Rimutaka Prison.

Written By: - Date published: 7:03 am, January 28th, 2018 - 51 comments
Categories: class war, crime, health and safety, human rights, Kelvin Davis, Politics, prisons, Privatisation, Social issues, workers' rights - Tags: ,

People trying to smuggle themselves across borders or seas in shipping containers often die. We know this. And I’m not trying to compare what follows to the deliberate killing of hundreds or thousands of prisoners in Afghanistan by way of “transporting” them in container trucks. But to be blatantly honest, it was memories of seeing men herded into shipping containers from that time that jumped immediately to mind when I read of the prisoner conditions at Wellington’s Rimutaka Prison. (link)

What is this country that we live in?

Unventilated metal shipping containers that have been untilised as cells since 2010, and a Corrections Dept blowing the whole thing off because the 73 prisoners held in those conditions are outside until 5 p.m.?!

To hell with being outside in this weather! How much shade is there in a prison complex? Well known for their verdant leafy shadows, are they? (Hint: that’s an aerial shot of Rimutaka Prison used on the front of the post).

But hey!

National commissioner of Corrections Jeanette Burns said a heat management plan was in place across the country, and prisoners in the container unit at Rimutaka – the only of its kind in the country – were being provided with cold and frozen water, as well as fans.

“We are working on interim solutions to reduce the discomfort caused by the heat, while ensuring that safety and security are not compromised,” she said.

So, what’s this “safety” she speaks of? Obviously not that of the prisoners. And how in the hell can Kelvin Davis, according to “Stuff” say he has “yet to form a view” because he hasn’t visited Rimutaka?

On that note, I’m sorry for submitting a post that no-one can comment on, because, y’know, unless you have been in Rimutaka Prison it’s obviously just not possible for you to form an opinion or have a view on men being held in metal containers.

Further reading –  Press release from the Howard League for Penal Reform

Update/edit – The following photos aer of the completed prison block. Stuff had used a photo from the construction phase. Can’t say I’m impressed by that. (h/t Joe90).

 

 

51 comments on “Rimutaka Prison.”

  1. koreropono 1

    I vaguely recall a bit of controversy around the shipping containers back then, I didn’t realise they had become a thing as all went quiet in the media on the matter. I think the shipping containers are indicative of how prisoners are treated across prisons throughout New Zealand. These are not places to rehabilitate, these places are for punishment, to make the deviant more deviant, to reinforce a criminal underclass that was pending since many of the prisoners were babies.

    I have worked in a prison but not for the prison in the past. My immediate impression started pre-prison entry where people have to undergo “training” to go in and the “trainer”, whether he knew it or not, openly dehumanised the prisoners throughout the ordeal that was our training. He continually referred to the prisoners as “shit heads” to a group of professionals (psychologists, lawyers, social workers and other outside contractors). Leaving the “training”, I was left with the impression that these guards were the saddest human beings I have met and I felt a great deal of anger about how the prison population were reduced to, “shit heads”, thugs, meth heads, the worst of the worst criminals, they were not even referred by their Christian names, instead they were identified by surname and gang affiliation.

    The “training” offered no back story, nothing about the abuse that many of the prisoners had endured growing up in dysfunctional families, and often a more dysfunctional welfare system, only to be re-abused once they hit the criminal justice system, by other prisoners and many of the prison staff. Or the fact that many of the prisoners are forced into gang life, too afraid to leave (that can mean death), men having to put on a facade whilst surrounded by other men who behave staunchly…but this is just an act, an act of survival in place that if you show weakness, will be exploited. These are the stories one hears when men can drop the facade and talk in confidence away from others who may hurt them.

    In the prison itself, there are the obvious ‘peacock’ type displays of the prisoners, men merely asserting their position to keep themselves safe as best they can. I was struck by many of the guards, who were, in my opinion a certain personality type, aggressive, bullying type individuals who took pleasure in the power wielded over other human beings. I remember one guard’s behaviour toward every human being he encountered, including the contracted providers, he was just a surly, mean little prick and I wondered how long it would be before he got his head kicked in…part of me felt he’d deserve what was coming to him (even though I don’t condone violence).

    I also became immediately aware of the inconsistency of the prison, where the rules changed frequently, leaving both the prison population and contractors uncertain about what the new rules would be on any given day. Where one guards decision would be contrary to another guard’s decision five minutes earlier, leaving men upset, and angry, there was always anger in that lifeless, soulless place of concrete, glass, metal and not an iota of shade in any of the out door areas that I visited.

    I remember reading an article ( I can’t recall what the article was called but may have been written by Greg Newbold) about how the conditions in the prison reinforce criminal behaviour, with some indepth explanations around the psychology of criminal thinking and how it is reinforced – this is a lot more complex than simply hanging out with other prisoners but reinforcement comes by way of how a prison operates. Such things as an unpredictable environment, changing rules and even down to the militant routines that on a psychological level prevent prisoners from developing their cognitive skills beyond the thinking that leads to criminal behaviour.

    The shipping containers in Rimutaka in my opinion simply reinforces the dehumanisation of prisoners, they are reduced to cargo, unworthy of proper facilities, the inhumane conditions in these shipping containers reinforces how undeserving the prisoners are of anything that marks them as human beings, not deserving of understanding, love or belonging in civil society – these men, many taught from babes that they are worthless have been fast tracked into the prison system from the moment they were born.

    • I vaguely recall a bit of controversy around the shipping containers back then, I didn’t realise they had become a thing as all went quiet in the media on the matter.

      Strange that eh?

      You’d think the government mistreating prisoners would be worth a story or two.

    • Michelle 1.2

      It is a part of the our brighter future we never received

  2. Molly 2

    My partner and I were just talking about this post and also did not realise that the shipping containers went ahead, despite the controvesy at the time.

    The conditions in these cells will be threatening to human life. the provision of cold water and fans (hand held BTW) is not a reasonable response.

    To me this is where we would see the true application of manaakitanga, if this situation is rectified immediately despite political and financial costs.

    Thanks also for the relating of your personal experience, I agree with your thinking on the effects on prisoners of inconsistent and brutal treatment.

    (Sorry, meant as a reply to koreropono above)

  3. JanM 3

    It is a disgusting way to treat any human being and we need to be collectively ashamed. How can we point fingers at Australia’s atrocities when we do this!

  4. Rosemary McDonald 4

    Don’t knock shipping container accommodation just because the fwits at Corrections didn’t do their homework.

    http://www.iqcontainerhomes.co.nz/

    • Bill 4.1

      Sure.

      But then there’s this route.

      In a first for Rimutaka Prison, a group of prisoners have built a 3 bedroom house as part of their construction programme.

      But…

      WelTec […] will have it moved off-site in the New Year. Wet areas, flooring and kitchen will be added afterwards.

      (Click link for picture)

      http://www.corrections.govt.nz/news/latest_news/first_house_build_for_rimutaka_prison.html

      • Rosemary McDonald 4.1.1

        Ye olde weatherboard house…awesome.

        BUT…probably not a goer in a prison due to fire risk?

        But…I get that it would be excellent rehab to get residents to actively participate in upgrading facilities.

    • Dv 4.2

      Surely a heat pump or two would solve the problem, or is that too simple?

      • Rosemary McDonald 4.2.1

        heat pumps…expensive to install and expensive to run.

      • Molly 4.2.2

        According to the link above for the Howard League for Penal Reform, this is the bare minimum that they believe is required, along with a removal of prisoners with conditions that impose higher risks from overheating.

        The current offer from Corrections:
        “Corrections are addressing the problem with ice water and hand held fans for the prisoners. We also understand that they are going to bring in more staff so that the prisoners in these cells can have longer unlock hours. This has not happened yet.

        Hand-held fans? FFS. Moving hot air from one point to another. Used as a dessication process in dehydrators.

        • Rosemary McDonald 4.2.2.1

          “Howard League spokesperson Madeleine Rose says that at the very least prisoners with heart conditions, elderly or infirm must be immediately removed from these cells. Air-conditioning units must be installed immediately. This is a serious health and safety issue and “the last thing we want is an avoidable death from these conditions”, says Rose.”

          Oh that non-criminal sick and disabled New Zealanders had such advocacy…

          http://www.nzherald.co.nz/nz/news/article.cfm?c_id=1&objectid=11982566

          • Molly 4.2.2.1.1

            It’s not a question of one or t’other Rosemary.

            Both groups are treated appallingly by successive NZ governments and both attitudes and resources need to be addressed immediately.

            I always read with dismay your posts on how the government adds to the hardships of our sick and disabled, and have supported a very close friend as she has battled for help for her child.

            This would not be happening in a compassionate society, where we should be aspiring to be.

            Humane and considered treatment of those in our penal system, also would be an expression of a compassionate society. Not instead of – as well as.

            • Rosemary McDonald 4.2.2.1.1.1

              “It’s not a question of one or t’other Rosemary.”

              On one level…I get this.

              On another level…where cold, hard logic lives…it comes down to $$$ and expectations/entitlements.

              What have successive governments been happy to spend per year per prisoner?

              Compare that with the spend on non-ACC sick and disabled…and more often than not after a long, drawn out and often adversarial needs assessment. Every single dollar is grudgingly given as if it were coming from the pocket of the bureaucrat.

              A prisoner is mistreated, dies or suicides and there’s investigations and reports and maybe someone sues….

              Not so when disabled and sick suffer the same fate…the H&D Commission is a toothless wet bus ticket issuer on a good day…and sadly, those of us willing to step up and do some activism are few and far between.

              yes I do get that it doesn’t have to be one or t’other…but Molly I do sometimes despair…

              • Kay

                +1000 Rosemary 🙁

              • Molly

                I despair too Rosemary – and you are right to remind others (myself included) of the lack of support and resources for our sick and disabled.

                And advocates for penal reform, are also right to remind us of the failure of the system to provide for humane treatment and positive rehabilitation outcomes.

                If we break it down into economic terms – as we have been taught to do – before we even discuss the end goals, then we continue to set different priorities depending on our own energies, lives and passions. And nothing will get done.

                If we all agree on insisting that government creates a compassionate society, then that can only be achieved by systems that deliver better outcomes for those on benefits, those who are incapacited or disabled, those held in our penal system and the wider society.

                If $ can be found for RoNS and relocating the America’s Cup base on the waterfront, it is not the finances that are missing it is the political will.

    • Molly 4.3

      The issue is not around using shipping containers as living quarters. It is around the living conditions provided by the shipping container cells in use at Rimutaka Prison.

      The contrast between well-designed and badly-designed living spaces, with the same basic building materials can be huge.

      These non-shaded, barely adapted, non-ventilated containers – are not suitable for the use to which the Corrections system has placed them.

      And given the temperature forecasts over the next couple of months, immediate decisions and actions are necessary.

    • Michelle 4.4

      the f..wit you refer to Is Judith Collins she was proud of these containers we need to lock her in one of them for a day or and see how she like it

  5. tc 5

    A half decent MSM would’ve been all over this for years as quite frankly it’s 3rd world behaviour IMO from a govt institution with developed nation resources.

  6. One Anonymous Bloke 6

    So I suppose we’ll have to wait for Arthur Taylor to enforce the Health and Safety Act, because everyone else has been defunded /sarc

  7. Shona 7

    My shame of being a New Zealander grows every time I read about our prison system. @ koreropono your informative comment made me weep.

  8. Antoine 8

    Maybe we need to build some more prisons

    A.

  9. adam 9

    We never did get that prison reform did we.

    And where is the prisoners hero Kelvin on this again? MIA?

    Mind you with the Aussies sending back NZ criminals at more than one a day no one wants to open this can of worm. Of wait they not all criminals, some are just family members who have a family member who may or may not have gang connections.

    https://www.stuff.co.nz/national/88671246/dozens-of-australian-deportees-are-being-sent-to-nz-on-a-weekly-basis

    We really just don’t give a rats, as long as we can sweep it under the carpet in the next news cycle.

  10. Kay 10

    You ask, “who are the bigger criminals”?

    I’m actually inclined to say the great NZ vindictive public who want everyone locked up for everything, and are more than happy to be manipulated by the “tough on crime” rhetoric from politicians of most stripes after their votes. It’s now so ingrained into the general psyche that any party proposing to DECREASE the prison population is likely to lose votes.

    Those of us who can think logically know that the majority of currently detained people don’t actually need to be in a physical prison, @$100,000/yr or whatever the going rate is. There are plenty of ways to punish crimes without actual incarceration and the ongoing consequences, and that cost a lot less to boot. (NB- well aware there will always be some people who must be separated from society).

    So- less people in prisons = fewer beds needed= no shipping containers.
    But with the exception of the Greens, not a hope any of this coalition will let themselves be seen as “soft”, no matter how practical it is. Why Joe Public doesn’t seem to mind their hard earned tax $$ being unnecessarily spent on prisons is beyond me, yet to follow on from Rosemary, disabled/ill these same people mind a lot…

    • DoublePlusGood 10.1

      I agree, I think the only way you can successfully market it to the NZ vindictive public is to wave eye-watering savings of tax dollars expected if the government can close some prisons.

  11. fender 11

    The lowlife that stabbed my son is on holiday at Rimutaka, so forgive me for not caring if he happens to melt from the heat that the WHOLE COUNTRY is suffering from at present.

    • MsJasmine 11.1

      +1 who cares if it’s uncomfortable for them it’s hot for everyone can’t do the time don’t do the crime let them suffer.

      • adam 11.1.1

        How do you measure humanity and suffering MsJasmine? Because I find prisons odd, I want a perpetrator to know what they have done to me and mine. I don’t want an outside force incarcerating them as a form of revenge. I want the perpetrator to learn from their mistake, own it, and take responsibility otherwise me and mine are not getting justice.

        I’m saying forgiveness is essential, but don’t confuse me with being soft. If someone won’t own their actions, nor take responsibility, or learn – then they should face the harsh reality of me and mines revenge.

        But a third party doing things like this at Rimutaka Prison out of stupidity and laziness, I will not accept in my name a member of the wider community. I think it hurts us all. Mind you, without restorative justice I can’t see stupid or lazy in our bureaucracy ending anytime soon.

      • One Anonymous Bloke 11.1.2

        It’s natural and perversely comforting to indulge these sadistic vengeance fantasies, until you realise that the more your self-indulgence manifests itself in penal policy, the more the recidivism rate goes up.

        Alternatively we could do what works instead. If I say what it is you’ll lose the guts and reiterate your vengeance fantasies, and who wants to read that?

      • Michelle 11.1.3

        I still care msjasmine despite my mothers killer being in there (Rimutaka) the containers are unacceptable for a country like NZ that prides itself on human rights which is why I said Judith should be put in there (a container for a night ) see how she likes it

    • adam 11.2

      It sounds like you were not able to get any restorative justice fender?

      https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Restorative_justice

      The reforms we should have had should have given you and your family that option.

    • Molly 11.3

      fender, no-one would expect you to care in this regard, given your circumstances.

      That is why the burden and responsibility of humane care and treatment belongs to the state. Those who are authorised to remove liberty, also have a responsibility to administer to those incarcerated in such a way that the likelihood of reoffending when released is diminished.

      Wider society, and the country benefits when prisoners are treated humanely and resourced sufficiently for effective rehabilitation programmes. Even those who have suffered from criminal behaviour.

      • Incognito 11.3.1

        Very well said.

        Unfortunately, the State will only provide care & treatment as much as society (i.e. the taxpayers) will approve of, mostly in economic terms, as for all things nowadays …

        In our hyper-individualised society we blame everything on personal responsibility & choices. For these reasons, prisoners are treated as second-rate citizens (e.g. no voting rights) and implicitly as second-rate humans. In fact, they are/become undesirables (pariahs), outcasts. They don’t deserve much (!) care or our empathy & understanding. Similarly, rehabilitation programmes are (expensive) failures because recidivism rates are high or so the prevailing ‘reasoning’ goes. This obviously ignores that many prisoners before and certainly after their imprisonment had to row against societal ‘prejudices’ and other counter-forces and, consequently and almost inevitably, that they never stood or will stand a real change at rehabilitation to become productive consuming and tax-paying citizens who conform to the societal norm. Thus, we (must) demonise convicts and ideally exorcize them altogether. And by extension, through association, their social networks (friends, family, and …) are treated with much suspicion too and placed in ‘social quarantine’. Yet, some people call for building more prisons!!

        It’ll be very telling how this Government will be dealing with this – I have not said one word about ethnicity …

        Thank you Bill for drawing attention to this.

      • greywarshark 11.3.2

        Molly
        Thanks for pointing that out. I remember being at a meeting about prison conditions and the chap next to me said something like I think if anyone murdered someone from my family I would want them to suffer the same. He was surprised when I said that I would feel the same, and that is why justice should deal with it and not those personally involved. He just couldn’t get his head around the idea that we all live in a state that has a rule of law for such matters.

  12. The Fairy Godmother 12

    The best solution would be to decriminalise marijuana immediately and release all people in prison for marijuana offences. That should allow the Rimataka container prison to be shut down immediately as there would be room in other prisons for them to be moved to. we really need to stop locking so many people up. Imprisonment of Maori is way higher than it should be.

    • Rosemary McDonald 12.1

      “The best solution would be to decriminalise marijuana immediately and release all people in prison for marijuana offences.”

      Yes.

      And for those offenses requiring imprisonment…shorter, much shorter terms spent largely in isolation (other than staff) thinking, reading (or learning how to), getting substance abuse issues under control, dealing to health issues, learning mindfulness techniques, getting full drivers licences and defensive driving courses….

    • joe90 12.2

      Catchall drugs and anti-social behavior offenders make up just over13% (1300 inmates) of the prison population and I doubt more than 1 in 15 of those offenders are imprisoned for C class offences.

      Marijuana is a green herring.

      https://screenshotscdn.firefoxusercontent.com/images/0ed358c7-e900-4693-8988-6889f0a05dfd.png

    • McFlock 12.3

      I’m not sure it follows that either the container prison or double-bunking would the rejected if the drug laws were updated. Prisoners numbers and how we deal with them are a different issue with the same root cause, imo.

      They’ll still find reasons to lock more people up, and the Senseless Sentencing crowd will still (possibly be secretly paid to) lobby for harsher sentences in worse conditions, and prison rape will still be a bad joke rather than an issue of widespread concern.

      Fixing the MJ laws to address prisoner treatment is like putting a bandage on your right arm because your left arm is bleeding.

  13. McFlock 13

    Conditions in prison ships wasn’t a big social concern, either.

    As soon as you start treating people like cargo, it’s a concern. Regardless of the conditions or what they did. Goes for economy class on airlines, too.

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    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    4 days ago
  • Local bodies
    Local body election results were released over the weekend, to joy or despair depending on where you live. In Auckland, Phil Goff trounced John Tamihere, who is muttering darkly about running for Parliament again (but which party would want him?) Wellington is now a wholly-owned subsidiary of Weta Workshop, except ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    4 days ago
  • A future of government
      How could government evolve over the next decades? Reports of democracy’s imminent demise are greatly exaggerated.  However, satisfaction with political systems in many countries is low, so there is much to do for governments of all political stripes to improve relevance and trust. Digital technologies are seen as one ...
    SciBlogsBy Robert Hickson
    6 days ago
  • Speaker: Catalonia, interrupted
    Two years have now gone by since the Friday afternoon when my university-student son and I headed out of our Barcelona flat to a nearby primary school, designated as a polling station for the vote that was to be held the following Sunday: the referendum on Catalonia’s independence from Spain ...
    6 days ago
  • Sage Decisions Unwisely Over-Ruled.
    Overruled: The joint decision of Finance Minister, Grant Robertson (Labour) and his Associate Minister, David Parker (Labour) arguably the two most powerful ministers in Jacinda Ardern’s government, to grant OceanaGold the consents which Land Information Minister, Eugenie Sage (Greens) had earlier denied them, offers bitter proof of how hard fighting ...
    6 days ago
  • Government may ban voting in effort to get more people to do it
    More than double the number of people who will vote in this year’s local body elections have tried marijuana or urinated somewhere they shouldn’t have. As local elections look set for the lowest turnout in decades, with many regions falling well short of 40%, the Government is exploring a number ...
    The CivilianBy admin
    7 days ago
  • Woman: Deleted.
    A Statement on Abortion Law Reform by the Council of Disobedient Women   On the eve of bringing an end to antiquated, anti-women abortion laws Green MP Jan Logie intends to write women out of the Bill. With a stroke of the pen, the woke are aiming for total erasure ...
    RedlineBy Daphna
    7 days ago
  • The Hollowest of Men Ride Again… SURPRISE!
    Musings continue apace about “the experienced businessman!” soon to be taking up a National Party MP position. Or to be more accurate, being parachuted into a seat to shut down their former MP Jamie-Lee Ross, who despite his own shortcomings shed at least some more light on the inner workings ...
    exhALANtBy exhalantblog
    7 days ago
  • Barbaric
    The Ugandan government wants to murder gay people:Uganda has announced plans to impose the death penalty on homosexuals. The bill, colloquially known as “Kill the Gays” in Uganda, was nullified five years ago on a technicality, but the government said on Thursday it plans to resurrect it within weeks. The ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    7 days ago
  • Fighting Monsters.
    Freedom Of Speech? The Säuberung (cleansing by fire) was the work of the German Student Union which, on 10 May 1933, under the watchful eye of the Nazi Reichminister for Propaganda, Joseph Goebbels, consigned 25,000 books to the flames in a ritual exorcism of “un-German thought”. According to the logic of the ...
    7 days ago
  • The next wave of kaupapa Māori politics: its constitutional, it must be.
      “There can be no such thing as kaupapa Māori political parties or politics in Aotearoa” (Willie Jackson, Labour Party (2017). Māori TV, General/List Election Special) I begin with that claim because at the time, I was confounded at first that it fell out of Willie Jackson’s mouth, and then ...
    EllipsisterBy Ellipsister
    1 week ago
  • Night lights of NZ from orbit
    New Zealand has prided itself for decades with regard to its lack of pollution, and all will be aware that the ‘100% Pure New Zealand‘ meme is under threat through land, water and air pollution of various causes. There is another type of contamination that the country also faces: light ...
    SciBlogsBy Duncan Steel
    1 week ago
  • Reporters deliver uplifting news to fleeing Japanese residents: they won’t miss any rugby
    New Zealand’s media is doing its part in Japan, reassuring those in the path of the storm that they won’t miss any rugby while away from their flooded homes. New Zealand sports reporters stationed in Japan for the Rugby World Cup have had the rare and heartwarming opportunity to inform ...
    The CivilianBy admin
    1 week ago
  • Government in contentious discussions about whether to put surplus on red or black
    Regional Development Minister Shane Jones is the only Cabinet member in favour of putting it all on green. As Finance Minister Grant Robertson finds himself with an enormous $7.5 billion surplus, the Government has begun intense, at times contentious conversations about whether to put the money on red or black at ...
    The CivilianBy admin
    1 week ago
  • Jordanian teachers’ successful strike has lessons for here
    by Susanne Kemp At the start of September close to 100,000 school teachers went on strike in Jordan.  They demanded a 50% pay rise.  A pay rise actually agreed to by the regime back in 2014. In early October, however, in the face of government repression and threats, the teachers’ ...
    RedlineBy Admin
    1 week ago
  • Why some people still think climate change isn’t real
    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 Why do people still think climate change isn’t real? David ...
    SciBlogsBy Guest Author
    1 week ago
  • The SIS unlawfully spied on Nicky Hager
    Back in 2011, journalist Nicky Hager published Other People's Wars, an expose on NZDF's activities over the previous decade of the "war on terror". NZDF didn't like this, and especially didn't like the fact that it was base don leaks from their own. So, they had the SIS investigate him ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • October 2019 – Newsletter
    https://mailchi.mp/7d9133add053/closing-the-gap-october-2019-newsletter ...
    Closing the GapBy Tracey Sharp
    1 week ago
  • And they wonder why we think they’re environmental vandals…
    The Zero Carbon Bill is due back from select committee in two weeks, and will likely pass its final stages in November. So naturally, farmers are planning a hate-march against it. But they're not just demanding lower methane targets so they can keep on destroying the planet; they're also demanding ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • Climate Change: Paying the price in California
    Last year, California burned. This year, to stop it happening again (or rather, to stop themselves from being found liable if it happens again), Pacific Gas and Electric is cutting power to half the state for a week:Schools are closed. Traffic lights down. Tunnels dark. Businesses unopened. Hospitals running on ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • Let’s Hear It For Up-Close-And-Personal, Hard-Copy Democracy!
    The Best Way: Missing from the on-line voting debate is any reference to the voting system that produces turn-out figures ranging from 77 to 93 percent of registered voters. The voting system used to collect and count the votes cast in our parliamentary elections. The system that involves citizens making ...
    1 week ago
  • 10/10: World Day Against the Death Penalty
    Today, October 10, is the world day against the death penalty. Out of 195 UN member states, 84 still permit capital punishment. Today is the day we work to change that. This year's theme is children. Having a parent sentenced to death or executed causes long-term trauma and stigmatization which ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • Talking Freer Lives: a Marxist gender-critical perspective from Australia
    Among the great new bunch of political friends we have been making recently is the excellent Australian-based Marxist gender-critical site, Freer Lives.  So we asked the comrade who set up that blog to write something for Redline on the blog, himself, his analysis of the rise of gender politics and ...
    RedlineBy Admin
    1 week ago
  • Government spin accepted by union leadership
    by Don Franks  The Auckland City Mission is struggling with a 40 percent increase in demand for food parcels this year. A total of 23,020 were needed by June. Last month Missioner Chris Farrelly told the Herald the “cupboards are bare” and without an emergency food drive, he can’t see ...
    RedlineBy Daphna
    1 week ago
  • Forbidden Thoughts
    by The Council of Disobedient Women   Massey Wellington Student Association had a sit-in today. Imagine a sit-in. On a campus. Against a women’s rights meeting. Did the ’60s really happen or did we fucking dream it? They gathered in the student square, an echo chamber. Sitting on soft pillows ...
    RedlineBy Daphna
    1 week ago
  • Much love to my loyal Ukrainian readership
    For some reasons, my post about the mystery message from inside the Downing Street bunker seemed to catch people's attention.  Quite a lot of hits from NZ (unsurprisingly) and the USA (a bit more puzzlingly, but hi there, USAians!!) and 76 views from the Ukraine.I've celebrated my Ukrainian readers in ...
    1 week ago
  • Another day of bonkers GNUmours (again, sorry)
    First, almost a score of Labour MPs seem to have sent a letter to the EU basically begging them to accept a deal - any deal - just so Britain can get the Heck on with Brexiting instead of being trapped in limbo:
    To avoid no deal, deliver on the ...
    1 week ago
  • Labour vs working class immigrants – again!
    by Phil Duncan In 2016 the National-led government suspended the Parent Visa Category, through which migrants were able to bring their parents into New Zealand.  Since then over 5,700 people have been in immigration limbo, stuck on the visa wait list. Labour is now bringing back the scheme.  Well, sort ...
    RedlineBy Admin
    1 week ago
  • Speak Up for Women press statement: on Massey University and Feminism 2020
    The following was released yesterday (Tues, October 8) by the women’s liberation organisation Speak Up for Women. On 23 September Speak Up For Women announced that we would be holding an event at the Massey University Theaterette in Wellington. The event is called Feminism 2020. The intention of the event ...
    RedlineBy Admin
    1 week ago
  • Farmers support dirty rivers
    The government is currently consulting on plans to improve freshwater quality. So naturally, farmers oppose it:South Taranaki farmers are preparing to fight proposed national freshwater changes that some fear will bankrupt them. The Government's proposed National Environment Standard on Freshwater Management, released in September, rated the Waingongoro River as one ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • No-one cares about local government
    Yesterday was the last day for (reliably) posting your vote away in local body elections. Turnouts are mostly much lower than the equivalent time last year (Palmerston North is down 2.3%), and so naturally people are pushing their online-voting snake oil again. Because the online census worked so well, lets ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • The political ghosts of eugenics may matter more than the genetic
    This essay, on the political legacy of the eugenics movement, by Kenan Malik was originally published in the Observer on 6 October 2019, under the headline ‘The spirit of eugenics is still with us, as immigrants know to their cost’. Birth control. Intelligence tests. Town planning. Immigration controls. It’s striking how ...
    RedlineBy Daphna
    1 week ago
  • “Surplus” again
    Another year, and the government has announced another enormous government "surplus". And just like last year, its nothing of the sort. When we have people homeless and sick and hungry, when we have schools and hospitals still falling down, when we have underpaid public servants and infrastucture unmaintained or unbuilt, ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • Inside the Downing Street bunker
    James Forsyth at The Spectator (I know, I know) has tapped one of his contacts inside Number Ten for an insight into the Johnson administration's thinking and strategy.It is fascinating, unsettling and quite, quite mad.  Some key points:Negotiations have stalled and the Johnson administration are keen to blame the EU: ...
    1 week ago
  • Taking Control Of The Nation’s Story.
    Fatal Contact: With the arrival of captain James Cook in October 1769, the islands of what would become New Zealand ceased to be the preserve of Polynesian navigators and settlers and became a part of both the world’s map and the world’s history.THE MAORI NATIONALIST assault upon the historical meaning ...
    1 week ago
  • Are GNUs extinct?
    Another round of tactical talks about forming a Government of National Unity have come to nothing with the Liberal Democrats still refusing countenance putting Jeremy Corbyn into Downing Street:Opposition talks on Monday made little headway over when to try and vote down Boris Johnson's government and who might succeed him as ...
    1 week ago
  • Labour chickens out again
    When the government was elected, it promised to lead the way on electric vehicles, and specifically to make the government vehicle fleet emissions-free where-practicable by 2025.They lied:There are 15,473 vehicles in the government fleet and only 78 are electric. When the coalition Government came into power in late 2017, the ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • Transgender extremism, violence at work against feminist meeting at British Labour Party conference
    by Nick Rogers The debate around the meaning of sex and gender made an appearance at this year’s British Labour Party conference in Brighton. Women’s Place UK – an organisation that questions the demand that biological males who self-identify as woman should have access to women’s spaces, to all-women shortlists, ...
    RedlineBy Admin
    1 week ago
  • Rebelling in Wellington
    Yesterday I went down to Wellington to participate in the Extinction Rebellion protest. Its part of the latest global wave of XR actions, with actions happening all over the world. Some of those protests are massively disruptive: in Canada, XR is blocking major bridges, stopping people from getting to work. ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • ‘The Workshop’ – Report: Talking about Poverty and Welfare Reform: A Guide to Strategies that ...
    The Workshop is a charitable trust for public good. The Workshop undertake research to find ways of communicating that will build support for the solutions that work to solve complex social and environmental problems. See their Report on Talking about Poverty and Welfare Reform below. ...
    Closing the GapBy Tracey Sharp
    2 weeks ago
  • Exclusive language
    What is language? We generally assume that it a facility unique to humans, allowing us to share what’s in and on our minds. We can tell of our plans, our past exploits, our knowledge. It also allows us to lie. And yet there are vast numbers of people we can’t ...
    SciBlogsBy Michael Corballis
    2 weeks ago
  • April 2018 – Submission to the NZ Govt Tax Working Group
    You can read our submission HERE ...
    Closing the GapBy Tracey Sharp
    2 weeks ago
  • 2018 – Submission to the NZ Government Tax Working Group
    Read our submission here ...
    Closing the GapBy Tracey Sharp
    2 weeks ago
  • Guardian: Poll shows DISASTER for Corbyn and the End of Times
    The Guardian - ever eager to forewarn of doom and disaster on the left - are leading with a new poll from Opinium, which puts the Conservatives 15% clear of Labour.Con 38% +2Lab 23% -1Lib Dem 15% -5Brexit 12% +1Green 4% +2This isn't good news, and it would be very ...
    2 weeks ago
  • How prostitution became the world’s most modern profession
    Being and Being Bought (Spinifex Press, 2013) by Kajsa Ekis Ekman  A synopsis and commentary of Chapters 1-2 by Daphna Whitmore Ekman, a Swedish journalist and critic, brings together a Marxist and feminist analysis of prostitution and surrogacy in this groundbreaking book She opens the discussion with a definition of ...
    RedlineBy Daphna
    2 weeks ago
  • Clever legal fellow on Scottish challenge to Brexit
    I make no claims to having much legal knowledge,  so I defer to those trained in this area.I am very much enjoying this twitter stream from m'learned friend in Edinburgh, deciphering the legal arguments around the Scottish court challenge to Boris Johnson, based on the charmingly obscure principle of Nobile ...
    2 weeks ago
  • An Open Letter From Closed Minds.
    Ivory Folly? The University of Auckland’s Vice-Chancellor, Professor Stuart McCutcheon, upheld the right of the radical nationalist group, Action Zealandia to exercise their freedom of speech – not matter how distasteful that speech might be. A wiser community of students and scholars would have nodded their agreement and moved on. ...
    2 weeks ago

  • New awards celebrate fisheries sustainability
    The Minister of Fisheries is calling for entries for a new public award to celebrate innovation in our seafood sector. “I have established the Seafood Sustainability Awards to recognise and celebrate those throughout industry, tangata whenua and communities who demonstrate outstanding dedication and innovation towards the sustainability of New Zealand’s ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 hour ago
  • More progress for women and we can do more
    Minister for Women Julie Anne Genter welcomes leaders in the private sector taking action on closing their gender pay gaps to ensure a fairer workplace for all New Zealanders. Ms Genter today launched a new report, Addressing the gender pay gap and driving women’s representation in senior leadership, from the Champions for ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 hours ago
  • Proposals to curb environmental damage help our coasts and the oceans
    Government Ministers today welcomed the release of a marine environment report highlighting the four key issues affecting our oceans, estuaries and coastlines.  The release underlines the importance of government proposals to combat climate pollution, ensure clean freshwater, protect biodiversity, make land use more sustainable, and reduce waste and plastic.    Environment ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    16 hours ago
  • New mental health facility for Waikato
    The Government has approved funding for a new acute mental health facility for Waikato which will provide better care and support to people with mental health and addiction issues. Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern and Health Minister Dr David Clark announced the $100 million project to replace the aging Henry Rongomau ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    21 hours ago
  • 500 new te reo Māori champions in our classrooms
    The Government is making progress on its goal to integrate te reo Māori into education by 2025, with over 500 teachers and support staff already graduating from Te Ahu o te Reo Māori,  Associate Education Minister Kelvin Davis announced today. Kelvin Davis made the announcement at an awards ceremony in Waikanae today, for ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    23 hours ago
  • Minister James Shaw welcomes 2018 Census first release
    Statistics Minister James Shaw has welcomed the first release of 2018 Census data. The first release of data today, 23 September, includes key data on population, regional growth, the number of homes and the size of different ethnic groups in New Zealand. Data from the 2018 Census will support the ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    23 hours ago
  • Driving transparency, ethics and accountability in government use of algorithms
    Minister for Statistics James Shaw today announced a public consultation on a proposed algorithm charter for government agencies. The charter has been developed by the Government Chief Data Steward in response to growing calls for more transparency in government use of data. Computer algorithms – procedures or formulas for solving ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    23 hours ago
  • New Zealand and the Netherlands working together on climate change
    Agriculture Minister Damien O’Connor, Climate Change Minister James Shaw and visiting Dutch Prime Minister Mark Rutte co-hosted a business roundtable in Auckland this morning focused on working together to address climate change.  “The Netherlands is an important partner for New Zealand. We share a strong agricultural history. Sustainable agribusiness and ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    23 hours ago
  • Protecting fairness for workers and businesses
    The Government is taking action to build an inclusive economy where more of us receive our fair share at work and businesses can compete on great products and services, not undercutting wages and conditions, Immigration and Workplace Relations and Safety Minister Iain Lees-Galloway says. Two consultations launched today seek feedback ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    24 hours ago
  • Indigenous Freshwater Fish Bill Passes
    The future for New Zealand’s threatened indigenous freshwater fish looks brighter with the passing of the Conservation (Indigenous Freshwater Fish) Amendment Bill in Parliament today said Minister of Conservation, Eugenie Sage. “Until now, our freshwater fish legislation has been 20 years out of date. We have lacked effective tools to ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • Kiwis to take part in world’s biggest earthquake drill
    At 1.30pm tomorrow, hundreds of thousands of Kiwis will join about 65 million people around the globe in ShakeOut, the world’s biggest earthquake drill. The annual drill is to remind people of the right action to take during an earthquake which is to Drop, Cover, Hold, and to practise their ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • Rising wages and low inflation supporting Kiwis
    Kiwis are benefiting from higher wage growth and low inflation under the Coalition Government. Stats NZ data out today shows the rise in the cost of living remains low, as annual Consumers Price Index (CPI) inflation fell to 1.5% in September from 1.7% in June. “The low inflation comes as ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • NZ economy strong amid global headwinds
    New Zealand’s economic strength and resilience has been recognised in a major update on the state of the global economy. The IMF’s latest World Economic Outlook released overnight shows a reduced global growth forecast over the next two years as issues like the US-China trade war and Brexit take hold. ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • Keeping New Zealanders safer with better counter-terrorism laws
    Justice Minister Andrew Little has today introduced a new Bill to prevent terrorism and support the de-radicalisation of New Zealanders returning from overseas. The Terrorism Suppression (Control Orders) Bill gives the New Zealand Police the ability to apply to the High Court to impose control orders on New Zealanders who ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • Improved succession and dispute resolution core of Ture Whenua changes
    A Bill that proposes targeted changes to simplify the processes for Māori land owners when engaging with the Māori Land Court has had its First Reading today. “The approach taken by the Government is to ensure that the protection of Māori land remains a priority as we seek to improve ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • Speech to CTU Biennial Conference
    Let me first thank all the new unionists and members in the room. There is nothing more important to improving people’s working lives than people making the decision to care, to get on board and help, to take up the reins and get involved. Congratulations to you. You bring the ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • Minister ensures continued Whenuapai flight operations
    Minister of Defence Ron Mark has signed a certificate exempting the activity of engine testing at Whenuapai Airbase from the Resource Management Act 1991. The Act gives the Minister of Defence the power to exempt activities for the purposes of national security.  The certificate will mean the recent Environment Court ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • NZ joins Coalition of Finance Ministers for Climate Action
    Finance Minister Grant Robertson has announced New Zealand will join the Coalition of Finance Ministers for Climate Action while attending APEC meetings in Chile. The objective of the 39 member Coalition is to share information and promote action to tackle climate change. It was formed in April this year, in ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • CTU speech – DPM
    Ladies and gentlemen, NZCTU President Richard Wagstaff, members of respective unions – thank you for the invitation to speak to you today. This might be preaching to the choir, but the importance of trade unions in New Zealand’s historical arch is difficult to understate. And it is my belief that ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • Police Association Annual Conference
    "Let’s start by acknowledging that it has been a huge year. " Police Association Annual Conference James Cook Grand Chancellor Hotel Wellington Nau mai, haere mai. Tēnā koutou, tēnā koutou, ka nui te mihi, ki a koutou katoa. President of the Police Association, Chris Cahill; Members of the Association and ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • New Zealand announces a further P-3 deployment in support of UN sanctions
    Minister of Foreign Affairs Winston Peters and Minister of Defence Ron Mark have announced the New Zealand Government’s decision to again deploy a Royal New Zealand Air Force P-3K2 (P-3) maritime patrol aircraft to support the implementation of United Nations Security Council (UNSC) resolutions imposing sanctions against North Korea. New ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • New Zealand deeply concerned at developments in north-east Syria
    Foreign Affairs Minister Winston Peters says New Zealand continues to have serious concerns for peace and stability in north-east Syria. “Recent reports that hundreds of ISIS-affiliated families have fled from a camp are deeply concerning from a humanitarian and security perspective”, Mr Peters says. “While we acknowledge Turkey’s domestic security ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • Government on high alert for stink bugs
    Biosecurity Minister Damien O’Connor is warning travelling Kiwis to be vigilant as the high-season for the crop-eating brown marmorated stink bug (BMSB) is under way. “We’re on high alert to stop BMSB arriving in NZ. The high season runs until April 30 and we’ve strengthened our measures to stop stink ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • Better protections for students in halls of residence
    The Government is moving swiftly to change the law to improve the welfare and pastoral care of students living in university halls of residence and other tertiary hostels. Cabinet has agreed to several changes, including creating a new mandatory Code of Practice that sets out the duty of pastoral care ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • New trapping guide for community and expert trappers alike
    The Minister for Conservation Eugenie Sage has launched a new comprehensive trapping guide for community trappers to help them protect our native birds, plants and other wildlife, at Zealandia in Wellington today. ‘A practical guide to trapping’, has been developed by the Department of Conservation (DOC), and was launched during ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • Widening Access to Contraceptives Welcomed
    Associate Health Minister Julie Anne Genter welcomes PHARMAC’s move to improve access to long-acting reversible contraception (LARCs). PHARMAC has today announced it will fund the full cost of Mirena and Jaydess for anyone seeking long term contraception, lifting previous restrictions on access to Mirena. “I welcome women having greater choices ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • Major upgrade for Taranaki Base Hospital
    The Government has approved the next stage of a major redevelopment of Taranaki Base Hospital, which will deliver new and improved facilities for patients. Health Minister Dr David Clark has announced details of a $300 million dollar project to build a new East Wing at the New Plymouth hospital. It ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • Extra support for rural families
    Extra funding will allow Rural Support Trusts to help farming families, says Minister for Rural Communities and Agriculture Damien O’Connor. “I know that rural families are worried about some of the challenges facing them, including the ongoing uncertainty created by the Mycoplasma bovis outbreak. “Those concerns sit alongside ongoing worries ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • Howard Leaque Beekeeper programme graduation
    Thank you for the opportunity to be here to present certificates to the 16 graduates who have completed a beekeeping course delivered by the Howard League.  Let us start by acknowledging Auckland Prison’s Deputy Prison Director Tom Sherlock, and Acting Assistant Regional Commissioner of Corrections Northern Region Scott Walker - ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    7 days ago
  • Finance Minister to attend APEC meetings
    Finance Minister Grant Robertson leaves this weekend to attend the APEC Finance Ministers meeting in Santiago, Chile. Discussions between APEC Finance Ministers at the meeting will include the effects of the current global economic uncertainty, risks for APEC economies and sustainable development of the region. While at APEC Grant Robertson ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    7 days ago
  • Pacific languages are a source of strength, they ground us and build confidence
    The Minister for Pacific Peoples Aupito William Sio says for Pacific people, language can be a source of strength. It can help ground us and give us confidence. When we speak them, our languages provide us with an immediate and intimate access to our identity and our story - and ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    7 days ago
  • Major boost to support disabled people in sport and recreation
    The Coalition Government has announced an action plan to improve the wellbeing of disabled New Zealanders by addressing inequalities in play, active recreation and sport. The initiative includes training to develop a workforce that understands the needs of children and young people with a range of impairments, advocacy for fit ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    7 days ago
  • More prefab homes to be built as red tape cut
    The construction sector is being freed up to allow more homes to be built more quickly as the Government cuts through some of the red tape of the Building Act.  “Every New Zealander deserves a warm, dry, safe home and old inefficiencies in the Building Act make building slow and ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    7 days ago
  • Further details of Prince of Wales and Duchess of Cornwall visit to New Zealand
    Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern has welcomed further details on the Prince of Wales and Duchess of Cornwall’s visit to New Zealand next month. Their Royal Highnesses will visit New Zealand from 17-23 November – their third joint visit to New Zealand and first in four years. They arrive in Auckland ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • O’Connor in Thailand to push for RCEP deal
    Minister of State for Trade and Export Growth and Minister of Agriculture, Damien O’Connor, heads to Thailand today to attend the final Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP) Ministerial meeting, as negotiations enter their final stages. “The RCEP Agreement would anchor New Zealand in a regional agreement that covers 16 countries, ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Young Pacific people can access earning and learning opportunities in Hawke’s Bay, Otago and South...
    Pacific young people living in the Hawke’s Bay, Southland and Otago regions will have access to support services that have proved successful in helping young people find new earning and learning opportunities. “Tupu Aotearoa is about changing Pacific young peoples’ lives. Our young people are talented, they are smart, they ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Protecting wellbeing – ACC HQSC Trauma Forum
    Introduction As the Minister for ACC I thank you all for the work that you do supporting New Zealanders in their literally most vulnerable moments. From those who hold people’s lives in their hands, to the people who research technique, technology and trends, your work is highly valued. A special ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
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