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • Food industry asked to step up fight against obesity
         The Government is asking the food industry to step up work to tackle obesity including reducing sugar, fat and salt in their products, better information for consumers, and tighter restrictions on advertising to children. Health Minister David Clark and Food Safety Minister Damien O’Connor have responded to a ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • Modern emergency care for Queenstown area
    ew, modern emergency department and outpatient facilities at Queenstown’s Lakes District Hospital mean better emergency care for the growing tourist mecca’s visitors and locals, says Health Minister David Clark. Today Dr Clark officially opened the hospital’s redeveloped Emergency Department and Outpatient facilities. The new facilities include: •    An extended Emergency Department ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • Contraception important for New Zealanders
    Associate Health Minister Julie Anne Genter says today’s release of sexual and reproductive health data reinforces the significance of the Government’s commitment to providing free or very low-cost contraception. The Ministry of Health today published statistics from the Ministry of Health’s 2014/15 Health Survey. “It is important people can make ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • NZ medical staff and measles vaccines going to Samoa
    Foreign Minister Winston Peters has announced that at the request of the Samoan Government, New Zealand will be providing further support to Samoa as it faces a worsening measles outbreak. “In response to a request from the people of Samoa, New Zealand is providing 3000 measles, mumps and rubella (MMR) ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • Disability Action Plan 2019 – 2023
    “The new Disability Action Plan 2019–2023 moves us towards the inclusive and accessible New Zealand that this government has committed to,” Minister for Disability Issues Carmel Sepuloni announced today.  “The Action Plan was designed by disabled people, their family and supporters, the disability sector and government agencies. It will ensure ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • Joint Statement – Third Singapore-New Zealand Defence Ministers’ Meeting
    Third Singapore-New Zealand Defence Ministers’ Meeting 14 November 2019 Joint Statement 1. Defence Ministers Ron Mark and Dr Ng Eng Hen today conducted their third annual Singapore-New Zealand Defence Ministers’ Meeting in Singapore. 2. Building on the Enhanced Partnership signed between both countries in May this year, this annual meeting ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • Sexual Violence Legislation Bill has its first reading
    A Bill to improve the court system’s response to sexual violence has passed its first reading in Parliament today. Justice Minister Andrew Little says the Sexual Violence Legislation Bill will reduce the trauma sexual violence complainants experience in court, while maintaining defendants’ fundamental rights and making sure the trial process ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • Streamlined business invoicing a step closer
    Streamlined payment practices are a step closer for Kiwi businesses with the formal launch of New Zealand’s e-Invoicing framework. Small Business Minister Stuart Nash says the government has now established the structure to enable automated and direct data exchange between the accounting systems of buyers and sellers. “The move to ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • More frontline biosecurity officers protecting NZ
    Another 51 quarantine officers and four new biosecurity detector dog teams will help protect New Zealand from invasive pests and diseases this summer, says Biosecurity Minister Damien O’Connor. “The Government is delivering on its commitment to strengthen New Zealand’s biosecurity system and support our valuable primary sector “New Zealand’s flora, fauna ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • NZ space economy worth $1.69 billion
    A new report has found New Zealand’s space sector contributed $1.69 billion to the economy in the last financial year and employs 12,000 people, Minister for Economic Development Phil Twyford announced today. The report by Deloitte was commissioned by the Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment and shows New Zealand ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • New Chair for Royal Commission into Abuse
    Judge Coral Shaw has been appointed as the new Chair of the Royal Commission into Historical Abuse in State Care and in the Care of Faith-based Institutions, Internal Affairs Minister Tracey Martin announced today. "Judge Shaw, who is currently one of the inquiry commissioners, is extremely well qualified for the ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • Better mental health facilities for Palmerston North
    The Government has confirmed its third major mental health facility upgrade since the Budget, this time at Palmerston North Hospital. The Prime Minister and Health Minister today visited MidCentral DHB to announce that $30 million has been allocated to upgrade its acute mental health facility. It follows earlier announcements in ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • Bowel Screening hits halfway point
    The roll out of the National Bowel Screening Programme has reached the halfway mark, with 10 out of 20 District Health Boards now part of the programme. MidCentral DHB, which covers Palmerston North, Manawatu and surrounding districts, this week became the latest to DHB to offer free bowel screening to ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    7 days ago
  • More vaccines for meningococcal disease
    The Government welcomes PHARMAC’s decision to fund a vaccine to protect young people from meningococcal disease from 1 December this year. “Meningococcal disease is a serious threat which people at higher risk should be protected from,” says Associate Health Minister Julie Anne Genter. “The combined pharmaceutical budget was increased by ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    7 days ago
  • Fisheries innovation projects supported
    Groups involved with innovative fisheries research projects are encouraged to apply for government support in the latest funding round from the Sustainable Food and Fibre Futures programme. Fisheries Minister Stuart Nash says the SFF Futures funding is designed to be flexible enough to support small or large projects across a ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Government fixes culturally arranged marriage visa issue
    The Government has fixed an issue affecting how Immigration New Zealand has processed visa applications for culturally arranged marriages, which will now see a consistent process applied which ensures people with legitimate arranged marriages can visit New Zealand while also preventing any rorting of the system. Earlier this year Immigration ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Extension for Royal Commission into Mosque attacks
    The Royal Commission into the Attacks on Christchurch Mosques will report back on 30 April 2020 to give it more time to hear submissions and consider information, Internal Affairs Minister Tracey Martin announced today. The Royal Commission was originally scheduled to report back to Government by 10 December 2019. “There has ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Terrorism and Trade on agenda as Foreign Minister visits the United States
    Foreign Minister Winston Peters will travel to Washington DC today to attend a ministerial meeting focused on defeating ISIS, and to continue pursuing New Zealand’s trade opportunities. Mr Peters will participate in a meeting of Foreign and Defence Ministers from key countries contributing to the Global Coalition to Defeat ISIS. ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Hoiho get extra support alongside 168 community conservation groups backing nature
    The recently crowned Bird of the Year, the hoiho/yellow eyed penguin, is getting a much needed helping hand alongside more than 168 other community conservation projects announced Minister for Conservation Eugenie Sage today. 168 community conservation projects throughout New Zealand are benefiting from $8 million in government grants, including $500,000 ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • New safety measures for modified pistols
    Controls on assault rifles and semi-automatic firearms are to be broadened to include some types of pistols, under changes to a bill currently making its way through Parliament. Police Minister Stuart Nash has tabled a Supplementary Order Paper to the Arms Legislation Bill, which is currently before a Select Committee ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Minister of Defence to visit Singapore and Thailand
    Minister of Defence Ron Mark will travel to Singapore today to conduct a counterpart visit and to co-chair the third annual Singapore-New Zealand Defence Ministers’ Meeting with his counterpart, Minister for Defence Dr Ng Eng Hen. “Singapore is one of our most important defence partners in the region, and our ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago