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RWC final highlights inequalities

Written By: - Date published: 12:54 pm, October 21st, 2011 - 48 comments
Categories: class war, newspapers, sport - Tags: ,

A very thoughtful piece from Simon Collins in today’s Herald:

Deep divisions over $1000 for a Rugby World Cup game as poverty grows

Have we gone a bit mad? Or is it all worth it to bring a touch of joy into our lives in tough times? Our moral authorities, as usual, are divided.

About 60,000 people have shelled out $56 million, an average of almost $1000 each, to watch a rugby game at Eden Park on Sunday. That’s seven times the Auckland City Mission’s $8 million budget, which assists 250,000 people in a year with food parcels, drug and alcohol and other social services. Anglican Church social justice commissioner Anthony Dancer says it’s “crazy”. “I think we’ve gone a bit mad,” he said. “Selfishness is the word I’m looking for. Things like this reflect an income gap that is becoming even more clear in this country. These are not normal rugby-loving people.”

But Catholic Bishop Pat Dunn said that if people could afford to pay $1000 for seats he hoped they enjoyed it, and everyone else could watch on TV. …

Auckland University philosopher and theologian Dr Matheson Russell … “The real question for each fan is this: Is this $1000 ticket part of a life-pattern of indulgent and self-centred behaviour that has little regard for the welfare of others? “Or is this a cherry on the top of an already meaningful life, a life lived for others, a life of compassion and generosity?”

48 comments on “RWC final highlights inequalities”

  1. ak 1

    Sickening from Dunn. The sleek leaders of the dying religions embrace the new idols, ignore the poor, and whore for new gilded palaces; while across the globe other gormless spawn of a withering Christendom incite, arm, and cheer from afar obscene acts of hysterical, murderous savagery. And wonder why they are not blessed.

    • Zaphod Beeblebrox 1.1

      Hey, it could be worse. Jacque Rogge (just another of the rich buggers here to use our hospitality) thinks we could stage the olympics!! Imagine that.

    • Vicky32 1.2

      I believe he was simply trying to keep the peace, and avoid causing offence. I somehow suspect he would not have been able to win, by you, whatever he’d said. 🙁

  2. Mighty Kites 2

    Those filthy bourgeois! Spending $1000 of their hard earned money to watch a rugby match. Their wealth must be forcibly redistributed among proletariat!

    • Zaphod Beeblebrox 2.1

      They can spend it how they like. I’d only ask that cricket get the same of my tax funding rugby does. In Auckland as more play cricket than rugby (both league and union).

    • Blighty 2.2

      They’re not saying people can’t spend on what they want to. They’re questioning the morality of their choices.

      Nothing wrong with that.

    • lefty 2.3

      No we, the taxpayer paid for the cup. Those same people who fork out the $1000 have probably stolen it from the labour of hardworking wage slaves, diverted it from the tax man or got it through one of the other scams the rich pull.
      When they are not in the corporate box they are probably campaigning for youth rates or benefit cuts.
      At the match they will boast about how hard they worked to get rich and deny they get any form of subsidy, conveniently forgetting the huge hidden subsidies business gets in the form of taxpayer funded infrastructure, cosy company and trust laws, very little regulation, voluntary compliance regimes, Working for Families and other handouts from the political parties (National and Labour) that cater to their every whim.
      Hard earned money!
      Bollocks!

      • Colonial Viper 2.3.1

        Exactly. Without tax payers and rate payers subsiding the frakin thing, tickets would have been $5000 each,

        So in fact, each rich prick who went stole $4000 from the country to do so.

    • logie97 2.4

      … probably writing the cost off against entertainment tax. (if they have a good accountant)

  3. This is an old post of mine, but still relevant. The RWC is actually a Trojan horse that will have few long term benefits for most New Zealanders. In fact many will continue paying for the hosting of the competition for some time despite not being able to afford attending any games.
    http://localbodies-bsprout.blogspot.com/2011/07/rugby-world-cup-has-exposed-our.html

  4. djp 4

    If one is going to make moralistic judgements on those who buy RWC finals tickets then one should be prepared to have ones own spending scrutinized similarly (I bet these clergymen and philosophers aren’t poor by any stretch).

    In short “let him who has no sin throw the first stone…” and there is always some poor bugger worse off so can we justify any of our “indulgent and self-centered” lifestyle we enjoy in this country?

    • Crashcart 4.1

      What like controlling the spending of beneficiaries? If someone working minimum wage these days needs assistance to put food on the table then they have submit a budget to WINZ. The fact is the poor are subject to much more scrutany of what they spend their megar wages on than the rich. They flaunt. Very different.

  5. Uturn 5

    I think Dr. Matheson Russell let his philosophy get in the way of his theology when he worded his question.

    If he reads the book of Job, he’ll find his own God is unabashedly unrepentantly self-interested! But’s that’s the whole point, according to Old Testament “hard-road” Christian religion. The disciple surrenders to God completely. Everything, every part of his psyche and being. They must accept the inequalities and the goodness as the same whole. They must accept that the Christian God will make the rich richer and the poor poorer – should he choose – and life shows us that he regularly choose to do so. They must accept he will not intervene in times of gross unfairness unless it suits his larger plan. They must not expect reward for good deeds. The disciple must not questions this, or try to justify his self-righteousness to God. And they have to accept they will fail to measure up. All these things must happen for good theological reasons.

    It is not until the disciple surrenders opinion, hope, health, ethics, morals, logic and thinking, memory and imagination and is still able to profess faith, that God will grant Divine Grace: A doorway into that state which all religions look for that is enough for everyone and more.

    Modern variations on Christianity take a wide track away from the hard-road style and I don’t blame them. It isn’t in any way hedonistic. But a theologian understands this and should praise his God for the opportunity to suffer. Chin up, Dr. Russell, you are near the door to heaven.

    • djp 5.1

      ha, you should write for the colbert report, actually scratch that I think he is a sunday school teacher

    • Vicky32 5.2

      But’s that’s the whole point, according to Old Testament “hard-road” Christian religion.

      Point of order… The Old Testament has been superseded. It’s sad that some people, including some Christians (mostly the American ones) don’t recognise that.

      The disciple surrenders to God completely. Everything, every part of his psyche and being.

      That’s what we choose (oh, and generic he, here? Tut tut..)

      They must accept the inequalities and the goodness as the same whole. They must accept that the Christian God will make the rich richer and the poor poorer – should he choose – and life shows us that he regularly choose to do so.

      No, God is not to blame for that, no matter what some of his American disciples say…

      They must accept he will not intervene in times of gross unfairness unless it suits his larger plan. They must not expect reward for good deeds. The disciple must not questions this, or try to justify his self-righteousness to God. And they have to accept they will fail to measure up. All these things must happen for good theological reasons.

      All of these assertions are highly debatable.

      It is not until the disciple surrenders opinion, hope, health, ethics, morals, logic and thinking, memory and imagination and is still able to profess faith, that God will grant Divine Grace: A doorway into that state which all religions look for that is enough for everyone and more.

      I think that paragraph shows your bias, and I won’t waste time unpicking it.

      Modern variations on Christianity take a wide track away from the hard-road style and I don’t blame them. It isn’t in any way hedonistic. But a theologian understands this and should praise his God for the opportunity to suffer. Chin up, Dr. Russell, you are near the door to heaven.

      It’s all much more complex than you think…

  6. Caritas has an excellent site using rugby as a way of highlighting inequality.

  7. tc 7

    More of the same from the thugby elite and global sport elitism in general….move on people.

  8. Nick C 8

    If anything this shows how little inequailty matters in our society these day. 100 years ago the only way to get entertainment was to watch it live. Want music? You have to pay to see the orchestra. Want sport? You have to buy a ticket to a stadium.

    These days, just like the old days, its only the rich who will have the money to go to the big sport event. But the thing is, it doesnt matter! You can go down to the pub with a big screen TV, buy a beer and get pretty much the same atmosphere and viewing pleasure as the guy who paid $1000 for a ticket. Same with music. Cant afford to go to the concert? Buy and ipod for $100 and put all the music you can dream of on it.

    And who we thank for this wonderful technology? The wealthy technological designers at Apple/Sony and their corperate executives (Steve Jobs etc) who keep these enourmous companies running efficiently and innovativly. More generally we can thank the capitalist system which incentivised this innovation.

    • Colonial Viper 8.1

      More generally we can thank the capitalist system which incentivised this innovation.

      Too bad high tech industrial capitalism is dead, replaced by crony cartel capitalism.

      That iPod you speak of and that giga-cash rich Apple you speak of, they fucked over their workers in China and in the US to get that product into your hands.

      These days, just like the old days, its only the rich who will have the money to go to the big sport event. But the thing is, it doesnt matter!

      It must matter because tickets are being sold at $1000 a piece and rich bastards are snapping them up. So they are getting something that no one else can afford. Interesting you think that is ok.

      Bet you there were 1987 world cup final tickets for $50. Whats changed in NZ since then? Oh yeah, we’ve become a much more unequal, cash kowtowing society.

      Amazing you think its ok to have rich only zones in our society because “it doesnt matter”.

      Well it seems to matter to the filthy rich because thats the way they like it.

      • Nick C 8.1.1

        “It must matter because tickets are being sold at $1000 a piece and rich bastards are snapping them up.”

        Did you even read my comment? The point is that there is a close substitute to the $1000 ticket which is practically free. That didnt exist 100 years ago, but technological innovation has changed that.

        “Bet you there were 1987 world cup final tickets for $50.”

        Adjusted for inflation? Very much doubt it.

        “Too bad high tech industrial capitalism is dead”

        *facepalm*. The market for new technology in the tablet area in particular is now more competitive than ever (dubious use of competition law aside). Heard of andriod?

    • MrSmith 8.2

      So Nick C they have now found a way to not only fill the stadium but get us (their slaves) sitting in-front of the idiot box as well, Hooray! for a moment there I thought you where implying they where giving away TV’s, beer, Sky subs, ipods etc. Nick We sit there blindly watching nothing more than state sponsored social control, it sickens me and sorry I used to play the game, the worthless game that produces nothing material, just something for the masses to follow because they the church and the politicians know what would happen if we where encouraged to think for ourselves.
       
      Innovation and technology are fine by me, but please don’t put Sport in with the them, sport is one of the human races biggest wastes of energy, time and money, sheep sheep fucken sheep everywhere I look…. but lets all bow down to the mighty capitalist system that only exists in your mind Nick.
       

      • Nick C 8.2.1

        Personally I take the view that individuals are best able to determine what makes them happy based on their own conception of the good life, whether it be sport, material possessions or one of the many other joys of life. But I suppose if you claim to know what is best for all of humanity then preach away..

        • Colonial Viper 8.2.1.1

          Individuals are constrained by society and environmental factors, Nick C. “Choice” in our particular political-economy is too often a fake cheerleaders concept.

          Would you prefer to be shot or stabbed? Would you prefer to pay the power bill or have enough groceries for the weekend?

          Some choice.

        • MrSmith 8.2.1.2

          “Personally I take the view that individuals are best able to determine what makes them happy based on their own conception of the good life, whether it be sport, material possessions or one of the many other joys of life”
          And I agree Nick But Rugby was brought here and promoted by the British oligarchy that controlled early New Zealand, with the early population being mainly male Rugby was promoted as a way to keep them busy on saturday and of course the church took care of sundays.
           
          Rugby League though has always been Rugby’s poor cousin in NZ I suspect because it was played on God’s day and for money as well, (didn’t I read somewhere collecting sticks on sunday was punishable with death) so playing League for money on God’s day must have been a far worse crime, so League was always held back by the oligarchy and still is today, Rugby receives huge hand outs along with the church still. 
           
          So Nick can you see what I mean by social control, hard work for five and a half days then Rugby or Cricket, then Church on sunday, keeping the slave occupied seven days a week with little time to think and no time to  question the system, you may have also noticed that rugby and cricket have lots of rules, the oligarchy most likely saw this as great conditioning for the slaves as well, obey the rules, work hard then pray to an imaginary God on sunday, Social Control of the masses easy as that.

      • Vicky32 8.2.2

        because they the church and the politicians know what would happen if we where encouraged to think for ourselves.

        Bleep! I almost used the word, I am that cross… Ther church has nothing, less than nothing, to do with it. Show a little self control please, and curb your prejudices.

        • MrSmith 8.2.2.1

          Vicky32 before jumping to the churches defence read some New Zealand history and the roll the church played in controlling and manipulating early NZ including trying to convert most of the Pacific to the christian beliefs.
          But I suspect you won’t because the truth doesn’t suit the churches view of history. 

          • Vicky32 8.2.2.1.1

            and the roll (sic, you mean role) the church played in controlling and manipulating early NZ including trying to convert most of the Pacific to the christian beliefs.

            There’s nothing wrong with trying to convert anyone… they can listen or not as they choose. As for manipulating, be specific please, I would appreciate it. 🙂

            • MrSmith 8.2.2.1.1.1

              “There’s nothing wrong with trying to convert anyone”
                 
              Well that would depend on how you go about it.
               

              “As for manipulating, be specific please, I would appreciate it.”
               
              Manipulating:
               
               
              2: control or influence (a person or situation) cleverly, unfairly, or unscrupulously : the masses were deceived and manipulated by a tiny group.
               
              • alter (data) or present (statistics) so as to mislead.
               
               
               
              I would say this is a fair summary of the churches behavior over the centuries here and world wide, you will probably disagree, read my comments above for some insight into the churches early roll in control of the masses in New Zealand, the churches wouldn’t have seen it that way  they where just saving souls of-course (cough,cough) not feathering there own nests, keeping the masses subservient was in the churches and 1%’s interest, as it is to this day.
               
               
               
              One of my favorite quotes:
               
               
               
              “The more I study religions the more I am convinced that man never worshiped anything but himself”

              • Vicky32

                Manipulating:

                2: control or influence (a person or situation) cleverly, unfairly, or unscrupulously : the masses were deceived and manipulated by a tiny group.

                • alter (data) or present (statistics) so as to mislead.

                I know what the word means! When I asked you to be specific, I meant for you to give me instances… Can you do that? 

                “There’s nothing wrong with trying to convert anyone”

                Well that would depend on how you go about it.

                Once again, please be specific. That is, give instances of what you see as the wrong type of conversion, or the wrong method.

                • MrSmith

                  “When I asked you to be specific, I meant for you to give me instances… Can you do that?”

                  http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Church_Mission_Society 

                  “That is, give instances of what you see as the wrong type of conversion, or the wrong method.”

                  Put down you Bible for a minute and do some reading, I could find thousands of instances where people have been duped in the name of God, converted into cults, killed for there beliefs, gone to war against the heathens, blown them selfs up , but see little point in continuing this discussion till you answer a question for me ‘Who created God?’

                  • Vicky32

                    Put down you Bible for a minute and do some reading, I could find thousands of instances where people have been duped in the name of God, converted into cults, killed for there beliefs, gone to war against the heathens, blown them selfs up , but see little point in continuing this discussion till you answer a question for me ‘Who created God?’

                    Hello Mr Angryman! Please stop being so abusive, thanks in advance. I read much more than the Bible, as anyone who knows what I do for a job, already knows. Hint – English teacher.
                    Your question is of course meaningless. No one created God. I know Herr Professor Sir Lord Dawkins says that question will stop a Christian in her tracks at 100 paces, but as is not unusual, he’s wrong.
                    Ok, I am reading your link, but unless you think the very act of being a missionary is a capital offence, I just don’t get what your problem is with them?

                    (Memo to selves – must resist desperate urge to correct spelling, grammar and syntax..) 🙂

                    • McFlock

                      (memo to self – smiley face at end of sanctimonious claptrap  does not make it less pathetic)
                       

                    • MrSmith

                      The first problem is they where all men Vicky, secondly they came into someone else’s house and went about trying to change them into carbon copies of them-selfs. If you agree they had some license to do this because they had a bible in there hand then I feel sorry for your students.

                      Also correct my grammar and spelling all you like, I am here to learn to spell and write mostly.

                      ” Your question is of course meaningless. No one created God.”

                      Great we can agree on that then! 

                      Good night 

                  • RedLogix

                    ‘Who created God?’

                    What if you considered that creation has no beginning and no end? What if the universe itself was ‘uncreated’?

                    The idea that things must have a beginning and an end is just a reflection of the time and space constrained world we currently live in.

                    McFlock… I’d suggest that for an English teacher, Vicky’s been remarkably restrained.

                    • Vicky32

                      What if you considered that creation has no beginning and no end? What if the universe itself was ‘uncreated’?
                      The idea that things must have a beginning and an end is just a reflection of the time and space constrained world we currently live in.

                      Well-said, RedLogix! Brilliant..

                    • McFlock

                      All I’m saying is that back when I was in security, patronisingly calling someone “angry” (with or without justification) was not usually constructive for the situation, and was generally even less constructive when one finished with a little dig at the punter’s communication skills. 
                      I must confess this almost never occurred in a medium that involved emoticons, so maybe that made it all better.

                    • MrSmith

                      “What if you considered that creation has no beginning and no end?”
                      I have no problem with the question (apart from I don’t believe in creation) except your next question contradicts it, first you ask me/us to consider that creation has no beginning and no end? then you go on to say what if the universe itself was uncreated? 

                      Which is it? or I suppose you believe in creation in an uncreated universe. 
                      “The idea that things must have a beginning and an end is just a reflection of the time and space constrained world we currently live in.”
                      True but has nothing what so ever to do with the question ‘Who created God?’


                  • Colonial Viper

                    but has nothing what so ever to do with the question ‘Who created God?’

                    Just as the universe needs no creator, neither does God.

                    All it requires are the necessary causes and conditions for the arising of the construct, whether it be the universe, or God.

                    • MrSmith

                      “Just as the universe needs no creator, neither does God.”

                      Looking at the evidence so far, there’s plenty that tells us the universe exists and is even expanding, and as we understand the world and the universe more every day God’s looking more and more like something we created in our own imagination.

  9. millsy 9

    Would not matter if taxpayers didnt contribute to this event…

  10. Afewknowtheturth 10

    RWC is doing exactly what it was designed to do.

    1. Keep the dumbed-down general public distracted so they don’t look at the real acrtion.

    2. Provide opportunties for global corporations to extract money from NZ and fom NZers

    3. Get public money spent on infrastructure that has no future, and get communities into greater debt.

    Anyone stupid enough to participate in this huge scam deserves whatever they get.

  11. Shazzadude 11

    If Anthony Dancer or Dr. Matheson Russell, or anyone else criticising the expenditure on what is a once-in-a-lifetime event for most people at the game, has ever spent more than $1000 on anything that wasn’t a donation to charity, then they’re hypocrites.

    • Colonial Viper 11.1

      $1000 rugby tickets are not somehow equivalent to donations to charity.

      In fact, they are a sign that our national game at the highest level now represents our larger society – the haves and the have nots, the priviledged and the un-priviledged.

      The elites do not want to fraternise with the working class and the under class; high ticket prices are a way of ensuring that.

  12. Maui 12

    Once they had discovered the resilient properties of rubber, Mesoamericans created different versions of a ball game still played in parts of Mexico today. The object is intensely territorial with two teams volleying the ball back and forth until one side is no longer able to keep it in the air. At the point where the ball hits the ground, referees mark territory lost to the opposition. By late Aztec times the game bordered on social mania with elite and peasants alike wagering their entire fortunes on the outcome of a single game.

    Axayacatl provoked the king of Xochimilco into playing a ball game and wagered the tribute of a number of kingdoms around Lake Texcoco. When his opponent won the match, Axayacatl attacked and executed him.

    English and Goff could do the same and spare us the cost of this election.

    Maui

    Pohl, J., and Hook, A., (2001). ‘Aztec Warrior 1325-1521’, Osprey Publishing, pp 14-15.

  13. Maui 13

    I intended to write ‘Key and Goff’ .. but perhaps it’s prescient. Key must be wondering if he needs more aggravation for the next few years.

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    We all know that Simon Bridges has, at the best of times, an intermittent relationship with the truth. However you would think that during a pandemic and economic crisis the current opposition leader would pull his head in and start to do the right thing.Obviously leading by example should be ...
    3 days ago
  • Anti-fluoridation propaganda now relies on only four studies. 3: Riddell et al (2019)
    Connett promotes Riddell et al (2019) as one of the only four studies one needs to read about fluoridation. But he misunderstands and misrepresents the findings of this study. Image credit: Fluoride Action ...
    3 days ago
  • Could the Atlantic Overturning Circulation ‘shut down’?
    This is a re-post from Carbon Brief by Dr. Richard Wood and Dr. Laura Jackson Generally, we think of climate change as a gradual process: the more greenhouse gases that humans emit, the more the climate will change. But are there any “points of no return” that commit us to irreversible ...
    3 days ago
  • The biggest challenge for a generation ahead – covid-19. Defeat and Recovery
    Last month I wrote my blog on covid-19 pointing out the in our pre Alert Level 4 days that a subject no one had heard here months ago was now dominating the media. An amazing feature of this crisis is how quickly it has swept every other issue aside worldwide. ...
    PunditBy Wyatt Creech
    4 days ago
  • Testing for COVID-19 in NZ to Achieve the Elimination Goal
    Nick Wilson,1 Ayesha Verrall,1,2 Len Cook,3 Alistair Gray,3 Amanda Kvalsvig,1 Michael Baker,1 (1epidemiologists, 2infectious disease physician, 3statisticians) In this blog, we raise ideas for how New Zealand might optimise testing to both identify cases in the community as part of the COVID-19 elimination strategy, and to confirm when the virus ...
    SciBlogsBy Public Health Expert
    4 days ago
  • Should we all be wearing face masks to prevent Covid-19 spread?
    Maybe you’ve seen the graph that says those countries where everyone wears a mask are the ones that have managed to keep Covid-19 under control? The first thing to say about that claim is that those countries also did lots of other things, too – they acted fast, with intense ...
    SciBlogsBy Siouxsie Wiles
    4 days ago
  • 2020 SkS Weekly Climate Change & Global Warming Digest #14
    Story of the Week... Editorial of the Week... Toon of the Week... Coming Soon on SkS... Climate Feedback Claim Review... SkS Week in Review... Poster of the Week... Story of the Week... North Atlantic's capacity to absorb CO2 overestimated, study suggests Research into ocean’s plankton likely to lead to ...
    4 days ago
  • The Americans are trying to kill us all again
    The Treaty on Open Skies is one of the most effective mechanisms for preventing war curently in force. By letting countries make surveillance flights over each others' territory, it eliminates fears that they are secretly preparing for war. So naturally, the US is planning to withdraw from it: The Trump ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    4 days ago
  • Life in Lock Down: Day 11
    . . April 5: Day eleven of living in lock-down… My one day of rest for the week, and an opportunity to mow my lawns – which I’d been delaying for about three weeks. (On the plus side, the damp micro-climate in my back yard yielded three lovely fresh mushrooms ...
    Frankly SpeakingBy Frank Macskasy
    4 days ago
  • Now we know what the rules are
    As the lockdown has gone on, disquiet about what the rules were and the police's enforcement of them has grown. On Friday, Police admitted that they were abusing routine traffic stops to effectively set up illegal checkpoints, and on Saturday Stuff revealed internal police advice saying that they actually needed ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    4 days ago
  • Anti-fluoridation propaganda now relies on only four studies. 2: Green et al (2019)
    Paul Connett is putting all his eggs in one basket. He says “you only have to read four studies” to find community after fluoridation harmful. Image credit: Fluoride Action Network newsletter. For part 1 of this series see Anti-fluoridation propaganda now relies on only four studies. 1: Bashash et al (2018). Paul Connett, ...
    4 days ago
  • Hard News: Splore Listening Lounge 2020: the road to a “yes” vote
    As far as anyone can say, New Zeaand still has a general election scheduled for September 19 this year. The election will be accompanied by two referenda, one of which will ask voters:Do you support the proposed Cannabis Legalisation and Control Bill?The official campaign period for the cannabis referendum begins ...
    4 days ago
  • Obituary for The New Zealand Listener (1939-2020)
    The vast majority of tributes to the Listener hearken back to its glory days, with little reflection on the magazine as it was at its end.I wrote for it, for half the Listener’s life; I have known personally all the editors except the first (mythical) three. From 1978 to 2014 ...
    PunditBy Brian Easton
    4 days ago
  • Universal income – a challenge to capitalism or a crutch?
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    RedlineBy Daphna
    5 days ago
  • Anti-fluoridation propaganda now relies on only four studies. 1: Bashash et al (2018)
    This is the advice from the very top of the anti-fluoride movement – Paul Connett, director of the Fluoride Action Network (FAN). Don’t worry about reading  up on all the scientific information “You only have ...
    5 days ago
  • Life in Lock Down: Day 10
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    Frankly SpeakingBy Frank Macskasy
    5 days ago
  • Redline reaching out to more writers & readers
    Some time during the night we went over the 850,000 views mark. We might have had our millionth view by the end of this year – certainly by early next year. Most of the people involved in Redline spent years and years producing various small left-wing papers and selling them ...
    RedlineBy Daphna
    5 days ago
  • Keir Starmer elected
    Comfortably, in the very first round, with an impressive 56% of the votes.I wonder, did members of the Shadow Cabinet start tweeting their resignations during Starmer's victory speech, or is that only a trick the right pull?It is odd how all the talk of how the next leader "needs to ...
    5 days ago
  • Hard News: Michael Baker and the Big House
    One of the key voices in this extraordinary time in which we live is that of University of Otago epidemiologist Professor Michael Baker. Philip Matthews did an an excellent job this weekend of capturing the way he became the man for this moment in a profile for The Press.But one ...
    5 days ago
  • New Zealand Gives up on Trying to Save Daylight
    New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern addressed the nation today about the decline in daylight New Zealand has been experiencing over the previous few months. She said “As many of you will notice, our attempts to stem the dwindling of the daylight over the last few months have been completely ...
    Can of wormsBy Can of Worms, Opened
    6 days ago
  • A bulletin from Greece
    Redline received this article from the KOE a Marxist party in Greece Our friends in the KOE describe here the mounting crisis in Greece and tensions on the Turkish border. As desperate people flee from their homelands which have been ruined after decades of imperialist wars and interventions the people ...
    RedlineBy Daphna
    6 days ago
  • And God spake all these words, saying
    As the first week of Level Four lockdown unfolded, mounting questions grew as to just what was (and was not) allowed under its “rules”. Partly these were driven by some apparently contradictory messages from different authority figures and explanations carried in the media. Partly they reflected a somewhat sketchy legal basis ...
    PunditBy Andrew Geddis
    6 days ago
  • Life in Lock Down: Day 9
    . . April 3: Day 9 of living in lock-down… Another late-start to my work day. Everything is temporarily upended as clients are shuffled around so we can minimise our “bubble” by reducing the number of people we help. One of my colleagues has been removed from his clients; his ...
    Frankly SpeakingBy Frank Macskasy
    6 days ago
  • Death to our lockdown enemies!
    We must root out the traitors among us! ...
    Imperator FishBy Scott Yorke
    7 days ago
  • Climate Change: The benefits of electrification
    In order to meet our 2050 carbon target and do our bit to avoid making the Earth uninhabitable, New Zealand needs to decarbonise our economy, replacing fossil fuels with electricity in the energy, industrial and transport sectors. The good news is that it will mean cheaper power for all of ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • Life in Lock Down: Day 8 (sanitised version)
    For those folk who find my other Lock-Down Diary versions too “negative” or otherwise unpalatable… Here’s a photo of a pretty flower, .   . Better? Tomorrow’s Sanitised Version: a cute animal video. . . . =fs= ...
    Frankly SpeakingBy Frank Macskasy
    1 week ago
  • Life in Lock Down: Day 8
    . . April 2: Day eight of living in lock-down… Today, my work day starts late. Our rosters and clients have been dramatically changed, lessening (theoretically) the number of people in our work “bubble”.  If just one of us catches covid19 the impact could be considerable as Grey Base Hospital ...
    Frankly SpeakingBy Frank Macskasy
    1 week ago
  • A note on apartments and bubbles
    As Aotearoa enters week two of lockdown, it’s clear we’re all still working out what our “bubbles” look like and how to stay in them to stop the spread of Covid-19. New to the government’s Covid-19 website is some good guidance for people living in apartment blocks. Recent decades have ...
    SciBlogsBy Siouxsie Wiles
    1 week ago
  • Getting in futures shape 
    “There are decades where nothing happens; and there are weeks where decades happen.” Lenin Don’t we all know that feeling now.

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

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

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