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Show us ya policy

Written By: - Date published: 3:57 pm, May 26th, 2008 - 31 comments
Categories: election 2008, john key, national - Tags: ,

Steve posted this morning that even Granny Herald’s patience appears to be wearing thin waiting for National and Key to announce some policy detail: “National must get a move on… we need to hear some serious policy soon”. Turns out they’re not alone.

Rod Oram (SST):

…for it to be a genuine debate, National needs to unveil its own big, deep strategy the principles, priorities and practical policies… So far it has done nothing of the kind… But the biggest worry of all is one for voters. Has National actually been doing enough deep thinking about how it will use government power? The signs aren’t promising…

Fran O’Sullivan (NZ Herald):

[Key’s] critique of the Budget lacked a killer punch. He floundered in subsequent interviews and was caught hopping when asked for National’s alternative: his bottom lip curling just a bit too much, and the open shoulder shrug too much in evidence when he seemed to realise his answers lacked conviction.

Tracy Watkins (Dom Post):

…the appearances of Dr Cullen and National’s finance spokesman Bill English on TV One’s Agenda programme the past two Sundays running are an enlightening tale of two finance ministers… One the one hand, we had Mr English treating us to a display more suited to a minister wearied and wrong-footed by too many years in government – if he started the programme determined to give little away, he must have ended it impressed with his own success at giving away less than that.

Sunday Star Times Editorial (offline, 25 May 2008):

Key’s explanations of where the money would come from are thin and sometimes plain silly. Cancelling an embassy in Sweden will make no fiscal difference. Nor would wholesale sackings of bureaucrats: even huge cuts in this area would save at most some hundreds of millions, when Key will need billions… Key promises that he won’t cut social services and it is difficult to know whether to believe this or not. National’s record from the early to the mid-1990s in this area is utterly disgraceful, a record of ludicrous structural revolution and deep cuts.

It’s starting to look rather like the Earl of Auckland might not be as well dressed as some had supposed.

31 comments on “Show us ya policy”

  1. Lampie 1

    Maybe it’s a chessey policy

  2. Ari 2

    You know what they say AYB- better late than never. 🙂

  3. James Kearney 3

    This clarification just in: John Key was not talking about cheese, or even “north of 50 dollars” worth of cheese. He was talking about Australian cheese.

  4. all_your_base 4

    Lampie, like Cullen said, I’m sure it will be a cheesy policy – a policy for the big cheeses that provides little for their workers.

    Ari, maybe you’re right but my guess is that there are political risks in refusing to release policy as calls to do so intensify from both the media and the public.

  5. Ari 5

    Oh, I was referring to the media, not John Key. I think in politics late is actually worse than never, as it gets turned into flip-flopping and looking desperate and poaching other parties’ policies. 🙂

  6. r0b 6

    The Fran link is to the wrong article, correct link should be:
    http://www.nzherald.co.nz/section/story.cfm?c_id=280&objectid=10512183

    [Tane: Thanks r0b, fixed]

  7. illuminatedtiger 7

    And to top it all off this stinging attack from John Campbell:

    “I think you’re as slippery as a snake in wet grass.”

    Not looking good for the precious little rich prick.

  8. ak 8

    Well all the tories’ve come up with so far is parables and a soothing flip-flopping messiah – only fitting that they should now expect us to put all our faith in cheeses.

  9. r0b 9

    only fitting that they should now expect us to put all our faith in cheeses.

    Arrrrrgh! Groaaaan!

  10. stazi 10

    Its a bit of a no-win situation for Key. If Key announced his tax & other major policies before the budget (before he’d seen how much $$ Cullen had commited), he may have had to ‘un-promise’ parts of his plan. He would then get accused by Labour & the media of flip-flopping and going back on his word to voters.

    If Key waits to see how much Cullen decided to spent (thus basing his policy on existing, committed expenditure & knowing how much $$ Cullen has left over) Labour and the media accuse him of dithering and having no policy.

    If Key had released his policy the same day as the budget the media and Labour accuse him of not having had time to crunch the numbers properly in order to come up with well thought out and well-costed policies.

    Anybody see it any differently?

    Its 5 months until the election – what’s the rush?

  11. gobsmacked 11

    Colin Espiner (Press political editor) is frustrated too:

    “At the moment, you can’t ask the party a single thing on the economy. Monetary policy, interest rates, tax rates, expenditure cuts, debt-to-GDP track, big-ticket expenditure items like Working for Families or KiwiSaver, inflation goals, economic growth targets you name it, National doesn’t want to talk about it.”

    http://stuff.co.nz//blogs/politics/2008/05/26/a-fox-in-the-henhouse

  12. Lew 12

    National hasn’t released any policy because they know that while the early bird gets the worm, the second mouse gets the cheese.

    L

  13. ak 13

    …the second mouse gets the cheese.

    Briecisely Lew – plus yet another dead rodent for dessert…looks like it all might be getting a little difficult to digest.

  14. gobsmacked 14

    Breaking News! National release policy!

    http://www.scoop.co.nz/stories/PA0805/S00503.htm

    Did he grow up in a state house?

  15. depressed 15

    With a large chunk of the population unaware there is even an election this year, you do have to wonder if it matters if anyone releases any policy anytime.

    Elections are decided at the last minute, by people who, like John Key, have no firm principles, and flip flop their way through life on the basis of ‘what’s in it for me?’

    Depressing isn’t it?

    Correct me if I’m wrong…..

  16. Dan 16

    The Nats have had a problem for some time. On one hand you have Key with his simplistic populist one-liners which mean little but sound OK. He is keen to be loved and elected whatever. On the other hand you have the drys, led by English, who are fearful of too many rash promises. As long as you can defer any clear policy statements by cashing in on the incumbents’ unpopularity,then you can get by without any policy.
    They have been taken by surprise by Cullen. Now they must make a call: moderate or dry. And what do you cut?
    They also have a problem with Key who may have worked the millions in trading on the money market, but has no clue whatever in keeping a dozen balls in the air the same time.
    The Nats are overdue for an implosion. Shortland St, watch out; the Bill vs John Show is due to start in the not too distant future.

  17. r0b 17

    Correct me if I’m wrong ..

    I’d love to but – it seems like a pretty fair summary.

    I’m all for participatory democracy, people should be involved (join parties, be active). Blogs provide a good new medium for at least some level of involvement. Other than that – what – “civics” in high school? How do we get people more involved in democracy?

  18. Ari 18

    Lew: I’d say National is reaching the risky point. If they don’t come out guns blazing soon, they’ll be seen as hiding their policy rather than just taking their time- and the perception that you’re ashamed or afraid of your principles getting to the public is a big blow in an election year. We’ll need more time to tell whether it’s a good tactic or not- but if they do get away with it, it sets a bad precedent for democracy in New Zealand, I feel.

    Depressed: Yes, there’s room for improvement here, but we’re no America- while there’s people who aren’t engaged, there’s little active disillusionment with the government. Civics courses/classes would be an excellent start, but there’s more to it than that. Politics as always leaves out young people, it’s a slow machine, and politicians play the game more than they actually make policy. If we could address those…

  19. Lew 19

    Ari: “I’d say National is reaching the risky point.”

    Hm, I’d have judged it to be at least a month or three out, and I think Key thinks that too. But I suppose another poll with a result like the last Roy Morgan, perhaps the media will start to bay.

    I’m not sure it’s any worse than the usual tactics of a year. Orewa was certainly a more reprehensible display of cynical nationalist manipulation, and as electoral strategies go, it’s working well. I think NZ’s moral-political history will judge this favourably if they win and unfavourably if they lose.

    If I were appointed Minister of Education I would mandate civics classes in all public high schools.

    L

  20. James Kearney 20

    as electoral strategies go, it’s working well. I think NZ’s moral-political history will judge this favourably if they win and unfavourably if they lose.

    God you sound like an empty vessel Lew! Of course it’s ‘working well’ – that’s obvious to anyone who’s looked at a poll in the last six months.

    But what do you think about National’s tactics, as a citizen and as someone who cares about the health of our democracy?

  21. Lew 21

    James Kearney: I’ve answered this several times before, once this morning. I don’t know. It sounds instinctively bad but I can’t say I wouldn’t support my favoured party if they did it.

    L

  22. James Kearney 22

    Lew- I find it strange that you don’t see anything wrong with a party deliberately withholding policy. We live in a democracy and that relies on people being adequately informed about their choices.

    I remember a day when parties would put out detailed manifestos and would release an alternative budget every year to show how they would govern differently.

    The current National Party doesn’t care for detail, or for policy. Instead they create a man of spin and have focus grouped messages instead of principles and policy positions. Does it not bother you to see our democracy degraded like this?

    I’ve watched you comment for a while and I gotta say it’s one thing to blag on and on about the ‘game’ like you’re the only one who’s figured it out but unless you’ve got something to say about it then why bother?

  23. Jum 23

    Rob
    Absolutely Civics in Primary School, youth elections in High Schools and a youth presence in Parliament.

    It beggars belief that people are saying Helen Clark and Dr Cullen look tired. They are as fresh as daisies.

    English is looking increasingly cross, no doubt pining for the lead position and forced to watch Key’s embarrassing antics.

  24. Lew 24

    James Kearney: If democracy genuinely relies upon people being informed, then in principle National’s should be a deleterious strategy and he problem will solve itself. I agree that participants in a democracy should be informed, but if they choose not to be, how is anyone to force them? The government, by passing the EFA, has decreed that they’ll not tolerate excessive expenditure, and that mitigates strongly against an electoral debate dominated by propaganda and `spin’. This was and is a move I support (although I think it was poorly implemented) because it requires parties to begin from a reasonably even position.

    You seem to remember a golden era when all politicking was done by noble, forthright policy debate. Go back a bit further and you’ll find that a certain candidate in Dunedin poured free Speight’s to voters. Dirty tricks have always been a part of politics, and this tendency to focus on `spin’ over substance is just another aspect of changing electoral norms. I’ve stated I don’t think it’s likely to be a good influence, but I recognise that it is a reality of politics in 2008.

    As far as the remainder of your comment goes (bleating about how you don’t care for my comments), please refer to my previous responses to Robinsod: here and here.

    L

  25. but I recognise that it is a reality of politics in 2008.

    Woo bloody hoo! Here’s a simple truth you tard. Everyone here knows this is the reality. If you pulled your head out of your arse and took the time to read other people’s comments y’d realise that most here are beyond this and looking at ways to change that reality. Your constant bleating about “the game” makes you look like a one-trick pony. Having a “debate” with you is like this:

    Poor fool who has got caught up with Lew: The sky is blue therefore we must do X.

    Lew: No but what you are missing is the fact that the sky is blue.

    PFWHGCUWL: Right, but what I’m saying is because of this we must do X.

    L: I see a lot of this wishful thinking and subjective opinion here but you need to understand that the sky is blue and I know this because I have read a lot of media.

    PFWHGCUWL: ???

    L: If you were as learned as me you would understand the sky is blue because of molecular refraction… [insert highfalutin abstract words here]… therefore the sky is blue. I really think you should recognise this reality.

    [curtains fall as PFWHGCUWL leaves in disgust]

    Y’see Lew you argue the same tired circular shit day in day out and you do so in a manner that is designed to establish yourself as an authority while denying others the space for their arguments. I’ve watched you monopolise threads with this empty rhetoric and as far as I can see you are no better than Travelrev and her 911 conspiracies. In fact you are worse because you adopt a mode that subtextually belittles the contributions of other commenters who often have a lot more to say than you do.

  26. The idea may be to release a blizzard of policy late in the cycle when the media has turned its focus to the “leaders” and has little time for policy. Voters will thus have been kept in the dark and fed either nothing in the way of policy or the ‘proverbial’…..and they will go to the polls in a poll-driven, policy-free vacuum and expected to do the Right thing.

  27. Lew 27

    Sod: For one thing, I don’t give half a bad fuck if you think I’m a one-trick pony – I don’t come here for validation. I’m not a policy geek, I’m a propaganda geek. It’s a technical field and I’m serious about it. Why bother dabbling in policy here when I can leave that to the experts? If you object to academic discussion or feel like you’re being talked down to, I suggest you go to KiwiBlog.

    At this point I can’t be arsed arguing the toss any further. What it boils down to is `Boo! Nyagh! Policy or nothing!’ Until I see a credible alternate rationale for why voters currently prefer a party with no declared policy over a coalition whose very deep, broad-based and forward-thinking policy agenda materially advantages the majority of the electorate, I’ll be sticking to my explanations of how the winners play the media game to their advantage and the losers don’t. The major alternative explanations I see are `the media are against us’, `people think it’s time for a change’ and the hilarious `the electorate is stupid’. If you have another, I’m interested to hear it.

    Sure, policy is great. Alone it’s not necessarily enough to win over an electorate. Despite your claims to the contrary, you don’t demonstrate any realisation of this or its implications. Some people here do, and it’s to those people my comments are directed. Feel free to ignore whatever doesn’t fit your worldview.

    L

  28. Oh yes Lew – and Travellrev comes here to talk about 911. I don’t doubt your commitment to your narrow understanding of propaganda but I do question whether you can offer anything of value by constantly harping on about it in a manner devoid of facts or context. You talk about policy as if it is completely separate from propaganda instead of inextricably linked. In fact the interesting stuff is going on where the distinction between the two is blurred.

    The other thing is you don’t take your interest past the media. In fact you don’t even explore the power relationships between the media and the pollies properly. You may be surprised for example, to know that a lot of the media’s swing toward Key and National came because of a concerted attempt by the tories to engage with the gallery at a personal level (down the pub, invites to dinner events, etc) at exactly the same time as Labour changed out a lot of their PR staff for staff who subsequently didn’t engage but, like you, thought everything could be done with a single clever marketing silver bullet.

    National have made a very good job of a PR push over the last few years using everything from focus groups to associative advertising, the politics of emotive response (I’m working on something about this right now), staying on-message and engaged interpersonal media networking and they have reaped the rewards. What they are finding out now though is that politics is like marketing coca cola only up to a point and past that threshold there is a need for policy. That is not an opinion without fact either Lew, it’s what I’m hearing personally from journalists.

    Of course this is all pretty dull stuff compared to what is actually at stake but please, Lew. The next time you talk about the propaganda get it into your thick head that 9/10ths of message is target and that targets exist in the real world.

  29. Lew 29

    Sod: Now that you’re not just pissing and moaning, you’ve actually got something useful to say!

    “I do question whether you can offer anything of value by constantly harping on about it in a manner devoid of facts or context.”

    You do keep questioning that, but you’ve not made any actual arguments to make me reconsider it. The initial discussion with James Kearney was about whether participants in a democracy should be politically literate. I think they should be, and I think they should also be propaganda-literate. Currently people are much more policy-literate than they are propaganda-literate. That includes posters here.

    “In fact the interesting stuff is going on where the distinction between the two is blurred.”

    I quite agree. Once we see more policy I’ll be thinking about this too.

    “You may be surprised”

    Nope, not surprised at all. They’re smart.

    “like you, thought everything could be done with a single clever marketing silver bullet.”

    I’ve never thought or advocated anything of the sort. What I’m talking about is balance. The policy’s strong enough to win an election on, but the electorate doesn’t realise it.

    “What [National] are finding out now though is that politics is like marketing coca cola only up to a point and past that threshold there is a need for policy.”

    I agree with the italicised assertion above, but I see no proof that National are as yet finding it out. Signs are encouraging, and as I write I hear that MR Key has announced a rural doctor scheme and some stuff on KiwiSaver. Long may it continue.

    “Of course this is all pretty dull stuff compared to what is actually at stake”

    This seems to be our fundamental point of disagreement, but you clearly have a lot invested in it. I don’t see the end as more interesting than the means.

    “The next time you talk about the propaganda get it into your thick head that”

    The irony of someone so prone to calling people stupid complaining that I `subtextually belittle’ others’ comments is great.

    “9/10ths of message is target and that targets exist in the real world.”

    It’s not clear what you mean by `targets’ here; I presume you mean the people at whom propaganda is directed. Yes, but what’s your point? That policy affects people in material, important ways that propaganda doesn’t? Thanks, Captain Obvious.

    L

  30. Lew – I have seen you talk about “tactics” and “strategy” but I have not seen you unpack them as “and this is why I think this works as it did here” statements.

    The interpersonal stuff was an example to elucidate a point – you should try it sometime.

    As I pointed out the proof is that opinion leaders are starting to question the lack of policy. I’ve seen tipping points before and there is usually a month or two as the narratives flow through to the voter although this seems to be speeding up due to media like the standard so there’s plenty of “game” to play yet. I’m picking we are at a node that requires policy in from National in the next month if they want to take back the advantage though.

    As has been pointed out on the standard policy around student loans for doctors is not a policy but a claim from Key that he has considered the bonding model.

    And the Kiwisaver stuff was stated by Wilkinson and then retracted (so no policy there – just an insight into what may be being discussed behind closed doors.)

    It’s not just me that has a lot invested but everyone.

    I openly belittled you. As you should know it that is a lot less powerful in terms of influence than a subtextual message and a lot harder to resile from but I like a nice clear message and I stand by what I say.

    By targets I mean people in the real world and a message has a lot more resonance if it is attached to something that is tangible to the target.

    As for “Captain Obvious”? Well you’re the one constantly arguing that the sky is blue…

  31. Lew 31

    Robinsod: “I’m picking we are at a node that requires policy in from National in the next month if they want to take back the advantage though.”

    Quite right in that the worm usually takes a while to turn. I’m not sure it’s speeding up – I think National have enough of a cushion that they’ll be happy to coast for another couple of months. I guess we’ll see. I don’t really mind being proven wrong, I’m just interested in seeing how it comes about.

    Re doctors and KiwiSaver: I hadn’t read any detail about it at the time, just a couple of headlines. False alarms, then.

    “It’s not just me that has a lot invested but everyone.”

    By this I take it you mean that people stand to gain or lose from the outcome of the game – that it’s not just `the game’. I think your main beef with me is that you think I don’t understand this and am trying to sit on the fence and pretend that all outcomes are as good as each other. I’m not – I’ve never voted for United Future in my life. I’m not interested in cutting either side any slack or behaving like a partisan hack because it’ll benefit `the movement’. Anyone can be a cheerleader, it’s not worth my time. The main argument I’ve been making is that Labour have squandered a policy advantage through poor communication, and that needs to change. Again, it might seem obvious to you, but nobody seems to be acting on it.

    “I openly belittled you. As you should know it that is a lot less powerful in terms of influence than a subtextual message and a lot harder to resile from but I like a nice clear message and I stand by what I say.”

    I’ve not tried to belittle anyone except Brett Dale and Ev, and I don’t get the impression others feel belittled. I’m sure those who do are happy to have you as their knight in shining armour. One thing I’ll say in your favour is that you’re unambiguous.

    “By targets I mean people in the real world and a message has a lot more resonance if it is attached to something that is tangible to the target.”

    This really is the nub of the matter. If you accept that Labour policy actually does advantage a majority of the electorate, whereas National policy doesn’t (and I do, generally speaking), why does the electorate currently favour National? What needs to change in Labour’s communication to better tie the message to the policy? (Leaving aside the minor parties for argument’s sake).

    L

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    Probably yes to both but don’t panic yet. There is a plan. What is this virus? 2019 novel coronavirus, aka 2019-nCoV, belongs to a family of viruses called coronavirus. These are very common viruses that infect a wide range of animals including humans and can cause mild to severe disease, ...
    SciBlogsBy Helen Petousis Harris
    7 days ago
  • The Chinese coronavirus outbreak: what are the options for vaccines and treatments?
    By now you’ve probably heard of the coronavirus outbreak that started in Wuhan City, China. The number of cases is rising, up to about 300 with six deaths. Cases have been reported in several more Chinese cities, including Beijing and Shanghai, as well as in Japan, Thailand, and South Korea. ...
    SciBlogsBy Siouxsie Wiles
    7 days ago
  • Educating New Zealand’s future workforce
    Judy Kavanagh Do you remember your first day at school? The education I received was for a very different world than the world of today. Along with huge social shifts there have been big changes in the New Zealand economy and the work people do. There are occupations unheard of ...
    SciBlogsBy Guest Author
    7 days ago
  • A casual attitude towards transparency
    Back in December, when the government was introducing new secrecy legislation on an almost daily basis, I posted about the Infrastructure Funding and Financing Bill. The Bill establishes a new class of public entity, "special purpose vehicles", which collect and spend public money and enjoy statutory powers. Despite this, they ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    7 days ago
  • Against a carbon bailout
    If we are to avoid making the planet uninhabitable, we need to cut carbon emisisons fast. Which basicly means putting the fossil fuel industry - coal, gas, and oil - out of business. But this means that the banks and other lenders who have bankrolled the industry's environmental destruction will ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    7 days ago
  • Still a criminal industry
    More evidence that the fishing industry suffers from pervasive criminality, with Forest & Bird highlighting some odd numbers in the annual statistics:The Annual Review Report For Highly Migratory Species Fisheries 2018/19 (Pg 4, Table 4) showed only 4% of commercial long lining trips for tuna and swordfish reported non-fish bycatch ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    7 days ago
  • Controversy? Or Manufactroversy?
    A few days ago, New Zealand’s Minister of Education announced the wider release of a resource on climate change, which was initially trialled at a Christchurch school during 2018. According to the Minister, children will learn about “the role science plays in understanding climate change, aids understanding of both the response ...
    SciBlogsBy Alison Campbell
    1 week ago
  • The emerging coronavirus outbreak in China
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    SciBlogsBy Siouxsie Wiles
    1 week ago
  • How did climate change get so controversial?
    An excerpt from the book Cranky Uncle vs. Climate Change, released Feb 25. Our human brain is poorly equipped to deal with a threat like climate change. Over millions of years, we’ve evolved to avoid life-threatening dangers like predators jumping out of bushes. We’ve survived by quickly detecting and avoiding immediate, short-term ...
    1 week ago
  • Farmers are ruining Canterbury’s rivers
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    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • Sack Shane Jones
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    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • BIG idea physics
    This morning I’ve been having a quick look through some documentation from The Ministry of Education on proposed changes to NCEA Level 1 Science. For those not familiar with the NZ secondary education system, a typical student would complete NCEA level 1 at the end of year 11.  In this ...
    SciBlogsBy Marcus Wilson
    1 week ago
  • Revolution in New Zealand? Not Even Close!
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    1 week ago
  • 2020 SkS Weekly Climate Change & Global Warming Digest #3
    Story of the Week... Editorial of the Week... Toon of the Week... Quote of the Week... Graphic of the Week... Coming Soon on SkS... Climate Feedback Claim Reviews... SkS Week in Review... Poster of the Week... Story of the Week... 'It's heart-wrenching': 80% of Blue Mountains and 50% of ...
    1 week ago
  • Britain exits the European Union and takes a sharp right turn
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    RedlineBy Daphna
    1 week ago
  • 2020 SkS Weekly Climate Change & Global Warming News Roundup #3
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    1 week ago
  • How climate change influenced Australia’s unprecedented fires
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    2 weeks ago
  • Gender Identity Ideology – A Partial Bibliography of Online Coverage
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    RedlineBy Daphna
    2 weeks ago
  • About those biased Oscar Nominations
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    2 weeks ago
  • How New Zealand media reports chronic pain
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    SciBlogsBy Guest Author
    2 weeks ago
  • Still Waiting For American Democracy.
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    2 weeks ago
  • In Outrage Over Its Bunk Science, Goop Finds Fuel for Growth
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    SciBlogsBy Guest Author
    2 weeks ago
  • Tobacco Excise Taxes and the Smokefree 2025 Goal: Some Ways Forward
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    SciBlogsBy Public Health Expert
    2 weeks ago
  • Skeptical Science New Research for Week #2, 2020
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    2 weeks ago
  • ‘Cranky Uncle’ smart phone game will show you how to disarm climate deniers
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    2 weeks ago
  • Science in the ’20s – part 1
      Outrageous, immoral or downright dangerous. That’s a description of the lifestyle of women “flappers” in the 1920s. Could it apply to science (and scientists) in the 2020s? Actually, you could look back at the past decade and see those, or similar terms, used about some science and scientists. Sometimes ...
    SciBlogsBy Robert Hickson
    2 weeks ago
  • Postscript: Citizenship Granted.
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    KiwipoliticoBy Pablo
    2 weeks ago
  • Hard News: Music: Morales is coming
    It will be no secret to longtime readers that I, Russell Brown, love the disco.   So I'm pretty excited by the fact that one of the greats of the game is returning this summer – and also pleased to say I have tickets to give away.Legendary mixer and DJ ...
    2 weeks ago
  • The WHO Vaccine Safety Summit – from someone who was actually there
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    SciBlogsBy Helen Petousis Harris
    2 weeks ago
  • The timely death of the British Labour Party
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    RedlineBy Daphna
    2 weeks ago
  • Mystery China pneumonia outbreak likely caused by new human coronavirus
    Connor Bamford, Queen’s University Belfast Since December 2019, there has been a cluster of 59 cases of pneumonia in Wuhan, eastern China. The pneumonia is associated with a previously unidentified coronavirus related to the deadly SARS virus. Seven of those cases are thought to be serious, and one person – ...
    SciBlogsBy Guest Author
    2 weeks ago
  • Yes, koalas are cute – but should we bring them to NZ? Errm, no
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    SciBlogsBy Sarah-Jane O'Connor
    2 weeks ago
  • National’s negative campaigning
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    2 weeks ago
  • Ending the government’s charade over water
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    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • Northern Ireland joins the civilised world
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    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • I had an intense conversation at work today.
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    2 weeks ago
  • French transport workers take on Macron over pension reform
    by John Edmundson Starting on December 5th, 2019 workers in the Parisian rail network commenced an open-ended strike in opposition to French President Emmanuel Macron’s proposed changes to their pension scheme. Rail workers in the Metro Underground have, for decades, had retirement conditions that compensate them for the low wages, ...
    RedlineBy Admin
    2 weeks ago
  • What a difference the decimal point makes
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    SciBlogsBy Marcus Wilson
    2 weeks ago
  • Who’s Going To Stop Him?
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    2 weeks ago
  • A worker’s story
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    RedlineBy Daphna
    2 weeks ago
  • 2020 SkS Weekly Climate Change & Global Warming News Roundup #2
    A chronological listing of news articles linked to on the Skeptical Science Facebook Page during the past week, i.e., Sun, Jan 5, 2020 through Sat, Jan 11, 2020 Editor's Pick Debunked Australian Bushfire Conspiracy Theories Were Pushed by Alex Jones, Murdoch Media   As unusually intense and widespread bushfires have ...
    2 weeks ago
  • J.K. Rowling, the Seattle Library, and the Issue That Must Not Be Named
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    RedlineBy Daphna
    3 weeks ago
  • Rules of Empire: Laws simply do not apply and “National Security” excuses all else.
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    exhALANtBy exhalantblog
    3 weeks ago
  • Indian lessons for NZ workers – the January 8 general strike
                    by Phil Duncan On Wednesday (January 8) another massive general strike took place in India.  Some 250 million industrial workers, white-collar workers, agricultural labourers struck against the government’s economic policies and attacks on the Muslim population through new proposed citizenship rules. This ...
    RedlineBy Admin
    3 weeks ago
  • Climate Change: The action that counts
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    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    3 weeks ago
  • Fossil fuel political giving outdistances renewables 13 to one
    This is a re-post from Yale Climate Connections by Karin Kirk Corporations, special interest groups, and individuals inject billions of dollars into the American political system every year. Much of the financial support in politics is concealed from public view, as some rules – and loopholes – allow “dark money” and ...
    3 weeks ago
  • Animal response to a bushfire is astounding. These are the tricks they use to survive
    Dale Nimmo, Charles Sturt University Have you ever wondered how our native wildlife manage to stay alive when an inferno is ripping through their homes, and afterwards when there is little to eat and nowhere to hide? The answer is adaptation and old-fashioned ingenuity. Australia’s bushfire season is far from ...
    SciBlogsBy Guest Author
    3 weeks ago

  • FAQ – Everything you need to know about the Big New Zealand Upgrade
    Today, our Government announced the biggest infrastructure investment in a generation. We’re investing $12 billion to upgrade and build rail, roads, schools and hospitals across the country – modernising our infrastructure, preparing for climate change and helping to future-proof our economy. Find out everything you need to know about the ...
    43 mins ago
  • Week That Was: 2020
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    5 days ago
  • Winston Peters: “Ihumātao deal still a long way off”
    Deputy Prime Minister Winston Peters told Mike Hosking that a settlement deal regarding Ihumātao in Auckland is still a long way off. The Maori King's flag was lowered at the site near Auckland Airport yesterday, sparking suggestions an announcement of a deal could be made by Waitangi Day. Pania Newton, ...
    6 days ago
  • Winston Peters accuses Gerry Brownlee of ‘politicising’ Holocaust memorial
    Foreign Affairs Minister Winston Peters is accusing Gerry Brownlee of "politicising" a Holocaust memorial event after the National MP questioned the lack of Kiwi representation there. The Yad Vashem World Holocaust Remembrance Centre in Jerusalem, Israel, is holding the World Holocaust Forum on January 23 to mark 75 years since ...
    6 days ago
  • Provincial Growth Fund to help Waipukurau Pā sites attract thousands of tourists
    The Ngā Ara Tipuna - Waipukurau Pā Site Interpretation project is receiving $2.798 million from the Provincial Growth Fund. It is is expected to boost the town's employment and tourism, creating sixteen new jobs once completed and attract up to 15,000 visitors a year. Parliamentary Under-Secretary for Regional Economic Development ...
    1 week ago
  • “Common sense will prevail, not extremism” Winston Peters backs Shane Jones’ pro-meat stance
    New Zealand First leader Winston Peters is backing his MPs who have spoken out against a new climate change teaching resource that advises students to eat less meat to save the planet. The new teaching resource, announced by Education Minister Chris Hipkins and Climate Change Minister James Shaw, tells students ...
    1 week ago
  • Violent assault on paramedic highlights need for law change
    Darroch Ball MP, Spokesperson for Justice Today’s horrific violent assault of an on-duty female paramedic which rendered her unconscious is truly unsettling. “Our thoughts are with the paramedic, her loved ones and the St John’s team at Warkworth Station,” says New Zealand First Justice Spokesperson Darroch Ball. “Harsher penalties for perpetrators ...
    1 week ago
  • Acting PM Winston Peters confirms NZDF troops in Iraq not hit by Iranian attacks
    Acting Prime Minister Winston Peters called for calm and diplomacy following Iranian missile strikes on bases housing United States troops in Iraq, but confirmed New Zealand's base in the country was not hit. The New Zealand Defence Force (NZDF) was earlier today investigating claims New Zealand's base in Iraq had ...
    1 week ago
  • Kaikōura $10.88 million boost in tourism & business
    Fletcher Tabuteau MP, Parliamentary Undersecretary for Regional Economic Development The Provincial Growth Fund (PGF) is investing $10.88 million to boost business and tourism opportunities in Kaikōura, Parliamentary Undersecretary for Regional Economic Development, Fletcher Tabuteau announced today. As part of the Kaikōura Marina Development Programme, the following two projects will receive ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Delivering a stable water supply to Wairarapa
    Hon. Ron Mark, New Zealand First List MP based in Wairarapa The Provincial Growth Fund (PGF) is investing $7.11 million to create a sustainable water supply for the Wairarapa. The PGF will provide a $7 million investment to Wairarapa Water Limited to progress the Wairarapa Water Storage Scheme towards procurement, consenting, ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Housing consents hit highest level since 1974
    Housing consents have hit a 45-year high, as Statistics NZ data shows a total of 37,010 residential consents were issued in the year to November --- the first time they have breached the 37,000 mark since the mid-1970s. Statistics NZ said the trend had been rising since late 2011, when ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Darroch Ball MP: “Violence against first responders is a problem on the rise”
    New Zealand First MP Darroch Ball says that a paramedic being kicked unconscious last night in an attempted burglary in Warkworth, north of Auckland, is a symptom of a larger problem. "Incidents like this are becoming more and more frequent...and it’s getting worse," Mr Ball said. The MP is pushing for ...
    2 weeks ago

  • The New Zealand Upgrade Programme
    Rail, roads, schools and hospitals will be built and upgraded across the country under the new $12 billion New Zealand Upgrade Programme announced by Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern. The programme: Includes investments in roads, rail, hospitals and schools to future-proof the economy Will give a $10 billion boost to New ...
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    1 hour ago
  • School infrastructure upgrades ramping up
    The New Zealand Upgrade Programme is already underway, with schools busy getting building work started over the Christmas break. The Coalition Government announced just before the end of last year $400 million in new funding for most state schools to invest locally in building companies and tradies to fix leaking ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 hours ago
  • Flicking the switch on a clean powered public service
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    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 hours ago
  • Government of Infrastructure delivers for New Zealanders
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    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 hours ago
  • Boost for child, maternity and mental health
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    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 hours ago
  • Transport infrastructure upgrades to get NZ moving and prepared for the future
    $6.8 billion for transport infrastructure in out six main growth areas - Auckland, Waikato, Bay of Plenty, Wellington, Canterbury and Queenstown. $1.1 billion for rail. $2.2 billion for new roads in Auckland. The Government’s programme of new investments in roads and rail will help future proof the economy, get our ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 hours ago
  • Growing and modernising the NZ economy
    A new programme to build and upgrade roads, rail, schools and hospitals will prepare the New Zealand economy for the future, Finance Minister Grant Robertson says. “The $12 billion New Zealand Upgrade Programme uses our capacity to boost growth by making targeted investments around the country, supporting businesses and local ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 hours ago
  • Future proofing New Zealand’s rail
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    2 hours ago
  • Delivering infrastructure for a modern NZ
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    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 hours ago
  • $1.55m support for Hawke’s Bay three waters services review
    The Government is pleased to announce a $1.55 million funding contribution to assist Hawke’s Bay investigate voluntary changes to the region’s three waters service delivery arrangements. “Over the last 18 months, the five Hawke’s Bay councils have been collaborating to identify opportunities for greater coordination in three waters service delivery across ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 hours ago
  • Minister welcomes report of nation’s household plastic rubbish, recycling practices
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    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 hours ago
  • Government considers retirement income policy review recommendations
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    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    8 hours ago
  • PM announces election date as September 19
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    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    22 hours ago
  • Provincial Growth Fund supports Waikato youth into constructionProvincial Growth Fund supports Waika...
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    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 day ago
  • Provincial Growth Fund supports Waikato youth into construction
    Two projects focussed on supporting Waikato youth into the construction industry have been given combined funding of just over $1 million from the Te Ara Mahi allocation of the Provincial Growth Fund, Undersecretary for Regional Economic Development, Fletcher Tabuteau announced today.  The two Te Ara Mahi PGF projects announced are: ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 day ago
  • New Zealand to support Pacific Public Sector Hub
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    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 day ago
  • Minister pays tribute to journalist, author and broadcaster, Gordon McLauchlan
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    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • Minister wishes best of luck to those heading back to school
    As Kiwi kids and teachers return to classrooms over the coming weeks, the families of around 428,000 students will feel a bit less of a financial pinch than in previous years, Education Minister Chris Hipkins said today. “The Government’s decision to increase funding for schools that don’t ask parents for ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • Health staff to meet flights from China as precautionary measure
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    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • National Yearling Sales 2020
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    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • Government and construction industry to build big, lift productivity with Transformation Plan
    Delivering the workforce and productivity gains required to build the houses, schools, roads, rail and hospitals New Zealand needs will become easier with the Government-industry Construction Sector Transformation Plan launched today, Minister for Building and Construction Jenny Salesa says. “The action plan launched today delivers on the Government’s Construction Sector ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • Log trains to begin on Wairoa-Napier line
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    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • Minister of Defence concludes successful visit with his US counterpart
    Minister of Defence Ron Mark met with United States Secretary of Defense Mark Esper today. “This was an excellent opportunity to meet with one of our closest security partners,” Ron Mark said. “The main focus of the meeting was to discuss challenges that New Zealand and the United States share ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
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