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Sickening attempts at political-point scoring

Written By: - Date published: 11:15 am, November 29th, 2010 - 61 comments
Categories: Mining, scoundrels - Tags:

It’s dismaying to see a few rightwing commentators using the Pike River disaster to attack restrictions on mining in national parks. The claims are baseless and crassly opportunistic. One expects the like of Matthew Hooton, Whaleoil, and Paul Holmes to try to score political points off tragedy but I thought better of Fran O’Sullivan.

It started with Matthew Hooton claiming that the explosion is all the fault of the restrictions that were placed on the mine. See, the coal is under Paparoa National Park, which is protected by Schedule 4, so Pike River weren’t allowed to dig directly down to it. Instead, they were granted special permission to make some minimal constructions in the Park (one end of the ventilation system, etc) and dig a 2km tunnel underneath it from the edge of the Park to the coal.

Hooton says that they should have been allowed to dig down and, on the basis of no evidence whatsoever, says that had they been allowed to do so there would have been no disaster. ( if you missed this on Radio Live, Hooton will be making exactly the same claims on Nine to Noon this morning and later this week in the NBR – he’s a spin doctor, repeating bullshit ad nauseum is what he does).

Of course, beneficiary bludger and convicted criminal Cameron Slater was only too keen to jump on the bandwagon. Yup, apparently it’s all the fault of the Department of Conservation who followed the law and didn’t let outsiders come and tear up highly valued conservation estate so they could sell coal overseas.

National Party media trainer Paul Holmes, who never has anything intelligent to say, has chipped in by musing that the mine ought to have been open-cast. Let’s see, Holmes is proposing removing 160m thick of rock across an area probably several square kilometres in size to get at a 7m thick seam of coal. Does that sound like a feasible exercise to you? Pike River didn’t want to do that – it’s logistically and economically impossible. You open cast mine deposits on the surface, for deep ones, you dig small holes to the seam, and then dig it up. Holmes is a twit.

Let’s be clear: DoC and the Minister said ‘you can have the coal if you minimise the damage to the environment and here are our restrictions’. It was up to the company to decide whether it could and would mine safely within those limits, and up to the Department of Labour to ensure satefy standards were met. DoC isn’t in the business of deciding what is and isn’t safe mining, it’s in the business of protecting our natural heritage. And, regardless, opencast mining wasn’t an option.

Slightly more concerning than a PR hack whose a laughingstock because he’s always so transparent, Daddy’s boy Slater, and bumbling old Holmes is O’Sullivan. She usually has the inside running on where National/ACT spin is heading. So it worries me when O’Sullivan asks:

“whether “green mining” can be done in an environment underscored by an old faultline.

And whether mine bosses took their eye off the ball as they “cut and tucked” their project to meet demands of the Department of Conservation and local Maori to put environmental preservation centre-stage.”

And then criticises the following sentence from the Pike River annual report:

“So long as mining is done sensitively the country wins both ways. You get the economic value from the mine and you still maintain the conservation values.”

As if economics should always trump to environment.

The clear inference from all this is that some on the Right want to take advantage of the Pike River disaster and the public’s understandable desire for solutions to attack environmental protections around mining, especially in National Parks.

It would be sickening if, having lost the Schedule 4 debate, the Right now tries to use this tragedy as a backdoor into more, unrestricted mining on our conservation estate. But it looks like that’s exactly the game some of them are playing.

61 comments on “Sickening attempts at political-point scoring”

  1. I suspect that as time goes by it will become more and more apparent that this is the result of poor management and slack industry standards.

    This quote was recently in the Herald:

    International mine rescue experts say they are shocked a mining disaster the magnitude of the Pike River tragedy occurred in a modern mine.

    International Mines Rescue Body secretary Alex Gryska said the world would be watching an investigation into the tragedy, which claimed the lives of 29 men.

    Mr Gryska said he would not expect a disaster of that magnitude in New Zealand.

    “Having incidents like this in developing countries is one thing. Having it happen in western countries is uncommon.”

    The link is at http://www.nzherald.co.nz/nz/news/article.cfm?c_id=1&objectid=10690215

    Surgical mining anyone?

  2. grumpy 2

    Apart from laying into the quoted commentators personally, this post does not address the issues they raise. There is widespread concern that environmental concerns imposed conditions on the mining company that may have lead to more risk being assumed. That is a valid concern and will no doubt be directly confronted by the Commission of Inquiry.

    Some of the horror stories – like the stopping of a second ventliation shaft due to the presence of a nearby blue duck and the uphill shaft requiring more reliance on forced ventilation are concerning.

    Your post looks more like a pre-emptive strike on commentators who are raising valid concerns.

    • Bright Red 2.1

      the post does address the myth about “lthe stopping of a second ventliation shaft due to the presence of a nearby blue duck” and the uphill shaft.

      It quite rightly says that DoC’s business conversation. It is up to the business to mine safely wihin the rules or not mine at all.

      • Colonial Viper 2.1.1

        It is up to the business to mine safely wihin the rules or not mine at all.

        And that is what they call a TKO my friend.

      • grumpy 2.1.2

        Bright Red says;

        “the post does address the myth about “lthe stopping of a second ventliation shaft due to the presence of a nearby blue duck” and the uphill shaft.”

        Really? Where? and what is your definition of “addresses”?

        • Bright Red 2.1.2.1

          The bit that starts “let’s be clear”, genius:

          “Let’s be clear: DoC and the Minister said ‘you can have the coal if you minimise the damage to the environment and here are our restrictions’. It was up to the company to decide whether it could and would mine safely within those limits, and up to the Department of Labour to ensure satefy standards were met. DoC isn’t in the business of deciding what is and isn’t safe mining, it’s in the business of protecting our natural heritage. And, regardless, opencast mining wasn’t an option.”

          • grumpy 2.1.2.1.1

            Looks like the “blue duck’ was never there…..

            • Bright Red 2.1.2.1.1.1

              have you got any source to substantiate this ‘single blue duck stopped a ventilation shaft’ story?

              As far as I can tell, the story was made up by Hooton

              • Vicky32

                I must have misheard Nine to Noon – it sounded as if he was attributing the blue duck story to Matt McCarten???? 🙂
                Deb

                • Marty G

                  nah. Hooton was saying it on Friday. Whatever McCarten said was on Saturday. Oh, I’ve got the transcript…

                  • Marty G

                    here’s what McCarten said on Q+A:

                    “MATT The point you made about going up, common sense would suggest that’s a problem, right? And there was a discussion about they’ve only got one ventilation—There was a discussion about, when they built it, having more than one, and I think you made the point about conservation needs versus safety, and then they found an endangered species of blue duck and decided not to have the extra ventilation. So it just seemed a bit—It’ll come out in the commission, as you say, and we don’t have the serious mining professionals around cos it was going to save money. So out of this inquiry all of the political parties are going to take some heat. It happened under the Shipley Government, that decision; Clarke’s government approved the mine and the way it was set up; and Key’s government is getting the end result of it.”

                    nothing about a single duck.

    • Draco T Bastard 2.2

      like the stopping of a second ventliation shaft due to the presence of a nearby blue duck

      What makes that a horror story?

      and the uphill shaft requiring more reliance on forced ventilation are concerning.

      Forced ventilation would be required no matter which way the shaft went. The only way you could not have it would be open cast and that was/is impractical.

      • grumpy 2.2.1

        And the denial of permission for a second ventilation shaft???

        I agree that open cast is impractical at Pike River but there is widespread anger that the company and it’s workers were forced into having to take more risk in an already risky business in order to provide employment and economic growth in an area already suffering the negative impacts of green politics.

        • Draco T Bastard 2.2.1.1

          To maintain the environment and the economy economic growth isn’t always possible and the company didn’t have to build the mine if they didn’t like the conditions. They would have designed around them (which means designed around one vent. shaft) and, supposedly, up to safety standards. Having one or two ventilation shafts in that case is irrelevant which makes the argument a distraction and not an argument.

  3. Sanctuary 3

    grumpy – the point is there is no evidence whatsoever for these ignorant outbursts from the likes of Hooten, Holmes and Slater. In fact, the published evidence marks them as simply ignorant at best and at worst, displaying ignorance combined with a miserable, opinionated stupidity. Much as it seems to be a constant source of surprise to them personally, the opinion of a bunch of arrogant white male Tories is not automatically fact, be it a Road of National Significance or a coal mine. That O’Sullivan is repeating it merely makes her look as stupid as the rest of them.

    • grumpy 3.1

      No, the point is that these concerns have been expressed by locals for a long time. They will be directly addressed by the Royal Commission and previous decisions either by the company, DoC or the Government will be ruthlessly exposed. It appears that the Left has a problem with that.

      The “locking up” of the Coast is one of the reasons for Labours electoral defeat and why the EPMU has been very conservative in their comments.

      • Pascal's bookie 3.1.1

        Try and keep up.

        DOC is legally obliged to protect DOC land’s intrinsic value as much as possible. They are not allowed, by law, to take it easy on people who want to do something that would daamge that value. They must be as stringnet as they can, and are under no obligation to say that a m ine can go ahead. The default postion is ‘protection of the land’, not ‘allowing activity’.

        In fact, sctivity can only be allowed where the land is protected.

        On the other hand, mining companies are allowed to not mine if they think the conditions would be too dangerous.

        The decision to go ahead with the mine can only be the company’s. For people to blame DOC, or greenies or whoever else, is to say that the company lacked the option of saying ‘no’.

      • handle 3.1.2

        “The “locking up” of the Coast is one of the reasons for Labours electoral defeat”

        I must have imagined all those people marching and campaigning this year against mining of Conservation land and then this government backing down on it.

    • KJT 3.2

      Hey, less of the prejudice against white males.

  4. Jeremy Harris 4

    I thought the environmental “smoking gun” as it were, was that DOC denied a permit for a second ventilation shaft on conservation grounds..?

    Open cast mining at that depth is the same as digging out a 20 story building – that doesn’t seem to make sense to me…

  5. ianmac 5

    John Keys words were to the effect that the Inquiry would have the “future of coal mining hanging in the balance.” Hope not. Maybe he just means that the Inquiry outcome will be important but……

    • grumpy 5.1

      Looks like the Inquiry may well be the catalyst for an easing of conservation restrictions to allow safer mining practices on DOC land. That result would be welcome on the Coast. Of course, Chris Carter will face some quite interesting grilling over his role.

      • Draco T Bastard 5.1.1

        Looks like the Inquiry may well be the catalyst for an easing of conservation restrictions to allow safer mining practices on DOC land.

        When, of course, there is no need to which just means that the RWNJs have found another excuse to destroy the environment that we depend upon to live for their own personal gain.

        • grumpy 5.1.1.1

          Given that everything we need to exist is either grown or dug up from the ground and that on the Coast virtually all private land is taken up with high value farming and everything else has been tied up in the DoC estate, – what is left to sustain the people who live there?

          Green restrictions on any activity that would create employment led to the backlash against Labour, for all the cvlaims that the Coast was the cradle of Labour, the local population has been betrayed by a party taken over by city dwelling sophisticates with quaint ideas such as snails, ducks and trees trump humans.

          • handle 5.1.1.1.1

            “what is left to sustain the people who live there?”

            Let me see, how about tourism and conservation jobs around the Coast’s native assets? Community and health services. High value arts, online services and other future-oriented work.

            Or they could always move somewhere else like people have done for centuries when economies change and old industries are no longer viable.

            • grumpy 5.1.1.1.1.1

              Easy for latte swilling city dwellers to say, but when the crunch comes, there just ain’t that much of that type of work. Do you want the Coast kept “pristine” for the odd city dweller to drive through once in their life, or the cut price Asian tour on Asian owned busses, staying in Asian owned hotels to sleep through.

              “Or they could always move somewhere else like people have done for centuries when economies change and old industries are no longer viable.”

              Is that the modern equivalent for “let them eat cake”?

              • handle

                It’s the modern equivalent of saying there’s no ‘right’ to mining jobs, mate. And the other type of job doesn’t happen on its own with a do-nothing government. Might want to think about that come election time next year.

              • pollywog

                …how about getting ’em all out building that cycleway through DOC lands and down the coast for starters ?

            • KJT 5.1.1.1.1.2

              Maybe we should pay them to keep the coast pristine. Like the Swiss pay their farmers to keep the countryside looking nice.

              Much as I disagree with the ETS as a money go around, it could help pay for keeping West coast forests.

          • Draco T Bastard 5.1.1.1.2

            Given that everything we need to exist is either grown or dug up from the ground…

            Yes, but that doesn’t mean that we should take it all immediately does it? In fact, we should be taking as much as we need and no more and needs to be within the renewable resource base. Anything more is unsustainable.

            BTW, digging up the coal and selling it to China isn’t our best option – keeping it in the ground and using it minimally is.

            what is left to sustain the people who live there?

            And how are they going to be sustained when there’s no environment?

            • grumpy 5.1.1.1.2.1

              You had me with you in your first part but then lost me with ” keeping it in the ground and using it minimally is.”

              Given that the use for this coal is specialised to smelting steel, does this mean you would support more of this type of industry for NZ?

              • Draco T Bastard

                I would support such industry up to the necessary amount to cover our needs. I’ve also said before that we should be exporting completed products and not raw materials and the coke is obviously a raw material.

              • KJT

                Yes. We should be keeping it here for our needs for finished products such as wind generators and electric transport.

    • Puddleglum 5.2

      Ianmac, I think you’ll find his words were “future of underground mining hanging in the balance” – or words to that effect.

      That’s what I heard on Morning Report this morning. Just after that clip from Key, Geoff quizzed Tony Kokshoorn (sp?) and asked him if Key’s comments sent a shiver down his spine. His reply? “No, I know where he’s coming from.”

      I’m sure he does, and he (Key) is not ‘coming from’ wanting to eliminate mining.

      The ducks (and I mean the Right wing commentators, not the blue ducks) are getting into a row on this.

      It’s also worth noting that Jon Gadsby (yes ‘the’ Jon Gadsby) was very quick off the ball with a letter to the editor of The Press (on Friday) blaming the Greens (as above) and claiming that making Pike River an open cast mine would be a good memorial to the miners.

      There were a couple of quick responders agreeing with him in Saturday’s paper and an editorial saying how important it was – for a ‘healthy and growing economy’ – to ‘balance’ the economy and environmental concerns. Sounds so reasonable but I wouldn’t trust the scales. (Sorry can’t find links for the Weekend Press on the internet).

  6. Doug 6

    It looks like Grumpy wants us to get into mountain top removal and turn us into the cesspit that is Western Virginia

    • grumpy 6.1

      Doug;
      “It looks like Grumpy wants us to get into mountain top removal and turn us into the cesspit that is Western Virginia”

      No, see 2.2.1

      What I would like to see is the cause of the accident and all factors leading up to it – including whatever role green politics has played.

      You guys seem to be very upset that DoC and the role of the previous Labour Govt might be scruitinised, why?

      • Bright Red 6.1.1

        I’m upset that you seem determined to exploit deaths for cheap political point-scoring with a view to underming the protection of our natural heritage

        • grumpy 6.1.1.1

          No, I am commenting on this post by MartyG which seems to be doing all you claim . Much better for it never to have been written and wait for the inquiry.

          • Bright Red 6.1.1.1.1

            Marty’s pointing out that others are trying to score points off tragedy. there’s nothing in the post that seeks to lay blame with the Right. It’s a few Right nutbars trying to blame the Left for these deaths.

  7. Jenny 7

    Right wing, pro-business, opportunists like Fran O’Sullivan have no shame, their greed for the big returns from coal mining has blinded them, so much, that they stray, even from the bounds of common decency.

    Last Thursday prior to O’Sullivan’s dispicable exploitation of this tragedy to push her pro-mining political agenda. Other opportunists were already laying the groundwork to exploit these mens deaths to greatly expand coal mining.

    As I said then, “Unfortunately, I think we can expect to see a lot more of this sort of thing in the coming weeks and months.”

    Sadly, I did not have to wait long to be proved right.

  8. I think it’s bizarre and lamely comical how the likes of suits such as Matthew Hooton are suddenly experts on mining and qualified to discuss the merits of techniques…and your relationship to manual labour is…what, exactly?

  9. ghostwhowalksnz 9

    In West Virginia they do blow the tops off mountains so they can ‘open cast’ the coal beneath.

    The valleys around are buried by the overburden. I think the economics of it require the coal seam to be much much thicker than 7m.

    And of course they dont do it in national parks.

  10. Micheal James 10

    Who or what is a MartyG? I can put a face to the names of Matthew Hooton, Whaleoil, Paul Holmes & Fran O’Sullivan, they are prepared to stand by their commentary. What about you MartyG?

    [Marty G is Marty G. Do you need a face in order to engage with the debate? See our about page. — r0b]

    • BLiP 10.1

      Michael, remind me – who wrote today’s New Zealand Fox News Herald editorial?

      • Micheal James 10.1.1

        BLiP, I don’t read the herald so don’t know what your question infers, but have a great day anyway.

        Bright Red, you are right, know one cares who I am, I’m just another pea in a sea of vomit. I can make a pretty poor argument at best of times, but at least I have fun trying.

    • Bright Red 10.2

      who’s Micheal James? Wait, who cares?

      It’s the quality of your ideas that matters, not who you are.

    • Micheal James 10.3

      Hi r0b, Thanks, I read the about page & understand the reasons mentioned there, fair enough. I should bear that in mind when viewing editorial on this site & how much credibility to give the thoughts expressed here.
      To my mind yes, when someone makes public comments criticising other well known public figures for me it does add weight to those comments if the person making them isn’t anonymous. Otherwise the term chickenshit comes to mind.
      All the best, Mike.

      [lprent: You obviously don’t know the limits of the law or the difficulties of pursuing a libel action against anyone when they are expressing an opinion about you.

      For instance I can easily say that I think you’re a total fuckwit (a rather meaningless phrase) without any fear of effective legal retribution (apart from nuisance suits) despite my ‘real’ identity being well known. The reason why is that I am not asserting a fact, I am expressing my opinion. If I’d asserted that it was well known that someone did quite specific acts of bestiality and this was not sustainable, then that would be libel.

      I’ve happily expressed my opinion about many public figures, both political and non-political in the past in language that is meant to be deeply damaging to the recipient because I’m pissed off about something. So have many of the authors and commentators here. But it is always clearly our personal opinions and is usually reasonably well substantiated with fact.

      Occasionally we do get people leaving libel comments. The moderators keep track of anything that is over the edge and it gets purged as fast as we see it and the perpetrator is bounced and banned. On a very few occasions we’ve missed a comment, but we will examine them if people request it, and have killed comments that are over the edge. We do not allow this site to be used for clear libel.

      People if they are really concerned do have the option of trying to bring an action against the trust that runs the site. But if we don’t think that the action is justified we will defend against the action as being a nuisance suit. We’ve made the site reasonably difficult to take down using nuisance actions so they are rather pointless. But the point is that we will defend against actions that we think are stupid and unsustainable in a court. This makes us no different to a newspaper with their anonymous editorials.

      As far as I’m concerned, the main reason that we get wafflers like yourself bleating on about the pseudonymous nature of our writers and commentators is because it makes it easier for bullies to try to silence our voices using means that ignore any legal limits of free speech – see the about. Bearing in mind the numbers of threats that we’ve received over the years this is where you should look for the gutless who are incapable of arguing and prefer to bully extra-legally.

      Are you one of them? ]

      • Armchair Critic 10.3.1

        Otherwise the term chickenshit comes to mind.
        Only valid if you assume that people who comment here under pseudonyms do not make their views known using there real name elsewhere. In my case I make my thoughts known using my real name and identity in other forums, usually much more directly than what I express here. I’m sure others here do the same.

      • r0b 10.3.2

        Hi “Michael”. We’re pseudomymous — pen names — like Mark Twain, C S Forester, George Orwell, Joseph Conrad, and many other writers. Or I guess we could go for anonymous, like editorial writers for major newspapers, the listener, and so on.

        I guess the point is that we’re happy to be chickenshit in good company. Especially if the alternative is desperately pursuing some form of sad micro-celebtrity, as some bloggers do.

        Toodle pip, r0b

      • Pascal's bookie 10.3.3

        To my mind yes, when someone makes public comments criticising other well known public figures for me it does add weight to those comments if the person making them isn’t anonymous. Otherwise the term chickenshit comes to mind

        How does that work exactly? Is there a logic there at all? If there is, it is hiding very well.

        If a person is ‘chickenshit’ but makes a very good argument, would you give it less weight than a transparently bullshit argument that has a name attached?

        If you couldn’t decide on an issue based on the quality of argument, would you really just agree with the argument that happened to have a name attached? Why?

        That seems like a singularly stupid thing to do.

        And anonymous /= pseudonymous.

        Pseudonyms maintain an identity. Anonymity strips all identity away. A small point, but an important one.

        All the best with trying to engage, though you might find you will need to do more than just post under a realistic sounding handle in order to get respect.

    • Marty G 10.4

      As Irish would say, I’m Marty, who are you?

  11. Micheal James 11

    AC that’s a very good point. I hadn’t considered it. If MARTY G ‘s identity is commonly known by his/hers peers & by the people criticised then that’s a different story.

  12. vto 12

    The answer to this bullshit issue is really rather quite simple if a few fools think DOC is responsible for the Pike River tragedy to any extent… No more mining whatsoever on DOC land.

    Voila.

    Done and dusted.

  13. millsy 13

    The price of everything and the value of nothing.

    I bet Hooten, O’Sullivan and blubberboy used to enjoy our pristine national park system amd our clean rivers when they were kids – now they want to deprive their kids of them, for the sake of a few bucks.

    I am not anti-mining, not by a long shot, but with advances and technology we can do it without turning the pristine beauty of our National park system in to a steaming pile of toxic sludge, just to make money.

    I would love the likes of grumpy to travel out the back of Te Aroha to that old mine site, which is one of the most toxic places in the country – with a tailings dam, full of toxic crap that is so toxic, there is a layer of sediment on top.

    Come on rightwingers, are you going to put the Southern Alps through the grinder to look for the coal underneath?

    • grumpy 13.1

      Hi millsy,

      I’ll back my experience in the backblocks of the Coast with anyone’s. You cannot compare underground mining for coal with the crapheap that is Te Aroha. How many of the contributors to this discussion have visited the areas affected – have they been into the Paparoas? Large areas of the Coast are riddled with old mine workings, so much so that some areas are actually hazardous to trampers, hunters etc.
      Past mining is an intrinsic part of the West Coast culture (Shanty Town, Denniston, Brunner etc.) to the extent that DoC is restoring old workings as part of it’s “conservation” effort.
      It’s easy for Auckland and Wellington latte drinkers who like to see pretty pictures on their TV sets think that they can somehow impose their views on the people who have lived there for generations and to whom the “pretty pictures” represent their everyday life and their struggle to make a living for them and their families.
      It’s this urban greenie disconnect with reality that so offends Coasters and now there is a suggestion that those foreign values may have contributed to local fatalities, they will demand proper investigation and accountability if it is shown that urban “greenie” values have cost working Coasters their lives.

      • vto 13.1.1

        grumpy, you have a minor point that latte drinkers in the big smokes do not understand such areas as the Coast. However, similarly, Coast dwellers for example often lack an understanding of wider issues at play.

        Nonetheless, here’s a thing… I pissed off a well known west coast gold and coal miner recently when I was playing the devils advocate about his tailings and runoff and etc. I said that unlike farmers and miners I am not allowed to dump the rubbish from my business in the street, so why should they? These two sectors are very very very slow to realise that. These two sectors are too slow to realise a few other things too – probably comes from being sheltered behind their political power for such a number of decades. That shelter is no longer there – just reality. (little bit off subject)

        • grumpy 13.1.1.1

          Not too far off the subject vto. I agree that old style gold mining is no longer acceptable. My father was a Dredge Engineer on a gold dredge and my uncle Dredge Manager at Arahura, I think the Kaniere dredge was the last of that type. The Oceania site at Reefton is a huge contrast to that invasive method.
          Likewise, Pike River, Spring Creek and the smaller mines are nothing like the invasive Stockton project.
          You are correct that some “old style” miners have been slow to grasp the “new” reality but the types of obstruction of safety systems at Pike River that are being uncovered go way beyond ensuring minimum environmental impact.

          • Puddleglum 13.1.1.1.1

            Hi Grumpy. I appreciate the way you’ve engaged on this topic and you clearly know a lot about the realities of mining culture.

            I’d make one point though. Human beings create ‘cultures’ in just about any circumstances: The scavenging lifestyles on the rubbish dumps of major world cities have their own cultures, communities and norms. And if you think about human history, the range of circumstances in which human culture can emerge and maintain itself is a mixture of amazing and saddening.

            What upsets me, however, is how these various cultures will either be crushed or praised by people I call the ‘elite’ (and their ideological bedfellows who, I admit, I call ‘right wingers’) depending on how it fits with their current interests.

            At the moment, in New Zealand, West Coast mining culture is ‘defended’ by the right ‘against’ the ‘greenies’. Yet, in Britain in the 1980s, the right were not talking about the amazing mining culture and communities and how they had a right to go about their lives unmolested by those from the outside. No, those mining communites were systematically dismantled because, this time, they were in the way of ‘capital’ (for want of a better word). Where were all those right wing ‘friends of mining culture and communities’ then? Answer – putting the boot in to those very same mining communities.

            Here in New Zealand in the 1980s and 1990s there was little concern expressed by the economic and political right for the decimation of ‘cultures’ and communities. Instead, Roger Douglas and co. were telling everyone that they had to ‘adjust’, be ‘flexible’ put up with the ‘short term pain’ for ‘long term gain’. And, let’s be honest, if next year demand for coal plummeted and all the coal mines were shut down what would right wingers tell those ‘brave Coasters’ then? Would they ask that coal mining be heavily subsidised to keep Coasters doing the mining culture thing? Or tell them that they need to be ‘flexible’, to ‘diversify’, to ‘adjust’?

            History is full of examples where, when convenient, the elite will praise a culture; when inconvenient, they will crush, even eliminate it. (And I haven’t even mentioned the specifics of colonial expansion and how various cultures were ‘played’ then…)

            It stinks of hypocrisy, because that’s what it is. And that’s what gets me about this argument that right wingers are defending Coast mining culture and communities ‘against’ the greenies.

            • grumpy 13.1.1.1.1.1

              Ever get the feeling that “left” and “right”and “green” etc. are poor labels in defining a political position?

              There are many issues that transcend such easy labels.

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    11 hours ago
  • Atlantic shakeup: US and UK leadership contenders ripping up the usual scripts?
    On both sides of the Atlantic, some purportedly “contentious” and “difficult to deal with” leadership contenders to lead the US and UK, as President and Prime Minister respectively, seem to have thrown a few spanners into the works of the normal messaging most are used to hearing constantly. Except they’re ...
    exhALANtBy exhalantblog
    13 hours ago
  • Winston is the PM’s problem
    In Question Time today the Prime Minister was naturally facing questions about Deputy Prime Minister Winston Peters and his dubious party financing arrangements, which seem to violate electoral finance law. Her response was to pretend that it was nothing to do with her, and that she is not responsible for ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    17 hours ago
  • Australia’s secret prisoner
    A prisoner stripped of their name, imprisoned for a secret crime after a secret trial, with all details legally suppressed for secret reasons. A story by Kafka or Dumas? China? No, its just the latest stage of Australian tyranny:An Australian citizen was prosecuted, convicted, and jailed in the ACT last ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    19 hours ago
  • Bridges should put his money where his mouth is
    Stuff has more details on what New Zealand First's slush-fund has been funding, with much of the spending directly benefiting the party. Which makes it look a lot like hidden donations, rather than the completely-innocent-giant-pile-of-cash Winston is trying to portray it as. The Electoral Commission is now investigating, but Simon ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    20 hours ago
  • The APEC police state enabling bill
    I've joked before about how hosting international summits effectively turns part of your country into a police state for the duration. Well, New Zealand is hosting APEC in 2021, with events throughout the year in Christchurch, Wellington, and Auckland. And the government has put up a bill to give itself ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    20 hours ago
  • Why coastal floods are becoming more frequent as seas rise
    Climate Explained is a collaboration between The Conversation, Stuff and the New Zealand Science Media Centre to answer your questions about climate change. If you have a question you’d like an expert to answer, please send it to climate.change@stuff.co.nz I saw an article claiming that “king tides” will increase in ...
    SciBlogsBy Guest Author
    22 hours ago
  • The cost of a range clearance.
    It has been revealed that firing ranges used by the NZDF while deployed to the Provincial Reconstruction Team (PRT) in Bamyan Province, Afghanistan, contained unexploded ordnance that caused numerous deaths and injuries after the NZDF withdrew the PRT in April 2013. In 2014 seven children were killed when an unidentified ...
    KiwipoliticoBy Pablo
    23 hours ago
  • Still denying responsibility
    Stuff's story on NZDF's negligence around its Afghan firing ranges has produced a result, with a commitment from the Prime Minister for an urgent cleanup. But this doesn't mean NZDF is accepting responsibility for the deaths and injuries that have occured - they're still refusing compensation. Which given that the ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 days ago
  • A corrupt practice
    Last week RNZ broke the news on NZ First's mysterious "foundation" and its dodgy-looking loans. The arrangement seemed to be designed to evade the transparency requirements of the Electoral Act, by laundering donations. But now Stuff has acquired some of their financial records, and it gone from dodgy to outright ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 days ago
  • Democracy “A Bit Bonkers” – Thoughts Inspired By Lizzie Marvelly’s Latest Co...
    Didn't See It Coming: NZ Herald columnist Lizzie Marvelly's latest column merits serious scrutiny because such a clear example of anti-democratic thinking is encountered only rarely on the pages of the daily press. Which is not to say that the elitism which lies at the heart of such social disparagement ...
    2 days ago
  • Colombia: historic memory, massacres and the military
    by Gearóid Ó Loingsigh Initially it was reported that in an aerial bombardment that took place on August 30th seven children were massacred; the figure then went up to eight and then on November 11th Noticias Uno reported that, according to people from the community in close proximity to the ...
    RedlineBy Admin
    2 days ago
  • On the road to Net Zero, the next step is to update our UN pledge
    A lot has happened since the UN’s report on 1.5ºC was released in October 2018. New Zealand’s Zero Carbon Bill has passed, and enshrines the 1.5ºC goal in law. The UK and France have also legally strengthened their targets to Net Zero 2050. The School Strike For Climate and Extinction ...
    SciBlogsBy Robert McLachlan
    2 days ago
  • Corruption as usual
    Next year is an election year, and Labour needs money to fund its campaign. So naturally, they're selling access:Labour is charging wealthy business figures $1500-a-head to lunch with Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern at its annual conference later this month. [...] On the weekend beginning November 29th, around 800 delegates will ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    3 days ago
  • Fairer rentals
    Yesterday the government announced its changes to tenancy laws, including an end to no-cause evictions, limits on rent increases, and anonyminity for tenants who defend their rights against bad landlords (sadly necessary because landlords are scum who maintain blacklists of "uppity" tenants). They're all good moves, and have resulted in ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    3 days ago
  • Another NZDF coverup
    In 2003 New Zealand sent a Provincial Reconstruction Team to Afghanistan to support America's doomed war there. While there, they conducted regular weapons practice on local firing ranges, littering the landscape with unexploded ammunition. These ranges weren't secure - they're on land used by locals for animal herding - so ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    3 days ago
  • A loss for the Greens
    Green MP Gareth Hughes has announced he will retire at the election. Its understandable - he's been there ten years, and wants to actually see his children grow up rather than miss it while drowning in the toxic parliamentary sewer. But his departure is also a huge loss for the ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    3 days ago
  • New era for Ngāti Kuri and Auckland Museum
    Words and images by Jacqui Gibson Gone are Auckland Museum’s days of doing science using a museum-centric academic approach, after Māori land rights holders Ngāti Kuri gave the museum an ultimatum.
    Tom Trnski holding a fossilised whale tooth from the Far North.Aussie-born Head of Natural Sciences at Auckland Museum ...
    SciBlogsBy Guest Author
    3 days ago
  • Circling vultures: Why MediaWorks TV is really in trouble
    MediaWorks announced in October 2019 that it intended to sell off its struggling television business and cancel or cut back on several popular local programmes, including New Zealand Today, Married at First Sight New Zealand and 7 Days. Its radio and outdoor advertising arms are currently performing well, but MediaWorks’ ...
    Briefing PapersBy Peter Thompson
    3 days ago
  • Scary Opinium Poll
    Westminster voting intention:CON: 44% (+3)LAB: 28% (-1)LDEM: 14% (-1)BREX: 6% (-)via @OpiniumResearch, surveyed this weekChgs. w/ 08 Nov— Britain Elects (@britainelects) 16 November 2019 This, of course, doesn't look good.  Labour have been chucking big, headline grabbing policies left, right and centre ... Well, maybe not right.  Left, left ...
    3 days ago
  • A coward’s ploy.
    Some readers may remember that I mentioned last year that I was applying for NZ citizenship. I filled out the paperwork and had my original citizenship interview in February. Everything went well until they discovered that, because I had spent five months in the US in 2017, I had not ...
    KiwipoliticoBy Pablo
    4 days ago
  • Left censorship and exclusion against gender-critical women: a Marxist critique
    by Deirdre O’Neill It is becoming quite acceptable for certain sections of the left to declare that people like me – women who are ‘gender critical’ – should not be allowed in leftist or anarchist spaces. Leaving aside the arrogance and implicit authoritarianism of this claim, its lack of critical ...
    RedlineBy Admin
    4 days ago
  • “Uncertainty” can be better solved with a better grasp of life’s inherent complexities…
    There is an article in The Conversation, written by Jeremy P. Shapiro (Adjunct Assistant Professor of Psychological Sciences, Case Western Reserve University), about what he sees as the psychologically-based underpinnings of three main matters that seem to vex people all around the planet. The article is titled “The Thinking ...
    exhALANtBy exhalantblog
    5 days ago
  • Citizens vs the Rogue Deep State
    . .   Blogger Martyn Bradbury has won his case against unreasonable search and surveillance against the NZ Police; and subsequent Police attempts to produce evidence in secrecy, in a closed Court. His case highlights a disturbing growing trend in Aotearoa New Zealand for State power to be used against ...
    Frankly SpeakingBy Frank Macskasy
    5 days ago
  • Massey University’s free speech policy double-plus-good
    The Committee of Disobedient Women has intercepted an email from Dr Emma Eejut, Senior Lecturer in Sociology, Massey University to the university’s Vice-Chancellor, Jan Thomas. Dear Jan, Thank you for your courageous move.  I think 10 pages of blether** should tie any of the students game enough to try holding ...
    RedlineBy Admin
    6 days ago
  • Unacceptable
    That's the only response to the findings of the Ombudsman's investigation into LGOIMA practices at the Christchurch City Council:My investigation identified serious concerns about the Council’s leadership and culture, and its commitment to openness and transparency. In particular, Council staff raised concerns with me about various methods employed by some ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    6 days ago
  • There is what corruption looks like
    NZ First seems to be nakedly trying to enrich itself from public office:A powerful New Zealand First figure helped establish a forestry company that then pushed for money from two key funding streams controlled by a New Zealand First Minister. An RNZ investigation has found Brian Henry, lawyer for Winston ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    6 days ago
  • Escape from Manus Island
    Behrouz Boochani is an award winning author and journalist. He is also a refugee, who for the past six years has been detained in Australia's offshore gulag on Manus Island, and in Papua New Guinea. But last night, with the cooperation of the WORD Christchurch festival and Amnesty International, he ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    6 days ago
  • When World’s Collide.
    Different Strokes: If a multicultural immigration policy imposes no obligation on immigrant communities to acknowledge and ultimately embrace their host nation’s most cherished traditions and values, then how is that nation to prevent itself from being reduced to a collection of inward-looking and self-replicating ethnic and cultural enclaves?THE COALITION GOVERNMENT’S ...
    6 days ago
  • Could There Be Method In Massey University’s Madness?
    Protective Zone: Reading the rules and guidelines released by Massey University, it is impossible to avoid the conclusion that its governing body considers the whole concept of free speech a disruptive threat to the orderly imparting of orthodox academic knowledge.IN TRUE ORWELLIAN fashion, Massey University has announced its commitment to ...
    6 days ago
  • Climate Change: We need more trees, not less
    Farmers held a hate-march on Parliament today, complete with MAGA hats, gun-nut signs, and gendered insults. While supposedly about a grab-bag of issues - including, weirdly, mental health - it was clear that the protest was about one thing, and one thing only: climate change. And specifically, forestry "destroying" rural ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    7 days ago
  • The IGIS annual report: Dead letters and secret law
    The Inspector-General of Intelligence and Security released their annual report today, and I've been busy reading through it. In amongst the usual review of what they've been doing all year, there's a few interesting bits. For example, a discussion on "agency retention and disposal of information", which points out that ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    7 days ago
  • A referendum on bigotry
    The End of Life Choice Bill passed its third reading last night, 69 - 51. Thanks to a compromise with NZ First - which looks to have been necessary on the final numbers - the commencement of the bill will be subject to a referendum. Given the ugliness of the ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    7 days ago
  • Political parties and GMOs: we all need to move on
    Recently more than 150 post-graduate students and young scientists presented an open letter to the Green Party via The Spinoff, encouraging them to reconsider their position on genetic modification. Their target is tackling climate change issues.[1] Can any party continue to be dismissive about genetic modification (GM) contributing to ...
    SciBlogsBy Grant Jacobs
    7 days ago
  • Class, Identity Politics and Transgender Ideology
    by Deirdre O’Neill Under Thatcher and then Blair and continuing up until our contemporary moment, the working class has seen its culture slowly and progressively destroyed. The change from an industrial society to a service society produced a marked shift in focus from the working class as the backbone of ...
    RedlineBy Admin
    1 week ago
  • Irony
    Since 2013, the Australian government has detained refugees without trial in Pacific gulags, where they are abused, tortured, and driven to suicide. The policy is not just an abuse of human rights and possible crime against humanity; it has also had a corrosive effect on the states Australia uses as ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • An age of protest.
    It seems fair to say that we currently live in a problematic political moment in world history. Democracies are in decline and dictatorships are on the rise. Primordial, sectarian and post-modern divisions have re-emerged, are on the rise or have been accentuated by political evolutions of the moment such as ...
    KiwipoliticoBy Pablo
    1 week ago
  • Another captured agency
    Last month, Greenpeace head Russel Norman surrendered his speaking slot at an EPA conference to student climate activist Sorcha Carr, who told the EPA exactly what she thought of them. It was a bold move, which confronted both regulators and polluters (or, as the EPA calls them, "stakeholders") with the ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • NZ First’s dodgy loans
    The core principle supposedly underlying New Zealand's electoral finance regime is transparency: parties can accept large donations from rich people wanting to buy policy, but only if they tell the public they've been bought. Most parties abide by this, so we know that TOP was wholly-owned by Gareth Morgan, and ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • Member’s Day: The choice on End of Life Choice
    Today is a Member's Day, probably the second-to-last one of the year, and its a big one, with the Third Reading of David Seymour's End of Life Choice Bill. last Member's Day it was reported back from committee, after MPs voted narrowly to make it subject to a (rules TBA) ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • How growth in population and consumption drives planetary change
    Climate Explained is a collaboration between The Conversation, Stuff and the New Zealand Science Media Centre to answer your questions about climate change. If you have a question you’d like an expert to answer, please send it to climate.change@stuff.co.nz The growth of the human population over the last 70 ...
    SciBlogsBy Guest Author
    1 week ago
  • The disappearing Women …
    by The Council of Disobedient Women In her excellent oral submission to the Abortion reform select committee on 31st October on behalf of Otago University’s Department of Public Health, historian and public health researcher Hera Cook stated: “We would ask that the committee not use the term ‘pregnant persons’ and ...
    RedlineBy Daphna
    1 week ago
  • “A Passage to India”: enduring art in changing times
    by Don Franks In 1957, E M Forster wrote, of his greatest work: “The India described in ‘A Passage to India’ no longer exists either politically or socially. Change had begun even at the time the book was published ( 1924) and during the following quarter of a century it ...
    RedlineBy Daphna
    1 week ago
  • Contemptuous
    The Referendums Framework Bill was due back from select committee today. But there's no report on it. Instead, the bill has been bounced back to the House under Standing order 29593) because the Committee didn't bother to produce one. They probably tried. But given the membership of the committee (which ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • Zero Carbon: It’s not just a good idea, it’s the law
    Two years into New Zealand’s Labour-led government, the long-delayed Zero Carbon Bill became law on 7 November. Passed essentially unanimously, the lengthy public debates and political manoeuvring faded away until the final passage was even anticlimactic: Flipping through the @nzstuff @DomPost I was starting to wonder if I’d dreamt ...
    SciBlogsBy Robert McLachlan
    1 week ago
  • Climate Change: What happens next?
    Now the Zero Carbon Bill is law, what's next? Obviously, the ETS changes currently before select committee are going to be the next battleground. But we're also going to get a good idea of where we're going, and if the progress the Zero Carbon Act promises is good enough, during ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • Climate change will fuel bush fires
    Grant Pearce The effects of the current Australian bushfires in New South Wales and Queensland (and also again in California) are devastating and far-reaching. To date, the fires have resulted in several lives being lost and many homes and properties destroyed. Here in New Zealand, the impacts have been only ...
    SciBlogsBy Guest Author
    1 week ago
  • Participation rates
    A passing comment in a post the other day about the labour force participation rates of older people prompted me to pull down the fuller data and see what we could see about various participation rates over the decades since the HLFS began in 1986.   As it happens, the ...
    SciBlogsBy Michael Reddell
    1 week ago
  • Not So Much “OK Boomer” As “OK Ruling Class”.
    Distract And Divert: The rise of what we have come to call “Identity Politics” represents the ideological manifestation of the ruling class’s objective need to destroy class politics, and of the middle-class’s subjective need to justify their participation in the process.THE RELIEF of the ruling class can only be imagined. ...
    1 week ago
  • Asking for it …
    "I saw a newspaper picture,From the political campaignA woman was kissing a child,Who was obviously in pain.She spills with compassion,As that young child'sFace in her hands she gripsCan you imagine all that greed and avariceComing down on that child's lips?" ...
    1 week ago
  • New Zealand’s Poor Pandemic Preparedness According to the Global Health Security Index
    Dr Matt Boyd, Prof Michael Baker, Prof Nick Wilson The Global Health Security Index which considers pandemic threats has just been published. Unfortunately, NZ scores approximately half marks (54/100), coming in 35th in the world rankings – far behind Australia. This poor result suggests that the NZ Government needs to ...
    SciBlogsBy Public Health Expert
    1 week ago
  • Climate Change: Thank Winston
    The Zero Carbon Act is inadequate, with a weak methane target designed to give farmers a free ride. But it turns out it could have been worse: Climate Change Minister James Shaw was so desperate to get National on board, he wanted to gut that target, and leave it in ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • Illicit markets and Bali Booze
    The Herald reprints an Australian story on a couple of tragic deaths in Bali from drinking cocktails that had methanol in them.  The story argues that methanol is likely the result of home distillation. But what the young tourists were experiencing was far from a hangover. They’d consumed a toxic cocktail ...
    SciBlogsBy Eric Crampton
    1 week ago
  • This is not what armed police are for
    Last month, the police announced a trial of specialist roaming armed units, which would drive round (poor, brown) areas in armoured SUVs, armed to the teeth. When they announced the trial, they told us it was about having armed police "ready to attend major incidents at any time if needed". ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • Spain’s failed electoral gamble
    Spain went to the polls today in the second elections this year, after the Socialists (who had come to power in a confidence vote, then gone to the polls in April) rejected the offer of a coalition with the left-wing PoDemos, and instead decided to gamble n a better outcome ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • The astroturf party
    National has finally rolled out its "BlueGreen" astroturf party, fronted by an array of former nats and people who were dumped by the Greens for not being Green enough. Its initial pitch is described by Stuff as "very business-friendly", and its priorities are what you'd expect: conservation, predator-free funding, a ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • How to cheat at university
    A couple of days ago I attended (and spoke at) the University of Waikato’s “LearnFest” event. There were lots of talks and sessions on very diverse aspects of teaching, mostly at tertiary level. One was by Myra Williamson from Te Piringa Faculty of Law here at Waikato, on Contract Cheating ...
    SciBlogsBy Marcus Wilson
    1 week ago
  • How NZ was put on world maps using a transit of Mercury
    There will be a transit of Mercury – the planet Mercury will pass across the face of the Sun – taking place at sunrise in New Zealand on Tuesday, 12th November. It was by observing such an event 250 years ago that James Cook and his scientist colleagues were able ...
    SciBlogsBy Duncan Steel
    1 week ago
  • Georgina Beyer: We need to be able to talk without being offended
    Since becoming the world’s first openly transexual mayor and member of parliament, Georgina Beyer has been recognised as a trailblazer for trans rights. Daphna Whitmore talks with her about where she sees the current trans movement We start out talking about legislation the government put on hold that would have ...
    RedlineBy Daphna
    2 weeks ago
  • The anti-fluoride brigade won’t be erecting billboards about this study
    If FFNZ really put their faith in “Top Medical Journals” they would now be amending their billboards to recognise new research results. Image from FFNZ but updated to agree with the latest research. ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Chosen To Rule? What Sort Of Christian Is Chris Luxon?
    National Messiah? Chris Luxon identifies himself as an evangelical Christian. If he is genuine in this self-characterisation, then he will take every opportunity his public office provides to proselytise on behalf of his faith. He will also feel obliged to bear witness against beliefs and practices he believes to be ...
    2 weeks ago
  • War of the worms
    I'm going to make a Reckless Prediction™ that the Tories have 'topped out' in the 'poll of polls' / Britain Elects multipoll tracker at about 38%, and in the next week we will start to see Labour creep up on them.In fact, we might just be seeing the start of ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Marvelly shows us how to be a feminist without feminism
    by The Council of Disobedient Women Lizzie Marvelly: “I may have missed this… has @afterellen gone all terf-y? Or am I reading something incorrectly? “ https://twitter.com/LizzieMarvelly/status/1191840059105742849 After Ellen is a lesbian website that is unashamedly pro-lesbian, as you’d expect. So why is Ms Marvelly so bothered about lesbians having their ...
    RedlineBy Daphna
    2 weeks ago
  • Out of the past – Tories to revive racist laws from the 16th century
    Did you know there once was a time when it was illegal to be a gypsy (aka Romani) in Britain?That was between 1530, when the Egyptians Act was passed, and 1856, when it was repealed.Amongst other things, the act forbade the entry of 'Egyptians' into England, ordered those already there ...
    2 weeks ago
  • 1000 of these now
    Some days I sit and think, “what will I write…?” What do you say when you get to 1000 posts? Maybe you just start where you are, diverge to where this all began, then offer a collection of reader’s favourite posts, and a few of your own? (And throw in ...
    SciBlogsBy Grant Jacobs
    2 weeks ago
  • Has Shane Jones Just Saved NZ First?
    Counter-Puncher: The “activists” and “radicals” (his own words) from the Indian community who took such strong exception to Shane Jones’ remarks about Immigration NZ’s treatment of arranged marriages, may end up bitterly regretting their intervention. Jones is not the sort of person who turns the other cheek to his critics.SHANE ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Climate Change: As predicted
    Yesterday, when National voted for the Zero Carbon Bill, I predicted they'd gut it the moment they regained power, just as they had done to the ETS. And indeed, they have explicitly promised to do exactly that within their first hundred days in office. What would their amendments do? Abandon ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • Let this never be forgot
    In the spirit of Remember, remember the fifth of November, let's keep this in mind FOREVER.
    Oh dear. Extraordinary interview on PM with Andrew Bridgen and @EvanHD just now. Bridgen was defending Jacob Rees Mogg’s Grenfell comments. Evan asked him if JRM had meant to say he would have left ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Too Late To Change Capitalism’s Flightpath?
    Collision Course? In conditions of ideological white-out, the international bankers’ “Woop-Woop! Pull Up!” warning may have come too late to save global capitalism.WHAT DOES IT MEAN when international bankers are more willing to embrace radical solutions than our politicians and their electors? At both the International Monetary Fund and the ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Whooping cough vaccine works well despite its imperfections
    Pertussis (whooping cough) is a conundrum. It is a disease that was described hundreds of years ago and the bacteria that causes it (Bordetella pertussis) isolated in 1906. We have had vaccines for about 80 years but this disease is defiant in the face of human immunity. I wanted to ...
    SciBlogsBy Helen Petousis Harris
    2 weeks ago
  • Climate Change: Passed
    The Zero Carbon Bill has just passed its third reading, uanimously. In the end, National supported it - but we all know they'll turn around and gut it the moment they regain power. Meanwhile, I guess ACT's David Seymour didn't even bother to show up. I am on record as ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • Retailing of vaping products – New NZ Research
    Dr Lindsay Robertson, Dr Jerram Bateman, Professor Janet Hoek Members of the public health community hold divergent views on how access to vaping products or electronic nicotine delivery systems (ENDS) products should be arranged. Some believe ENDS should be as widely available as smoked tobacco and argue for liberal ...
    SciBlogsBy Public Health Expert
    2 weeks ago
  • Justice for Bomber
    When the Police were trying to cover up for the National Party over Dirty Politics, they went all-in with their abuses of power. They illegally search Nicky Hager's house, violating his journalistic privilege and invading his privacy. They unlawfully acquired Hager's bank records. They did the same to left-wing blogger ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago

  • Cowboy clampers will be stymied
    Clayton Mitchell, Spokesperson for Consumer Affairs The ‘wheel clamping’ Bill that will cap clamper fees to $100 passed its third reading in Parliament today. New Zealand First welcomes The Land Transport (Wheel Clamping) Amendment Bill to combat predatory wheel clamping behaviour in what is currently a largely unregulated business. Cowboy clampers are: gouging ...
    22 hours ago
  • Mental Health Commission back on track
    Jenny Marcroft, Spokesperson for Health New Zealand First welcomes the passage of the Mental Health and Wellbeing Commission Bill through its first reading in Parliament. “Today’s progress takes serious action on the mental health and addiction crisis the country is facing,” says New Zealand First Health Spokesperson Jenny Marcroft. “The re-establishment ...
    23 hours ago
  • New Zealand’s key assets are not for sale: national interest test delivered
    Mark Patterson, Spokesperson for Primary Industries Today the Government announced the delivery of the promise to protect New Zealand interests by applying a new National Interest Test to the sales of our most sensitive and high risk assets to overseas buyers. This further strengthening of the Overseas Investment Act will ...
    2 days ago
  • National interest test added to protect New Zealanders’ interests
    The Coalition Government is delivering on its promise to protect New Zealanders’ interests by applying a new national interest test to the sales of our most sensitive and high-risk assets to overseas buyers. Under current Overseas Investment Act (OIA) rules, assets such as ports and airports, telecommunications infrastructure, electricity and ...
    2 days ago
  • Electoral law breach allegations
    Rt Winston Peters, Leader of New Zealand First Allegations raised this morning by Stuff Limited / Fairfax concern a party matter but I am confident that New Zealand First has operated within electoral laws, now and for the last 27 years. Declarable donations were declared to the Electoral Commission. Our ...
    2 days ago
  • Wayne Brown hits back at critics: Ports of Auckland has to move
    The chairman of the Upper North Island Supply Chain Strategy (UNISCS) working group, Wayne Brown, has hit back at critics of his group’s recommendations to relocate the Ports of Auckland cargo operations to Whangarei’s deepwater port of Northport. The working group's recommendation to close Auckland waterfront to all but cruise ...
    3 days ago
  • Week That Was: Supporting our schools
    We're setting our young people up for success, investing in education around the country.  ...
    3 days ago
  • Kiwis to have their say on End of Life Choice
    Jenny Marcroft MP, Spokesperson for Health New Zealand First backs the public to decide on the End of Life Choice Bill via a referendum at the 2020 General Election. The Bill, with New Zealand First’s referendum provision incorporated, passed its final reading in Parliament this evening. New Zealand First Spokesperson for ...
    7 days ago
  • Addressing miscarriages of justice
    Darroch Ball, Spokesperson for Justice New Zealand First is proud that a key Coalition Agreement commitment which will provide for a more transparent and effective criminal justice system has been realised. Legislation to establish the Criminal Cases Review Commission, an independent body focused on identifying and responding to possible miscarriages of ...
    1 week ago
  • Week That Was: Historic action on climate change
    "Today we have made a choice that will leave a legacy... I hope that means that future generations will see that we, in New Zealand, were on the right side of history." - Jacinda Ardern, Third Reading of the Zero Carbon Bill ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Tax-free deployments for Kiwi troops
    Darroch Ball, New Zealand First List MP A Member’s bill has been proposed that would provide income tax exemptions for all New Zealand Defence Force (NZDF) personnel while on operational deployment overseas. The Income Tax (Exemption for Salary or Wages of NZDF Members on Active Deployment) Amendment Bill proposed by New Zealand First ...
    2 weeks ago
  • A balanced Zero Carbon Bill passed
    Rt Hon Winston Peters, New Zealand First Leader New Zealand First is proud to have brought common sense to the Climate Change Response (Zero Carbon) Amendment Bill, which passed its final reading in Parliament today. Party Leader Rt Hon Winston Peters says months of hard work went into negotiating a balanced ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Paramedics’ status to be recognised
    Jenny Marcroft MP, Spokesperson for Health New Zealand First has listened to calls to recognise paramedics as registered health professionals under the Health Practitioners’ Competence Assurance Act (the Act). Today, the Coalition Government announced plans for paramedics to be registered as health practitioners under the Act, and the establishment of a ...
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  • Week That Was: 2,000 teachers in two years
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