Room left for Greens in Labour reshuffle

Written By: - Date published: 8:35 am, February 26th, 2013 - 49 comments
Categories: election 2014, greens, labour - Tags:

I think the Labour reshuffle is quite clever in how it signals the portfolios that its willing to give to the Greens and encourages them to set about being lead opposition spokespeople on those topics. Sure, the reshuffle has some weird stuff in it – ChCh Earthquake spokesperson a backbencher!, 6 ex-staffers in the top 10, Mallard’s ‘demotion’ that isn’t. But there’s some smarts there too.

Let’s start with economics. There’s a big question over where Russel Norman will fit into the finance/economics team of the next government. But with Cunliffe gone and a rookie handed Economic Development, it’s clear that Labour’s adjusted itself to giving him that role. No disrespect to my fellow Standardista’s brother; David Clark’s been outstanding. But putting such a junior MP in that position when Finance is held by a former Cabinet Minister ranked number 3, is a clear sign that Labour sees itself giving the role to Norman – a rookie’s not going to get the job over a co-leader.

Leaving Transport, Maori Affairs/Treaty, Energy, Climate Change and Conservation out of the top 20 (ie shadow Cabinet) would also be a joke if it wasn’t clearly being done to give the Greens space.

In Transport, Phil Twyford had done a remarkable job given the ambiguity of his party’s positions on the individual Roads of National Significance (they only flatly oppose one of them). Brendan Horan had also been doing a good job with his Kiwirail connections. Now, the board is clear for Julie Anne Genter to make her mark and cement her case to be Transport Minister. You couldn’t not have transport in Cabinet, it spends 5% of the budget, let alone its wider economic impacts.

Likewise, you can’t not have Maori Affairs and Treaty Settlements in Cabinet. Are they planning to give Metiria Turei Maori Affairs and maybe the Children’s Minister role that both parties want, and which Annette King had been eying up but won’t be able to do if she’s busy with Housing. Just as Norman wouldn’t have his hands directly on the cheque book if he was Economic Development rather than Finance, giving Turei advisory ministries to run rather than a big-budget department like MSD would fit with Labour’s desire to control the ‘real’ decisions in coalition.

Energy and Climate Change could be given to a single Green Minister to hold, given they’re very unlikely to remain with Moana Mackey in outside Cabinet roles. Gareth Hughes and Kennedy Graham could both put their hands up, or the roles could be split between Norman and Genter.

Conservation also needs to be in Cabinet because it makes decisions on large developments and the management of vast swathes of the country. Eugenie Sage is the Greens’ Conservation spokesperson and their Earthquake Recovery spokesperson – could Labour be planning to palm off both these roles that are frequently no-win to her? Interesting strategy if so.

Finally, ACC remains in Labour’s top 20 but it has been taken off the up and coming ex-union boss, Andrew Little, who as a union lawyer knows ACC and its issues like few others – with the exception of ex-DHB boss Kevin Hague, and given to the much lower profile Sue Moroney. On the other hand, Annette King has health now. That’s a clear signal that Labour is willing to give up ACC to Hague, but not health.

The Greens may be happy with some of the spots that Labour has de facto left open for them, and not so happy about others. Economic Development is the best Norman could ever hope for from Labour but also the least he should accept. Turei would want more than just advisory ministries, she’ll want her hands on the tiller. But it is good to see that Labour is acting now with an eye to a post-election coalition. Just the fact that ‘when we’re government’ is seriously in their heads is a positive frame of mind that was completely absent in the lead up to the 2011 election.

49 comments on “Room left for Greens in Labour reshuffle ”

  1. just saying 1

    Oh come on James. Optimism is a fine thing, but looking at the Labour Party reshuffle and perceiving wisdom, generosity, collegiality, or intelligence beyond the most venal cunning, borders on delusional.

    It’s time to admit defeat.

  2. Matthew Hooton 2

    I am appalled to see The Standard reduced to stealing material from the NBR!
    http://www.nbr.co.nz/article/shape-new-government-emerges-wb-136413

    • wobble 2.2

      I thought it might be a matter of great minds thinking alike.

      Then I remember you’re Matthew Hooten.

      • felixviper 2.2.1

        Certainly no great mind behind that particular article. He has Metiria down for “Maori Development, Women’s Affairs, Conservation”.

        Just shows how little he know about the subject. Hope they’re not paying him much to sit at his desk (bar) and go “Hurr durr, she’s a woman and a maori….”

    • Skinny 2.3

      Matthew I actually believe a Labour/Greens coalition  will win  in a landslide victory for a number of reasons. I think we can forget the current polls results, as next year people are going to way up what’s been (or not) achieved by National. There are too many murmurs from swing voters that Key has turned out a bit light & suspect trust wise. The real telling blow will be the hundreds of thousands of Kiwi’s that didn’t vote last time ‘will’ vote if only to remove National & their coalition partners. 

      The only obvious Greens Ministerial appointment will be Julie Anna Genter to Transport. It would suit Labour to steer clear of this portfolio all things considered, and genuine concessions will need to be made for a happy partnership. 

    • David H 2.4

      Ahhh having a cry Hooton? Just because NO ONE wants to read your rubbish.

    • xtasy 2.5

      Matthes Hooton (hooter brain):

      Come on, are you now wanting to claim intellectual property rights to be honoured?

      Maybe someone had similar thoughts, ideas and interpretations as you?

      Who wants to pay for your comment column on NBR, when we get better minds write here free of charge?

      Maybe rethink your media business plan and approach.

      You come across as a “loser’ with this comment. I never bought much of your weekly commenting on National Radio on Monday mornings, I will do even less so now.

      Good luck and get a life, dear Matthew.

  3. Anne 3

    At this stage, I think you are reading more into the allocations than is actually there. Given the ruthless and self-centred attitude of the current Labour parliamentary hierarchy, I can’t see any serious signs of portfolio accomodation in their line-up. A good example… Shane Jones – a self confessed Green hater – has been promoted to the front bench.

  4. fatty 4

    Did they leave the #1 spot open to the Greens too…or do Labour seriously consider Shearer to be their leader?

  5. chris73 acualy is Dolan 5

    Basically Labours just throwing a few crumbs to placate the Greens. However this is all the Greens own making, by saying they’ll only go with Labour they’ve left themselves with no bargaining power.

    Basically the Greens are the dutiful stay at home wife that ignores the husbands (labours) philandering…

    the Greens could take lessons from Winstonfirst and P. Dunne on how to play the game (and get some influence)

    • fatty 5.1

      Can you show us how the Greens would work with National – especially in a Government from 2014-2017, when National will go for the jugular by bringing in some serious neoliberal policies (probably moving into Libertarian territory).

      Give us a run-down on how that would work

      • Colonial Viper 5.1.1

        That may be more valuable to the nation

      • chris73 acualy is Dolan 5.1.2

        They don’t have to say they’ll go with National, they can just say we’ll wait until after the election to see what we’ll do and them make Labour offer them concessions

        Essentially the Greens are the easy chick, that one that puts out, whereas Winstonfirst and P. Dunne played hard to get

        Because the Greens are easy Labour don’t have to offer them much to get them into bed but Winnie and Petie played coy and made National work for it and got rewarded

        • I think it actually helps voters decide if smaller parties mention who they plan to support for confidence and supply before the campaign. Nobody was impressed with New Zealand First’s antics in that regard.

          Remember that Labour will have to work with their partners for three years. If they feel like they’ve been slighted in coalition dealings, that’s not going to be a productive relationship. It’s in the Labour Party’s best interest to be seen as a fair dealer that is appropriately generous, but not a pushover.

          • chris73 acualy is Dolan 5.1.2.1.1

            Yes but Labour don’t like the Greens (one could say hate) because Labour see the Greens as poaching “their” votes

            Labour would rather not be in power but be the leader of the left than be in power but have to share with the Greens

            • Colonial Weka 5.1.2.1.1.1

              Grow up chris. Or learn some better trooling techniques. You can try and talk down the GP all you like, but they’re on a roll and will play a major part in the next election whichever way it goes.

              • chris73 acualy is Dolan

                What have I said was wrong?

                Labour party MPs have attacked the Greens in the past
                Winston and Peter Dunne both got more power with less MPs than the Greens have ever had
                Labour would rather not be in power but be the leader of the left than be in power but have to share with the Greens
                – I’ll admit thats my opinion but it seems to me that Labour have had the opportunity to give the Greens some positions but haven’t

                • Colonial Weka

                  Opinion? Sounds more like wishful thinking. Try posting something that supports your belief.

          • Colonial Weka 5.1.2.1.2

            Yes, and unlike NZF MPs and members, the Green Party still have a degree of integrity and the membership certainly has the expectation that the party will be clear before the election about its intentions re coalitions.

            It’s beyond belief that a party wouldn’t signal before an election which way it’s going to go afterwards. MMP was supposed to increase democracy, not create kingmakers like Peters.

        • Murray Olsen 5.1.2.2

          “Because the Greens are easy Labour don’t have to offer them much to get them into bed but Winnie and Petie played coy and made National work for it and got rewarded”

          I pity you. Obviously nobody has ever gone to bed with you because of your wit, charm, or good looks, so that you are reduced to thinking of women as essentially being prostitutes. Typical right wing bullshit when all the crap is washed off the top – you need to be rich and powerful because you would never get laid otherwise.

  6. Colonial Viper 6

    You really want to go into Government with these guys Henderson? Are you a masochist?

    Just look at how they’ve treated their own former Ministers and top talent, and then think for 3 seconds how they are going to treat your team of new on the block outsiders when the chips are down.

    What does Green blood in the House look like?

    • Colonial Weka 6.1

      Are you suggesting that the GP stays outside of government? Or what?

      • Rich 6.1.1

        The best plan, if Labour (and Peters) are being dicks is for the Greens to enter into no parliament-long confidence and supply agreement, but to offer support or abstention on an initial confidence vote, whichever is needed to pass.

        Then take budget and legislation on their merits. Produce a Green shadow budget and advocate for those policies to be incorporated.

        • Colonial Viper 6.1.1.1

          That may be a strategy for gaining a long term Green majority. Being tainted by the actions of a coalition partner who isn’t really listening to you is the worst of all worlds (Lib Dems we’re looking at you)

          • Colonial Weka 6.1.1.1.1

            Pretty hard to see someone like Norman giving up a chance at a Ministry or three. It will be interesting to see what the membership make of the situation.

            I still expect the GP to present some new ways of doing coalition when the time comes.

        • Colonial Weka 6.1.1.2

          Rich, I tend to agree, but in the past that way of operating has been severely denounced as creating unstable government (which is why it’s never happened here). The right wing spin, and the media would play on this I’m sure, would be that the GP is holding the govt and the country to ransom. If the GP were to do that, they would need to box very clever, do lots of PR, and offer Labour as many things as they challenge.

    • Rogue Trooper 6.2

      will blend into the seats.
      Norman
      Turei
      Genter
      Kennedy Graham
      Sage
      Hague
      (slippery acknowledged on the box 5 Green Ministers, just to curry favour)

  7. hush minx 7

    With a slightly more cynical tone I ask what had happened to David Shearer’s desire for a green and smart brand for nz, valuing the environment etc, when he gives it to someone, Street, who had just been demoted from health as she didn’t perform, and had no background in the area that I can tell. The only logical reason is that Labour is indeed ceding the green issues to the Greens. If only I thought that was the real reason!

  8. cricklewood 8

    Are you saying that it signals that Labour have all but given up hope of getting much above 35% of the popular vote so are preparing for a possible coalition in a couple of years?
    Meanwhile governement ministers aren’t held to account for the next couple of years as they don’t have the best person for the job opposing them due to ‘strategic thinking’
    If that has been the thinking it seems to me to be a recipe for disaster… I say you should have the best in your party doing the jobs they are best suited to, put a smuch pressure on the Govt as you can and let the chips fall where they may come election day.
    Sure there maybe some ruffled feathers during coalition negotitations over who does what pre empting that is just stupid.

  9. SpaceMonkey 9

    James, I think you’re reading too much into the reshuffle. The Shearer camp is simply strengthening its hold on the Labour Party.

    I watched Shearer on television this morning selling the reshuffle and he still sounds like he’s unsure of himself, struggles to get the words out, gets the words out and then rushes to vary what he’s said sounding like he’s just remembered the scripted line he was supposed to say first time around. It’s awful to watch and worse to listen to.

  10. felixviper 10

    They also seem to have left open posts 1, 3, 4, 7, 9, 11, 14, 15, and 18.

    How generous of them.

  11. Blue 11

    Yeah, I’m sure it’s all moving over politely for the Greens and not in the slightest to do with having a shallow talent pool and factional infighting problem.

    Are they giving Chch earthquake recovery to the Greens too?

    • Socialist Paddy 11.1

      Aye. They punished Dalziel because she had the temerity (or is that good sense) to support Cunliffe.

      So they hang one of the hardest working, dedicated, intelligent MPs out to dry.

      I see no cunning strategy here to create a Labour-Green cabinet. I see the brutal hand of revenge politics being overplayed.

  12. The Gormless Fool formerly known as Oleolebiscuitbarrell 12

    No spokesperson for Earthquake recovery? Is this because they don’t give a shit, or because they think the government is doing the perfect job?

  13. hush minx 13

    + 1 Blue. I suspect you may be correct. I’d imagine Lianne will continue to be supported by Cantabrians, not so sure about Labour tho.

  14. Bill 14

    Applyingthe principle of Occam’s Razor – this reshuffle simply says there is no room in Labour for Labour. Shearer et al won – Labour lost.

    Which could lead to idle speculation on whether there is room left in the Greens for Labour after this reshuffle. With Bradford and others having departed, the not altogether palatable social agenda of the Greens (yes, I liked it, but that’s not the point) is somewhat ‘open’ to a softer Labour influence.

    I’d guess Cunliffe and others who (for me) embody Labour values etc far, far better and honestly than Shearer, Robertson et al will want to ‘hang on in there’ for the inevitable collapse/renewal that follows the cycle of conservatism and crystalisation most organisation go through.

    But that takes us through to – what – 2017? That’s a long, long way away. So perhaps dumping the romantic notion of Labour and any ‘need’ to ‘fight the good fight’ in preference to getting some actual traction on policy and its implementation cuold be an option.

    It would also bring depth and experience to the Greens (something Irish has pointed out as lacking and a problem should they boost their poll rating in the short/medium term).

    The only downside I can see is that the current Labour Party would continue to get (undeserved) votes by riding the coat-tails of its history and exploiting electors misplaced romantic notions of ‘what was and should be’ rather than on ‘what is’.

  15. Fortran 15

    Looks like the old guard are still in power.
    Their is new talent available and needs urgently to be pushed into the front to see what makes them tick – there is new young skills there but appears misplaced. They need to be blooded over the next 18 months.
    The Greens are showing the way using all their talent well. After all they do not have to justify anything in there position, as they will not lead Government whatever. They can say what they like.
    Labour must be more imaginative though.

    • Colonial Viper 15.1

      After all they do not have to justify anything in there position, as they will not lead Government whatever. They can say what they like.

      That’s a Bullshit concept.

      Political parties are there to bring the very best ideas and proposals to voters.

      And the Greens are doing that very well.

      • Arfamo 15.1.1

        Yes they are. No sign of constant infighting there. They are very cohesive and focussing their comms and parliamentary debates on issues that count for voters.

  16. Jenny 16

    Leaving Transport, Maori Affairs/Treaty, Energy, Climate Change and Conservation out of the top 20 (ie shadow Cabinet) would also be a joke if it wasn’t clearly being done to give the Greens space.

    JAMES HENDERSON

    How do you make that out, James?

    How would giving the Greens policy positions and not portfolios give them space?

    This would be a very generous interpretation.

    Each of these policies are of interest to the Greens. And if they were portfolios the Greens would be competing for, and expecting to get at least some of them for their MPs. (Which would only be fair).

    Demoting these policies to powerless non-portfolio, while it may remove possibly acrimonious competition and argument between the Labour and the Green Party over who gets what.

    Removing these 5 key policies from the list of ministerial portfolios means that holding them will essentially be hollow and pointless.

    Obviously Labour don’t want the Green MPs to have any real power to affect change in any of these policy areas that is why these policies have been put out of cabinet where all the real decisions are made.

    Way to go Labour. Let the Green MPs compete for essentially powerless policy positions with no power to affect any outcomes. While all the real power to affect outcomes is held by Ministers with portfolio.

    Oh so subtle and clever. Let the Greens compete for all these new non-port folio positions, and tell them to be grateful. Meanwhile all the real decision making power lies with those with cabinet positions and proper Ministerial Portfolios.

    The Greens would have to be idiots or doormats to accept this.

    • Jenny 16.1

      It may also not have escaped most people’s attention that four of these five policy areas impinges on some aspect of climate change.

      At topic that the Labour Party want to ignore.

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  • How good is the interim NW busway?
    This is a guest post by Pshem Kowalczyk, a long-time follower of the blog. With great fanfare, just over six months ago (on 12 November 2023), AT launched its interim busway for the NorthWest region, with the new WX express service at the heart of the changes. I live ...
    Greater AucklandBy Guest Post
    6 days ago
  • Consumer confidence collapses after Budget, in contrast with rest of world
    The first widespread survey of consumers and voters since the Budget on May 30 shows a collapse in confidence. Photo: Lynn Grieveson / The KākāTL;DR: The belt-tightening and tax-cutting Budget delivered on May 30 has not delivered the boost to confidence in the economy the National-ACT-NZ First Government might have ...
    The KakaBy Bernard Hickey
    6 days ago
  • The end for the Air Force 757s
    The Air Force 757 that broke down with the Prime Minister on board in Port Moresby on Sunday is considered so unreliable that it carries a substantial stock of spare parts when it travels overseas. And the plane also carries an Air Force maintenance team on board ready to make ...
    PolitikBy Richard Harman
    6 days ago
  • At a glance – Was 1934 the hottest year on record?
    On February 14, 2023 we announced our Rebuttal Update Project. This included an ask for feedback about the added "At a glance" section in the updated basic rebuttal versions. This weekly blog post series highlights this new section of one of the updated basic rebuttal versions and serves as a ...
    6 days ago
  • It's not New Zealand they've never heard of, it's him
    Sometimes you’ll just be so dog-tired, you can only keep yourself awake with a short stab of self-inflicted pain.A quick bite of the lip, for instance.Maybe a slight bite on the tongue or a dig of the nails.But what if you’re needing something a bit more painful?The solution is as ...
    More Than A FeildingBy David Slack
    6 days ago
  • Some “scrutiny” II
    Last month I blogged about the Ministry of Justice's Open Government Partnership commitment to strengthen scrutiny of Official Information Act exemption clauses in legislation", and how their existing efforts did not give much reason for confidence. As part of that, I mentioned that I had asked the Ministry for its ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    7 days ago
  • Gordon Campbell on why the Biden “peace plan” for Gaza is doomed
    After months and months of blocking every attempt by the UN and everyone else to achieve a Gaza ceasefire, US President Joe Biden is now marketing his own three-stage “peace plan” to end the conflict. Like every other contribution by the US since October 7, the Biden initiative is hobbled ...
    WerewolfBy lyndon
    7 days ago
  • Raised crossings: hearing the voice of vulnerable pedestrians
    This is a guest post by Vivian Naylor, who is the Barrier Free Advisor and Educator at CCS Disability Action, Northern Region, the largest disability support and advocacy organisation in Aotearoa New Zealand. She also advises on AT’s Public Transport and Capital Projects Accessibility Groups. Vivian has been advocating and ...
    Greater AucklandBy Guest Post
    7 days ago
  • Leaving on a Jet Plane
    So kiss me and smile for meTell me that you'll wait for meHold me like you'll never let me go'Cause I'm leavin' on a jet planeDon't know when I'll be back againOh babe, I hate to go“The true measure of any society can be found in how it treats its ...
    Nick’s KōreroBy Nick Rockel
    7 days ago
  • Bernard's mid-winter pick 'n' mix for Tuesday, June 18
    The election promises of ‘better economic management’ are now ringing hollow, as NZ appears to be falling into a deeper recession, while other economies are turning the corner. Photo: Lynn Grieveson / The KākāTL;DR: The economy and the housing market are slumping back into a deep recession this winter, contrasting ...
    The KakaBy Bernard Hickey
    7 days ago
  • Scrutiny week off to rocky start
    Parliament’s new “Scrutiny” process, which is supposed to allow Select Committees to interrogate Ministers and officials in much more depth, has got off to a rocky start. Yesterday was the first day of “Scrutiny Week” which is supposed to see the Government grilled on how it spends taxpayers’ money and ...
    PolitikBy Richard Harman
    7 days ago
  • The choice could not be more stark’: How Trump and Biden compare on climate change
    This is a re-post from Yale Climate Connections by Barbara Grady Illustration by Samantha Harrington. Photo credits: Justin Lane-Pool/Getty Images, Win McNamee/Getty Images, European Space Agency. In an empty wind-swept field in Richmond, California, next to the county landfill, a company called RavenSr has plotted out land and won ...
    1 week ago
  • Differentiating between democracy and republic
    Although NZ readers may not be that interested in the subject and in lieu of US Fathers Day missives (not celebrated in NZ), I thought I would lay out some brief thoughts on a political subject being debated in the … Continue reading ...
    KiwipoliticoBy Pablo
    1 week ago
  • Bernard's mid-winter pick 'n' mix for Monday, June 17
    TL;DR: Chris Bishop talks up the use of value capture, congestion charging, PPPs, water meters, tolling and rebating GST on building materials to councils to ramp up infrastructure investment in the absence of the Government simply borrowing more to provide the capital.Meanwhile, Christopher Luxon wants to double the number of ...
    The KakaBy Bernard Hickey
    1 week ago
  • You do have the power to change things
    When I was invited to come aboard and help with Greater Auckland a few months ago (thanks to Patrick!), it was suggested it might be a good idea to write some sort of autobiographical post by way of an introduction. This post isn’t quite that – although I’m sure I’lll ...
    Greater AucklandBy Connor Sharp
    1 week ago
  • Turning Away – Who Cares If We Don't?
    On the turning awayFrom the pale and downtroddenAnd the words they say which we won't understandDon't accept that, what's happeningIs just a case of other's sufferingOr you'll find that you're joining inThe turning awayToday’s guest kōrero is from Author Catherine Lea. So without further ado, over to Catherine…I’m so honoured ...
    Nick’s KōreroBy Nick Rockel
    1 week ago
  • Dissecting Tickled
    Hi,Tickled was one of the craziest things that ever happened to me (and I feel like a lot of crazy things have happened to me).So ahead of the Webworm popup and Tickled screening in New Zealand on July 13, I thought I’d write about how we made that film and ...
    David FarrierBy David Farrier
    1 week ago
  • New Zealand Webworm Popup + Tickled!
    Hi,I’m doing a Webworm merch popup followed by a Tickled screening in Auckland, New Zealand on July 13th — and I’d love you to come. I got the urge to do this while writing this Webworm piece breaking down how we made Tickled, and talking to all the people who ...
    David FarrierBy David Farrier
    1 week ago
  • What China wants from NZ business
    One simple statistic said it all: China Premier Li Qiang asked Fonterra CEO Miles Hurrell what percentage of the company’s overall sales were made in China. “Thirty per cent,” said Hurrell. In other words, New Zealand’s largest company is more or less dependent on the Chinese market. But Hurrell is ...
    PolitikBy Richard Harman
    1 week ago
  • Review: The Worm Ouroboros, by E.R. Eddison (1922)
    One occasionally runs into the question of what J.R.R. Tolkien would have thought of George R.R. Martin. For years, I had a go-to online answer: we could use a stand-in. Tolkien’s thoughts on E.R. Eddison – that he appreciated the invented world, but thought the invented names were silly, and ...
    1 week ago
  • 2024 SkS Weekly Climate Change & Global Warming News Roundup #24
    A listing of 35 news and opinion articles we found interesting and shared on social media during the past week: Sun, June 9, 2024 thru Sat, June 15, 2024. Story of the week A glance at this week's inventory of what experts tell us is extreme weather mayhem juiced by ...
    1 week ago
  • Sunday Morning Chat
    After a busy week it’s a good day to relax. Clear blues skies here in Tamaki Makaurau, very peaceful but for my dogs sleeping heavily. In the absence of a full newsletter I thought I’d send out a brief update and share a couple of posts that popped up in ...
    Nick’s KōreroBy Nick Rockel
    1 week ago
  • The Book of Henry
    Now in the land of Angus beef and the mighty ABsWhere the steaks were juicy and the rivers did run foulIt would often be said,This meal is terrible,andNo, for real this is legit the worst thing I've ever eatenBut this was an thing said only to others at the table,not ...
    More Than A FeildingBy David Slack
    1 week ago
  • Fact Brief – Is ocean acidification from human activities enough to impact marine ecosystems?
    Skeptical Science is partnering with Gigafact to produce fact briefs — bite-sized fact checks of trending claims. This fact brief was written by Sue Bin Park in collaboration with members from the Skeptical Science team. You can submit claims you think need checking via the tipline. Is ocean acidification from human ...
    1 week ago
  • Happiness is a Warm Gun
    She's not a girl who misses muchDo do do do do do, oh yeahShe's well-acquainted with the touch of the velvet handLike a lizard on a window paneI wouldn’t associate ACT with warmth, other than a certain fabled, notoriously hot, destination where surely they’re heading and many would like them ...
    Nick’s KōreroBy Nick Rockel
    1 week ago
  • Still doing a good 20
    Hello! Here comes the Saturday edition of More Than A Feilding, catching you up on the past somewhat interrupted week. Still on the move!Share Read more ...
    More Than A FeildingBy David Slack
    1 week ago
  • Coalition of the Unwilling?
    What does Budget 2024 tell us about the current government? Muddle on?Coalition governments are not new. About 50 percent of the time since the first MMP election, there has been a minority government, usually with allied parties holding ministerial portfolios outside cabinets. For 10 percent of the time there was ...
    PunditBy Brian Easton
    1 week ago
  • Of red flags and warning signs in comments on social media
    Somewhat surprisingly for what is regarded as a network of professionals, climate science misinformation is getting shared on LinkedIn, joining other channels where this is happening. Several of our recent posts published on LinkedIn have attracted the ire of various commenters who apparently are in denial about human-caused climate change. Based ...
    1 week ago
  • All good, still
    1. On what subject is Paul Henry even remotely worth giving the time of day?a. The state of our nationb. The state of the ACT partyc. How to freak out potential buyers of your gin palace by baking the remains of your deceased parent into its fittings2. Now that New ...
    More Than A FeildingBy David Slack
    2 weeks ago
  • The looting is the point
    Last time National was in power, they looted the state, privatising public assets and signing hugely wasteful public-private partnership (PPP) contracts which saw foreign consortiums provide substandard infrastructure while gouging us for profits. You only have to look at the ongoing fiasco of Transmission Gully to see how it was ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • The Illusion of Power: How Local Government Bureaucrats Overawe Democratically-Elected Councillors..
    The Democratic Façade Of Local Government: Our district and city councillors are democratically elected to govern their communities on one very strict condition – that they never, ever, under any circumstances, attempt to do so.A DISINTEGRATION OF LOYALTIES on the Wellington City Council has left Mayor Tory Whanau without a ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Lowlights & Bright Spots
    I can feel the lowlights coming over meI can feel the lowlights, from the state I’m inI can see the light now even thought it’s dimA little glow on the horizonAnother week of lowlights from our government, with the odd bright spot and a glow on the horizon. The light ...
    Nick’s KōreroBy Nick Rockel
    2 weeks ago
  • Weekly Roundup 14-June-2024
    Another week, another roundup of things that caught our eye on our favourite topics of transport, housing and how to make cities a little bit greater. This Week in Greater Auckland On Monday, Connor wrote about Kāinga Ora’s role as an urban development agency Tuesday’s guest post by ...
    Greater AucklandBy Greater Auckland
    2 weeks ago
  • The Hoon around the week to June 14
    Photo: Lynn Grieveson / The KākāTL;DR: The podcast above of the weekly ‘hoon’ webinar for paying subscribers features co-hosts and talking with:The Kākā’s climate correspondent about the National-ACT-NZ First Government’s moves this week to take farming out of the ETS and encourage more mining and oil and ...
    The KakaBy Bernard Hickey
    2 weeks ago
  • Climate policy axed in broad daylight, while taxpayer liabilities grow in the dark
    In 2019, Shane Jones addressed the “50 Shades of Green” protest at Parliament: Now he is part of a government giving those farmers a pass on becoming part of the ETS, as well as threatening to lock in offshore oil exploration and mining for decades. Photo: Lynn GrievesonTL;DR: Here’s the ...
    The KakaBy Bernard Hickey
    2 weeks ago
  • Rage Bait!
    Hi,Today’s newsletter is all about how easy it is to get sucked into “rage bait” online, and how easy it is to get played.But first I wanted to share something that elicited the exact opposite of rage in me — something that made me feel incredibly proud, whilst also making ...
    David FarrierBy David Farrier
    2 weeks ago
  • Bernard's Dawn Chorus and pick 'n' mix for Friday, June 14
    Seymour said lower speed limits “drained the joy from life as people were forced to follow rules they knew made no sense.” File Photo: Lynn Grieveson / The KākāTL;DR: My six things to note in Aotearoa-NZ’s political economy around housing, climate and poverty on Friday, June 14 were:The National/ACT/NZ First ...
    The KakaBy Bernard Hickey
    2 weeks ago
  • Friendly but frank talks with China Premier
    It sounded like the best word to describe yesterday’s talks between Chinese Premier Li Qiang and his heavyweight delegation of Ministers and officials and Prime Minister Christopher Luxon and New Zealand Ministers and officials was “frank.” But it was the kind of frankness that friends can indulge in. It ...
    PolitikBy Richard Harman
    2 weeks ago
  • Skeptical Science New Research for Week #24 2024
    Open access notables Wildfire smoke impacts lake ecosystems, Farruggia et al., Global Change Biology: We introduce the concept of the lake smoke-day, or the number of days any given lake is exposed to smoke in any given fire season, and quantify the total lake smoke-day exposure in North America from 2019 ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Join us for the weekly Hoon on YouTube Live
    Photo by Mathias Elle on UnsplashIt’s that new day of the week (Thursday rather than Friday) when we have our ‘hoon’ webinar with paying subscribers to The Kākā for an hour at 5 pm.Jump on this link on YouTube Livestream for our chat about the week’s news with special guests:5.00 ...
    The KakaBy Bernard Hickey
    2 weeks ago
  • Geoffrey Miller: China’s message to New Zealand – don’t put it all at risk
    Don’t put it all at risk. That’s likely to be the take-home message for New Zealand Prime Minister Christopher Luxon in his meetings with Li Qiang, the Chinese Premier. Li’s visit to Wellington this week is the highest-ranking visit by a Chinese official since 2017. The trip down under – ...
    Democracy ProjectBy Geoffrey Miller
    2 weeks ago
  • The Real Thing
    I know the feelingIt is the real thingThe essence of the soulThe perfect momentThat golden momentI know you feel it tooI know the feelingIt is the real thingYou can't refuse the embraceNo?Sometimes we face the things we most dislike. A phobia or fear that must be confronted so it doesn’t ...
    Nick’s KōreroBy Nick Rockel
    2 weeks ago

  • Transformative investment in cancer treatments and more new medicines
    The coalition Government is delivering up to 26 cancer treatments as part of an overall package of up to 54 more new medicines, Health Minister Dr Shane Reti and Associate Health Minister David Seymour announced today. “Pharmac estimates that around 175,000 people will benefit from the additional treatments in just ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    12 hours ago
  • More support for drought-affected communities
    The coalition Government is providing more financial support to drought-stricken farmers and growers in many parts of the country to help with essential living costs. “Rural Assistance Payments have been made available in 38 districts affected by dry conditions to help eligible farmers and growers whose income has taken a ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    18 hours ago
  • Job seekers to report on progress after six months from today
    A new requirement for people on Jobseeker Support benefits to meet with MSD after six months to assess how their job search is going gets underway today. About 20,000 Jobseeker beneficiaries with full-time work obligations are expected to attend MSD’s new ‘Work check-in’ seminars over the next 12 months, Social ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    19 hours ago
  • New cops means more Police on the beat
    The decision to deploy more Police on the beat in Auckland CBD has been welcomed by Police Minister Mark Mitchell and Associate Police Minister Casey Costello. Starting from 1 July, an additional 21 police officers will be redeployed in Auckland City, bringing the total number of beat police in the ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • Government takes action to address youth crime
    The Government is introducing a new declaration for young offenders to ensure they face tougher consequences and are better supported to turn their lives around, Children’s Minister Karen Chhour announced today. The establishment of a Young Serious Offender declaration delivers on a coalition Government commitment and supports the Government’s target ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • Reserve Bank chair reappointed
    Professor Neil Quigley has been reappointed as Chair of the Reserve Bank of New Zealand Board for a further term of two years, until 30 June 2026.  “Professor Quigley has played a key role in establishing the new Board after the commencement of the new RBNZ Act on 1 July ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • School attendance increases
    School attendance data released today shows an increase in the number of students regularly attending school to 61.7 per cent in term one. This compares to 59.5 per cent in term one last year and 53.6 per cent in term four. “It is encouraging to see more children getting to ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • Record investment in public transport services
    The Government has announced a record 41 per cent increase in indicative funding for public transport services and operations, and confirmed the rollout of the National Ticketing Solution (NTS) that will enable contactless debit and credit card payments starting this year in Auckland, Transport Minister Simeon Brown says.“This Government is ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • GDP data shows need to strengthen and grow the economy
    GDP figures for the March quarter reinforce the importance of restoring fiscal discipline to public spending and driving more economic growth, Finance Minister Nicola Willis says.  Data released today by Stats NZ shows GDP has risen 0.2 per cent for the quarter to March.   “While today’s data is technically in ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • Women continue to make up over 50 per cent on public sector boards
    Women’s representation on public sector boards and committees has reached 50 per cent or above for the fourth consecutive year, with women holding 53.9 per cent of public sector board roles, Acting Minister for Women Louise Upston says. “This is a fantastic achievement, but the work is not done. To ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • Government supporting Māori business success
    The Coalition Government is supporting Māori to boost development and the Māori economy through investment in projects that benefit the regions, Regional Development Minister Shane Jones and Māori Development Minister Tama Potaka say. “As the Regional Development Minister, I am focused on supporting Māori to succeed. The Provincial Growth Fund ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • Better solutions for earthquake-prone buildings
    Building and Construction Minister Chris Penk has announced that the review into better managing the risks of earthquake-prone buildings has commenced. “The terms of reference published today demonstrate the Government’s commitment to ensuring we get the balance right between public safety and costs to building owners,” Mr Penk says.  “The Government ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • Prime Minister wraps up visit to Japan
    Prime Minister Christopher Luxon has just finished a successful three-day visit to Japan, where he strengthened political relationships and boosted business links. Mr Luxon’s visit culminated in a bilateral meeting with Japanese Prime Minister Kishida Fumio followed by a state dinner. “It was important for me to meet Prime Minister Kishida in person ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • Major business deals signed on PM’s Japan trip
    Significant business deals have been closed during the visit of Prime Minister Christopher Luxon to Japan this week, including in the areas of space, renewable energy and investment.  “Commercial deals like this demonstrate that we don’t just export high-quality agricultural products to Japan, but also our world-class technology, expertise, and ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • Strategic Security speech, Tokyo
    Minasan, konnichiwa, kia ora and good afternoon everyone. Thank you for the invitation to speak to you today and thank you to our friends at the Institute for International Socio-Economic Studies and NEC for making this event possible today.  It gives me great pleasure to be here today, speaking with ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • National Infrastructure Pipeline worth over $120 billion
    The National Infrastructure Pipeline, which provides a national view of current or planned infrastructure projects, from roads, to water infrastructure, to schools, and more, has climbed above $120 billion, Infrastructure Minister Chris Bishop says. “Our Government is investing a record amount in modern infrastructure that Kiwis can rely on as ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • Making it easier to build infrastructure
    The Government is modernising the Public Works Act to make it easier to build infrastructure, Minister for Land Information Chris Penk announced today. An independent panel will undertake an eight-week review of the Act and advise on common sense changes to enable large scale public works to be built faster and ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • NZ enhances North Korea sanctions monitoring
    New Zealand will enhance its defence contributions to monitoring violations of sanctions against North Korea, Prime Minister Christopher Luxon announced today.  The enhancement will see the New Zealand Defence Force (NZDF) increase its contributions to North Korea sanctions monitoring, operating out of Japan. “This increase reflects the importance New Zealand ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • Speech to Safeguard National Health and Safety Conference
    Good afternoon everyone. It’s great to be with you all today before we wrap up Day One of the annual Safeguard National Health and Safety Conference. Thank you to the organisers and sponsors of this conference, for the chance to talk to you about the upcoming health and safety consultation. ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    7 days ago
  • Ōtaki to north of Levin alliance agreements signed
    Transport Minister Simeon Brown has welcomed an important milestone for the Ōtaki to north of Levin Road of National Significance (RoNS), following the NZ Transport Agency (NZTA) signing interim alliance agreements with two design and construction teams who will develop and ultimately build the new expressway.“The Government’s priority for transport ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    7 days ago
  • Improvements to stopping Digital Child Exploitation
    The Department of Internal Affairs [Department] is making a significant upgrade to their Digital Child Exploitation Filtering System, which blocks access to websites known to host child sexual abuse material, says Minister of Internal Affairs Brooke van Velden.  “The Department will incorporate the up-to-date lists of websites hosting child sexual ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    7 days ago
  • New vaccine research aims to combat prevalent bovine disease
    A vaccine to prevent an infectious disease that costs New Zealand cattle farmers more than $190 million each year could radically improve the health of our cows and boost on-farm productivity, Associate Agriculture Minister Andrew Hoggard says. The Ministry for Primary Industries is backing a project that aims to develop ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    7 days ago
  • Making it easier to build granny flats
    The Government has today announced that it is making it easier for people to build granny flats, Acting Prime Minister Winston Peters and RMA Reform Minister Chris Bishop say. “Making it easier to build granny flats will make it more affordable for families to live the way that suits them ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • High Court Judge appointed
    Attorney-General Judith Collins today announced the appointment of Auckland King’s Counsel Gregory Peter Blanchard as a High Court Judge. Justice Blanchard attended the University of Auckland from 1991 to 1995, graduating with an LLB (Honours) and Bachelor of Arts (English). He was a solicitor with the firm that is now Dentons ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Health workforce numbers rise
    Health Minister Dr Shane Reti says new data released today shows encouraging growth in the health workforce, with a continued increase in the numbers of doctors, nurses and midwives joining Health New Zealand. “Frontline healthcare workers are the beating heart of the healthcare system. Increasing and retaining our health workforce ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Government to overhaul firearms laws
    Associate Justice Minister Nicole McKee has today announced a comprehensive programme to reform New Zealand's outdated and complicated firearms laws. “The Arms Act has been in place for over 40 years. It has been amended several times – in a piecemeal, and sometimes rushed way. This has resulted in outdated ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 weeks ago
  • Government delivers landmark specialist schools investment
    The coalition Government is delivering record levels of targeted investment in specialist schools so children with additional needs can thrive. As part of Budget 24, $89 million has been ringfenced to redevelop specialist facilities and increase satellite classrooms for students with high needs. This includes: $63 million in depreciation funding ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 weeks ago
  • Major health and safety consultation begins
    A substantial consultation on work health and safety will begin today with a roadshow across the regions over the coming months, says Workplace Relations and Safety Minister Brooke van Velden.  This the first step to deliver on the commitment to reforming health and safety law and regulations, set out in ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 weeks ago
  • Growing the potential of New Zealand’s forestry sector in partnership
    Forestry Minister Todd McClay, today announced the start of the Government’s plan to restore certainty and confidence in the forestry and wood processing sector. “This government will drive investment to unlock the industry’s economic potential for growth,” Mr McClay says. “Forestry’s success is critical to rebuilding New Zealand’s economy, boosting ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 weeks ago
  • Government cancels forestry ETS annual service charges for 2023-24
    Annual service charges in the forestry Emissions Trading Scheme (ETS) will be cancelled for 2023/24, Forestry Minister Todd McClay says. “The sector has told me the costs imposed on forestry owners by the previous government were excessive and unreasonable and I agree,” Mr McClay says. “They have said that there ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 weeks ago
  • Speech to the LGNZ Infrastructure Symposium
    Introduction Thank you for having me here today and welcome to Wellington, the home of the Hurricanes, the next Super Rugby champions. Infrastructure – the challenge This government has inherited a series of big challenges in infrastructure. I don’t need to tell an audience as smart as this one that ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 weeks ago
  • Government boosts Agriculture and food trade with China
    Trade and Agriculture Minister Todd McClay and Food Safety Minister Andrew Hoggard welcomed outcomes to boost agricultural and food trade between New Zealand and China. A number of documents were signed today at Government House that will improve the business environment between New Zealand and China, and help reduce barriers, including on infant formula ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 weeks ago
  • NZ and China launch Services Trade Negotiations
    Trade Minister Todd McClay, and China’s Commerce Minister Wang Wentao, today announced the official launch of Negotiations on Services Trade between the two countries.  “The Government is focused on opening doors for services exporters to grow the New Zealand’s economy,” Mr McClay says.  As part of the 2022 New Zealand-China Free Trade Agreement Upgrade ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 weeks ago
  • Prime Minister Luxon meets with Premier Li
    Prime Minister Christopher Luxon met with Chinese Premier Li Qiang at Government House in Wellington today.  “I was pleased to welcome Premier Li to Wellington for his first official visit, which marks 10 years since New Zealand and China established a Comprehensive Strategic Partnership,” Mr Luxon says. “The Premier and ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 weeks ago
  • Government and business tackling gender pay gap
    The coalition Government is taking action to reduce the gender pay gap in New Zealand through the development of a voluntary calculation tool. “Gender pay gaps have impacted women for decades, which is why we need to continue to drive change in New Zealand,” Acting Minister for Women Louise Upston ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 weeks ago
  • Funding Boost for Rural Support Trusts
    The coalition Government is boosting funding for Rural Support Trusts to provide more help to farmers and growers under pressure, Rural Communities Minister Mark Patterson announced today. “A strong and thriving agricultural sector is crucial to the New Zealand economy and one of the ways to support it is to ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 weeks ago
  • Latest data shows size of public service decreasing
    Spending on contractors and consultants continues to fall and the size of the Public Service workforce has started to decrease after years of growth, according to the latest data released today by the Public Service Commission. Workforce data for the quarter from 31 December 23 to 31 March 24 shows ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 weeks ago
  • Speech to the Law Association
    Thank you to the Law Association for inviting me to speak this morning. As a former president under its previous name — the Auckland District Law Society — I take particular satisfaction in seeing this organisation, and its members, in such good heart. As Attorney-General, I am grateful for these ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 weeks ago
  • 25 years on, NZ reaffirms enduring friendship with Timor Leste
    New Zealand is committed to working closely with Timor-Leste to support its prosperity and resilience, Foreign Minister Winston Peters says.   “This year is the 25th anniversary of New Zealand sending peacekeepers to Timor-Leste, who contributed to the country’s stabilisation and ultimately its independence,” Mr Peters says.    “A quarter ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 weeks ago
  • Inquiry requested into rural banking
    Promoting robust competition in the banking sector is vital to rebuilding the economy, Finance Minister Nicola Willis says.  “New Zealanders deserve a banking sector that is as competitive as possible. Banking services play an important role in our communities and in the economy. Kiwis rely on access to lending when ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 weeks ago

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