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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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  • 2020 SkS Weekly Climate Change & Global Warming Digest #14
    Story of the Week... Editorial of the Week... Toon of the Week... Coming Soon on SkS... Climate Feedback Claim Review... SkS Week in Review... Poster of the Week... Story of the Week... North Atlantic's capacity to absorb CO2 overestimated, study suggests Research into ocean’s plankton likely to lead to ...
    4 days ago
  • The Americans are trying to kill us all again
    The Treaty on Open Skies is one of the most effective mechanisms for preventing war curently in force. By letting countries make surveillance flights over each others' territory, it eliminates fears that they are secretly preparing for war. So naturally, the US is planning to withdraw from it: The Trump ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    4 days ago
  • Life in Lock Down: Day 11
    . . April 5: Day eleven of living in lock-down… My one day of rest for the week, and an opportunity to mow my lawns – which I’d been delaying for about three weeks. (On the plus side, the damp micro-climate in my back yard yielded three lovely fresh mushrooms ...
    Frankly SpeakingBy Frank Macskasy
    4 days ago
  • Now we know what the rules are
    As the lockdown has gone on, disquiet about what the rules were and the police's enforcement of them has grown. On Friday, Police admitted that they were abusing routine traffic stops to effectively set up illegal checkpoints, and on Saturday Stuff revealed internal police advice saying that they actually needed ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    4 days ago
  • Anti-fluoridation propaganda now relies on only four studies. 2: Green et al (2019)
    Paul Connett is putting all his eggs in one basket. He says “you only have to read four studies” to find community after fluoridation harmful. Image credit: Fluoride Action Network newsletter. For part 1 of this series see Anti-fluoridation propaganda now relies on only four studies. 1: Bashash et al (2018). Paul Connett, ...
    4 days ago
  • Hard News: Splore Listening Lounge 2020: the road to a “yes” vote
    As far as anyone can say, New Zeaand still has a general election scheduled for September 19 this year. The election will be accompanied by two referenda, one of which will ask voters:Do you support the proposed Cannabis Legalisation and Control Bill?The official campaign period for the cannabis referendum begins ...
    4 days ago
  • Obituary for The New Zealand Listener (1939-2020)
    The vast majority of tributes to the Listener hearken back to its glory days, with little reflection on the magazine as it was at its end.I wrote for it, for half the Listener’s life; I have known personally all the editors except the first (mythical) three. From 1978 to 2014 ...
    PunditBy Brian Easton
    4 days ago
  • Universal income – a challenge to capitalism or a crutch?
    As the world economy slides rapidly towards deep recession there are growing calls for a Universal Benefit coming from some leftists and rightists. Now Finance Minister Grant Robertson is saying it is on the table.  This article by a French party Workers Struggle provides analysis of various forms of universal ...
    RedlineBy Daphna
    4 days ago
  • Anti-fluoridation propaganda now relies on only four studies. 1: Bashash et al (2018)
    This is the advice from the very top of the anti-fluoride movement – Paul Connett, director of the Fluoride Action Network (FAN). Don’t worry about reading  up on all the scientific information “You only have ...
    4 days ago
  • Life in Lock Down: Day 10
    . . April 4: Day 10 of living in lock-down… I wake up to a fine Saturday morning which normally would be like an early Christmas. But it’s Day 10 of Level 4 Lock Down. What  will my fellow New Zealanders be doing on a day like this – staying ...
    Frankly SpeakingBy Frank Macskasy
    5 days ago
  • Redline reaching out to more writers & readers
    Some time during the night we went over the 850,000 views mark. We might have had our millionth view by the end of this year – certainly by early next year. Most of the people involved in Redline spent years and years producing various small left-wing papers and selling them ...
    RedlineBy Daphna
    5 days ago
  • Keir Starmer elected
    Comfortably, in the very first round, with an impressive 56% of the votes.I wonder, did members of the Shadow Cabinet start tweeting their resignations during Starmer's victory speech, or is that only a trick the right pull?It is odd how all the talk of how the next leader "needs to ...
    5 days ago
  • Hard News: Michael Baker and the Big House
    One of the key voices in this extraordinary time in which we live is that of University of Otago epidemiologist Professor Michael Baker. Philip Matthews did an an excellent job this weekend of capturing the way he became the man for this moment in a profile for The Press.But one ...
    5 days ago
  • New Zealand Gives up on Trying to Save Daylight
    New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern addressed the nation today about the decline in daylight New Zealand has been experiencing over the previous few months. She said “As many of you will notice, our attempts to stem the dwindling of the daylight over the last few months have been completely ...
    Can of wormsBy Can of Worms, Opened
    5 days ago
  • A bulletin from Greece
    Redline received this article from the KOE a Marxist party in Greece Our friends in the KOE describe here the mounting crisis in Greece and tensions on the Turkish border. As desperate people flee from their homelands which have been ruined after decades of imperialist wars and interventions the people ...
    RedlineBy Daphna
    5 days ago
  • And God spake all these words, saying
    As the first week of Level Four lockdown unfolded, mounting questions grew as to just what was (and was not) allowed under its “rules”. Partly these were driven by some apparently contradictory messages from different authority figures and explanations carried in the media. Partly they reflected a somewhat sketchy legal basis ...
    PunditBy Andrew Geddis
    5 days ago
  • Life in Lock Down: Day 9
    . . April 3: Day 9 of living in lock-down… Another late-start to my work day. Everything is temporarily upended as clients are shuffled around so we can minimise our “bubble” by reducing the number of people we help. One of my colleagues has been removed from his clients; his ...
    Frankly SpeakingBy Frank Macskasy
    6 days ago
  • Death to our lockdown enemies!
    We must root out the traitors among us! ...
    Imperator FishBy Scott Yorke
    6 days ago
  • Climate Change: The benefits of electrification
    In order to meet our 2050 carbon target and do our bit to avoid making the Earth uninhabitable, New Zealand needs to decarbonise our economy, replacing fossil fuels with electricity in the energy, industrial and transport sectors. The good news is that it will mean cheaper power for all of ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    7 days ago
  • Life in Lock Down: Day 8 (sanitised version)
    For those folk who find my other Lock-Down Diary versions too “negative” or otherwise unpalatable… Here’s a photo of a pretty flower, .   . Better? Tomorrow’s Sanitised Version: a cute animal video. . . . =fs= ...
    Frankly SpeakingBy Frank Macskasy
    7 days ago
  • Life in Lock Down: Day 8
    . . April 2: Day eight of living in lock-down… Today, my work day starts late. Our rosters and clients have been dramatically changed, lessening (theoretically) the number of people in our work “bubble”.  If just one of us catches covid19 the impact could be considerable as Grey Base Hospital ...
    Frankly SpeakingBy Frank Macskasy
    7 days ago
  • A note on apartments and bubbles
    As Aotearoa enters week two of lockdown, it’s clear we’re all still working out what our “bubbles” look like and how to stay in them to stop the spread of Covid-19. New to the government’s Covid-19 website is some good guidance for people living in apartment blocks. Recent decades have ...
    SciBlogsBy Siouxsie Wiles
    7 days ago
  • Getting in futures shape 
    “There are decades where nothing happens; and there are weeks where decades happen.” Lenin Don’t we all know that feeling now.

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

    SciBlogsBy Robert Hickson
    7 days ago
  • Maybe axing Clark would be unfair. But what about any of this is fair?
    Yesterday was the day the consequences of the lockdown suddenly got very real for many. Firms have been closing and laying people off since the outset of the quarantine but this has mostly been happening out of the public eye. The mass closure of a number of iconic New Zealand ...
    PunditBy Liam Hehir
    7 days ago
  • Might a ‘Coasean’ social contract mitigate overall societal harm from COVID-19?
    Brian Williamson1, Prof Nick Wilson2 (1Economic consultant, UK; 2University of Otago Wellington) In this blog, we outline how a win-win social contract could be forged to address the major dimensions of response to the COVID-19 pandemic when using a mitigation strategy: the particular need to protect older people from high ...
    SciBlogsBy Public Health Expert
    7 days ago
  • Returning To “Normalcy”.
    Resuming Normal Service: The Republican Party's nominee for in 1920, Warren Harding, promised the American people: “not heroics, but healing; not nostrums, but normalcy; not revolution, but restoration”. If she wishes to remain our prime minister, then Jacinda Ardern will offer New Zealanders the same.HOW EDUCATED AMERICA snickered when the ...
    7 days ago
  • New Zealand’s Government Must Save New Zealand’s Media.
    No Free Society Without A Free And Functioning News Media: If we are to surrender our civil rights to the broader cause of defeating Covid-19, then foreign corporations must, likewise, surrender their right to inflict immense economic and cultural harm on New Zealanders simply because it improves their bottom line.I’M ...
    7 days ago
  • Corona fevers and the madness of models
    by Daphna Whitmore A third of the world is under lockdown and a clear assessment of this measure to curb the spread of COVID-19 is urgently needed.  With any high-stakes decisions it has to be asked what are we dealing with here? Are the measures warranted? Will they achieve their ...
    RedlineBy Daphna
    1 week ago
  • Lockdown day 8
    I haven’t done a huge amount in the last few days. I’m reading The Poppy War and I’ve sort of poked at a couple of games – I started SOMA but I’m a wimp and I quit while in the first room after the brain scan. I might try it ...
    The little pakehaBy chrismiller
    1 week ago
  • Backstage and Theatre
    The swan politicians may be gliding on the water, occasionally snapping at one another. Meanwhile, as the Covid19 crisis illustrates, the officials are desperately paddling below providing the real locomotion. One of the most fatuous recent grandstanding comments (of about a week ago), adding to the public’s anxieties, was ...
    PunditBy Brian Easton
    1 week ago
  • Legal Beagle: Waiver, the singular Crown and the conduct of Crown legal business
    Much has been written about the importance of discretion in an emergency situation, and the concerns raised by the potential for it to be exercised arbitrarily. Given the quality of the discussion, there seemed little point in adding to it at any length. In particular, I point to the evidence ...
    1 week ago
  • Highlights from Bauer Media’s science-related reporting
    Today has felt surreal. I was all set to touch base online with my science communication students when a colleague shared the news that Bauer Media would be shutting down its publications immediately. The first link I saw implied it was Woman’s Weekly affected, and even that shocked me. But ...
    SciBlogsBy Sarah-Jane O'Connor
    1 week ago
  • Outsiders.
    Bogeymen, Real And Imagined: Is the number of psychopathic and sociopathic individuals in any given society truly as vanishingly small as we like to tell ourselves? Isn’t it more likely that the mass-shooters and serial-killers filling the headlines represent only the tip of a much, much larger iceberg of frightfulness? ...
    1 week ago
  • We have a right to know the rules we are expected to obey
    Outgoing Police Commissioner Mike Bush appeared before the Epidemic Response Committee today, who asked him for the rules police are using to enforce the lockdown. He refused:Police Commissioner Mike Bush has admitted the advice given to Kiwis about what they're able to do during the lockdown hasn't been clear enough. ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • Life in Lock Down: Day 7 (sanitised version)
    For those folk who find my other Lock-Down Diary versions too “negative” or otherwise unpalatable… Here’s a photo of my cat, . . Better? Tomorrow’s Sanitised Version: a pretty flower. . . . =fs= ...
    Frankly SpeakingBy Frank Macskasy
    1 week ago
  • Life in Lock Down: Day 7
    . . April 1: Day seven of living in lock-down… This morning I had a brief chat with one of my neighbours, “D” (social distance between us, a good three or four metres). I learned he had resigned from his previous job and had been hired by another company – ...
    Frankly SpeakingBy Frank Macskasy
    1 week ago
  • RIP The Listener, New Zealand’s pioneering voice
    Funnily enough, my thought as I start this post is whether it will be well written enough. Or should that be well enough written? Because so much of what I know about good writing came from my two stints at The Listener, which this morning was shut down due to ...
    PunditBy Tim Watkin
    1 week ago
  • OK, Britney: stop sniping at National for doing its job
    With normal democratic procedures in abeyance, there were two ways to go. First, it was open for the government to dissolve itself and invite the National Party to join a ministry of national salvation. That would have lessened the democratic deficit of the times by having a team of rivals without ...
    PunditBy Liam Hehir
    1 week ago
  • Helpful tips for parents during lockdown
    Dr Kirsty Ross Children and young people can respond differently in times of distress. This also varies by age and developmental stage, with younger children having more magical and imaginative thinking, and older children having more awareness and knowledge of the issues our communities are facing (which brings up ...
    SciBlogsBy Guest Author
    1 week ago
  • Skeptical Science New Research for Week #13, 2020
    1 week ago
  • Hungary is now a dictatorship
    Hungary has been a virtual dictatorship for a decade now, as Prime Minister Viktor Orbán has gradually eroded its democracy. But now, its official, with the passage of an indefinite emergency law allowing rule by decree:Hungary’s parliament has passed a new set of coronavirus measures that includes jail terms for ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • A new Ministry of Works
    While the economy is on pause under lockdown, the government is beginning to plan how to cope with the post-lockdown, post-tourism, post-export education world we will eventually find ourselves in. They're planning a lot of infrastructure spending as economic stimulus, and have asked for proposals which can start the moment ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • Capture: Well spaced out
    It's my distraction,  setting up tiny scenes to photograph.  I've got stuck on the Babushka dolls for now.  Something about their bubble shape.  Something about their never changing, smiling features, suggesting persistent equanimity.  Can we get through everything that is being thrown at us and keep at least a tiny ...
    1 week ago
  • Life in Lock Down: Day 6
    . . March 31: Day six of living in lock-down… This time I managed to sleep a little longer and the alarm woke me at the pre-set time: 6.55am. Then remembered I was working a later shift and could’ve slept in. Oh well, there are things to do at home. ...
    Frankly SpeakingBy Frank Macskasy
    1 week ago
  • March ’20 – NZ blogs sitemeter ranking
    Image credit: Diamond Harbour School Blogs I notice a few regulars no longer allow public access to the site counters. This may happen accidentally when the blog format is altered. If your blog is unexpectedly missing or ...
    1 week ago
  • Hard News: Poll Pot and the partisans
    Yesterday's Horizon poll showing support for a "Yes" vote in this year's cannabis referendum sliding into the majority for the first time in a year looked like good news for reformers – and it probably is. But the result warrants some scrutiny.The poll is the fifth in a series commissioned ...
    1 week ago
  • Why those bubbles are so important
    For almost a week now, every one of us who isn’t an essential worker has been confined to their bubble. We are allowed to go shopping for groceries, to visit the doctor, and to get a bit of exercise if we stay local. The reason we are doing this is ...
    SciBlogsBy Siouxsie Wiles
    1 week ago
  • A Government System That Works
    The Covid-19 saga will no doubt produce many twists and turns for us before it is finally brought to an end. But one thing it has shown us – and what comfort it should bring us – is that our country’s government is in good hands. I am not thinking ...
    Bryan GouldBy Bryan Gould
    1 week ago
  • Smashing down the barriers: Where are we at with COVID vaccines?
    In the absence of a vaccine or a cure for a deadly disease, staying home in your bubble is what you do, the concept is not new.  To the best of my knowledge last time we did this in NZ was for polio, in the years before a vaccine came ...
    SciBlogsBy Helen Petousis Harris
    1 week ago
  • National Network on Cuba (USA): “Cuban medical solidarity is a pillar of its society and is founde...
    The following statement was released on March 28 by the National Network on Cuba, a coalition of 40 groups, based in the United States. In recent weeks, Cuba has deployed hundreds of medical providers to over a dozen countries in Europe, Asia, as well as to their neighbors in Latin ...
    RedlineBy Admin
    1 week ago

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