See no evil

Written By: - Date published: 9:38 am, May 30th, 2012 - 27 comments
Categories: john key, leadership - Tags:

There was a time when John Key used to promise solutions to any problem you could name. Or he would act sympathetic and concerned by the consequences of his government’s own policies. But the broken promises and falseness wore thin. Key’s new tactic is simply to pretend that problems don’t exist. Apparently, that’s called leadership in National Party circles.

Key’s been pulling this crap for a while but it has only just become his default position. It really stood out the day before the Budget when David Shearer took him to task on his broken economic promises:

David Shearer: How can he have confidence in his Minister of Finance, when he predicted in Budget 2011 that economic growth would reach 4 percent, and it actually reached only 1.1 percent?

Rt Hon JOHN KEY: I cannot be absolutely sure about the veracity of that statement

– Now, I don’t buy Key’s dumb act. He’s the numbers man. He knows that growth was projected to hit 4% this year. He knows it was actually 1.1%. But it’s easier to pretend there’s no issue.

It was much, much worse yesterday though. Practically every answer was a glib denial that the issue in question even exists.

In answer to Shearer:

David Shearer: Is he aware that increasing ratios for years 2 to 3 means that some schools may have to cut Reading Recovery programmes for 6 and 7-year-olds?

Rt Hon JOHN KEY: No, I do not accept that proposition at all.

David Shearer: When he said this morning that he would prefer his child in a class of 16 with a quality teacher, rather than 15, was he aware that the median class size in State schools is in fact 28?

Rt Hon JOHN KEY: The important point here is that schools are funded off a ratio, and the funding ratio for a year 1 class is 15.

– Notice how he won’t deal with the actual facts: schools are funded on ratios but money has to be diverted from them for special teaching like reading recovery. That means class sizes are already well above the ratios and they will either have to get worse or special teaching – which produces extra value by addressing needs that would otherwise severely inhibit learning – will have to be cut.

….

Key’s answers to Russel Norman’s question (which Grant Robertson and David Parker chipped in on) was rife with willful blindness from Key:

Dr Russel Norman: How does his Government’s decision to discourage people from becoming teachers by requiring them to get postgraduate qualifications while simultaneously removing student allowances for postgraduate study help to build a more productive economy?

Rt Hon JOHN KEY: I reject the proposition from the member.

– right, so requiring teachers to get post-graduate qualifications while making studying post-grad less affordable isn’t a huge mixed signal? Uh huh.

… Grant Robertson: Given that last answer from the Prime Minister, can he tell the House what the difference is between the maximum amount that a student can borrow for living costs under the student loan each week, and the actual student allowance that people can get—what is the difference between those two amounts?

Rt Hon JOHN KEY: I am advised that it is very similar.

Grant Robertson: I seek leave of the House to table a document from StudyLink that outlines the various rates that can be obtained from a student loan weekly …It says that the maximum amount of money that a student can borrow per week for living costs from the student loan scheme is $171.50, and that the maximum amount that they can get from student allowances is over $350 a week.

Mr SPEAKER: Leave is sought to table that document…. Is there any objection? There is objection. [from Key]

– oh dear, did Key really think that the allowance and borrowing for living costs are comparable, or was it just easier for him to pretend there was no issue?

… Dr Russel Norman: Given that 2,700 teachers emigrated from New Zealand last year, how does driving away ambitious educators help build a more productive economy, or was the more productive economy he promised to build actually the Australian economy?

Rt Hon JOHN KEY: I cannot confirm that 2,700 teachers emigrated; they may or may not have.

– A simple check of the Stats website shows 2693 education professionals left New Zealand in the past year. Now, that’s 5% of people leaving despite teachers making up only 2.5% of the workforce. Nothing to worry about, or even acknowledge, in Key’s world.

… Hon David Parker: Why did he say 2 days before the Budget that “under a National Government, exports are rising.” and in his Budget speech last Thursday that “We have got the export sector starting to grow.” when Statistics New Zealand earlier that day reported a 17 percent—$800 million—drop in goods exported from New Zealand in the year to April 2012?

Rt Hon JOHN KEY: Because the member is quoting a 1-month number, and I am looking over a 3 or 4-year period.

Hon David Parker: How can he pretend our export story is a good one when imports are projected to increase at twice the rate of exports, and before he blames Christchurch, is he aware that of the 6.8 percent current account deficit projected for 2016, Treasury has advised that only 1 percent relates to Christchurch?

Rt Hon JOHN KEY: I am advised that it is Christchurch that is a major part of it.

Hon David Parker: Does he agree with commentator Fran O’Sullivan in the New Zealand Herald that the major problem is that there is no clear economic growth agenda?

Rt Hon JOHN KEY: No.

– yup. National has been talking up exports because they were the one economic indicator that was looking good. Now they’re not, Key pulls a Fat Tony (‘what’s an export?’).

….

And on more revelations from Winston Peters of corruption in Tariana Turia’s slush fund known as Whanau Ora:

Rt Hon Winston Peters: How can he possibly retain confidence in the Minister for Whānau Ora when, during these economic times, she gave $60,000 to a rugby and sports club to “undertake whānau development research to develop a range of outcomes, which include resilience, whānau connectedness, and community role models and leadership”?

Rt Hon JOHN KEY: I cannot comment on an individual case

Rt Hon Winston Peters: How can he possibly, as Prime Minister, retain confidence in the Minister for Whānau Ora when she is granting sums like $60,000 to an established sports club when there are poor Māori children in the far north scrounging for food in pig scrap heaps and buckets as reported in the New Zealand Herald on 12 May this year?

Rt Hon JOHN KEY: I do not have individual information on the particular programme the member is talking about. He will have to take that up with the Minister directly. In terms of the claims in the New Zealand Herald, I have no reasonable way of ensuring that that is accurate or not.

– so kids are starving and Key’s answer is ‘la la la, I can’t hear you and I won’t see you’. Oh, and attacking the Herald at the same time. Jesus Christ. A leader solves problems, he doesn’t pretend that they don’t exist.

Is this really going to be how Key sees out his last two and a half years? With his hands over his eyes?

27 comments on “See no evil ”

  1. Wyndham 1

    You are right Eddie . . . I’ve noticed that the current Key defence, rather than give a straight answer, is to reject or cast doubt on any statement made that puts his government in a bad light. Usually alog the lines of “I reject that proposition”. It’s a tactic that goes back to his Hardtalk drubbing from Stephen Sakur but has recently been resurrected big time. In parliament,when an opposition questioner protests to the Speaker about the evasion of answer, they are told to “use supplementary questions more effectively but that he (the Speaker) cannot intervene”. It’s an odd system to say the least!
    As for Key, the word “slippery” comes back to mind.

    • muzza 1.1

      The entire system is built on lies, run on lies, and hidden by lies..

      At that point in time do people expect that the lie which is the westminster based parliamentary system, might produce some truth which will benefit NZ and its people!

      100% pure theatre!

      Oh, and the answer to the question is NEVER!

  2. Gosman 2

    “- so kids are starving…”

    Evidence please.

    • yeshe 2.1

      are you really so stupid, gosman ? really ?? shame on you.

      • Gosman 2.1.1

        I asked for the evidence. Do you happen to have any?

        • Te Reo Putake 2.1.1.1

          You really should read the post before commenting Gossie. Google Herald, pig scraps and this article pops up.

        • Jackal 2.1.1.2

          Yesterday, the Waikato Times reported:

          Children living in poverty are taking desperate measures to feed and clothe themselves at Waikato schools as families struggle to provide for their most basic needs.

          In one case, a young boy without a winter jersey was told to steal one from the lost property by his mum because she couldn’t afford to buy one, and another principal caught a child scavenging through rubbish bins for food. Experts warn that, with winter approaching, the problem will only get worse.

          This is not an isolated report either Gosman, which makes me wonder what country you’re living in?

          Great rundown of Keys incompetence there Eddie. National has only two options really… to admit that they’re a complete failure of a government or keep obfuscating around the truth. Let’s hope New Zealander’s aren’t as gullible as they were during the last election.

        • yeshe 2.1.1.3

          gosman .. try searching ” dr o’sullivan northland poverty” and this is what you might discover … but of course he is only a doctor so you might consider he doesn’t know what he is talking about ….

          http://www.google.co.nz/search?sugexp=chrome,mod=9&sourceid=chrome&ie=UTF-8&q=osullivan+northland+doctor+poverty

        • prism 2.1.1.4

          You regularly ask for evidence Gosman. It is like the stance of some tyrranical teacher or parent not an informed commentator on public issues. That’s my opinion by the way I’m not going to provide you with evidence of your pathetic efforts at superiority.

        • Lisa 2.1.1.5

          The Unicef report that has just been released rated New Zealand 20th out of 35th developed countries for our rate of children living in poverty. That is between Slovakia and Estonia. 1 in 5 (or 200,000) children are going with out basic necessities. This is not the first report coming to the same conclusion and all of them have been heavily publicised.

          In the words of Yeshe, are you really so stupid gosman? really? shame on you.

      • Dr Terry 2.1.2

        All Gossman has to do is make a tiny effort to look up the evidence, which all the rest of us can see.

        • Gosman 2.1.2.1

          I never argued there wasn’t a potential problem although a few anecdotal stories is hardly very persuasive and it is no wonder people can choose to ignore that level of evidence.

          There is no indication of the actual situation for the kids involved. If a family receives enough money to feed themselves but the father gambles it away every week or spends it on alcohol instead is that the Government’s fault? On top of that someone being hungry is not the same as starving. They may well be malnourished but again the reasons for this aren’t clear.

          Sure look into the problem further but you can’t draw the conclusions you seem think you can just from those anecdotal stories.

          • yeshe 2.1.2.1.1

            Then, dear gosman, supported by your own logic, I assume you would never use a parachute to jump from a plane. Of course, there is anecdotal evidence supporting the hypothesis of use, but there is no evidence provided by rigorous trialling. I refer you to The Lancet, http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC300808/

            Happy freefall.

          • McFlock 2.1.2.1.2

            Hmmm.
            You asked for evidence that “kids are starving”.
            Multiple cases are mentioned of children exhibiting extreme hunger.
            So now you’re arguing about individual circumstances.        
                  
            A couple of years ago, you fucks were flat denying that kids were starving at all. 
                   
            I guess this is National’s “brighter future”, where you can no longer argue what is, merely why it might be so. 
                     
             

          • Deano 2.1.2.1.3

            So ‘a few’ kids starving isn’t evidence of kids starving for Gosman. He won’t be interested until they’re dying in the streets.

        • bbfloyd 2.1.2.2

          just ignore him(gossamer) guys and girls… he isn’t interested in the answers…. he is simply working through his own personal inadequacies(normal tory mindset)… you are feeding his obsessions by attempting to counter his idiotic rambling ….

      • Draco T Bastard 2.1.3

        Gossy is just following his leader and making out that, contrary to the facts, there isn’t a problem.

    • richarquis 2.2

      “I cannot be absolutely sure about the veracity of that statement.”

      You watched the documentary about NZ child poverty, surely? That was ample evidence. And in response to your later comment about fathers gambling away the family income, sure, that happens, but you can’t tar every case with the same brush. There are thousands of families in which the parents work hard, pay their bills as best they can, and do their best to give their kids all they need, but still find themselves having to hit up the soup kitchens or foodbanks just to scrape by. To fall back on the extreme cases as a defense to generalizing an entire sector of the population is lazy, and demeaning to those who do not fall into the stereotype you so happily cast upon them. In doing so, you are merely mirroring JK’s manner of response – Either trivializing, stereotyping, or simply denying the problem.

  3. ianmac 3

    Yes watching Question Time yesterday it is amazing that Key can get away with ignorance being his excuse for evasion.
    Maybe he will get a booster shot from QE11 when he is off again at the end of the week to help Liz sort out her Succession problems and to arrange his Knighthood for saving NZ.

  4. aerobubble 4

    So you know its wrong, it will endanger the children, but it can wait…

    A boy racer was raging his car in his driveway, two children a few metres away looked on.

    Lucky for us noise regulation don’t apply to boy racers, and young 7-8 year olds can call
    noise control when the noise is too loud, and hell kids that age can’t be harmed, noise
    doesn’t impact on them until they intentional harm themselves by pushing the volume high
    on the walkman when their adults.

    When the adults, the parents of our planet, sit around the kitchen table and worry about
    the finances while ignoring their other roles as guardians of children, why should I
    care if some boy racer is destroying the eardrums of his cousin and their sleepover friends?

    When a plastic soup swills around the pacific, who gives a crap that it breaks down and enters
    our kids food chain. As long as we have a zero quality budget, what’s it matter.

    We have science, we have noise laws, not so that egotistical narissitic can prove how capable
    they are at ignoring their responsiblities to themselves, their families, their environment,
    just its their right to use their money to shove it in everyone’s
    faces and ignore the consequences because it makes them feel powerful – like the raging car
    they own.

    As a commentator recently claimed on National Radio, if you don’t pay income tax then you
    are a bludger and dont merit a mention, despite the fact that those making paper capital gains
    profit because its so lucrative to do so in NZ have too much say in keeping it that way.
    While National have shifted the weight of tax capture to the poorest, raising GST and lowering
    the amount of progressive taxes the wealthy must pay for a fair society (which I might add
    did not create growth when the taxes dropped, but just bailed out the most indebted a bit longer
    and accelerated the inequality gap).

    We are entering a period of peak oil which means that much of the valuation and
    estimation of wealth is wrong, and with so many large claims (money) in circulation there
    is always going to be a judgement day, when inflation hiding fails. And the real cost of
    not culling the boy racer mentality that pervades our child endangering ruling elites, media and society, falls due.
    Moro could tomorrow stop letting right wing tweeps talk nonsense, but that would lead to the moron class
    calling him a left wing ideologue, which is absurd since they went extinct in the 80s with the rise
    of Murdoch.

    In the week when parents took their kids to a creche in the Middle East Mall, and didn’t wonder
    or were concerned about the fire exits, fire drills, of their kids creche in the heart of a
    building, why? because it looked well looked after, like our nations fiscal books. Because the
    managers had gone to PR classes to dress up a pig and sell it as an angel? Like so many in
    governments across the world. Its us that are so gullible, and our gullibility is killing the children,
    and Key naffy nats will continue shonkey policies that solely worry about keeping the books looking
    perfect. What’s the olde saying, …while rome burns.

    We have cheap oil for thirty years and all policitians needed to do was be overly simplistic and the holes would pretty quickly be tarmac over. The conservative revolution is over, narcississ need not apply anymore.

  5. joe90 5

    .And on more revelations from Winston Peters of corruption in Tariana Turia’s slush fund known as Whanau Ora:

    Aye.

    Whanau Ora, the supposed magic bullet, will turn out to be just another opportunity for those in the know to fleece the taxpayer..

  6. gobsmacked 6

    Key gets away with it because the opposition (Labour, at least) can’t think on their feet.

    Take the first exchange in Eddie’s post. I listened to that live. When Key said “I cannot be absolutely sure about the veracity of that statement” (and then followed it up later with a comment about not relying on that member’s version), all Shearer needed to do was ask:

    “So, what is the growth rate?” (insert ‘current’, ‘GDP’, whatever – but above all, keep it short and snappy). NO sub-clauses, NO multiple questions.

    Key would have to answer “I don’t know” (a lie, and worse, a lie that makes him look incredibly stupid), or he would have to confirm the number Shearer had just quoted.

    But instead, Labour plod on with the next, pre-scripted question. I’ve said it before (for the last three years!), all the opposition MPs have to do is shut up and LISTEN to what Key says, then throw it back at him. But they’d rather just barrack mindlessly, and score no points.

    It goes back to their core problem, from which everything else stems. Labour (not the Greens or even Winston) really are addicted to the House, and not the world outside the House, which is the only world that matters to the voters. The Greens and Winston know how to get headlines from their performance in Parliament – Labour don’t. Even though they have far more questions available, and resources.

    Key’s a liar. Any forensic interrogator could expose that. Do Labour have one?

    • gobsmacked 6.1

      This is from Eddie’s link, quoted above:

      “Rt Hon Winston Peters: Does the Prime Minister’s first answer, which included the statement that he—and I quote him—“cannot be sure about the veracity of that statement”, mean he does not know that the growth rate is not 4 percent, as he predicted, but, rather, 1.1 percent?

      Rt Hon JOHN KEY: No. It means that when David Shearer assigns a comment to someone, I cannot be sure it is correct.

      Rt Hon Winston Peters: Does the Prime Minister know or not know that the current growth rate is 1.1 percent?”

      That is Winston, doing Shearer’s job.

      • tc 6.1.1

        Someone has to as Shearer’s far too inexperienced to get it done himself…..way to go labour caucus, bravo fantastic choice there.

    • Murray Olsen 6.2

      I get the impression that the sound of their own voices is more important to them than getting answers. Short, snappy questions demand concise answers whereas some scripted ramble with three or four different questions hidden in it somewhere just lets people off the hook.

  7. Lanthanide 7

    My personal circumstances I think are somewhat relevant to this point:
    “Is he aware that increasing ratios for years 2 to 3 means that some schools may have to cut Reading Recovery programmes for 6 and 7-year-olds?”

    Turns out when I was in primary school, I was pretty bad at reading/writing but not quite bad enough to meet the official criteria for reading recovery. My teachers felt that really I would benefit from it, so they essentially put me through it anyway. I got a 7.4 GPA at university, I’m 28 and have paid off my student loan and am earning in the top tax bracket.

    How much of that would have happened if I hadn’t had the teachers with the flexibility to put me in that programme?

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  • Bernard's mid-winter pick 'n' mix for Monday, June 17
    TL;DR: Chris Bishop talks up the use of value capture, congestion charging, PPPs, water meters, tolling and rebating GST on building materials to councils to ramp up infrastructure investment in the absence of the Government simply borrowing more to provide the capital.Meanwhile, Christopher Luxon wants to double the number of ...
    The KakaBy Bernard Hickey
    5 days ago
  • You do have the power to change things
    When I was invited to come aboard and help with Greater Auckland a few months ago (thanks to Patrick!), it was suggested it might be a good idea to write some sort of autobiographical post by way of an introduction. This post isn’t quite that – although I’m sure I’lll ...
    Greater AucklandBy Connor Sharp
    5 days ago
  • Turning Away – Who Cares If We Don't?
    On the turning awayFrom the pale and downtroddenAnd the words they say which we won't understandDon't accept that, what's happeningIs just a case of other's sufferingOr you'll find that you're joining inThe turning awayToday’s guest kōrero is from Author Catherine Lea. So without further ado, over to Catherine…I’m so honoured ...
    Nick’s KōreroBy Nick Rockel
    5 days ago
  • Dissecting Tickled
    Hi,Tickled was one of the craziest things that ever happened to me (and I feel like a lot of crazy things have happened to me).So ahead of the Webworm popup and Tickled screening in New Zealand on July 13, I thought I’d write about how we made that film and ...
    David FarrierBy David Farrier
    5 days ago
  • New Zealand Webworm Popup + Tickled!
    Hi,I’m doing a Webworm merch popup followed by a Tickled screening in Auckland, New Zealand on July 13th — and I’d love you to come. I got the urge to do this while writing this Webworm piece breaking down how we made Tickled, and talking to all the people who ...
    David FarrierBy David Farrier
    5 days ago
  • What China wants from NZ business
    One simple statistic said it all: China Premier Li Qiang asked Fonterra CEO Miles Hurrell what percentage of the company’s overall sales were made in China. “Thirty per cent,” said Hurrell. In other words, New Zealand’s largest company is more or less dependent on the Chinese market. But Hurrell is ...
    PolitikBy Richard Harman
    5 days ago
  • Review: The Worm Ouroboros, by E.R. Eddison (1922)
    One occasionally runs into the question of what J.R.R. Tolkien would have thought of George R.R. Martin. For years, I had a go-to online answer: we could use a stand-in. Tolkien’s thoughts on E.R. Eddison – that he appreciated the invented world, but thought the invented names were silly, and ...
    5 days ago
  • 2024 SkS Weekly Climate Change & Global Warming News Roundup #24
    A listing of 35 news and opinion articles we found interesting and shared on social media during the past week: Sun, June 9, 2024 thru Sat, June 15, 2024. Story of the week A glance at this week's inventory of what experts tell us is extreme weather mayhem juiced by ...
    5 days ago
  • Sunday Morning Chat
    After a busy week it’s a good day to relax. Clear blues skies here in Tamaki Makaurau, very peaceful but for my dogs sleeping heavily. In the absence of a full newsletter I thought I’d send out a brief update and share a couple of posts that popped up in ...
    Nick’s KōreroBy Nick Rockel
    6 days ago
  • The Book of Henry
    Now in the land of Angus beef and the mighty ABsWhere the steaks were juicy and the rivers did run foulIt would often be said,This meal is terrible,andNo, for real this is legit the worst thing I've ever eatenBut this was an thing said only to others at the table,not ...
    More Than A FeildingBy David Slack
    6 days ago
  • Fact Brief – Is ocean acidification from human activities enough to impact marine ecosystems?
    Skeptical Science is partnering with Gigafact to produce fact briefs — bite-sized fact checks of trending claims. This fact brief was written by Sue Bin Park in collaboration with members from the Skeptical Science team. You can submit claims you think need checking via the tipline. Is ocean acidification from human ...
    6 days ago
  • Happiness is a Warm Gun
    She's not a girl who misses muchDo do do do do do, oh yeahShe's well-acquainted with the touch of the velvet handLike a lizard on a window paneI wouldn’t associate ACT with warmth, other than a certain fabled, notoriously hot, destination where surely they’re heading and many would like them ...
    Nick’s KōreroBy Nick Rockel
    6 days ago
  • Still doing a good 20
    Hello! Here comes the Saturday edition of More Than A Feilding, catching you up on the past somewhat interrupted week. Still on the move!Share Read more ...
    More Than A FeildingBy David Slack
    7 days ago
  • Coalition of the Unwilling?
    What does Budget 2024 tell us about the current government? Muddle on?Coalition governments are not new. About 50 percent of the time since the first MMP election, there has been a minority government, usually with allied parties holding ministerial portfolios outside cabinets. For 10 percent of the time there was ...
    PunditBy Brian Easton
    1 week ago
  • Of red flags and warning signs in comments on social media
    Somewhat surprisingly for what is regarded as a network of professionals, climate science misinformation is getting shared on LinkedIn, joining other channels where this is happening. Several of our recent posts published on LinkedIn have attracted the ire of various commenters who apparently are in denial about human-caused climate change. Based ...
    1 week ago
  • All good, still
    1. On what subject is Paul Henry even remotely worth giving the time of day?a. The state of our nationb. The state of the ACT partyc. How to freak out potential buyers of your gin palace by baking the remains of your deceased parent into its fittings2. Now that New ...
    More Than A FeildingBy David Slack
    1 week ago
  • The looting is the point
    Last time National was in power, they looted the state, privatising public assets and signing hugely wasteful public-private partnership (PPP) contracts which saw foreign consortiums provide substandard infrastructure while gouging us for profits. You only have to look at the ongoing fiasco of Transmission Gully to see how it was ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • The Illusion of Power: How Local Government Bureaucrats Overawe Democratically-Elected Councillors..
    The Democratic Façade Of Local Government: Our district and city councillors are democratically elected to govern their communities on one very strict condition – that they never, ever, under any circumstances, attempt to do so.A DISINTEGRATION OF LOYALTIES on the Wellington City Council has left Mayor Tory Whanau without a ...
    1 week ago
  • Lowlights & Bright Spots
    I can feel the lowlights coming over meI can feel the lowlights, from the state I’m inI can see the light now even thought it’s dimA little glow on the horizonAnother week of lowlights from our government, with the odd bright spot and a glow on the horizon. The light ...
    Nick’s KōreroBy Nick Rockel
    1 week ago
  • Weekly Roundup 14-June-2024
    Another week, another roundup of things that caught our eye on our favourite topics of transport, housing and how to make cities a little bit greater. This Week in Greater Auckland On Monday, Connor wrote about Kāinga Ora’s role as an urban development agency Tuesday’s guest post by ...
    Greater AucklandBy Greater Auckland
    1 week ago
  • The Hoon around the week to June 14
    Photo: Lynn Grieveson / The KākāTL;DR: The podcast above of the weekly ‘hoon’ webinar for paying subscribers features co-hosts and talking with:The Kākā’s climate correspondent about the National-ACT-NZ First Government’s moves this week to take farming out of the ETS and encourage more mining and oil and ...
    The KakaBy Bernard Hickey
    1 week ago
  • Climate policy axed in broad daylight, while taxpayer liabilities grow in the dark
    In 2019, Shane Jones addressed the “50 Shades of Green” protest at Parliament: Now he is part of a government giving those farmers a pass on becoming part of the ETS, as well as threatening to lock in offshore oil exploration and mining for decades. Photo: Lynn GrievesonTL;DR: Here’s the ...
    The KakaBy Bernard Hickey
    1 week ago
  • Rage Bait!
    Hi,Today’s newsletter is all about how easy it is to get sucked into “rage bait” online, and how easy it is to get played.But first I wanted to share something that elicited the exact opposite of rage in me — something that made me feel incredibly proud, whilst also making ...
    David FarrierBy David Farrier
    1 week ago
  • Bernard's Dawn Chorus and pick 'n' mix for Friday, June 14
    Seymour said lower speed limits “drained the joy from life as people were forced to follow rules they knew made no sense.” File Photo: Lynn Grieveson / The KākāTL;DR: My six things to note in Aotearoa-NZ’s political economy around housing, climate and poverty on Friday, June 14 were:The National/ACT/NZ First ...
    The KakaBy Bernard Hickey
    1 week ago
  • Friendly but frank talks with China Premier
    It sounded like the best word to describe yesterday’s talks between Chinese Premier Li Qiang and his heavyweight delegation of Ministers and officials and Prime Minister Christopher Luxon and New Zealand Ministers and officials was “frank.” But it was the kind of frankness that friends can indulge in. It ...
    PolitikBy Richard Harman
    1 week ago
  • Skeptical Science New Research for Week #24 2024
    Open access notables Wildfire smoke impacts lake ecosystems, Farruggia et al., Global Change Biology: We introduce the concept of the lake smoke-day, or the number of days any given lake is exposed to smoke in any given fire season, and quantify the total lake smoke-day exposure in North America from 2019 ...
    1 week ago
  • Join us for the weekly Hoon on YouTube Live
    Photo by Mathias Elle on UnsplashIt’s that new day of the week (Thursday rather than Friday) when we have our ‘hoon’ webinar with paying subscribers to The Kākā for an hour at 5 pm.Jump on this link on YouTube Livestream for our chat about the week’s news with special guests:5.00 ...
    The KakaBy Bernard Hickey
    1 week ago
  • Geoffrey Miller: China’s message to New Zealand – don’t put it all at risk
    Don’t put it all at risk. That’s likely to be the take-home message for New Zealand Prime Minister Christopher Luxon in his meetings with Li Qiang, the Chinese Premier. Li’s visit to Wellington this week is the highest-ranking visit by a Chinese official since 2017. The trip down under – ...
    Democracy ProjectBy Geoffrey Miller
    1 week ago
  • The Real Thing
    I know the feelingIt is the real thingThe essence of the soulThe perfect momentThat golden momentI know you feel it tooI know the feelingIt is the real thingYou can't refuse the embraceNo?Sometimes we face the things we most dislike. A phobia or fear that must be confronted so it doesn’t ...
    Nick’s KōreroBy Nick Rockel
    1 week ago
  • Gordon Campbell on how moderates empower the political right
    Struth, what a week. Having made sure the rural sector won’t have to pay any time soon for its pollution, PM Christopher Luxon yesterday chose Fieldays 2024 to launch a parliamentary inquiry into rural banking services, to see how the banks have been treating farmers faced with high interest rates. ...
    1 week ago
  • Bernard's Dawn Chorus and pick 'n' mix for Thursday, June 13
    In April, 17,656 people left Aotearoa-NZ to live overseas, averaging 588 a day, with just over half of those likely to have gone to Australia. Photo: Photo: Lynn Grieveson / The KākāTL;DR: My six things to note in Aotearoa-NZ’s political economy around housing, climate and poverty on Thursday, June 13 ...
    The KakaBy Bernard Hickey
    1 week ago
  • Our guide to having your say on the draft RLTP 2024
    Auckland’s draft Regional Land Transport Plan (RLTP) 2024 is open for feedback – and you only have until Monday 17 June to submit. Do it! Join the thousands of Aucklanders who are speaking up for wise strategic investment that will dig us out of traffic and give us easy and ...
    Greater AucklandBy Connor Sharp
    1 week ago
  • The China puzzle
    Chinese Premier Li Qiang arrives in Wellington today for a three-day visit to the country. The visit will take place amid uncertainty about the future of the New Zealand-China relationship. Li hosted a formal welcome and then lunch for then-Prime Minister Chris Hipkins in Beijing a year ago. The pair ...
    PolitikBy Richard Harman
    1 week ago
  • Fossil fuels are shredding our democracy
    This is a re-post of an article from the Climate Brink by Andrew Dessler published on June 3, 2024. I have an oped in the New York Times (gift link) about this. For a long time, a common refrain about the energy transition was that renewable energy needed to become ...
    1 week ago
  • Life at 20 kilometres an hour
    We are still in France, getting from A to B.Possibly for only another week, though; Switzerland and Germany are looming now. On we pedal, towards Budapest, at about 20 km per hour.What are are mostly doing is inhaling a country, loving its ways and its food. Rolling, talking, quietly thinking. ...
    More Than A FeildingBy David Slack
    1 week ago
  • Hipkins is still useless
    The big problem with the last Labour government was that they were chickenshits who did nothing with the absolute majority we had given them. They governed as if they were scared of their own shadows, afraid of making decisions lest it upset someone - usually someone who would never have ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • Exercising with the IDF.
    This morning I did something I seldom do, I looked at the Twitter newsfeed. Normally I take the approach of something that I’m not sure is an American urban legend, or genuinely something kids do over there. The infamous bag of dog poo on the front porch, set it on ...
    Nick’s KōreroBy Nick Rockel
    1 week ago
  • Helm Hammerhand Anime: First Pictures and an Old English ‘Hera’
    We have some news on the upcoming War of the Rohirrim anime. It will apparently be two and a half hours in length, with Peter Jackson as Executive Producer, and Helm’s daughter Hera will be the main character. Also, pictures: The bloke in the middle picture is Freca’s ...
    1 week ago
  • Farmers get free pass on climate AND get subsidies
    The cows will keep burping and farting and climate change will keep accelerating - but farmers can stop worrying about being included in the ETS. Photo: Lynn Grieveson / The KākāTL;DR: My six things to note in Aotearoa-NZ’s political economy around housing, climate and poverty on Wednesday, June 12 were:The ...
    The KakaBy Bernard Hickey
    1 week ago
  • Six ideas to secure Te Huia’s Future
    This is a guest post by our friend Darren Davis. It originally appeared on his excellent blog, Adventures in Transitland, which features “musings about public transport and other cool stuff in Aotearoa/ New Zealand and around the globe.” With Te Huia now having funding secure through to 2026, now is ...
    Greater AucklandBy Darren Davis
    1 week ago
  • The methane waka sinks
    In some ways, there may be less than meets the eye to the Government announcement yesterday that the He Waka Eke Noa proposal for farmers to pay for greenhouse gas emissions has been scrapped. The spectre of farmers still having to pay at some point in the future remains. That, ...
    PolitikBy Richard Harman
    1 week ago
  • At a glance – Does positive feedback necessarily mean runaway warming?
    On February 14, 2023 we announced our Rebuttal Update Project. This included an ask for feedback about the added "At a glance" section in the updated basic rebuttal versions. This weekly blog post series highlights this new section of one of the updated basic rebuttal versions and serves as a ...
    1 week ago
  • Climate Change: Farmers get what they wanted – for now
    Since entering office, National has unravelled practically every climate policy, leaving us with no effective way of reducing emissions or meeting our emissions budgets beyond magical thinking around the ETS. And today they've announced another step: removing agriculture entirely. At present, following the complete failure of he waka eka noa, ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • Presumed Innocent?
    The blue billionaireDistraction no interactionOr movement outside these glazed over eyesThe new great divideFew fight the tide to be glorifiedBut will he be satisfied?Can we accept this without zoom?The elephant in the roomNot much happens in politics on a Monday. Bugger all in fact. Although yesterday Christopher Luxon found he ...
    Nick’s KōreroBy Nick Rockel
    2 weeks ago
  • Gordon Campbell on our doomed love affair with oil and gas
    What if New Zealand threw a fossil fuel party, and nobody came? On the weekend, Resources Minister Shane Jones sent out the invitations and strung up the balloons, but will anyone really want to invest big time in resuming oil and gas exploration in our corner of the planet? Yes, ...
    WerewolfBy lyndon
    2 weeks ago

  • Reserve Bank chair reappointed
    Professor Neil Quigley has been reappointed as Chair of the Reserve Bank of New Zealand Board for a further term of two years, until 30 June 2026.  “Professor Quigley has played a key role in establishing the new Board after the commencement of the new RBNZ Act on 1 July ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 day ago
  • School attendance increases
    School attendance data released today shows an increase in the number of students regularly attending school to 61.7 per cent in term one. This compares to 59.5 per cent in term one last year and 53.6 per cent in term four. “It is encouraging to see more children getting to ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 day ago
  • Record investment in public transport services
    The Government has announced a record 41 per cent increase in indicative funding for public transport services and operations, and confirmed the rollout of the National Ticketing Solution (NTS) that will enable contactless debit and credit card payments starting this year in Auckland, Transport Minister Simeon Brown says.“This Government is ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 day ago
  • GDP data shows need to strengthen and grow the economy
    GDP figures for the March quarter reinforce the importance of restoring fiscal discipline to public spending and driving more economic growth, Finance Minister Nicola Willis says.  Data released today by Stats NZ shows GDP has risen 0.2 per cent for the quarter to March.   “While today’s data is technically in ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 day ago
  • Women continue to make up over 50 per cent on public sector boards
    Women’s representation on public sector boards and committees has reached 50 per cent or above for the fourth consecutive year, with women holding 53.9 per cent of public sector board roles, Acting Minister for Women Louise Upston says. “This is a fantastic achievement, but the work is not done. To ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • Government supporting Māori business success
    The Coalition Government is supporting Māori to boost development and the Māori economy through investment in projects that benefit the regions, Regional Development Minister Shane Jones and Māori Development Minister Tama Potaka say. “As the Regional Development Minister, I am focused on supporting Māori to succeed. The Provincial Growth Fund ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • Better solutions for earthquake-prone buildings
    Building and Construction Minister Chris Penk has announced that the review into better managing the risks of earthquake-prone buildings has commenced. “The terms of reference published today demonstrate the Government’s commitment to ensuring we get the balance right between public safety and costs to building owners,” Mr Penk says.  “The Government ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • Prime Minister wraps up visit to Japan
    Prime Minister Christopher Luxon has just finished a successful three-day visit to Japan, where he strengthened political relationships and boosted business links. Mr Luxon’s visit culminated in a bilateral meeting with Japanese Prime Minister Kishida Fumio followed by a state dinner. “It was important for me to meet Prime Minister Kishida in person ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • Major business deals signed on PM’s Japan trip
    Significant business deals have been closed during the visit of Prime Minister Christopher Luxon to Japan this week, including in the areas of space, renewable energy and investment.  “Commercial deals like this demonstrate that we don’t just export high-quality agricultural products to Japan, but also our world-class technology, expertise, and ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • Strategic Security speech, Tokyo
    Minasan, konnichiwa, kia ora and good afternoon everyone. Thank you for the invitation to speak to you today and thank you to our friends at the Institute for International Socio-Economic Studies and NEC for making this event possible today.  It gives me great pleasure to be here today, speaking with ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • National Infrastructure Pipeline worth over $120 billion
    The National Infrastructure Pipeline, which provides a national view of current or planned infrastructure projects, from roads, to water infrastructure, to schools, and more, has climbed above $120 billion, Infrastructure Minister Chris Bishop says. “Our Government is investing a record amount in modern infrastructure that Kiwis can rely on as ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • Making it easier to build infrastructure
    The Government is modernising the Public Works Act to make it easier to build infrastructure, Minister for Land Information Chris Penk announced today. An independent panel will undertake an eight-week review of the Act and advise on common sense changes to enable large scale public works to be built faster and ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • NZ enhances North Korea sanctions monitoring
    New Zealand will enhance its defence contributions to monitoring violations of sanctions against North Korea, Prime Minister Christopher Luxon announced today.  The enhancement will see the New Zealand Defence Force (NZDF) increase its contributions to North Korea sanctions monitoring, operating out of Japan. “This increase reflects the importance New Zealand ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • Speech to Safeguard National Health and Safety Conference
    Good afternoon everyone. It’s great to be with you all today before we wrap up Day One of the annual Safeguard National Health and Safety Conference. Thank you to the organisers and sponsors of this conference, for the chance to talk to you about the upcoming health and safety consultation. ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • Ōtaki to north of Levin alliance agreements signed
    Transport Minister Simeon Brown has welcomed an important milestone for the Ōtaki to north of Levin Road of National Significance (RoNS), following the NZ Transport Agency (NZTA) signing interim alliance agreements with two design and construction teams who will develop and ultimately build the new expressway.“The Government’s priority for transport ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • Improvements to stopping Digital Child Exploitation
    The Department of Internal Affairs [Department] is making a significant upgrade to their Digital Child Exploitation Filtering System, which blocks access to websites known to host child sexual abuse material, says Minister of Internal Affairs Brooke van Velden.  “The Department will incorporate the up-to-date lists of websites hosting child sexual ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • New vaccine research aims to combat prevalent bovine disease
    A vaccine to prevent an infectious disease that costs New Zealand cattle farmers more than $190 million each year could radically improve the health of our cows and boost on-farm productivity, Associate Agriculture Minister Andrew Hoggard says. The Ministry for Primary Industries is backing a project that aims to develop ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • Making it easier to build granny flats
    The Government has today announced that it is making it easier for people to build granny flats, Acting Prime Minister Winston Peters and RMA Reform Minister Chris Bishop say. “Making it easier to build granny flats will make it more affordable for families to live the way that suits them ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • High Court Judge appointed
    Attorney-General Judith Collins today announced the appointment of Auckland King’s Counsel Gregory Peter Blanchard as a High Court Judge. Justice Blanchard attended the University of Auckland from 1991 to 1995, graduating with an LLB (Honours) and Bachelor of Arts (English). He was a solicitor with the firm that is now Dentons ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Health workforce numbers rise
    Health Minister Dr Shane Reti says new data released today shows encouraging growth in the health workforce, with a continued increase in the numbers of doctors, nurses and midwives joining Health New Zealand. “Frontline healthcare workers are the beating heart of the healthcare system. Increasing and retaining our health workforce ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Government to overhaul firearms laws
    Associate Justice Minister Nicole McKee has today announced a comprehensive programme to reform New Zealand's outdated and complicated firearms laws. “The Arms Act has been in place for over 40 years. It has been amended several times – in a piecemeal, and sometimes rushed way. This has resulted in outdated ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Government delivers landmark specialist schools investment
    The coalition Government is delivering record levels of targeted investment in specialist schools so children with additional needs can thrive. As part of Budget 24, $89 million has been ringfenced to redevelop specialist facilities and increase satellite classrooms for students with high needs. This includes: $63 million in depreciation funding ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Major health and safety consultation begins
    A substantial consultation on work health and safety will begin today with a roadshow across the regions over the coming months, says Workplace Relations and Safety Minister Brooke van Velden.  This the first step to deliver on the commitment to reforming health and safety law and regulations, set out in ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Growing the potential of New Zealand’s forestry sector in partnership
    Forestry Minister Todd McClay, today announced the start of the Government’s plan to restore certainty and confidence in the forestry and wood processing sector. “This government will drive investment to unlock the industry’s economic potential for growth,” Mr McClay says. “Forestry’s success is critical to rebuilding New Zealand’s economy, boosting ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Government cancels forestry ETS annual service charges for 2023-24
    Annual service charges in the forestry Emissions Trading Scheme (ETS) will be cancelled for 2023/24, Forestry Minister Todd McClay says. “The sector has told me the costs imposed on forestry owners by the previous government were excessive and unreasonable and I agree,” Mr McClay says. “They have said that there ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Speech to the LGNZ Infrastructure Symposium
    Introduction Thank you for having me here today and welcome to Wellington, the home of the Hurricanes, the next Super Rugby champions. Infrastructure – the challenge This government has inherited a series of big challenges in infrastructure. I don’t need to tell an audience as smart as this one that ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Government boosts Agriculture and food trade with China
    Trade and Agriculture Minister Todd McClay and Food Safety Minister Andrew Hoggard welcomed outcomes to boost agricultural and food trade between New Zealand and China. A number of documents were signed today at Government House that will improve the business environment between New Zealand and China, and help reduce barriers, including on infant formula ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • NZ and China launch Services Trade Negotiations
    Trade Minister Todd McClay, and China’s Commerce Minister Wang Wentao, today announced the official launch of Negotiations on Services Trade between the two countries.  “The Government is focused on opening doors for services exporters to grow the New Zealand’s economy,” Mr McClay says.  As part of the 2022 New Zealand-China Free Trade Agreement Upgrade ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Prime Minister Luxon meets with Premier Li
    Prime Minister Christopher Luxon met with Chinese Premier Li Qiang at Government House in Wellington today.  “I was pleased to welcome Premier Li to Wellington for his first official visit, which marks 10 years since New Zealand and China established a Comprehensive Strategic Partnership,” Mr Luxon says. “The Premier and ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Government and business tackling gender pay gap
    The coalition Government is taking action to reduce the gender pay gap in New Zealand through the development of a voluntary calculation tool. “Gender pay gaps have impacted women for decades, which is why we need to continue to drive change in New Zealand,” Acting Minister for Women Louise Upston ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Funding Boost for Rural Support Trusts
    The coalition Government is boosting funding for Rural Support Trusts to provide more help to farmers and growers under pressure, Rural Communities Minister Mark Patterson announced today. “A strong and thriving agricultural sector is crucial to the New Zealand economy and one of the ways to support it is to ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Latest data shows size of public service decreasing
    Spending on contractors and consultants continues to fall and the size of the Public Service workforce has started to decrease after years of growth, according to the latest data released today by the Public Service Commission. Workforce data for the quarter from 31 December 23 to 31 March 24 shows ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Speech to the Law Association
    Thank you to the Law Association for inviting me to speak this morning. As a former president under its previous name — the Auckland District Law Society — I take particular satisfaction in seeing this organisation, and its members, in such good heart. As Attorney-General, I am grateful for these ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • 25 years on, NZ reaffirms enduring friendship with Timor Leste
    New Zealand is committed to working closely with Timor-Leste to support its prosperity and resilience, Foreign Minister Winston Peters says.   “This year is the 25th anniversary of New Zealand sending peacekeepers to Timor-Leste, who contributed to the country’s stabilisation and ultimately its independence,” Mr Peters says.    “A quarter ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Inquiry requested into rural banking
    Promoting robust competition in the banking sector is vital to rebuilding the economy, Finance Minister Nicola Willis says.  “New Zealanders deserve a banking sector that is as competitive as possible. Banking services play an important role in our communities and in the economy. Kiwis rely on access to lending when ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Ministry for Regulation targets red tape to keep farmers and growers competitive
    Regulation Minister David Seymour, Environment Minister Penny Simmonds, and Food Safety Minister Andrew Hoggard have today announced a regulatory sector review on the approval process for new agricultural and horticultural products.    “Red tape stops farmers and growers from getting access to products that have been approved by other OECD countries. ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Government to reverse blanket speed limit reductions
    The Coalition Government will reverse Labour’s blanket speed limit reductions by 1 July 2025 through a new Land Transport Rule released for public consultation today, Transport Minister Simeon Brown says.  The draft speed limit rule will deliver on the National-ACT coalition commitment to reverse the previous government’s blanket speed limit ...
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