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Right-wing Herald element goes OTT

Written By: - Date published: 8:29 pm, December 10th, 2011 - 61 comments
Categories: national/act government, privatisation, schools - Tags:

John Armstrong’s column today – not yet on website – is extraordinary. “Elements on the left”, “cried wolf”, “secret agenda” – that’s just the first paragraph.  Armstrong’s faux outrage is generated by the fact that National’s charter schools policy was not flagged in the election, and some people have pointed this out. Shock horror.

Funny how people on the left are always “elements” – couldn’t possibly have a mind of their own. I put two and two together when I heard John Key’s twentieth or so justification for the “partial ownership” model of asset sales was that a billion dollars would be put aside for investment in schools. Any competent political journalist could have done the same. My instinct proved to be true.

What we have now got is the failed experiment of asset sales to pay for the failed experiment of charter schools. That’s not crying wolf – that’s just predicting another disaster. I suspect had voters been posed the question “Would you rather have higher prices for your electricity to pay for letting a few kids into an experimental school or two” their answer in the recent election might have been different.

Just don’t hold your breath for the Herald to do it. Certainly not Armstrong – he gets tangled in his own overblown rhetoric as well:

The contents of the eight-page document might suggest that National has lurched to the right.  But those contents were more likely shaped by other factors such as Act’s surprising degree of negotiating leverage, National’s willingness to continue its confrontational approach to what it sees as vested interests blocking reform in compulsory education or simply because National had already been planning to do what Act wanted.

Already been planning? Undisclosed? That’s not a secret agenda?

Maybe though I have been too hard on the Herald. Perhaps their website editor also thinks Armstrong’s article is crap.

61 comments on “Right-wing Herald element goes OTT”

  1. Blue 1

    Armstrong’s just an old Tory hack who’s become so into his cheerleading he’s lost his grip on reality.

    John’s greatest hits of late have included his claim that John Key has ‘gravitas’, his fervent belief that John Banks has negotiating leverage and his confident assurance that David Shearer was not seriously trying to win Labour’s leadership now, but just playing the long game for the future.

    He should be thinking about retirement, or standing for National at the next election – whichever comes sooner.

  2. Tiger Mountain 2

    The simpering highly unsavory Armstrong ranks as one of the ‘filthy few’ among New Zealand’s already swollen cadre of degraded journalists.

  3. Colonial Viper 3

    I’m looking forwards to the day the NZ Herald goes under, replaced by an analytical and cuttingly insightful left wing daily.

    • lefty 3.1

      I’m looking forwards to the day the NZ Herald goes under, replaced by an analytical and cuttingly insightful left wing daily.

      This really does need to happen. The left can never be taken seriously as long as they can’t get it together to do this. Its not impossible if there was a real will to do it.

    • We live in hope .However reality is we are doomed to a Rightwing and far Right press/
      The whole of the Fairfax group was just a propoganda newsheet for National. It was so bigoted it was unreal/Our local Fairfax give aways had an average of ten Nat photos to one (perhaps) Labour . In one issue of Waikato Times there were 6 photos of the local Nat in one issue. How can we compete with this.

      • Colonial Viper 3.2.1

        We need a left wing MSM.

        • Vicky32 3.2.1.1

          I am down to one hour of TV a day, maybe two, and it’s mostly Prime. I watched a Prime ‘newsbreak’, 3 items, 2 sport, last night. (Saturday). The non-sport item said
          “Labour loses two MPs as the specials are counted”. (I had no context, but that brought me down bigtime).
          Next “newsbreak’, two hours later, “National are still able to rule”. (Rule? Seriously?) He might as well have said ‘reign’..

          • mik e 3.2.1.1.1

            CV the you tube is the media we need to harness with a good quality program of our own young people know how to use this medium thats where we can punch above our weight.
            We need to set up our own online news service that is not boring and is kept fresh with short documentaries interviews and proactive services to re engage the ! million non voters or so.
            Take it mobile as well With tvnz7 disappearing we need to step up to the mark !

            • Colonial Viper 3.2.1.1.1.1

              yeah my man, I’ve been thinking along similar lines. Plus we can link in content from the likes of Al Jazeera and Russia TV, they are extremely capable and unbiased news services…when they aren’t reporting on anything to do with their home countries lol

              • Gosman

                Russia TV unbiased?!?

                This is the same network which was promoting the myth of Gaddafi still being firmly in control of Tripoli when the rebels were in the middle of Green/Martyrs Square. Russia TV makes the pre-2003 Iraqi information ministry look positively like a beakon of journalistic integrity in comparision. Nice to see you showing your true colours on this matter C.V. Any system you impose if you had the chance would be like North Korean State Television.

                • RedLogix

                  No more unbiased than CNN, BBC, ABS, Fox, Al-Jazzera or any of them. They’ve all promoted views that have with hindsight have proven to be wrong.

                  But they all contribute a viewpoint, each of which has blindspots …. covered by others.

                  • Gosman

                    Good to see you at least acknowledge RT is biased, which is not Colonial Viper’s position. However if you bemoan Fox news for being one eyed and an insult to good journalistic practices then for consistency sake you need to do the same for RT. Some of their reporting on Libya was laughable in it’s paranoid delusions of reality.

                    • RedLogix

                      My answer is that each contribute something.. well maybe not Fox. Even you have to admit that they are beyond biased.

    • Bazar 3.3

      And that would be a terrible day for free thinking in all of NZ.
      Last thing i want is a dedicated and biased MSM.

      Better to have media that has both left and right wing articles in the same outlet, so people can get a better picture and both sides of the argument. Better still to have an unbiased media reporting in an accurate and fair manner, but that’s just fantasy thought.

  4. ianmac 4

    Be kind to poor old John Armstrong. He has sunk his reputation on being able to predict huge gains for his John Key Party. Like those who forecast the arrival of Aliens or of Jesus they are not able to face the lack of the Coming. So they plough on defending the indefensible. Be Kind to poor old John Armstrong in his twilight years – or months.

  5. Nick K 5

    Can someone explain why power prices will be going up when the shares are sold.

    • Colonial Viper 5.1

      Did you not do business 101? The one which says maximise your return on capital for your private shareholders?

      • Matt 5.1.1

        Ironic considering in a consumer NZ shows that Contact is the second lower in power prices, just more than Energy Online. The SOE’s are the most expensive. Or are facts just a conspiracy?

        See: http://www.powerswitch.org.nz/powerswitch/region/N02/N024/price_trends

        • Colonial Viper 5.1.1.1

          Matt you better look up the history which showed Contact raping and pillaging their customer base for almosst 10 years.

          • Matt 5.1.1.1.1

            You see with capitalism the wonderful thing is you don’t need to put up with that crap. Seems as though they have learnt their lesson. Labour has no legitimacy on this issue. They used power companies as cash cows. If they lowered the price and excepted lower returns National would have struggled to sell them and Labour’s argument would have been legit.

            • Colonial Viper 5.1.1.1.1.1

              Cash cows used to pay down this country’s debt and provide services to all NZ’ers.

              Not ship profits overseas to foreign shareholders.

              Do you understand the slight difference there, Matt?

              Labour has no legitimacy on this issue.

              Labour speaks for the 3 million NZers who oppose asset sales.

              • Matt

                It’s not used to pay down debt at all. All it does is line the pockets of politicians for their re-election campaign. We can invest in other economies and their power companies by they can’t provide capital for ours? Hypocritical? No? Your beloved fortress economics sends us backwards. So far backward, we’ll end up in North Korea.

                If Labour speaks for 3 million people then explain 27%?

            • Jum 5.1.1.1.1.2

              Matt – whoever sold or will sell our SOEs had NO RIGHT to do so. Labour learned its lesson; NActMU has not. Greed – private greed for Key and Co – obviously is the difference.

              How much will America’s monkey Key gain financially and personally (knighthood) from the betrayal of other New Zealanders? He will probably double or even triple his asset base as he is dismantling ours.

              And yes, you’re still a greedy idiot.

      • lulu 5.1.2

        To CV
        “Did you not do business 101? The one which says maximise your return on capital for your private shareholders?”
        This is your explanation of why power prices will go up under the partial (49%) sale of the SOEs in response to Nick K’s question. A couple of points about this.
        First it assumes that the current SOEs haven’t been as assertive as they might have been when it comes to putting up retail electricity prices. Do we know that? Wolak reported to the Commerce Commission and the 2009 Ministerial Review suggested the reverse. The result is the state funded promotion of retail competition this year (whatsmynumber) that has increased churn and resulted in flat retail electricity prices.
        Second, if 49% is sold then the shareholder with a majority share, i.e. the Government, can still restrain the organisation from increasing retail prices unduly should it want to do so. But see point number 1.
        Can you explain how this was resolved in business 101 please?
        Can you explain the thinking that will go with the new ownership model that will result in higher retail prices rather than just saying effectively if you don’t know you are ignorant?

        • Colonial Viper 5.1.2.1

          Yeah prices will go up because foreign shareholders won’t give a shit what some NZ households have to pay for their power, and since they can get a corner of every generator in NZ we won’t have anywhere to turn. Collusion is more profitable than competition. And the greatest competitor of all is state power generation.

          By the way when SOEs put up their power prices today – it goes to fund our schools and hospitals, not private shareholder earnings in Australia and Singapore.

          • lulu 5.1.2.1.1

            To Colonial Viper
            I don’t necessarily dispute your view on the relationship between some of the 49% of SOEs sold off to foreign shareholders and funding for our schools and hospitals. However that still doesn’t address Nick K’s question.
            On the basis of my experience on boards discussing recommendations to increase the prices of our goods it is not apparent to me that the new boards of partially listed SOEs will raise prices any more than previous boards. Your “foreign shareholders won’t give a shit” comment isn’t exactly business 101 quality analysis and nor does it satisfy the question.
            Your reference to collusion troubles me further. Are you suggesting these boards will somehow collude? This is a serious accusation and if you have any grounds for making it I am sure everyone will be most interested to hear it.
            My understanding of the standard at The Standard is a high level of analysis and/or reason. All I can see from your responses is a weak understanding of economics supported only by an ideological position and no experience in how boards make their decisions. If I am wrong then you will be able to explain what the boards will do that is different under the mixed ownership model and you will satisfy Nick K’s question.

            • Colonial Viper 5.1.2.1.1.1

              All I can see from your responses is a weak understanding of economics supported only by an ideological position and no experience in how boards make their decisions.

              If you still believe in the university and professional discipline of ‘economics’ at this late juncture, I bet you’ve also got your stockings hung up for Santa.

      • lulu 5.1.3

        To CV:
        I guess you don’t feel the need to answer the question. Flippant and vacuous one liners are the order of the day for you. Shame. I thought you might have had a considered view. On something. Anything.

        [lprent: It could also have been something as simple as there were a *lot* of comments and posts going on in the last couple of days related to the leadership change in Labour. CV seldom avoids arguing which is why he is the single most prolific commentator here. Like everyone apart from overworked moderators, he misses comments. I’d suggest that you try leaving a comment with a link backto what you want him to look at in the mornings OpenMike or find a recent comment by him to reply to. ]

        • Colonial Viper 5.1.3.1

          Oh give me a break you expect me to take your questions seriously when they include ones along the lines of “please show me evidence that future not yet formed boards of directors, with an as yet unknown composition, moight be tempted to collude or not collude”

          BTW there are over 10000 corporate boards of significance in the world, I doubt you have served on enough of them to be able to make a representative conclusion as to how they decide pricing.

          And of course they dont decide pricing. Which makes me question how much experience you do have.

          [lprent: I wrote too soon… 😈 ]

          • Colonial Viper 5.1.3.1.1

            😀 Cheers mate.

            • lulu 5.1.3.1.1.1

              It is not my question that needs answering and I can see CV everywhere on every thread so fair point.
              However, I made a simple request and I will make it again because despite several responses he hasn’t addressed it.

              Nick K asked an interesting question. I am wondering the same quesiton myself.

              Can someone explain why power prices will be going up when the shares are sold?

              I would be interested in an answer supported to CV’s own “business 101” standard. How hard can it be?

              For the sake of clarity I am not convinced that they necessarily will go up faster than the counterfactual and I am open to being helped to understand.

              • Colonial Viper

                The primary argument against asset sales is not about prices. It is about where the money goes, who it benefits, and also the strategic nature of the energy assets.

                Having said that, and even understanding that your question is not genuine, foreign owners will happily jack the prices up on a completely captured Ma and Pa customer base that is too far away for them to hear the howls of pain from, because the shareholders they will want to maximise return on their new investment.

                It’s business 101, Mr Corporate Director.

  6. mike 6

    “The contents of the eight-page document might suggest that National has lurched to the right.”

    Yup, either that or they were already there.

    “But those contents were more likely shaped by other factors such as Act’s surprising degree of negotiating leverage,”

    Yeah, who would have thought that with just one seat, the John Banks Party would be able to dictate policy to the John Key Party. Very ‘surprising’.

    “National’s willingness to continue its confrontational approach to what it sees as vested interests blocking reform in compulsory education”

    Is this the confrontational approach regarding education they campaigned on before the election that I don’t remember hearing about? Or the one they’ve announced after it with a “That’s MMP for you” shrug of the shoulders? And those vested interests, those would be teachers and teachers unions right? Like they care about what’s best for the kids education…

    “or simply because National had already been planning to do what Act wanted.”

    Oh shit! So ACT was planning to shove charter schools down our throats, and at the very same time, National was planning to shove charter schools down our throats. I guess it’s just one of those amazing coincidences.

    • Colonial Viper 6.1

      In the end, Key is a weak negotiator who, when all is said and done, has no problem with the privatisation of our school system.

      • Policy Parrot 6.1.1

        lol – whats to negotiate. You don’t have to be Don King if you both agree.

      • Anthony 6.1.2

        What does negotiating matter to him anyway… He is in the enviable position of not having to deal with the outcomes of his policies. So he can gamble on his parties policies (or his support parties ones) with little or no risk to his own situation.

        It’s the result of someone who does not have same stake in the success of our society as the majority of us. He is not so much “out of touch” with society, as untouchable by it.

      • Deadly_NZ 6.1.3

        Or the backers Textor and co just told em what to do.

    • One Anonymous Bloke 6.2

      “…blocking reform in compulsory education.”
      That’s “compulsory” education, don’t forget. As opposed to the freedom pink fluffy education you’ll get in Randistan.

  7. tc 7

    ACT is to the Nats what pump is to coke or tui is to DB etc …same business different package with the management and strategy coming from a single source.

    All about branding kids….same shit branded as if it’s different shit.

  8. vto 8

    You might want to read Anthony Hubbard’s withering attack on John Key, Bill English and their dishonest and simpleton ways in the Sunday Stay Times as a counter.

    He paints them as greedy, selfish and ignorant hypcorites with an entitlement attitude the exact same as those they decry on the benefit.

    Anthony Hubbard pretty much called them wankers and lying pricks.

  9. ChrisH 9

    Question – Was this the “game changer” in the teapot tapes? If so the Herald on Sunday has done democracy a great disservice. Somebody needs to ask this question and see if it is confirmed, denied, or dissembled.

  10. red blooded 10

    Any chance of a link to the Anthony Hubbard piece?

  11. lprent 11

    Interesting that I still can’t see a link to this John Armstrong article online.

    I wonder why? 

  12. randal 12

    the herald is rapidly descending into nonsense remarkably similar to the nahnil gubmints campaign.
    just moan and whinge and write redherrings if anyone disagrees with you.
    if that is the best the heral can do letting a noonoo head like armstrong loose every time nashnil gets a slap then there is no wonder that our democracy is under threat from elements on the right who want total control of everyhting jus tbewcause they can.
    and dont forget the pinheads in nashnil who have a lot of paying off to do and have become dependent on the ignorati and kiwi grotesques.

  13. Georgecom 13

    A new Secretary for Education appointed last year who just happens to think Charter Schools are good and who has experience implementing them in England, no mention to Charter Schools in Nationals education policy, a deal to help get Banks elected and then somehow, as if by accident, some magical act by elves, Charter Schools pop up as Government policy.

    If you told John Armstrong 1 and 1 make 2 and carefully take him through the maths I guess he would still argue it is wrong.

  14. randal 14

    its not real policy.
    its just payoffs for the rightwing nutters who think they know evverything because they have some money and want more for doing something they are not qualified to do.
    ha thats right.
    they believe that if they believe something then it is true.
    well I dont believe but I know they are just ignorant shits.

  15. Sean 15

    Well, while we are on the subject of crap columnists, guess who didn’t vote this election?

    Michael Laws.
    http://www.stuff.co.nz/sunday-star-times/columnists/6081085/Confession-time-I-was-too-busy-to-vote

    Guess he can’t complain about national politics for the next three years now.

  16. Takere 16

    Why “Charter” schools aren’t about quality education. They’re about funding the elite.

    http://www.nytimes.com/2011/12/05/opinion/why-school-choice-fails.html?_r=2&src=me&ref=general

  17. seeker 17

    @ Takere
    WOW! Thanks Takere. That is one heck of an informative link about Charter schools. How insidious and horrendous. It reads like a Doctor Who stealth invasion plot. I will never be able to look at Lesley Longstone, without imagining her as being a reptilian alien lookalike under her synthetic human looking skin (same is always true for JKey now anyway).
    How can they abuse our children like this,? We must not let them.

  18. Jum 18

    John Armstrong said “The Maori Party was playing harder to get yesterday, refusing to commit to backing National. However, comments by co-leaders Tariana Turia and Pita Sharples indicated they will stick with National.

    And why wouldn’t they? They either join up with National – securing portfolios, policy concessions and the ability to push for the implementation of their policies – or they sit in irrelevance in shark-infested Opposition, their identity swamped, and outgunned by Labour and Hone Harawira’s Mana Party desperate to get their hands on what’s left of the Maori Party’s votes.”

    The Maori party were in the winning position of being able to show what the National party and John Key stood for by the way they treated the initiatives like Whanau Ora set up and operating. If they continued with them the Maori party wins and keeps its independence. If National canned the initiatives the Maori party put in place it would show up National as being against Maori initiatives.

    It was a win-win for Turia. Key would never have stopped the Whanau Ora programme – his neo-con side would have been seen when his mask slipped, just as it has e.g. with the throat slitting gesture after a man nearly died on the floor of Parliament. How disgusting this prime minister is in his behaviour. Turia supports it all, just for a few.

    Now she has strengthened Key and backers’ position to put through so many programmes that will damage workers’ rights, give away New Zealand sovereignty through the TPPA and just wait until she is given a bribe of ‘we’ll sell to Maori iwi the assets which belong to all New Zealanders’, if Key has any MPs crossing the floor. And if there are still any Nat MPs with any integrity they will cross the floor in support of the majority of New Zealanders that do not want the assets sold in any way when their future advantages to our economy as income producers is so obvious and against the global backdrop ever more valuable. Only one needed to cross the floor; now 4.

    So much for the Maori party’s loyalty to its country and its people. All for a few baubles for Turia.

  19. randal 19

    kweewee and his party have turned into wreckers.
    how can he sit there with a straight face and let the ignoratii wreck the school system just because they want jobs and money they are not entitiled to.

  20. mik e 20

    arise sur jonkey

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    The Treaty on Open Skies is one of the most effective mechanisms for preventing war curently in force. By letting countries make surveillance flights over each others' territory, it eliminates fears that they are secretly preparing for war. So naturally, the US is planning to withdraw from it: The Trump ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    3 days ago
  • Life in Lock Down: Day 11
    . . April 5: Day eleven of living in lock-down… My one day of rest for the week, and an opportunity to mow my lawns – which I’d been delaying for about three weeks. (On the plus side, the damp micro-climate in my back yard yielded three lovely fresh mushrooms ...
    Frankly SpeakingBy Frank Macskasy
    3 days ago
  • Now we know what the rules are
    As the lockdown has gone on, disquiet about what the rules were and the police's enforcement of them has grown. On Friday, Police admitted that they were abusing routine traffic stops to effectively set up illegal checkpoints, and on Saturday Stuff revealed internal police advice saying that they actually needed ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    3 days ago
  • Anti-fluoridation propaganda now relies on only four studies. 2: Green et al (2019)
    Paul Connett is putting all his eggs in one basket. He says “you only have to read four studies” to find community after fluoridation harmful. Image credit: Fluoride Action Network newsletter. For part 1 of this series see Anti-fluoridation propaganda now relies on only four studies. 1: Bashash et al (2018). Paul Connett, ...
    3 days ago
  • Hard News: Splore Listening Lounge 2020: the road to a “yes” vote
    As far as anyone can say, New Zeaand still has a general election scheduled for September 19 this year. The election will be accompanied by two referenda, one of which will ask voters:Do you support the proposed Cannabis Legalisation and Control Bill?The official campaign period for the cannabis referendum begins ...
    3 days ago
  • Obituary for The New Zealand Listener (1939-2020)
    The vast majority of tributes to the Listener hearken back to its glory days, with little reflection on the magazine as it was at its end.I wrote for it, for half the Listener’s life; I have known personally all the editors except the first (mythical) three. From 1978 to 2014 ...
    PunditBy Brian Easton
    3 days ago
  • Universal income – a challenge to capitalism or a crutch?
    As the world economy slides rapidly towards deep recession there are growing calls for a Universal Benefit coming from some leftists and rightists. Now Finance Minister Grant Robertson is saying it is on the table.  This article by a French party Workers Struggle provides analysis of various forms of universal ...
    RedlineBy Daphna
    4 days ago
  • Anti-fluoridation propaganda now relies on only four studies. 1: Bashash et al (2018)
    This is the advice from the very top of the anti-fluoride movement – Paul Connett, director of the Fluoride Action Network (FAN). Don’t worry about reading  up on all the scientific information “You only have ...
    4 days ago
  • Life in Lock Down: Day 10
    . . April 4: Day 10 of living in lock-down… I wake up to a fine Saturday morning which normally would be like an early Christmas. But it’s Day 10 of Level 4 Lock Down. What  will my fellow New Zealanders be doing on a day like this – staying ...
    Frankly SpeakingBy Frank Macskasy
    4 days ago
  • Redline reaching out to more writers & readers
    Some time during the night we went over the 850,000 views mark. We might have had our millionth view by the end of this year – certainly by early next year. Most of the people involved in Redline spent years and years producing various small left-wing papers and selling them ...
    RedlineBy Daphna
    4 days ago
  • Keir Starmer elected
    Comfortably, in the very first round, with an impressive 56% of the votes.I wonder, did members of the Shadow Cabinet start tweeting their resignations during Starmer's victory speech, or is that only a trick the right pull?It is odd how all the talk of how the next leader "needs to ...
    4 days ago
  • Hard News: Michael Baker and the Big House
    One of the key voices in this extraordinary time in which we live is that of University of Otago epidemiologist Professor Michael Baker. Philip Matthews did an an excellent job this weekend of capturing the way he became the man for this moment in a profile for The Press.But one ...
    4 days ago
  • New Zealand Gives up on Trying to Save Daylight
    New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern addressed the nation today about the decline in daylight New Zealand has been experiencing over the previous few months. She said “As many of you will notice, our attempts to stem the dwindling of the daylight over the last few months have been completely ...
    Can of wormsBy Can of Worms, Opened
    5 days ago
  • A bulletin from Greece
    Redline received this article from the KOE a Marxist party in Greece Our friends in the KOE describe here the mounting crisis in Greece and tensions on the Turkish border. As desperate people flee from their homelands which have been ruined after decades of imperialist wars and interventions the people ...
    RedlineBy Daphna
    5 days ago
  • And God spake all these words, saying
    As the first week of Level Four lockdown unfolded, mounting questions grew as to just what was (and was not) allowed under its “rules”. Partly these were driven by some apparently contradictory messages from different authority figures and explanations carried in the media. Partly they reflected a somewhat sketchy legal basis ...
    PunditBy Andrew Geddis
    5 days ago
  • Life in Lock Down: Day 9
    . . April 3: Day 9 of living in lock-down… Another late-start to my work day. Everything is temporarily upended as clients are shuffled around so we can minimise our “bubble” by reducing the number of people we help. One of my colleagues has been removed from his clients; his ...
    Frankly SpeakingBy Frank Macskasy
    5 days ago
  • Death to our lockdown enemies!
    We must root out the traitors among us! ...
    Imperator FishBy Scott Yorke
    6 days ago
  • Climate Change: The benefits of electrification
    In order to meet our 2050 carbon target and do our bit to avoid making the Earth uninhabitable, New Zealand needs to decarbonise our economy, replacing fossil fuels with electricity in the energy, industrial and transport sectors. The good news is that it will mean cheaper power for all of ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    6 days ago
  • Life in Lock Down: Day 8 (sanitised version)
    For those folk who find my other Lock-Down Diary versions too “negative” or otherwise unpalatable… Here’s a photo of a pretty flower, .   . Better? Tomorrow’s Sanitised Version: a cute animal video. . . . =fs= ...
    Frankly SpeakingBy Frank Macskasy
    6 days ago
  • Life in Lock Down: Day 8
    . . April 2: Day eight of living in lock-down… Today, my work day starts late. Our rosters and clients have been dramatically changed, lessening (theoretically) the number of people in our work “bubble”.  If just one of us catches covid19 the impact could be considerable as Grey Base Hospital ...
    Frankly SpeakingBy Frank Macskasy
    6 days ago
  • A note on apartments and bubbles
    As Aotearoa enters week two of lockdown, it’s clear we’re all still working out what our “bubbles” look like and how to stay in them to stop the spread of Covid-19. New to the government’s Covid-19 website is some good guidance for people living in apartment blocks. Recent decades have ...
    SciBlogsBy Siouxsie Wiles
    7 days ago
  • Getting in futures shape 
    “There are decades where nothing happens; and there are weeks where decades happen.” Lenin Don’t we all know that feeling now.

    Prospect Magazine alerted me to this particularly apt quote. It is a much more evocative quote than Hemingway’s “gradually then suddenly” which is also doing ...

    SciBlogsBy Robert Hickson
    7 days ago
  • Maybe axing Clark would be unfair. But what about any of this is fair?
    Yesterday was the day the consequences of the lockdown suddenly got very real for many. Firms have been closing and laying people off since the outset of the quarantine but this has mostly been happening out of the public eye. The mass closure of a number of iconic New Zealand ...
    PunditBy Liam Hehir
    7 days ago
  • Might a ‘Coasean’ social contract mitigate overall societal harm from COVID-19?
    Brian Williamson1, Prof Nick Wilson2 (1Economic consultant, UK; 2University of Otago Wellington) In this blog, we outline how a win-win social contract could be forged to address the major dimensions of response to the COVID-19 pandemic when using a mitigation strategy: the particular need to protect older people from high ...
    SciBlogsBy Public Health Expert
    7 days ago
  • Returning To “Normalcy”.
    Resuming Normal Service: The Republican Party's nominee for in 1920, Warren Harding, promised the American people: “not heroics, but healing; not nostrums, but normalcy; not revolution, but restoration”. If she wishes to remain our prime minister, then Jacinda Ardern will offer New Zealanders the same.HOW EDUCATED AMERICA snickered when the ...
    7 days ago
  • New Zealand’s Government Must Save New Zealand’s Media.
    No Free Society Without A Free And Functioning News Media: If we are to surrender our civil rights to the broader cause of defeating Covid-19, then foreign corporations must, likewise, surrender their right to inflict immense economic and cultural harm on New Zealanders simply because it improves their bottom line.I’M ...
    7 days ago
  • Corona fevers and the madness of models
    by Daphna Whitmore A third of the world is under lockdown and a clear assessment of this measure to curb the spread of COVID-19 is urgently needed.  With any high-stakes decisions it has to be asked what are we dealing with here? Are the measures warranted? Will they achieve their ...
    RedlineBy Daphna
    7 days ago
  • Lockdown day 8
    I haven’t done a huge amount in the last few days. I’m reading The Poppy War and I’ve sort of poked at a couple of games – I started SOMA but I’m a wimp and I quit while in the first room after the brain scan. I might try it ...
    The little pakehaBy chrismiller
    1 week ago
  • Backstage and Theatre
    The swan politicians may be gliding on the water, occasionally snapping at one another. Meanwhile, as the Covid19 crisis illustrates, the officials are desperately paddling below providing the real locomotion. One of the most fatuous recent grandstanding comments (of about a week ago), adding to the public’s anxieties, was ...
    PunditBy Brian Easton
    1 week ago
  • Legal Beagle: Waiver, the singular Crown and the conduct of Crown legal business
    Much has been written about the importance of discretion in an emergency situation, and the concerns raised by the potential for it to be exercised arbitrarily. Given the quality of the discussion, there seemed little point in adding to it at any length. In particular, I point to the evidence ...
    1 week ago
  • Highlights from Bauer Media’s science-related reporting
    Today has felt surreal. I was all set to touch base online with my science communication students when a colleague shared the news that Bauer Media would be shutting down its publications immediately. The first link I saw implied it was Woman’s Weekly affected, and even that shocked me. But ...
    SciBlogsBy Sarah-Jane O'Connor
    1 week ago
  • Outsiders.
    Bogeymen, Real And Imagined: Is the number of psychopathic and sociopathic individuals in any given society truly as vanishingly small as we like to tell ourselves? Isn’t it more likely that the mass-shooters and serial-killers filling the headlines represent only the tip of a much, much larger iceberg of frightfulness? ...
    1 week ago
  • We have a right to know the rules we are expected to obey
    Outgoing Police Commissioner Mike Bush appeared before the Epidemic Response Committee today, who asked him for the rules police are using to enforce the lockdown. He refused:Police Commissioner Mike Bush has admitted the advice given to Kiwis about what they're able to do during the lockdown hasn't been clear enough. ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • Life in Lock Down: Day 7 (sanitised version)
    For those folk who find my other Lock-Down Diary versions too “negative” or otherwise unpalatable… Here’s a photo of my cat, . . Better? Tomorrow’s Sanitised Version: a pretty flower. . . . =fs= ...
    Frankly SpeakingBy Frank Macskasy
    1 week ago
  • Life in Lock Down: Day 7
    . . April 1: Day seven of living in lock-down… This morning I had a brief chat with one of my neighbours, “D” (social distance between us, a good three or four metres). I learned he had resigned from his previous job and had been hired by another company – ...
    Frankly SpeakingBy Frank Macskasy
    1 week ago
  • RIP The Listener, New Zealand’s pioneering voice
    Funnily enough, my thought as I start this post is whether it will be well written enough. Or should that be well enough written? Because so much of what I know about good writing came from my two stints at The Listener, which this morning was shut down due to ...
    PunditBy Tim Watkin
    1 week ago
  • OK, Britney: stop sniping at National for doing its job
    With normal democratic procedures in abeyance, there were two ways to go. First, it was open for the government to dissolve itself and invite the National Party to join a ministry of national salvation. That would have lessened the democratic deficit of the times by having a team of rivals without ...
    PunditBy Liam Hehir
    1 week ago
  • Helpful tips for parents during lockdown
    Dr Kirsty Ross Children and young people can respond differently in times of distress. This also varies by age and developmental stage, with younger children having more magical and imaginative thinking, and older children having more awareness and knowledge of the issues our communities are facing (which brings up ...
    SciBlogsBy Guest Author
    1 week ago
  • Skeptical Science New Research for Week #13, 2020
    1 week ago
  • Hungary is now a dictatorship
    Hungary has been a virtual dictatorship for a decade now, as Prime Minister Viktor Orbán has gradually eroded its democracy. But now, its official, with the passage of an indefinite emergency law allowing rule by decree:Hungary’s parliament has passed a new set of coronavirus measures that includes jail terms for ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • A new Ministry of Works
    While the economy is on pause under lockdown, the government is beginning to plan how to cope with the post-lockdown, post-tourism, post-export education world we will eventually find ourselves in. They're planning a lot of infrastructure spending as economic stimulus, and have asked for proposals which can start the moment ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • Capture: Well spaced out
    It's my distraction,  setting up tiny scenes to photograph.  I've got stuck on the Babushka dolls for now.  Something about their bubble shape.  Something about their never changing, smiling features, suggesting persistent equanimity.  Can we get through everything that is being thrown at us and keep at least a tiny ...
    1 week ago
  • Life in Lock Down: Day 6
    . . March 31: Day six of living in lock-down… This time I managed to sleep a little longer and the alarm woke me at the pre-set time: 6.55am. Then remembered I was working a later shift and could’ve slept in. Oh well, there are things to do at home. ...
    Frankly SpeakingBy Frank Macskasy
    1 week ago
  • March ’20 – NZ blogs sitemeter ranking
    Image credit: Diamond Harbour School Blogs I notice a few regulars no longer allow public access to the site counters. This may happen accidentally when the blog format is altered. If your blog is unexpectedly missing or ...
    1 week ago
  • Hard News: Poll Pot and the partisans
    Yesterday's Horizon poll showing support for a "Yes" vote in this year's cannabis referendum sliding into the majority for the first time in a year looked like good news for reformers – and it probably is. But the result warrants some scrutiny.The poll is the fifth in a series commissioned ...
    1 week ago
  • Why those bubbles are so important
    For almost a week now, every one of us who isn’t an essential worker has been confined to their bubble. We are allowed to go shopping for groceries, to visit the doctor, and to get a bit of exercise if we stay local. The reason we are doing this is ...
    SciBlogsBy Siouxsie Wiles
    1 week ago
  • A Government System That Works
    The Covid-19 saga will no doubt produce many twists and turns for us before it is finally brought to an end. But one thing it has shown us – and what comfort it should bring us – is that our country’s government is in good hands. I am not thinking ...
    Bryan GouldBy Bryan Gould
    1 week ago
  • Smashing down the barriers: Where are we at with COVID vaccines?
    In the absence of a vaccine or a cure for a deadly disease, staying home in your bubble is what you do, the concept is not new.  To the best of my knowledge last time we did this in NZ was for polio, in the years before a vaccine came ...
    SciBlogsBy Helen Petousis Harris
    1 week ago
  • National Network on Cuba (USA): “Cuban medical solidarity is a pillar of its society and is founde...
    The following statement was released on March 28 by the National Network on Cuba, a coalition of 40 groups, based in the United States. In recent weeks, Cuba has deployed hundreds of medical providers to over a dozen countries in Europe, Asia, as well as to their neighbors in Latin ...
    RedlineBy Admin
    1 week ago

  • Decisions made on urgent turf maintenance
    The Sport and Recreation Minister Grant Robertson has announced that urgent maintenance of turf and care for plants in non-plantation nurseries will soon be able to go ahead under Level 4 restrictions. “The Government has agreed that urgent upkeep and maintenance of biological assets will be able to go ahead ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 hours ago
  • Acknowledging an extraordinary te reo champion
    E tangi ana a Taranaki iwi, e tangi ana te ao Māori, otirā e tangi ana te motu. Mōu katoa ngā roimata e riringi whānui ana, mōu katoa ngā mihi.   E te kaikōkiri i te reo Māori, e Te Huirangi, takoto mai. Takoto mai me te mōhio ko ngā ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 hours ago
  • Prime Minister’s remarks halfway through Alert Level 4 lockdown
    Today is day 15 of Alert Level 4 lockdown. And at the halfway mark I have no hesitation in saying, that what New Zealanders have done over the last two weeks is huge. In the face of the greatest threat to human health we have seen in over a century, ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    7 hours ago
  • Licenses, WoFs and regos extended under lockdown
    All driver licences, WoFs, CoFs, and some vehicle certifications, that expired on or after 1 January 2020 will be valid for up to six months from 10 April 2020, Transport Minister Phil Twyford has announced. “People shouldn’t have to worry about getting fined for having an expired document if driving ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    10 hours ago
  • Inquiry report into EQC released
    The Government has today released the report from the Public Inquiry into the Earthquake Commission chaired by Dame Silvia Cartwright.  Minister Responsible for the Earthquake Commission Grant Robertson says the Government wants to learn from people’s experiences following the Canterbury earthquakes and other recent natural disasters. “Dame Silvia’s report documents ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    10 hours ago
  • More time for health workers and elderly to get flu vaccine
    The Government has extended by two weeks till April 27 the amount of time priority groups, such as health workers and those aged over 65, have to get their flu vaccine before it is made available to the wider public. This year’s vaccination campaign is a key component of the ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    13 hours ago
  • Communities step up to help New Zealanders stay connected and fed during lockdown
    Communities stepping up to help New Zealanders stay at home to break the transmission of COVID-19 and save lives have received Government support, said Minister for Social Development Carmel Sepuloni. “Delivering groceries for the elderly who can’t shop online, providing data packs for low income families to keep them connected, and being ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 day ago
  • 120 COVID-19 testing centres now operating
    Across New Zealand 120 sites are taking samples to be tested for COVID-19.   68 community based assessment centres (CBACs) have been established to take samples from people with COVID-19 symptoms. Alongside this, 52 other centres including designated general practices, swabbing centres, and mobile clinics are now testing people for ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 day ago
  • Covid19: Government moving quickly to roll out learning from home
    The Ministry of Education is working with partners to develop a package of options so that students can learn at home when Term 2 begins on 15 April, Education Minister Chris Hipkins said today. Supports are also being prepared for households with children under five, to help parents and whānau ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 day ago
  • Making learning from home accessible to Māori learners and whānau
    Māori Television to begin educational te reo programmes Ki te Ao Mārama – a new online learning space Thousands of hard copy learning packs ready for distribution Helpdesk and advice service for kōhanga, kura and wharekura Television, the internet and hard copy learning packs are some of the ways whānau ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 day ago
  • New Zealand to provide assistance to Vanuatu following Tropical Cyclone Harold
    Foreign Affairs Minister Winston Peters has announced an initial package of support to help the people and the Government of Vanuatu respond to the impact of Tropical Cyclone Harold. “Our Pacific neighbours have been hit by a Category 5 Cyclone at the same time as dealing with the economic impacts ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 day ago
  • Planning for the future of tourism
    Tourism New Zealand to lead work reimagining the way tourism operates in post-COVID-19 world. Ministers to review International Visitor Conservation and Tourism Levy investment plan. The Government, industry and business are working together to develop a plan for how tourism will operate in a post-COVID-19 world, Tourism Minister Kelvin Davis ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 day ago
  • NZ horticulture sector feeding Kiwis and the world during COVID-19
    More New Zealanders are taking up the chance to work in horticulture as the sector keeps New Zealanders fed and in jobs during the COVID-19 Alert Level 4 lockdown. “Our horticulture sector has long been one of New Zealand’s export star performers, contributing around $6 billion a year to our ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • Work to repurpose PGF funds begins
    The Provincial Development Unit is working through applications and projects to see where Provincial Growth Fund money can be repurposed for initiatives deemed more critical to fighting the economic impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic, Regional Economic Development Minister Shane Jones says. “We need to be throwing everything we have at ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • A million workers supported by Govt wage subsidy
    The Government’s wage subsidy to protect jobs and keep workers and businesses connected during the lockdown has now supported over a million New Zealanders, with $6.6 billion already paid out. “We’re supporting businesses to pay wages, and stay connected with their workers so that we are all in a better ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • Government helps Pacific communities fight COVID
    The Government is stepping up efforts to help protect New Zealand’s Pacific communities in the fight against COVID-19. Cabinet has agreed that $17 million will be allocated to support a COVID-19 Pacific Response Package, which will: Support Pacific health and disability services facing increased demand; Ramp up public health messaging ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • Statement from the Prime Minister on Dr David Clark
    “Yesterday evening the Health Minister advised me of his trip to a beach during the lockdown and offered his resignation,” Jacinda Ardern said.  “Under normal conditions I would sack the Minister of Health. What he did was wrong, and there are no excuses.  “But right now, my priority is our ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • Statement from David Clark
    Last night as part of my preparation for the Epidemic Response Committee, I provided the Prime Minister with a complete picture of my activity outside my home during Alert Level 4.  That included the fact that on the first weekend of the Alert Level 4 lockdown I drove my family ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • COVID-19 mental health support begins
    A range of support is being rolled out across New Zealand to help people look after their mental health during COVID-19 Health Minister David Clark said this morning. “COVID-19 has brought a lot of uncertainty into our lives and many of us will be feeling some level of distress or ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • New Zealanders in Peru to be assisted by Government charter flight
    The New Zealand Government has made arrangements to charter a flight for New Zealanders stranded in Peru to depart the country, following agreement with the Chilean government to allow the necessary transit through Chile, Foreign Affairs Minister Winston Peters announced today. “Like many travellers around the world at the moment, ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • COVID-19 Hospital Preparation Well Advanced
    Hospital preparations for COVID-19 are well advanced says Health Minister David Clark. “Hospitals across New Zealand are repurposing buildings and training staff to get ready for COVID-19 patients. This gives me confidence that we are well prepared for any potential increase in COVID-19 patients needing hospital level care,” said David ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • Further measures to support businesses
    The Government will be introducing legislation to make changes to the Companies Act to help companies facing insolvency due to COVID-19 to remain viable and keep New Zealanders in jobs. The temporary changes include: Giving directors of companies facing significant liquidity problems because of COVID-19 a ‘safe harbour’ from insolvency ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • Govt’s COVID plan, economic strength recognised
    The Government’s plan to cushion the blow of COVID-19 by supporting incomes, jobs and businesses, and position the economy to recover has been backed by another international report. International credit rating agency Moody’s today reaffirmed its highest Aaa credit rating on New Zealand, saying the economy is expected to remain ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • Government supports air services to offshore islands
    The Government has stepped in to support vital air links to our offshore islands, the Chatham Islands, Great Barrier Island and Motiti Island, Transport Minister Phil Twyford announced today. “As part of our $600 million support package to minimise the impacts of COVID-19 on the aviation sector, the Government has ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • Funding certainty for sports through COVID-19
    National sports organisations have been given certainty of funding to ensure they can remain viable through the COVID-19 pandemic, Sport and Recreation Minister Grant Robertson announced today. “The global spread of COVID-19 has had a significant impact on sport and recreation in New Zealand, including the cancellation or postponement of ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    7 days ago
  • Butchers now allowed to process pork
    Changes have been made to allow butchers to process pork, only for supply to supermarkets or other processors or retailers that are open, Agriculture Minister Damien O’Connor has announced. “We carefully weighed the risk of allowing butchers to open their shops for retail customers, but the risk of spreading COVID-19 ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Essential workers leave scheme established
    Essential workers who take leave from work to comply with public health guidance are being supported with a leave scheme to ensure they will continue to receive income, say the Minister of Workplace Relations and Safety Iain Lees-Galloway and Minister for Social Development, Carmel Sepuloni. A number of essential businesses ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Govt WhatsApp helps share COVID-19 information
    A Government WhatsApp channel has been launched to help make information more easily accessible and shareable in the fight against COVID-19. Govt.NZ, which is free to use on any mobile device, will carry information and news for the public, businesses, healthcare providers, not for profits and local government. It can ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Managed departure plan for stranded foreign nationals enables safe, orderly exit
    The Government has announced a plan to enable the safe, orderly exit of tens of thousands of stranded foreign nationals from New Zealand during the current COVID-19 Alert Level 4 restrictions, Deputy Prime Minister and Foreign Minister Winston Peters has said. “When we moved into lockdown a week ago, the ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Government delivers COVID-19 support to GPs and Pharmacies
    Health Minister Dr David Clark says the Government is delivering on its commitment to support general practice doctors and nurses, and pharmacies on the front-line of our fight against COVID-19. "For us to overcome COVID-19, we need community health services such as general practice and community pharmacy to step up ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Susan Thomas the new Chief High Court Judge
    Justice Susan Thomas has been appointed Chief High Court Judge, Attorney-General David Parker announced today.  She replaces Justice Geoffrey Venning who has resigned from the position.   David Parker paid tribute to Justice Venning, who he said had stewarded the High Court very capably over the last five years.   “On behalf ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Business Finance Guarantee – applications open
    Businesses can start applying to their banks for loans under the Business Finance Guarantee Scheme set up to support the New Zealand economy during the COVID-19 pandemic. “We’re moving quickly to protect New Zealand businesses, jobs and the economy during this unprecedented global economic shock,” Finance Minister Grant Robertson said. ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Work starts on ways to fast-track consents to boost recovery from Covid-19 downturn
    Work is underway looking at measures to speed up consents for development and infrastructure projects during the recovery from COVID 19, to provide jobs and stimulate our economy.  Environment Minister David Parker said the COVID-19 pandemic is a serious global crisis that will have a wide ranging and lasting impact ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Advance payments to support contractors
    Advance payments will be made to transport construction industry contractors to retain the workforce and ensure it is ready to quickly gear up to build projects which will be vital to New Zealand’s COVID-19 economic recovery, Transport Minister Phil Twyford announced today. He said keeping the workforce required to build ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Government seeks infrastructure projects
    The Government has tasked a group of industry leaders to seek out infrastructure projects that are ready to start as soon as the construction industry returns to normal to reduce the economic impact of the COVID-19 pandemic, Economic Development Minister Phil Twyford and Infrastructure Minister Shane Jones say. The Infrastructure ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Health system scaled up to prepare for COVID-19
    Work to scale up the health system in preparation for COVID-19 was today outlined by Health Minister David Clark, as he reported back to the new Epidemic Response Committee. “We are well placed to contain the spread of COVID-19. We have taken early and decisive action at our borders, and ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
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  • Essential media COVID-19 guidelines refined
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