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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    For the past week, Extinction Rebellion has been peacefully protesting in London to demand action on climate change. The British government's response? Ban their protests:Police have banned Extinction Rebellion protests from continuing anywhere in London, as they moved in almost without warning to clear protesters who remained at the movement’s ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    4 days ago
  • Collins crushes climate
    An essay by Judith Collins MP reported on Carbon News yesterday seems to show an alarming shift in attitude within the National Party. Collins argues against the Zero Carbon Bill, the Paris Agreement, and downplays the magnitude of climate impacts. The Paris Agreement was adopted in December 2015 and ratified ...
    SciBlogsBy Robert McLachlan
    4 days ago
  • More disappointment
    When they were running for election, Labour promised to overhaul the Employment Relations Act and introduce fair pay agreements to set basic pay and conditions on an industry level, preventing bad employers from undercutting good ones. They followed this up by establishing a working group, which reported back in January ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    4 days ago
  • What do these mother-child studies really say about fluoridation?
    A list of indicators of bad science – many of these are found in articles promoted by anti-fluoride activists. Anti-fluoride activists have been pouring money into a scaremongering campaign warning pregnant women not to drink fluoridated water. They claim fluoride will lower the IQ of their future child. Fluoride ...
    4 days ago
  • Losing Labour’s Mills-Tone.
    Nothing Left To Say: Labour's pollster, Stephen Mills, remains swaddled-up in the comforting myths of the 1980s. As if the experience of Roger Douglas’s genuinely radical post-Muldoon policy agenda was literally a once-in-a-lifetime thing – as much as the party could possibly absorb for at least the next 50 years.MEMO ...
    4 days ago
  • Speaker: Disability and the Royal Commission of Inquiry into Historical Abuse
    The Royal Commission on abuse in care is very significant for the disability community. For many decades last century, thousands of disabled children, and adults who managed to survive, were locked away from families and communities. This was not for anything they had done, but for the perceived threat their ...
    4 days ago
  • Spain is not a democracy
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    5 days ago
  • UK Conservatives hate democracy
    With an unfair voting system, uneven electorates and an un-elected upper house, the UK's "democracy" is barely worthy of the name. But now the government wants to make it worse:The government has been accused of suppressing voters’ rights with the potential disenfranchisement of tens of thousands of people after plans ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    5 days ago
  • What is wrong with our building industry?
    Back in the 90's and early 2000's, the building industry was building leaky homes which should never have been granted consent. Now it turns out they've been building dodgy office blocks as well:New imaging technology has revealed hundreds of major buildings nationwide have defective or missing concrete or reinforcing steel. ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    5 days ago
  • Local bodies
    Local body election results were released over the weekend, to joy or despair depending on where you live. In Auckland, Phil Goff trounced John Tamihere, who is muttering darkly about running for Parliament again (but which party would want him?) Wellington is now a wholly-owned subsidiary of Weta Workshop, except ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    5 days ago
  • A future of government
      How could government evolve over the next decades? Reports of democracy’s imminent demise are greatly exaggerated.  However, satisfaction with political systems in many countries is low, so there is much to do for governments of all political stripes to improve relevance and trust. Digital technologies are seen as one ...
    SciBlogsBy Robert Hickson
    1 week ago
  • Speaker: Catalonia, interrupted
    Two years have now gone by since the Friday afternoon when my university-student son and I headed out of our Barcelona flat to a nearby primary school, designated as a polling station for the vote that was to be held the following Sunday: the referendum on Catalonia’s independence from Spain ...
    1 week ago
  • Sage Decisions Unwisely Over-Ruled.
    Overruled: The joint decision of Finance Minister, Grant Robertson (Labour) and his Associate Minister, David Parker (Labour) arguably the two most powerful ministers in Jacinda Ardern’s government, to grant OceanaGold the consents which Land Information Minister, Eugenie Sage (Greens) had earlier denied them, offers bitter proof of how hard fighting ...
    1 week ago
  • Government may ban voting in effort to get more people to do it
    More than double the number of people who will vote in this year’s local body elections have tried marijuana or urinated somewhere they shouldn’t have. As local elections look set for the lowest turnout in decades, with many regions falling well short of 40%, the Government is exploring a number ...
    The CivilianBy admin
    1 week ago
  • Woman: Deleted.
    A Statement on Abortion Law Reform by the Council of Disobedient Women   On the eve of bringing an end to antiquated, anti-women abortion laws Green MP Jan Logie intends to write women out of the Bill. With a stroke of the pen, the woke are aiming for total erasure ...
    RedlineBy Daphna
    1 week ago
  • The Hollowest of Men Ride Again… SURPRISE!
    Musings continue apace about “the experienced businessman!” soon to be taking up a National Party MP position. Or to be more accurate, being parachuted into a seat to shut down their former MP Jamie-Lee Ross, who despite his own shortcomings shed at least some more light on the inner workings ...
    exhALANtBy exhalantblog
    1 week ago
  • Barbaric
    The Ugandan government wants to murder gay people:Uganda has announced plans to impose the death penalty on homosexuals. The bill, colloquially known as “Kill the Gays” in Uganda, was nullified five years ago on a technicality, but the government said on Thursday it plans to resurrect it within weeks. The ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • Fighting Monsters.
    Freedom Of Speech? The Säuberung (cleansing by fire) was the work of the German Student Union which, on 10 May 1933, under the watchful eye of the Nazi Reichminister for Propaganda, Joseph Goebbels, consigned 25,000 books to the flames in a ritual exorcism of “un-German thought”. According to the logic of the ...
    1 week ago
  • The next wave of kaupapa Māori politics: its constitutional, it must be.
      “There can be no such thing as kaupapa Māori political parties or politics in Aotearoa” (Willie Jackson, Labour Party (2017). Māori TV, General/List Election Special) I begin with that claim because at the time, I was confounded at first that it fell out of Willie Jackson’s mouth, and then ...
    EllipsisterBy Ellipsister
    1 week ago
  • Night lights of NZ from orbit
    New Zealand has prided itself for decades with regard to its lack of pollution, and all will be aware that the ‘100% Pure New Zealand‘ meme is under threat through land, water and air pollution of various causes. There is another type of contamination that the country also faces: light ...
    SciBlogsBy Duncan Steel
    1 week ago
  • Reporters deliver uplifting news to fleeing Japanese residents: they won’t miss any rugby
    New Zealand’s media is doing its part in Japan, reassuring those in the path of the storm that they won’t miss any rugby while away from their flooded homes. New Zealand sports reporters stationed in Japan for the Rugby World Cup have had the rare and heartwarming opportunity to inform ...
    The CivilianBy admin
    1 week ago
  • Government in contentious discussions about whether to put surplus on red or black
    Regional Development Minister Shane Jones is the only Cabinet member in favour of putting it all on green. As Finance Minister Grant Robertson finds himself with an enormous $7.5 billion surplus, the Government has begun intense, at times contentious conversations about whether to put the money on red or black at ...
    The CivilianBy admin
    1 week ago
  • Jordanian teachers’ successful strike has lessons for here
    by Susanne Kemp At the start of September close to 100,000 school teachers went on strike in Jordan.  They demanded a 50% pay rise.  A pay rise actually agreed to by the regime back in 2014. In early October, however, in the face of government repression and threats, the teachers’ ...
    RedlineBy Admin
    1 week ago
  • Why some people still think climate change isn’t real
    Climate Explained is a collaboration between The Conversation, Stuff and the New Zealand Science Media Centre to answer your questions about climate change. If you have a question you’d like an expert to answer, please send it to climate.change@stuff.co.nz Why do people still think climate change isn’t real? David ...
    SciBlogsBy Guest Author
    1 week ago
  • The SIS unlawfully spied on Nicky Hager
    Back in 2011, journalist Nicky Hager published Other People's Wars, an expose on NZDF's activities over the previous decade of the "war on terror". NZDF didn't like this, and especially didn't like the fact that it was base don leaks from their own. So, they had the SIS investigate him ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • October 2019 – Newsletter
    https://mailchi.mp/7d9133add053/closing-the-gap-october-2019-newsletter ...
    Closing the GapBy Tracey Sharp
    1 week ago
  • And they wonder why we think they’re environmental vandals…
    The Zero Carbon Bill is due back from select committee in two weeks, and will likely pass its final stages in November. So naturally, farmers are planning a hate-march against it. But they're not just demanding lower methane targets so they can keep on destroying the planet; they're also demanding ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • Climate Change: Paying the price in California
    Last year, California burned. This year, to stop it happening again (or rather, to stop themselves from being found liable if it happens again), Pacific Gas and Electric is cutting power to half the state for a week:Schools are closed. Traffic lights down. Tunnels dark. Businesses unopened. Hospitals running on ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • Let’s Hear It For Up-Close-And-Personal, Hard-Copy Democracy!
    The Best Way: Missing from the on-line voting debate is any reference to the voting system that produces turn-out figures ranging from 77 to 93 percent of registered voters. The voting system used to collect and count the votes cast in our parliamentary elections. The system that involves citizens making ...
    1 week ago
  • 10/10: World Day Against the Death Penalty
    Today, October 10, is the world day against the death penalty. Out of 195 UN member states, 84 still permit capital punishment. Today is the day we work to change that. This year's theme is children. Having a parent sentenced to death or executed causes long-term trauma and stigmatization which ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • Talking Freer Lives: a Marxist gender-critical perspective from Australia
    Among the great new bunch of political friends we have been making recently is the excellent Australian-based Marxist gender-critical site, Freer Lives.  So we asked the comrade who set up that blog to write something for Redline on the blog, himself, his analysis of the rise of gender politics and ...
    RedlineBy Admin
    1 week ago
  • Government spin accepted by union leadership
    by Don Franks  The Auckland City Mission is struggling with a 40 percent increase in demand for food parcels this year. A total of 23,020 were needed by June. Last month Missioner Chris Farrelly told the Herald the “cupboards are bare” and without an emergency food drive, he can’t see ...
    RedlineBy Daphna
    1 week ago
  • Forbidden Thoughts
    by The Council of Disobedient Women   Massey Wellington Student Association had a sit-in today. Imagine a sit-in. On a campus. Against a women’s rights meeting. Did the ’60s really happen or did we fucking dream it? They gathered in the student square, an echo chamber. Sitting on soft pillows ...
    RedlineBy Daphna
    1 week ago
  • Much love to my loyal Ukrainian readership
    For some reasons, my post about the mystery message from inside the Downing Street bunker seemed to catch people's attention.  Quite a lot of hits from NZ (unsurprisingly) and the USA (a bit more puzzlingly, but hi there, USAians!!) and 76 views from the Ukraine.I've celebrated my Ukrainian readers in ...
    1 week ago
  • Another day of bonkers GNUmours (again, sorry)
    First, almost a score of Labour MPs seem to have sent a letter to the EU basically begging them to accept a deal - any deal - just so Britain can get the Heck on with Brexiting instead of being trapped in limbo:
    To avoid no deal, deliver on the ...
    1 week ago
  • Labour vs working class immigrants – again!
    by Phil Duncan In 2016 the National-led government suspended the Parent Visa Category, through which migrants were able to bring their parents into New Zealand.  Since then over 5,700 people have been in immigration limbo, stuck on the visa wait list. Labour is now bringing back the scheme.  Well, sort ...
    RedlineBy Admin
    1 week ago
  • Speak Up for Women press statement: on Massey University and Feminism 2020
    The following was released yesterday (Tues, October 8) by the women’s liberation organisation Speak Up for Women. On 23 September Speak Up For Women announced that we would be holding an event at the Massey University Theaterette in Wellington. The event is called Feminism 2020. The intention of the event ...
    RedlineBy Admin
    1 week ago
  • Farmers support dirty rivers
    The government is currently consulting on plans to improve freshwater quality. So naturally, farmers oppose it:South Taranaki farmers are preparing to fight proposed national freshwater changes that some fear will bankrupt them. The Government's proposed National Environment Standard on Freshwater Management, released in September, rated the Waingongoro River as one ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • No-one cares about local government
    Yesterday was the last day for (reliably) posting your vote away in local body elections. Turnouts are mostly much lower than the equivalent time last year (Palmerston North is down 2.3%), and so naturally people are pushing their online-voting snake oil again. Because the online census worked so well, lets ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • The political ghosts of eugenics may matter more than the genetic
    This essay, on the political legacy of the eugenics movement, by Kenan Malik was originally published in the Observer on 6 October 2019, under the headline ‘The spirit of eugenics is still with us, as immigrants know to their cost’. Birth control. Intelligence tests. Town planning. Immigration controls. It’s striking how ...
    RedlineBy Daphna
    1 week ago
  • “Surplus” again
    Another year, and the government has announced another enormous government "surplus". And just like last year, its nothing of the sort. When we have people homeless and sick and hungry, when we have schools and hospitals still falling down, when we have underpaid public servants and infrastucture unmaintained or unbuilt, ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • Inside the Downing Street bunker
    James Forsyth at The Spectator (I know, I know) has tapped one of his contacts inside Number Ten for an insight into the Johnson administration's thinking and strategy.It is fascinating, unsettling and quite, quite mad.  Some key points:Negotiations have stalled and the Johnson administration are keen to blame the EU: ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Taking Control Of The Nation’s Story.
    Fatal Contact: With the arrival of captain James Cook in October 1769, the islands of what would become New Zealand ceased to be the preserve of Polynesian navigators and settlers and became a part of both the world’s map and the world’s history.THE MAORI NATIONALIST assault upon the historical meaning ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Are GNUs extinct?
    Another round of tactical talks about forming a Government of National Unity have come to nothing with the Liberal Democrats still refusing countenance putting Jeremy Corbyn into Downing Street:Opposition talks on Monday made little headway over when to try and vote down Boris Johnson's government and who might succeed him as ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Labour chickens out again
    When the government was elected, it promised to lead the way on electric vehicles, and specifically to make the government vehicle fleet emissions-free where-practicable by 2025.They lied:There are 15,473 vehicles in the government fleet and only 78 are electric. When the coalition Government came into power in late 2017, the ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • Transgender extremism, violence at work against feminist meeting at British Labour Party conference
    by Nick Rogers The debate around the meaning of sex and gender made an appearance at this year’s British Labour Party conference in Brighton. Women’s Place UK – an organisation that questions the demand that biological males who self-identify as woman should have access to women’s spaces, to all-women shortlists, ...
    RedlineBy Admin
    2 weeks ago
  • Rebelling in Wellington
    Yesterday I went down to Wellington to participate in the Extinction Rebellion protest. Its part of the latest global wave of XR actions, with actions happening all over the world. Some of those protests are massively disruptive: in Canada, XR is blocking major bridges, stopping people from getting to work. ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • ‘The Workshop’ – Report: Talking about Poverty and Welfare Reform: A Guide to Strategies that ...
    The Workshop is a charitable trust for public good. The Workshop undertake research to find ways of communicating that will build support for the solutions that work to solve complex social and environmental problems. See their Report on Talking about Poverty and Welfare Reform below. ...
    Closing the GapBy Tracey Sharp
    2 weeks ago
  • Exclusive language
    What is language? We generally assume that it a facility unique to humans, allowing us to share what’s in and on our minds. We can tell of our plans, our past exploits, our knowledge. It also allows us to lie. And yet there are vast numbers of people we can’t ...
    SciBlogsBy Michael Corballis
    2 weeks ago

  • Methane reducing cattle feed one step closer
    The Government today announced its support for a project that could substantially reduce agricultural greenhouse gas emissions from cattle. The announcement was made as part of Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern’s and Agriculture Minister Damien O’Connor’s visit to Nelson’s Cawthron Aquaculture Park. The Cawthron Institute will receive $100,000 from the Government’s ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    23 hours ago
  • Bill to refresh superannuation system passes first reading
    Social Development Minister Carmel Sepuloni has welcomed the first reading of the New Zealand Superannuation and Veteran’s Pension Legislation Amendment Bill. “Every New Zealander has a stake in New Zealand Superannuation and Veteran’s Pension,” says Carmel Sepuloni. “They are our most common form of social assistance – nearly 800,000 New ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 day ago
  • Government announces next steps in fight against measles
    Babies in Auckland aged six months and over can receive a free vaccination and children will all have access to vaccines, Associate Minister of Health Julie Anne Genter announced today at Papatoetoe High School.   The move comes as part of Government efforts to step up the fight against measles. ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 day ago
  • Speech to the New Zealand Institute of International Affairs, Pacific Futures: Connections, Identity...
    ***Check against delivery*** Good morning. It is a pleasure to be here, and to have the honour of opening this important conference on behalf of the New Zealand Institute of International Affairs. Let us take the opportunity to acknowledge all the people who have helped make today possible, including our special ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 day ago
  • Police trial new response to high risk events
    Police Minister Stuart Nash says the safety of frontline officers and members of the public will be the focus of a new trial of specialist Police response teams in three of our largest urban centres. Police have this morning released details of an initiative to be trialled in Counties Manukau, ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 day ago
  • New awards celebrate fisheries sustainability
    The Minister of Fisheries is calling for entries for a new public award to celebrate innovation in our seafood sector. “I have established the Seafood Sustainability Awards to recognise and celebrate those throughout industry, tangata whenua and communities who demonstrate outstanding dedication and innovation towards the sustainability of New Zealand’s ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 day ago
  • More progress for women and we can do more
    Minister for Women Julie Anne Genter welcomes leaders in the private sector taking action on closing their gender pay gaps to ensure a fairer workplace for all New Zealanders. Ms Genter today launched a new report, Addressing the gender pay gap and driving women’s representation in senior leadership, from the Champions for ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 day ago
  • Proposals to curb environmental damage help our coasts and the oceans
    Government Ministers today welcomed the release of a marine environment report highlighting the four key issues affecting our oceans, estuaries and coastlines.  The release underlines the importance of government proposals to combat climate pollution, ensure clean freshwater, protect biodiversity, make land use more sustainable, and reduce waste and plastic.    Environment ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • New mental health facility for Waikato
    The Government has approved funding for a new acute mental health facility for Waikato which will provide better care and support to people with mental health and addiction issues. Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern and Health Minister Dr David Clark announced the $100 million project to replace the aging Henry Rongomau ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • 500 new te reo Māori champions in our classrooms
    The Government is making progress on its goal to integrate te reo Māori into education by 2025, with over 500 teachers and support staff already graduating from Te Ahu o te Reo Māori,  Associate Education Minister Kelvin Davis announced today. Kelvin Davis made the announcement at an awards ceremony in Waikanae today, for ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • Minister James Shaw welcomes 2018 Census first release
    Statistics Minister James Shaw has welcomed the first release of 2018 Census data. The first release of data today, 23 September, includes key data on population, regional growth, the number of homes and the size of different ethnic groups in New Zealand. Data from the 2018 Census will support the ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • Driving transparency, ethics and accountability in government use of algorithms
    Minister for Statistics James Shaw today announced a public consultation on a proposed algorithm charter for government agencies. The charter has been developed by the Government Chief Data Steward in response to growing calls for more transparency in government use of data. Computer algorithms – procedures or formulas for solving ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • New Zealand and the Netherlands working together on climate change
    Agriculture Minister Damien O’Connor, Climate Change Minister James Shaw and visiting Dutch Prime Minister Mark Rutte co-hosted a business roundtable in Auckland this morning focused on working together to address climate change.  “The Netherlands is an important partner for New Zealand. We share a strong agricultural history. Sustainable agribusiness and ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • Protecting fairness for workers and businesses
    The Government is taking action to build an inclusive economy where more of us receive our fair share at work and businesses can compete on great products and services, not undercutting wages and conditions, Immigration and Workplace Relations and Safety Minister Iain Lees-Galloway says. Two consultations launched today seek feedback ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • Indigenous Freshwater Fish Bill Passes
    The future for New Zealand’s threatened indigenous freshwater fish looks brighter with the passing of the Conservation (Indigenous Freshwater Fish) Amendment Bill in Parliament today said Minister of Conservation, Eugenie Sage. “Until now, our freshwater fish legislation has been 20 years out of date. We have lacked effective tools to ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • Kiwis to take part in world’s biggest earthquake drill
    At 1.30pm tomorrow, hundreds of thousands of Kiwis will join about 65 million people around the globe in ShakeOut, the world’s biggest earthquake drill. The annual drill is to remind people of the right action to take during an earthquake which is to Drop, Cover, Hold, and to practise their ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • Rising wages and low inflation supporting Kiwis
    Kiwis are benefiting from higher wage growth and low inflation under the Coalition Government. Stats NZ data out today shows the rise in the cost of living remains low, as annual Consumers Price Index (CPI) inflation fell to 1.5% in September from 1.7% in June. “The low inflation comes as ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • NZ economy strong amid global headwinds
    New Zealand’s economic strength and resilience has been recognised in a major update on the state of the global economy. The IMF’s latest World Economic Outlook released overnight shows a reduced global growth forecast over the next two years as issues like the US-China trade war and Brexit take hold. ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • Keeping New Zealanders safer with better counter-terrorism laws
    Justice Minister Andrew Little has today introduced a new Bill to prevent terrorism and support the de-radicalisation of New Zealanders returning from overseas. The Terrorism Suppression (Control Orders) Bill gives the New Zealand Police the ability to apply to the High Court to impose control orders on New Zealanders who ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • Improved succession and dispute resolution core of Ture Whenua changes
    A Bill that proposes targeted changes to simplify the processes for Māori land owners when engaging with the Māori Land Court has had its First Reading today. “The approach taken by the Government is to ensure that the protection of Māori land remains a priority as we seek to improve ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • Speech to CTU Biennial Conference
    Let me first thank all the new unionists and members in the room. There is nothing more important to improving people’s working lives than people making the decision to care, to get on board and help, to take up the reins and get involved. Congratulations to you. You bring the ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • Minister ensures continued Whenuapai flight operations
    Minister of Defence Ron Mark has signed a certificate exempting the activity of engine testing at Whenuapai Airbase from the Resource Management Act 1991. The Act gives the Minister of Defence the power to exempt activities for the purposes of national security.  The certificate will mean the recent Environment Court ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • NZ joins Coalition of Finance Ministers for Climate Action
    Finance Minister Grant Robertson has announced New Zealand will join the Coalition of Finance Ministers for Climate Action while attending APEC meetings in Chile. The objective of the 39 member Coalition is to share information and promote action to tackle climate change. It was formed in April this year, in ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • Feedback Sought – Section 71 – Lyttelton Parking
    Feedback sought– Lyttelton commercial zone parking  The Associate Minister for Greater Christchurch Regeneration, Poto Williams, is seeking feedback on a proposal to remove on-site car parking requirements for new developments in the Lyttelton commercial zone.  The proposal, by Christchurch City Council, asks that powers under section 71 of the Greater ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • Feedback Sought – Section 71 – Hagley Oval
    Hon Minister Poto Williams Associate Minister for Greater Christchurch Regeneration   MEDIA STATEMENT       Tuesday 15 October 2019 Feedback sought – Hagley Oval The Associate Minister for Greater Christchurch Regeneration, Poto Williams, is seeking feedback on a proposal about Hagley Oval. The proposal was developed by Regenerate Christchurch ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • CTU speech – DPM
    Ladies and gentlemen, NZCTU President Richard Wagstaff, members of respective unions – thank you for the invitation to speak to you today. This might be preaching to the choir, but the importance of trade unions in New Zealand’s historical arch is difficult to understate. And it is my belief that ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • Police Association Annual Conference
    "Let’s start by acknowledging that it has been a huge year. " Police Association Annual Conference James Cook Grand Chancellor Hotel Wellington Nau mai, haere mai. Tēnā koutou, tēnā koutou, ka nui te mihi, ki a koutou katoa. President of the Police Association, Chris Cahill; Members of the Association and ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • New Zealand announces a further P-3 deployment in support of UN sanctions
    Minister of Foreign Affairs Winston Peters and Minister of Defence Ron Mark have announced the New Zealand Government’s decision to again deploy a Royal New Zealand Air Force P-3K2 (P-3) maritime patrol aircraft to support the implementation of United Nations Security Council (UNSC) resolutions imposing sanctions against North Korea. New ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • New Zealand deeply concerned at developments in north-east Syria
    Foreign Affairs Minister Winston Peters says New Zealand continues to have serious concerns for peace and stability in north-east Syria. “Recent reports that hundreds of ISIS-affiliated families have fled from a camp are deeply concerning from a humanitarian and security perspective”, Mr Peters says. “While we acknowledge Turkey’s domestic security ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • Government on high alert for stink bugs
    Biosecurity Minister Damien O’Connor is warning travelling Kiwis to be vigilant as the high-season for the crop-eating brown marmorated stink bug (BMSB) is under way. “We’re on high alert to stop BMSB arriving in NZ. The high season runs until April 30 and we’ve strengthened our measures to stop stink ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • Better protections for students in halls of residence
    The Government is moving swiftly to change the law to improve the welfare and pastoral care of students living in university halls of residence and other tertiary hostels. Cabinet has agreed to several changes, including creating a new mandatory Code of Practice that sets out the duty of pastoral care ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • New trapping guide for community and expert trappers alike
    The Minister for Conservation Eugenie Sage has launched a new comprehensive trapping guide for community trappers to help them protect our native birds, plants and other wildlife, at Zealandia in Wellington today. ‘A practical guide to trapping’, has been developed by the Department of Conservation (DOC), and was launched during ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • Widening Access to Contraceptives Welcomed
    Associate Health Minister Julie Anne Genter welcomes PHARMAC’s move to improve access to long-acting reversible contraception (LARCs). PHARMAC has today announced it will fund the full cost of Mirena and Jaydess for anyone seeking long term contraception, lifting previous restrictions on access to Mirena. “I welcome women having greater choices ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • Major upgrade for Taranaki Base Hospital
    The Government has approved the next stage of a major redevelopment of Taranaki Base Hospital, which will deliver new and improved facilities for patients. Health Minister Dr David Clark has announced details of a $300 million dollar project to build a new East Wing at the New Plymouth hospital. It ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • Extra support for rural families
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