Russian oligarch urges dump MMP

Written By: - Date published: 11:00 am, April 8th, 2009 - 43 comments
Categories: business, MMP - Tags: , ,

So, the Business Roundtable has resorted to calling in Russian oligarchs to aid their campaign against proportional represenation.

Here’s what “Taranaki-born former Treasury economist-turned-Russian oligarch” Stephen Jennings had to say following last night’s Sir Ron Trotter address.

MMP, he says, must go.

We need political leaders who can lead and manage change. “They need to be able to make policy choices quickly and efficiently,” Jennings says. “We know what kind of political behaviour our current constitution generates: gradualism, populism and the quasi-corruption arising from disproportionate pandering to tiny minorities.”

We must move back to a system of government, he says, where our leaders can promote high economic performance without pandering to narrow sectoral interests.

Given Jennings made his billions in the daylight robbery of Russia’s assets after the collapse of the Soviet Union, I’m guessing his definition of “disproportionate pandering to tiny minorities” and “pandering to narrow sectoral interests” doesn’t extend to the tiny minority that is big business.

His real gripe with MMP, much like the Business Roundtable’s, is when the public gets in the way of his looting and plundering.

The contempt these people have for our democracy is astounding.

43 comments on “Russian oligarch urges dump MMP ”

  1. Thomas Beagle 1

    Gosh, in the old days it was the left that portrayed Russia (ok, the USSR) as paradise on earth against all the evidence, now it seems to be the right.

  2. vto 2

    So you think his comments are directed at making it easier for people like him to make squillions more and bugger the people, rather than directed at what it actually takes to transform an economy into a high performer to everyone’s benefit?

    • Tane 2.1

      Yes. Look at his own comments, then look at what he and his cronies did to the people of Russia.

      Democracy gets in the way of his looting – that’s the “pandering” he’s talking about. That’s why he wants to weaken it by making parliament less proportional and hence less representative of the “narrow sectional interests” of the poor.

      • BLiP 2.1.1

        Yep – the rich get richer and the poor get poorer, only at a faster rate:

        income distribution in Russia at slightly worse than in any EU country

  3. gobsmacked 3

    World’s least corrupt countries, as reported annually in the definitive independent survey, by Transparency International:

    1. New Zealand

    (2 – 146 … world)

    147. Russia

  4. BLiP 4

    Classic Business Roundtable / John Key – there is no such thing as a society; New Zealand is a business and should be run by a board of directors so as to not let silly things like democracy get in the way of making the rich richer and the poor poorer.

    • Daveski 4.1

      Classic BLiP BS … Key goes and appoints the very opponent who coined the phrase “rich pricks” and yet you still see him as undemocratic. Classic indeed.

      • BLiP 4.1.1

        Good point, I concede in relation to Dr Cullen – but Key gives with one hand and takes away with another – I point to the reduction of democracy (or, to use BRT-speak, “disproportionate pandering to tiny minorities”) with the arbitrary elimination of Maori from the governance of Auckland.

        • Chess Player 4.1.1.1

          Maori are not ‘eliminated’ from the governance of Auckland.

          They have the exact same rights as everyone else….

      • getstuffed 4.1.2

        I think we can listen to men like Jennings but it must be realised he has his oen agendas. He doesn’t live in NZ for a majority of the time (im not 100% on that) but i would think he isn’t fully aware of the social context in which MMP operates.

        What narrow sectoral interests was he referring to? We live in a great democracy, every issue should be given some airing, even if it is soon seen as unworkable.

        Dont worry about blip.

        He is more an ideological burp – a stale one at that.

        Wheres the post re the green / national hand holding. I truly hope Blimp is a member of the labour party. Then i can rest easy at the thought of a national lead decade of governance.

  5. vto 5

    Yes, well it is the continuing conundrum isn’t it – is it all a conspiracy? A bit like the existence of god – the only way to find out for certain is for god to appear on telly and admit he exists. So too should Jennings appear on telly and admit he is only saying these things to encourage some rich boy looting. Anything other will simply not be believed.

    Having personally known some of these types you may well have a point. But equally, they often also have the best interests of their societies at heart. From what I have experienced anyway. (oh, except for the Talley caterpillar people.)

    Of course the exact same accusation can be made (and often is) about left wing types wanting to control the world and impose their own way of life upon the people. Conspiracies fly thick and fast in that arena as well.

    Conspiracies really are a bugger …

  6. Tim Ellis 6

    I’ve had my reservations about the MMP system for some time. In particular the ability of small parties to wag the dog and the consequent instability, pretty much everything that the opponents of MMP in 1993 stated.

    Yet it is hard to deny that the MMP system and coalition and governing arrangements have evolved since 1996. Things were pretty shaky under Bolger-Peters, and then Shipley-Peters, and small parties learned a lot from the collapse of the Alliance from 1999-2002.

    I think John Key has continued the maturity and evolution of MMP. His decision to achieve the broadest possible support base as a government, by including the Maori Party and even an MOU with the Green Party on mutually acceptable policies, has significantly improved MMP’s ability to provide broad, stable, well-functioning and popular governments.

    I tend towards the view now that we need a bit more time for MMP to bed in before we even look at changing electoral systems. The system is evolving and working pretty well.

    • Daveski 6.1

      Perfectly put. I believe that’s why the Labour supporters are so keen to create negative perceptions of both Key (in particular) and the partners he’s built relationships with.

      National were hopeless at MMP for so long yet Key has shown a superb ability to go where no-one expected. The risk for Labour is that the voters may excuse National because of the economic environment and not punish them … it could be a lot longer in opposition than they expected.

  7. vto 7

    A bit more… I think one part of what he was saying is that minorities under this system have a disproportionate power. And that is not a new allegation and most definitely has some truth to it. This disproportionate power limits advancements that society may require (whether of left or right ilk).

  8. tsmithfield 8

    I think both FPP and MMP are totally unnecessary and delay the progress of democracy. Due to our short election cycle, it is often not possible for governments to fully implement their plans, and often not enough time for voters to assess the effects of policies. Therefore, I think a more efficient system would be better.

    Here is what I would consider as a better system. Interested in comments:

    1. All parties competing in an election must produce a fully costed manifesto that is lodged with an independent body that monitors the running of government. This body would have the power to dissolve parliament if necessary and call for new elections.
    2. Only one party in parliament: Winner takes all. This party then implements the policies on which it has been elected without hinderance.
    3. If a party wishes to move away from its manifesto due changing circumstances, it must gain approval from the independent body. If it does not get this approval then the independent body can dissolve parliament and call for new elections.

    This system is still entirely democratic, but allows for rapid progress of policies and better opportunity for voters to assess the effects.

    • Draco T Bastard 8.1

      1.) Who’s going to pay so that the parties can actually do this?
      2.) Ah, no – we’ve already proven that sort of system doesn’t come close democracy.
      3.) Who the fuck died and made this independent body God?

      Democracy is all about the people making the decisions not some elite.

      PS: What’s so great about rapid progress? I prefer well reasoned and thought out ones myself.

      • Lew 8.1.1

        DTB,

        What’s so great about rapid progress?

        Rapid progress is great because when it inevitably results in fuckups, those fuckups can be fixed just as rapidly, and with just as much risk of fuckups!

        L

    • BLiP 8.2

      Great. I wonder why no one hasn’t thought of it before.

      Basically, replace government with a “Board of Directors” and a “Commerce Commission”. And since your model does away with the need for Her Majesty’s Loyal Opposition just think of the the immediate cash flow injection and savings going forward! The number of MP’s can be reduced to 61, Parliament Buildings can be sold, and meetings held via teleconference technology so no need for that travel budget – the list of savings just goes on and on. And good for business, too. No longer need democracy be a 24/7 operation, it can be reduced to a one day event every three years.

  9. Lew 9

    TS, that’s a very limited view of `entirely democratic’ indeed. Who elects the `independent body that monitors the running of government’?

    L

  10. Who elects the `independent body that monitors the running of government’?

    They’re voted in, but they’re closely monitored by an independent body.

  11. insider 11

    And we can have unqualified faith in it based on all those other independent bodies we have that make completely politically agnostic decisions.

    • Lew 11.1

      And we can have unqualified faith in it based on all those other independent bodies we have that make completely politically agnostic decisions.

      The ones which are appointed by the people who are voted in?

      L

  12. exbrethren 12

    Jennings is now working on fleecing African countries. He looked very shifty on Campbell last night. I guess he’d like us to dump MMP and have a government able to use the military against ‘upstarts’ in a similar way to the countries he operates in.

  13. rave 13

    Opposite of democracy is oligarchy.
    Auckland will soon look like Russia under Putin.
    John Banks has this Key-like front where he spouts crap about democracy but as soon as he is tested his authoritarian streak shows itself.
    As the new Mayor of Auckland, and Lord of Tamaki, as in Tamara John, we will see a swift execution on the streets of dissidents, as cyclists fall to the chop of Hummers.
    And life expectancy for the elderly is already on the fall. 70 year old Indian man gets beaten to death by 27 year old BMW driver in fit of road rage.
    Last time there was a feudal oligarchy in Russia it got overthrown and the superpricks lost their goodies and left.
    Roll on the revolution.

    • gingercrush 13.1

      And life expectancy for the elderly is already on the fall. 70 year old Indian man gets beaten to death by 27 year old BMW driver in fit of road rage.

      rave that comment is utterly disgraceful.

    • Felix 13.2

      ginger,

      You’re a sad simpleton incapable of comprehending the nuance of rave’s writing so get off the high chair, shove your mock outrage up your arse, and fuck off while you’re doing it.

      • gingercrush 13.2.1

        You might find rave comments nuanced but all I see is a comment that wasn’t necessary. There was no need to include that with the rest of the comments rave made. And is this your solution to every comment I make Felix, for me to fuck off? Because last I looked you didn’t have the ability to ban anyone here.

        • Felix 13.2.1.1

          So you can tell rave what’s acceptable but I can’t do the same to you?

          Sorry gc, it’s not rave’s fault that you don’t appreciate the context of his words, and the whole world can’t be dumbed down to your pre-school level so fuck off back to kiwibog where your mindless dribble might just pass as coherent thought you jack of clubs, you big blubbering child, you decidedly average object for leaning bicycles against.

          • gingercrush 13.2.1.1.1

            Sure you can tell me what is acceptable. Though the mind boggles as to why its necessary for you to use childish lines such as, “shove your mock outrage up your arse, and fuck off while you’re doing it.” Or why you feel the need to write what is itself rubbish and actually beneath the usual standards you set. You can do wit rather well. But in this case, you simply look pathetic.

          • Felix 13.2.1.1.2

            Because that’s the level of language you’re able to comprehend, as you’ve shown yet again. Everything else goes right over your head. Silly goose.

            And don’t talk to me about standards gc, your entire presence here is a caricature, barely worthy even of derision. I may as well be talking to the cat.

          • vinsin 13.2.1.1.3

            I’m in total agreement with at least one of Felix’s points, which is that ginger, is in fact, a jack of clubs. Also ginger, perhaps one should look at these words, “why you feel the need to write what is itself rubbish and actually beneath the usual standards you set” and point that question somewhere near your… FACE!

  14. tommy onions 14

    Where’d you get the fact that the 27 year old was driving a BMW?

    According to the news I read, the driver’s name is Bio O’Brien and he’s a student from Tuvalu.

    In any event – it’s a tragedy and it’s not appropriate to make jokes about it.

    You can do all the bad taste jokes you like about Jennings though.:)

  15. RedLogix 15

    Simon Johnson recently retired from the role as Senior Economist at the IMF. This article in The Atlantic is fascinating for it’s perspective. Set aside for one moment everything else about the IMF one might not like; Johnson writes a decisive condemnation on the power of wealthy business oligarchies to destroy economies.

    No, the real concern of the fund’s senior staff, and the biggest obstacle to recovery, is almost invariably the politics of countries in crisis.

    Typically, these countries are in a desperate economic situation for one simple reason—the powerful elites within them overreached in good times and took too many risks. Emerging-market governments and their private-sector allies commonly form a tight-knit—and, most of the time, genteel—oligarchy, running the country rather like a profit-seeking company in which they are the controlling shareholders. When a country like Indonesia or South Korea or Russia grows, so do the ambitions of its captains of industry. As masters of their mini-universe, these people make some investments that clearly benefit the broader economy, but they also start making bigger and riskier bets. They reckon—correctly, in most cases—that their political connections will allow them to push onto the government any substantial problems that arise.

    In Russia, for instance, the private sector is now in serious trouble because, over the past five years or so, it borrowed at least $490 billion from global banks and investors on the assumption that the country’s energy sector could support a permanent increase in consumption throughout the economy. As Russia’s oligarchs spent this capital, acquiring other companies and embarking on ambitious investment plans that generated jobs, their importance to the political elite increased. Growing political support meant better access to lucrative contracts, tax breaks, and subsidies. And foreign investors could not have been more pleased; all other things being equal, they prefer to lend money to people who have the implicit backing of their national governments, even if that backing gives off the faint whiff of corruption.

    But inevitably, emerging-market oligarchs get carried away; they waste money and build massive business empires on a mountain of debt. Local banks, sometimes pressured by the government, become too willing to extend credit to the elite and to those who depend on them. Overborrowing always ends badly, whether for an individual, a company, or a country. Sooner or later, credit conditions become tighter and no one will lend you money on anything close to affordable terms.

    The downward spiral that follows is remarkably steep. Enormous companies teeter on the brink of default, and the local banks that have lent to them collapse. Yesterday’s “public-private partnerships’ are relabeled “crony capitalism.’ With credit unavailable, economic paralysis ensues, and conditions just get worse and worse. The government is forced to draw down its foreign-currency reserves to pay for imports, service debt, and cover private losses. But these reserves will eventually run out. If the country cannot right itself before that happens, it will default on its sovereign debt and become an economic pariah. The government, in its race to stop the bleeding, will typically need to wipe out some of the national champions—now hemorrhaging cash—and usually restructure a banking system that’s gone badly out of balance. It will, in other words, need to squeeze at least some of its oligarchs.

    Squeezing the oligarchs, though, is seldom the strategy of choice among emerging-market governments. Quite the contrary: at the outset of the crisis, the oligarchs are usually among the first to get extra help from the government, such as preferential access to foreign currency, or maybe a nice tax break, or—here’s a classic Kremlin bailout technique—the assumption of private debt obligations by the government. Under duress, generosity toward old friends takes many innovative forms. Meanwhile, needing to squeeze someone, most emerging-market governments look first to ordinary working folk—at least until the riots grow too large.

    Long quote…sorry… but I needed to make a point here. This article is not by some wing-nut anticapitalist, it is written by a man who has literally sat across the desk from Presidents, Ministers of Finance and Senior Govt Officials from dozens of countries. The deep thrust of this article is directed exactly against the kind of man Stephen Jennings is, and the danger he represents. I highly recommend it.

    • BLiP 15.1

      Top link! Thanks.

      You know, I’ve learned more in my three months blogging at The Standard that I have in ten years of reading the NZ Fox News Herald.

  16. ripp0 16

    I’m for following Redlogix’s recommendation.. right after completing this comment..

    I didna have time hear it all when this fellow – a kiwi who’d gone to Russia to assist the post-Soviet “privatization” regime. Not an oligarch, according to himself to Ryan on nine-to-noon.

    Though definitely an advocate for “convergence”. Remember that, guys? The big really after GW Bush’s second term election. Before which it might interest you to know how US religious oligarchs trammelled the streets of moscow in search of grossing their fast bucks special. And a long time after any kiwis whatsoever hit Russians for their own gamed roulette. Could have been – sure sounded like one of his(someone say Jennings) repressed ambitions – the next big thing for offshore Republican minds of other nationality. Face it, they’d missed the best commercial break wave to go in right after Iraq invasion..

    Convergence was to become the term of high wealth individuals who included by this time very highly paid (and often in too many additional share options) corporate managers.. vultures for high profit hedgefunds(investors seems altogether too kind a term for these folks)..

    But Recession hit them hard.. and likely regulatory return practices will do so even harder (than they anticipated at anyrate)..

    So.. in the fungible that is language.. advocates of BRT and behind the scenes money supply wholesalers et al change the word. Not convergence – well not stateside or aussie – but a try by for RNZ where the journos – (and I have a good deal of respect for these hapless souls) know better than argue with some supposed fount of wealth. Such expressions as convergence can be so revealing nonetheless.

    Thus, next in the fun of fungible language we listen and learn of his “We’ll never know what happened in Korea.. South Korea..” or what was that other place he mentioned —[Brazil.. Chile..] Yep, the unmentionables from his pov. Why? Well, who wants talk about failures.. About failed states failing bigtime with a litte help from his friends..

    I kid you not… recession holds out a promise for such people. If you’re not suffering as much as other states why, wholesaler* money can pull a big premium..AND if you’ve gotten to failed state status it’s walk-in…

    fact: rothschilds investment bank these days does without brokers and usual market agencies, avoiding retail banking altogether.. and this past year making very sizeable profits out of what’s left. banking with connections is the way to go.. always was.. but the moreso when times are tight.

    So walk-in is worthwhile.. more likely than not explaining this fellow’s visit. Have dough will travel.. for the fun of fungible.. and fungible folks.

    Rave made a point earlier about Putin.. betcha Vlad made his point about so-called oligarchs…

    and I’m saying don’t be fooled.. distracted. Convergence = Friedman = undermine democracy. Admitted by the once great man himself.

    now for that read RL..

  17. tommy onions 17

    Turning our attention to the robber banke’r’s current sphere of activity – extracts from :
    http://www.globalresearch.ca/index.php?context=va&aid=13016

    ‘The IMF predicts the global economic crisis will have a huge and disproportionate impact on sub-Saharan Africa. The effect will be to widen global inequality and plunge more of the African population into poverty.’

    ‘The IMF’s prediction of Africa’s economic growth has been slashed by half, from 6.7 percent to 3.25 percent. IMF Managing Director Dominique Strauss-Kahn warned that even this figure may be “too optimistic”. Growth at this level would mean declining GDP per capita (because of population growth) and therefore rising poverty.’

    ‘The World Bank has also predicted that the global economic crisis will drag 46 million people in Africa down into absolute poverty.’

    ‘Egyptian Finance Minister Youssef Boutros-Ghali told Reuters, “In the case of Africa, people are going to die. We are talking about lives, not just somebody who will have to drive a smaller car”.’

    ‘It is hardly surprising that nothing is said by the IMF about its own role in creating the conditions for a human catastrophe on the African continent. Some African leaders, including Tanzanian President Jakaya Kikwete, have accused the IMF of unfairness in its treatment of its members, being hard on poor countries whose populations were already on the brink while allowing richer countries to do as they pleased, even when this undermined their finances.’

    ‘The IMF also calls on African countries to “seize the opportunity to advance their structural reform agendas in order to boost prospects for growth”—that is to continue with the IMF-imposed policies that have been responsible for squeezing huge amounts of wealth out of the poorest region of the world.’

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    This is a guest post by our friend Darren Davis. It originally appeared on his excellent blog, Adventures in Transitland, which features “musings about public transport and other cool stuff in Aotearoa/ New Zealand and around the globe.” With Te Huia now having funding secure through to 2026, now is ...
    Greater AucklandBy Darren Davis
    3 days ago
  • The methane waka sinks
    In some ways, there may be less than meets the eye to the Government announcement yesterday that the He Waka Eke Noa proposal for farmers to pay for greenhouse gas emissions has been scrapped. The spectre of farmers still having to pay at some point in the future remains. That, ...
    PolitikBy Richard Harman
    3 days ago
  • At a glance – Does positive feedback necessarily mean runaway warming?
    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 ...
    4 days ago
  • Climate Change: Farmers get what they wanted – for now
    Since entering office, National has unravelled practically every climate policy, leaving us with no effective way of reducing emissions or meeting our emissions budgets beyond magical thinking around the ETS. And today they've announced another step: removing agriculture entirely. At present, following the complete failure of he waka eka noa, ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    4 days ago
  • Presumed Innocent?
    The blue billionaireDistraction no interactionOr movement outside these glazed over eyesThe new great divideFew fight the tide to be glorifiedBut will he be satisfied?Can we accept this without zoom?The elephant in the roomNot much happens in politics on a Monday. Bugger all in fact. Although yesterday Christopher Luxon found he ...
    Nick’s KōreroBy Nick Rockel
    4 days ago
  • Gordon Campbell on our doomed love affair with oil and gas
    What if New Zealand threw a fossil fuel party, and nobody came? On the weekend, Resources Minister Shane Jones sent out the invitations and strung up the balloons, but will anyone really want to invest big time in resuming oil and gas exploration in our corner of the planet? Yes, ...
    WerewolfBy lyndon
    4 days ago
  • Building better housing insights
    This is a guest post by Meredith Dale, senior urban designer and strategist at The Urban Advisory. There’s a saying that goes something like: ‘what you measure is what you value’. An RNZ article last week claimed that Auckland was ‘hurting’ because of a more affordable supply of homes, particularly townhouses ...
    Greater AucklandBy Guest Post
    4 days ago
  • Putin would be proud of them
    A Prime Minister directs his public service to inquire into the actions of the opposition political party which is his harshest critic. Something from Orban's Hungary, or Putin's Russia? No, its happening right here in Aotearoa: Prime Minister Christopher Luxon has announced the Public Service Commission will launch an ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    5 days ago
  • Resources for debunking common solar and wind myths
    This is a repost from a Yale Climate Connections article by SueEllen Campbell published on June 3, 2024. The articles listed can help you tell fact from fiction when it comes to solar and wind energy. Some statements you hear about solar and wind energy are just plain false. ...
    5 days ago
  • Juggernaut
    Politics were going on all around us yesterday, and we barely noticed, rolling along canal paths, eating baguettes. It wasn’t until my mate got to the headlines last night that we learned there had been a dismayingly strong far right result in the EU elections and Macron had called a ...
    More Than A FeildingBy David Slack
    5 days ago
  • Numbers Game.
    Respect Existence, Or Expect Resistance? There may well have been 50,000 pairs of feet “Marching For Nature” down Auckland’s Queen Street on Saturday afternoon, but the figure that impresses the Coalition Government is the 1,450,000 pairs of Auckland feet that were somewhere else.IN THE ERA OF DRONES and Artificial Intelligence, ...
    5 days ago
  • Media Link: AVFA on post-colonial blowback.
    Selwyn Manning and I discuss varieties of post colonial blowback and the implications its has for the rise of the Global South. Counties discussed include Palestine/Israel, France/New Caledonia, England/India, apartheid/post-apartheid South Africa and post-colonial New Zealand. It is a bit … Continue reading ...
    KiwipoliticoBy Pablo
    5 days ago
  • Policy by panic
    Back in March, Ombudsman Peter Boshier resigned when he hit the statutory retirement age of 72, leaving the country in the awkward (and legally questionable) position of having him continue as a temporay appointee. It apparently took the entire political system by surprise - as evinced by Labour's dick move ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    5 days ago
  • PSA: NZ's Richest Company, Zuru, Sucks
    Hi,Today the New Zealand press is breathlessly reporting that the owners of toy company Zuru are officially New Zealand’s wealthiest people: Mat and Nick Mowbray worth an estimated $20 billion between them.While the New Zealand press loses its shit celebrating this Kiwi success story, this is a Webworm reminder that ...
    David FarrierBy David Farrier
    5 days ago
  • Bernard's Dawn Chorus and pick 'n' mix for Monday, June 10
    TL;DR: The six things to note in Aotearoa-NZ’s political economy around housing, climate and poverty in the past day to 8:36 pm on Monday, June 10 were:20,000 protested against the Fast-track approval bill on Saturday in Auckland, but PM Christopher Luxon says ‘sorry, but not sorry’ about the need for ...
    The KakaBy Bernard Hickey
    5 days ago
  • In Defence of Kāinga Ora
    Given the headlines around the recent findings of the ‘independent’ review of Kāinga Ora by Bill English, you might assume this post will be about social housing, Kāinga Ora’s most prominent role. While that is indeed something that requires defending, I want to talk about the other core purpose of ...
    Greater AucklandBy Connor Sharp
    5 days ago
  • Baby You're A Rich Man
    “How does it feel to beOne of the beautiful peopleNow that you know who you areWhat do you want to beAnd have you traveled very far?Far as the eye can see”Yesterday the ACT party faithful were regaled with craven boasts, sneers, and demands for even more at their annual rally.That ...
    Nick’s KōreroBy Nick Rockel
    5 days ago
  • Stopping a future Labour government from shutting down gas exploration
    A defiant Resources Minister Shane Jones has responded to Saturday’s environmental protests by ending Labour’s offshore oil exploration ban and calling for long-term contracts with any successful explorers. The purpose would be to prevent a future Labour Government from reversing any licence the explorers might hold. Jones sees a precedent ...
    PolitikBy Richard Harman
    5 days ago
  • 2024 SkS Weekly Climate Change & Global Warming News Roundup #23
    A listing of 32 news and opinion articles we found interesting and shared on social media during the past week: Sun, June 2, 2024 thru Sat, June 8, 2024. Story of the week Our Story of the Week is Yale Climate Connection's Resources for debunking common solar and wind myths, by ...
    6 days ago
  • Fission by the river
    This is where we ate our lunch last Wednesday. Never mind your châteaux and castles and whatnot, we like to enjoy a baguette in the shadow of a nuclear power plant; a station that puts out more than twice as much as Manapouri using nothing more than tiny atoms to bring ...
    More Than A FeildingBy David Slack
    6 days ago
  • Fact Brief – Is the ocean acidifying?
    Skeptical Science is partnering with Gigafact to produce fact briefs — bite-sized fact checks of trending claims. This fact brief was written by John Mason in collaboration with members from the Gigafact team. You can submit claims you think need checking via the tipline. Is the ocean acidifying? Acidification of oceans ...
    7 days ago
  • 20,000+ on Queen St.
    The largest protest I ever went on was in the mid 90s. There were 10,000 people there that day, and I’ve never forgotten it. An enormous mass of people, chanting together. Stretching block after block, bringing traffic to a halt.But I can’t say that’s the biggest protest I’ve ever been ...
    Nick’s KōreroBy Nick Rockel
    7 days ago
  • Josh Drummond's Columns
    Hi there,I wanted to put all of Josh Drummond’s Webworm pieces all in one place. I love that he writes for Webworm — and all of these are a good read!David.Why Are So Many “Christians” Hellbent on Being Horrible?Why do so many objectively hideous people declare themselves “Christian”?Meeting the Master ...
    David FarrierBy David Farrier
    7 days ago
  • Bernard’s Saturday soliloquy and weekend Pick ‘n’ Mix for June 8/9
    Photo: Lynn Grieveson / The KākāTL;DR: On reflection, the six things to note in Aotearoa-NZ’s political economy around housing, climate and poverty this week were:The Government-driven freeze in building new classrooms, local roads and water networks in order to save cash for tax cuts is frustrating communities facing massive population ...
    The KakaBy Bernard Hickey
    1 week ago
  • The no-vision thing
    Hello! Here comes the Saturday edition of More Than A Feilding, catching you up on the past somewhat interrupted week. Still on the move!Share Read more ...
    More Than A FeildingBy David Slack
    1 week ago
  • When Journalists are Disingenuous
    Hi,One of the things I like the most about Webworm is to be able to break down the media and journalism a little, and go behind the scenes.This is one of those times.Yesterday an email arrived in my inbox from journalist Jonathan Milne, who is managing editor at Newsroom.I don’t ...
    David FarrierBy David Farrier
    1 week ago
  • Me, elsewhere: Just say you’ll do the thing
    Wrote something over at 1/200 on a familiar theme of mine: The way we frame the economy as a separate, sacred force which must be sacrificed to, the way we talk about criminals as invaders who must be repelled, the constant othering of people on the benefit, people not in ...
    Boots TheoryBy Stephanie Rodgers
    1 week ago
  • A Voyage Among the Vandals: Accepted
    A nice bit of news today: my 4600-word historical fantasy-horror piece, A Voyage Among the Vandals, has been accepted by Phobica Books (https://www.phobicabooks.co.uk/books) for their upcoming Pirate Horror anthology, Shivering Timbers. This one is set in the Mediterranean, during the mid-fifth century AD. Notable for having one of history’s designated ...
    1 week ago
  • Ministerial conflicts of interest
    Since the National government came to power, it has been surrounded by allegations of conflicts of interest. Firstly, there's the fast-track law, which concentrates power in the hands of three Ministers, some of whom have received donations from companies whose projects they will be deciding on. Secondly, there's the close ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • The 2024 Budget Forecasts Are Gloomy Prognosis About The Next Three Years.
    There was no less razzamatazz about the 2024 Budget than about earlier ones. Once again the underlying economic analysis got lost. It deserves more attention.Just to remind you, the Budget Economic and Fiscal Update (BEFU), is the Treasury’s independent assessment and so can be analysed by other competent economists (although ...
    PunditBy Brian Easton
    1 week ago
  • A government that can't see twenty feet ahead
    There are two failings that consistently characterise a National government. One is a lack of imagination, the other is their willingness to look after their mates, no matter what harm it might do to everyone else.This is how we come to have thousands of enormous trucks carving up our roads. ...
    More Than A FeildingBy David Slack
    1 week ago
  • A post I hope is incorrect
    In May, we learned that National MP David MacLeod had "forgotten" to declare $178,000 in electoral donations. Filing a donation return which is false in any material particular is a crime, and the Electoral Commission has now referred MacLeod to police, since they're the only people who are allowed to ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • Māori Cannot Re-Write New Zealand’s Constitution By Stealth.
    The Kotahitanga Parliament 1897: A Māori Parliament – at least in the guise of a large and representative body dedicated to describing the shape of New Zealand’s future from a Māori perspective – would be a very good idea.THE DEMAND for a “Māori Parliament” needs to be carefully unpicked. Some Pakeha, ...
    1 week ago
  • Cowpats and Colonials.
    Dumbtown, is how my friend Gerard refers to people like ZB listeners - he’s not wrong.Normally on a Friday I start by looking at Mike Hosking’s moronic reckons of the week which he vomits down the throats of his audience like helpless baby birds in a nest, grateful for the ...
    Nick’s KōreroBy Nick Rockel
    1 week ago
  • Gordon Campbell on cutting the sick leave of vulnerable workers
    Should sick leave be part and parcel of the working conditions from Day One on the job, just like every other health and safety provision? Or should access to sick leave be something that only gradually accumulates, depending on how long a worker has been on the payroll? If enacted ...
    WerewolfBy lyndon
    1 week ago
  • Nobody Move: Ageing Boomers, Laurie & Les, Talk Politics.
    So long as we live in a democracy, economic policy can never be anything other than social-democratic.“HEH!”, snorted Laurie, as he waved his debit card over the EFTPOS machine. “Same price as last week. I guess budgets aren’t what they used to be.”“I wouldn’t know,” replied the young barman, wearily, ...
    1 week ago
  • In Search Of Unity.
    Kotahitanga: New Zealand’s future belongs to those who do not fear a nation carved out of unity and solidarity, and are willing to trust the carvers. Some New Zealanders will be required to step up, and others, perhaps for the first time in their lives, will be expected to step ...
    1 week ago
  • Weekly Roundup 7-June-2024
    Welcome to another Friday roundup! Here are some recent links and stories that caught our eye, perfectly timed for your watercooler discussions and weekend reading. As always feel free to share more in the comments. Our header image this week is by Patrick Reynolds, and shows Te Komititanga from above. ...
    Greater AucklandBy Greater Auckland
    1 week ago
  • The Hoon around the week to June 7
    As Workplace Relations and Safety Minister, ACT’s Brooke van Velden is fronting proposed changes to sick pay regulations and The Holiday Act. Photo: Lynn Grieveson / The KākāTL;DR: The podcast above of the weekly ‘hoon’ webinar for paying subscribers features talking with:The Kākā’s climate correspondent talking about the ...
    The KakaBy Bernard Hickey
    1 week ago
  • Did we boil the oceans by cutting pollution?
    Lowering aerosol emissions from shipping has altered clouds, with potentially drastic effects. Photo: Getty ImagesTL;DR: Here’s the top six news items of note in climate news for Aotearoa-NZ this week, and a discussion above between Bernard Hickey and The Kākā’s climate correspondent Cathrine Dyer:New evidence is increasingly pointing at efforts ...
    The KakaBy Bernard Hickey
    1 week ago
  • Skeptical Science New Research for Week #23 2024
    Open access notables Abrupt reduction in shipping emission as an inadvertent geoengineering termination shock produces substantial radiative warming, Yuan et al., Communications Earth & Environment: Human activities affect the Earth’s climate through modifying the composition of the atmosphere, which then creates radiative forcing that drives climate change. The warming effect ...
    1 week ago
  • Fragments
    The best observation I’ve read this week about the deep, profound harm Trump is doingTrump has hurled threats and smears at witnesses, jurors and the judge (including his family)... [he] has tried to intimidate witnesses and delegitimize the New York courts as corrupt. In continuing to incite his mob (that ...
    More Than A FeildingBy David Slack
    1 week ago
  • March for Nature
    Do do do do do do do doDo do do do do doDi di di di di di di di di di diNature enter me…In 2018 the Labour lead government banned new oil and gas exploration in Aotearoa. A change welcomed by those who care deeply for our environment and ...
    Nick’s KōreroBy Nick Rockel
    1 week ago
  • Bernard’s Dawn Chorus and pick ‘n’ mix for Thursday, June 6
    The Transport Minister is trying to push through urgent legislation that would allow him to change emissions standards for car imports without approval from Parliament, after only consulting car importers. Photo: Lynn GrievesonTL;DR: Just as two major reports showed fossil fuel burning was warming the planet to dangerous levels and ...
    The KakaBy Bernard Hickey
    1 week ago
  • A Better Broadway: Act 2
    This is a guest post by reader Grant A, the second of a pair about how to fix Broadway. If you missed the beginning of the show, here’s the link to Act 1 from yesterday. Yesterday, I discussed changing traffic circulation around Broadway in Newmarket. This included implementing a car-free ...
    Greater AucklandBy Guest Post
    1 week ago
  • National breaks another health promise
    National has broken another manifesto health promise, apparently to save only $550,000. It will now train an additional 25 med students next year rather than the 50 it promised. This comes on top of the delays caused by National’s coalition partners in pushing ahead with the Waikato Medical School and ...
    PolitikBy Richard Harman
    1 week ago
  • Climate Adam: Coping as the world’s best known climate scientist
    This video includes conclusions of the creator climate scientist Dr. Adam Levy. It is presented to our readers as an informed perspective. Please see video description for references (if any). Katharine Hayhoe is quite possibly the world's most famous climate scientist. She's produced wide ranging research, and communicated climate change with ...
    1 week ago
  • SIS “evidence” isn’t, again
    Back in 2016, then-Internal Affairs Minister Peter Dunne cancelled a New Zealand woman's passport, claiming she was a terrorist. The basis for his decision was a secret briefing by the SIS, which claimed that if she was allowed to travel, the woman would "engage with individuals who encourage acts of ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • As Low As You Go
    Taking you as low as you goAs low as you goA sense of Déjà vu this morning. How many times have I begun a newsletter, “just when you thought they couldn’t go any lower…” Only for the groundhog to reappear, more pissed off than the day before.Another day with headlines ...
    Nick’s KōreroBy Nick Rockel
    1 week ago

  • 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
    18 hours 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
    18 hours 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
    21 hours 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
    1 day 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
    1 day 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
    1 day 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
    1 day 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
    1 day 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 days 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 days 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 days 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 days 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 days 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 days 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 days 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 days 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 days ago
  • Ministry for Regulation targets red tape to keep farmers and growers competitive
    Regulation Minister David Seymour, Environment Minister Penny Simmonds, and Food Safety Minister Andrew Hoggard have today announced a regulatory sector review on the approval process for new agricultural and horticultural products.    “Red tape stops farmers and growers from getting access to products that have been approved by other OECD countries. ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • Government to reverse blanket speed limit reductions
    The Coalition Government will reverse Labour’s blanket speed limit reductions by 1 July 2025 through a new Land Transport Rule released for public consultation today, Transport Minister Simeon Brown says.  The draft speed limit rule will deliver on the National-ACT coalition commitment to reverse the previous government’s blanket speed limit ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • Chair appointments for NZSO, CNZ and NZ On Air
    Minister Paul Goldsmith is making major leadership changes within both his Arts and Media portfolios. “I am delighted to announce Carmel Walsh will be officially stepping into the role of Chair of the New Zealand Symphony Orchestra, having been acting Chair since April,” Arts Minister Paul Goldsmith says.  “Carmel is ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • Government focus on long-term food, fibre growth
    Food and fibre export revenue is tipped to reach $54.6 billion this year and hit a record $66.6b in 2028 as the Government focuses on getting better access to markets and cutting red tape, Agriculture Minister Todd McClay and Oceans and Fisheries Minister Shane Jones say. “This achievement is testament ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • Govt consulting on cutting red tape for exporters
    A new export exemption proposal for food businesses demonstrates the coalition Government’s commitment to reducing regulatory barriers for industry and increasing the value of New Zealand exports, which gets safe New Zealand food to more markets, says Food Safety Minister Andrew Hoggard.  “The coalition Government has listened to the concerns ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • New Zealand and Philippines elevating relationship
    New Zealand and Philippines are continuing to elevate our relationship, Foreign Minister Winston Peters says.   “The leaders of New Zealand and Philippines agreed in April 2024 to lift our relationship to a Comprehensive Partnership by 2026,” Mr Peters says. “Our visit to Manila this week has been an excellent ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • Paid Parental Leave increase to help families
    Workplace Relations and Safety Minister, Brooke van Velden says paid parental leave increase from 1 July will put more money in the pockets of Kiwi parents and give them extra support as they take precious time off to bond with their newborns. The increase takes effect from 1 July 2024 ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • Defence increases UN Command commitment
    The number of New Zealand Defence Force (NZDF) personnel deployed to the Republic of Korea is increasing, Defence Minister Judith Collins and Foreign Minister Winston Peters announced today.  NZDF will deploy up to 41 additional personnel to the Republic of Korea, increasing the size of its contribution to the United ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • New Zealand to attend 'Summit on Peace in Ukraine' in Switzerland
    New Zealand will be represented at the Summit on Peace in Ukraine by Minister Mark Mitchell in Switzerland later this week.    “New Zealand strongly supports Ukraine’s efforts to build a comprehensive, just, and lasting peace,” Foreign Minister Winston Peters says.   “Minister Mitchell is a senior Cabinet Minister and ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • Big step forward for M.bovis programme
    Farmers’ hard work is paying off in the fight against Mycoplasma bovis (M. bovis) with the move to a national pest management plan marking strong progress in the eradication effort, says Biosecurity Minister Andrew Hoggard.  “The plan, approved by the Coalition Government, was proposed by the programme partners DairyNZ, Beef ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • Build To Rent opening welcomed by Housing Minister
    Prime Minister Christopher Luxon and Housing Minister Chris Bishop formally opened a new Build to Rent development in Mt Wellington this morning. “The Prime Minister and I were honoured to cut the ribbon of Resido, New Zealand’s largest Build to Rent development to date.  “Build to Rent housing, like the ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • Agriculture to come out of the ETS
    The Government will deliver on its election commitment to take agriculture out of the New Zealand Emissions Trading Scheme (NZ ETS) and will establish a new Pastoral Sector Group to constructively tackle biogenic methane, Coalition Government Agriculture and Climate Change Ministers say. Agriculture Minister Todd McClay says New Zealand farmers ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • Luxon Tokyo-bound for political and business visit
    Prime Minister Christopher Luxon will travel to Japan from 16-20 June, his first visit as Prime Minister.   “Japan is incredibly important to New Zealand's prosperity. It is the world’s fourth largest economy, and our fourth largest export destination.  “As you know, growing the economy is my number one priority. A strong economy means ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • Bayly travels to Singapore for scam prevention meetings
    Minister of Commerce and Consumer Affairs, Andrew Bayly, travels to Singapore today to attend scam and fraud prevention meetings. “Scams are a growing international problem, and we are not immune in New Zealand. Organised criminal networks operate across borders, and we need to work with our Asia-Pacific partners to tackle ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • More help for homeowners impacted by severe weather
    People who were displaced by severe weather events in 2022 and 2023 will be supported by the extension of Temporary Accommodation Assistance through to 30 June 2025. Social Development and Employment Minister Louise Upston says the coalition Government is continuing to help to those who were forced out of their ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • Government to reverse oil and gas exploration ban
    Removing the ban on petroleum exploration beyond onshore Taranaki is part of a suite of proposed amendments to the Crown Minerals Act to deal with the energy security challenges posed by rapidly declining natural gas reserves, Resources Minister Shane Jones says. “Natural gas is critical to keeping our lights on ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
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  • New Zealand and Malaysia to intensify connections
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