Silencing scientists integral to National’s anti-science DNA

Written By: - Date published: 1:34 pm, May 11th, 2016 - 40 comments
Categories: climate change, science - Tags: , , , ,

muzzledA new book, Silencing Science, by one of New Zealand’s leading scientists, Shaun Hendy, detailing how this government muzzles scientists, is just one chromosome of this government’s anti-science DNA.

At the heart of this stance is this government’s refusal, or at best, extreme reluctance, to accept the science of climate change, or that of the pollution of our land and water by over-intense dairy farming, mainly because of vested interests representing farming within the National Party.

In his valedictory speech last year, former Green Party Co-leader, Russel Norman, labelled John Key a climate denier, but actually probably at bottom he accepts scientific truths, it’s just that he is so unprincipled, he is prepared to deny them for money and politics.

The supreme irony is that the National Party claims to represent business and capitalism, but virtually every creditable pundit, including some within National, recognises that the only way New Zealand will maintain a reasonable living standard is by investing in science and innovation, rather than its current reliance on commodities, such as milk powder and logs.

National has stifled business-led innovation via a multitude of methods, but mainly through its tried and true technique to cutting spending which it has honed in education, health and welfare.

National unwisely revealed in 2014 plans to cut the overall research investment in real terms by 10.2 percent over the following three years, and by 21 percent out to 2023/24, according to page 18 of the 2014 Draft National Statement of Science Investment. However, because people have cottoned on to this dire proposed cut, the government has since stopped including science spending forecasts. Another muzzling.

New Zealand already spends under half of the OECD average on Research & Development.

Hendy, director of Te Pūnaha Matatini, a centre of research excellence and Physics Professor of Auckland University, in conjunction with the late Paul Callaghan, of the Callaghan Institute fame, has expressed views in a previous book, Get off the Grass: Kickstarting New Zealand’s Innovation Economy, about the country’s wrong direction for science spending.

The book’s title, in itself a succinct criticism of National’s policies of our reliance on dairying and failure to meaningfully address climate change, argues the income gap between New Zealand and Australia and other economies is caused by a “knowledge gap” marked by our relatively low output of patented intellectual property (IP). That could be put right by more and better directed government spending on R&D.

As well, it argues, this government’s directive to have science more directed towards applied applications – ie business – has been inappropriately biased towards our traditional land-based activities – especially agriculture – instead of focusing on developing IT and other advanced manufacturing and service activities. We should be “exporting knowledge, not nature”.

In his latest book, Silencing Science, he felt the need to go to print because scientists are being cut out of public debate, not necessarily by direct actions, but often indirectly, often with severe consequences.

Hendy, a former president of the Association of Scientists, said, increasingly, scientists have commercial contracts with government that put constraints on what they can say publicly.

He told Kathryn Ryan on Radio New Zealand’s Nine-to-noon that in a crisis it can be a disastrous constraint, as it was in the 2013 Fonterra botulism scare, when the company’s milk products manager, Gary Ramano, got the science “horribly wrong” by saying that botulism could be in the company’s products.

Fonterra, notorious for its controlling and incompetent PR, stopped a scientist from fronting the media and paid severe consequences, which had spinoff effects for New Zealand’s reputation and for other businesses.

Hendy notes that the government has signed many leading scientists to advisory bodies for such as the Cabinet and their contracts constrain what they can say in public. Hendy said some had told them they were muzzled during the botulism crisis.

Prior to this government, we would have had a Ministry of Agriculture and Fisheries scientist fronting the issue.

“It’s gone too far. The spin and message control has got stronger. They are less willing to put scientists out there to talk to the public because of the inability to control the message” Hendy said.

Scientists should be able to work for a government department and talk to the public on the basis of their expertise, he said.

As well, self censorship has become a major factor since so much science funding comes via competitive tendering and is often short-term and therefore insecure.

“I have been asked over and over again whether I am afraid of losing my funding for putting this book out there.”

“You definitely hear from people in the scientific community being told to pull their ears in, particularly ahead of the Budget,” he said. “There is a sense that our science funding, particularly for the government, is linked to our good behaviour as scientists.”

‘We are nervous. We have all heard stories of people losing their funding – so we self censor.”

Hendy has proposed the establishment of a Parliamentary Commissioner for Science to ensure scientific advice gets out to the public.

Scientist, Nick Lambrechtsen, in a letter in today’s Dominion Post, supports the idea of such an independent body to counter “the suppression of scientific information and the spreading of misinformation by corporate lobbyists.”

“It would be nice to see the present government establish such a body to complement the Parliamentary Commissioner for the Environment, but it probably awaits a change of government,” he wrote.

Look for more flannel on science spending and innovation in this month’s Budget, but check out inflation-adjusted spending.

(Simon Louisson formerly worked for The Wall Street Journal, NZPA, Reuters, The Jerusalem Post and was most recently a political and media adviser to the Green Party)

 

40 comments on “Silencing scientists integral to National’s anti-science DNA”

  1. joe90 1

    Eighteen long months…

    Nine years of censorship

    Canadian scientists are now allowed to speak out about their work — and the government policy that had restricted communications.

    […]

    Set to silence

    The crackdown on government scientists in Canada began in 2006, after Stephen Harper of the Conservative Party was elected prime minister. During the nine-year Harper administration, the government placed a priority on boosting the economy, in part by stimulating development and increasing the extraction of resources, such as petroleum from the oil sands in Alberta. To speed projects along, the administration eased environmental regulations. And when journalists sought out government scientists to ask about the impacts of such changes, or anything to do with environmental or climate science, they ran into roadblocks.

    http://www.nature.com/news/nine-years-of-censorship-1.19842

  2. Draco T Bastard 2

    Scientists should be able to work for a government department and talk to the public on the basis of their expertise, he said.

    Not only should they be able to it should be their duty to do so. The government should not have PR departments.

    As well, self censorship has become a major factor since so much science funding comes via competitive tendering and is often short-term and therefore insecure.

    The exact opposite of what’s needed. In fact, Mariana Mazzucato makes the point in The Entrepreneurial State one of the major reasons that the US technology sector took off so well was because of the secure decades long funding that the US Federal government provided to both public and private research. A hell of a lot of tech simply would not exist without that funding and a hell of a lot of tech companies both in and outside the US wouldn’t either (Most US research funding comes with the requirement of the research being public domain afterwards).

    It is essential that scientists be able to speak their minds to the public.

  3. DFool 3

    Its not just that the Government of the day might not like the message that the scientists bring on the big issues of the day for ideological or budgetary reasons, its that any unanticipated and unconstrained engagement with scientists and researchers brings costs upfront (unbudgeted for staff hours dealing with research applications, communications, consultation etc) and can potentially have financial ramifications down the line outside the scope of application/research and not at all the responsibility of the researcher to worry about, but nevertheless present in the minds of management. Alot of it is mid-level butt-and-budget covering.

    I have currently hit a brick wall with an agency I am dealing with, with regards to a permitting issue. Its not that the benefits of the research arent obvious, or that there are any direct costs for the organisation involved, or that they arent interested or individually supported. In fact, its a project that has been indicated in strategic documents for 30 years and which key stakeholders strongly support.

    Its just mostly that they arent budgeted to deal with me in any meaningful manner (meetings, phone calls, site visits, coffee and biscuits do add up) and are already stretched and pulled in so many other areas. They are also worried about my findings introducing additional albeit relatively minor operating costs in the great scheme of things or public pressure to do spend likewise (again, maybe a few tens of thousands of additional costs, in an organisation with a budget of several hundred million).

    • True that? Interesting. I appreciate this insight

      • DFool 3.1.1

        Mid-career PhD student, externally funded, working in a research area I was involved with in a previous job, excellent support from external stakeholders, nationally and potentially internationally significant findings, no problem with existing permits etc and the possibility/ramifications of my findings were indicated in the original research strategy submitted to the permitting authority in 2012. Hit a road block a year ago when I found what I had always indicated I might find. Havent managed to get thigns back on track yet and a bit burned out/bummed out by it all to be honest.

  4. greywarshark 4

    The only things that politicians want you to know, is what they want you to know today.
    And today NASA has found 100 new stars or something. Isn’t that great. NASA is opening a small office handling real estate futures, and options. /sarc

    http://www.radionz.co.nz/news/world/303567/more-than-100-earth-sized-planets-discovered
    It has also detected nine small planets within the so-called habitable zone, where conditions are favourable for liquid water – and potentially life.
    The finds are contained within a catalogue of 1284 new planets detected by Kepler – which more than doubles the previous tally.

    Homer Simpson and his contribution to space science.
    (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8j0WNUayx3U

    Also demonstrating science for us everyday Joes.
    (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=C_-Ih9vVJOs

  5. Yes I read this with interest in the Dom Post the other day. As a budding, wannabe scientist (currently serving my research apprenticeship, which I should really get back to instead of this foray into NZ’s political scene) who hopes to make a career in NZ, these issues are relevant to me and should be to us all. Naively, I’ve always thought that NZ should pursue something like a knowledge economy; our exports should be based on innovation and tech. That’s the stuff we should be selling to the rest of the world. We are too far away to do much else. We should be telling the world how to do everything smarter and better, more efficiently and with clean tech. And leading by example. Collecting on those fat royalties. Or something…

    Well that was my ignorant vision. Anyways, yes, Govt. needs to get with the program and up the R&D. Silencing science actually ends up affecting the bottom line (e.g. Fonterra botulism thing) so why perpetuate such inefficiency?

    • lprent 5.1

      our exports should be based on innovation and tech.

      It is there. Takes quite a while to build up.

      I have been a programmer who specialises in being employed by companies who export more than 90% of their sales. When I started exclusively doing that in 1995, it was a real pain. No capital and really hard to find people with relevant skills and damn hard to access our markets. These days it is just hard to find enough skilled people to cope with the growth of being small niche market players in a global market.

      But as much as I hate to say it, my dreams of doing it rural have evaporated. You need too many support companies, specialised contractors, and an ability to easily shift jobs. In short you need Auckland.

  6. greywarshark 6

    Mike Joy water scientist has received close attention from NZ gummint, mostly trying to shut him up. Ecologists keep presenting unpleasant scenarios and statistics and budgets.

    Controversial dam likely to go ahead (Ruataniwha Dam Hawkes Bay) 27 April 2016
    http://www.radionz.co.nz/news/regional/302482/controversial-dam-likely-to-go-ahead
    The cost of the project recently jumped 50 percent to over $900 million…
    Meanwhile, Greenpeace has urged Hawke’s Bay Regional Council to ditch the dam for the sake of the environment and the economy….

    Irrigation New Zealand chief executive Andrew Curtis said a range of farms – including sheep and beef, cropping and about 20 percent dairy – would be irrigated….
    Investors still need to be secured too, but he understood ACC was in the mix and he was now 95 percent certain the dam would be built.

    Green Party…”But it’s still a very fragile project, because what they’re doing is they’re relying on, not only on the $80 million from ratepayers in the region, but also on investors such as ACC.”
    Massey University water quality scientist Mike Joy was almost lost for words when told enough farmers had signed up.
    “Well I’m just staggered, I can’t believe it. We know that 80 percent of dairy farmers are having to borrow just to stay in business given the price of milk at the moment,

    On Mike Joy
    http://www.listener.co.nz/current-affairs/ecologic/river-stance/

    Water quality around NZ
    Faecal contamination in Christchurch waterways. Duck this one. Dec 2015
    Frightful levels of E coli in Heathcote River April 2016
    http://www.waterquality.org.nz/

    • Ad 6.1

      We’re going to need more water storage on New Zealand’s east coasts, with or without more dairy farming.

  7. There is also the problem, that people as a rule do not want to hear the truth, show them this website, http://guymcpherson.com/ and you get shot down in flames.
    Suggest that not adding to the problem by stopping human reproduction is an absolute no no, can’t mention http://www.vhemt.org no no no.
    Even on this site you are told not to comment if your ‘truth’ doesn’t match the uninformed norm.
    And to try and convince 2.6 million KiwiSavers, that they are just pissing their money away on bullshit dreams, that can only be realized with the even faster destruction of the atmosphere (which I don’t think we can actually do, as it is sooo fucked now) is another social no no.
    So just because a few paid to keep their mouths shut so called scientists don’t have at least the guts Guy McPherson had, then who is to blame??
    What do they want a guaranteed pension plan, on another planet? Because that is about all there is worth protecting, as anything on this planet will be short lived, so maybe the scientists are in cloud cuckoo land as well?
    ‘Thin Ice’ thiniceclimate.org , was an opportunity to come out with a bit of truth, instead of a play for more funding?? To see what? How it is impossible to change anything?
    You only have to look at the CO2 graph on the right of this page, that shit isn’t going away, if there was no ice, humans would have been long gone, and you don’t need a BSC to work it out.
    bla bla bla

    • Colonial Viper 7.1

      The funniest thing is this 0.01% wealthy class who have taken all this trouble to steal and hide all these $$$ in tax havens around the world, impoverishing their own countries peoples and degrading their own countries infrastructure and resiliency in the process.

      And when shit goes down hard, which I am picking will happen in <40 years, all those $$$ will be even more worthless than they are now.

      • Robert Atack 7.1.1

        It is kind of a good thing, that all that ‘spending’ is locked away.
        Like isn’t it better for 1 person to drive a $200,000 car, than it is 20 people driving 20 cars?
        Sorry this is kind of a rightwing view I guess, but the more even the money is distributed the more TV,cars, and alas children there would be.
        It sucks I know.
        Like the BS ideas of everyone living in a warm house, just wait and the whole planet might be at a uniformed 20C ? To heat the living space of every human! wow! nuclear power plants for Africa.
        I’m reasonably confident the environment (well the human friendly one) hasn’t 40 years left (4 maybe), but I think we would agree the exponential growth industry can’t run much longer.

        • Colonial Viper 7.1.1.1

          I think 4 years before it goes seriously upside down is a bit pessimistic…but who knows…I’d be happy to split the difference at 22 years though…2038.

          By then I think it will be apparent to all even the ultra elite that hell is sliding down the pike in a big way.

          Unfortunately at that stage it will be like trying to pull the parachute rip cord 100m above the ground.

      • greywarshark 7.1.2

        Perhaps the play to perform this year is The Admirable Crichton where an aristocratic family become isolated on an island and the butler is the only person with practical survival abilities and the ability to organise and lead the group. Possession of money is of no use, nor societal position, practical qualities and psychological aptitude are the ultimate requirements.

        First performed in 1902 when class was all in Britain. Now it is back again, growing exponentially with the new nouveau riche, it is the theme for the present.

        • Colonial Viper 7.1.2.1

          Oh very nice I knew nothing about this play…thanks for the pointer, GWS.

        • Jilly Bee 7.1.2.2

          Oh yes, I remember that film many a long year ago, but was too young to really get the message – Kenneth More was the butler.

    • weka 7.2

      “There is also the problem, that people as a rule do not want to hear the truth, show them this website, http://guymcpherson.com/ and you get shot down in flames.”

      It probably would have helped a lot if Mcpherson hadn’t misrepresented his opinions as fact.

      • Robert Atack 7.2.1

        Oh, so the graph up on the right is just an opinion?
        The Indians baking, Canadians burning, and the millions facing starvation due to crop failure, oh and the pacific island sinking into the oceans, and the extinction event on the coral reefs, all opinion?
        All good then.
        Must go and register for the greens KiwiSaver scheme.

        • weka 7.2.1.2

          That Mcpherson, or anyone, can tell the truth sometimes doesn’t mean that other times they’re can’t be misleading. I’d have considerably less problem with his work if he was honest about where he is talking opinion. Instead he claims as fact that we are going extinct, and that it’s too late for the world. But he doesn’t actually know that. No-one does.

          And because tonight you seem to be at your very lowest powers of argument, I will point out that what I just said in no way precludes talking about how serious climate change is. All my criticisms about Mcpherson are based on wanting the situation to be taken seriously. You know this about me, so please don’t be disingenous.

          • Robert Atack 7.2.1.2.1

            Sorry Weka, but I think Guy does the math right, when you hear several so called qualified people making statements like we have done XYZ -10,000 times faster than the last big extinction event, and there is 50 million years or so of CH4 locked under the current fast sinking melt level, you have to come up with extinction. There are just too many positive feedbacks kicking in.
            409 ppm CO2 @ the north pole at the moment, 430 ish above parts of China.
            Any thoughts we might have of pulling ourselves away from this cliff edge, are a form of insanity, along the same lines as worshiping the invisable man in the sky.
            It is beyond our abilities to change the situation, supposedly (thanks scientists) the environment has gone up 6C within 10 years in the past, now if we are 10,000 times faster at getting to this point than before, couldn’t there be as drastic if not faster increase in global temperatures ? And didn’t ‘we’ go up .3c last year? March/March.
            Only time will tell I suppose.
            It is just our bad luck to be alive to watch it happening.

            • weka 7.2.1.2.1.1

              It’s pretty easy for me to make the arguments for keeping on trying. Not least, but not only, is that the analysis might be wrong. So it’s not insane to leave room for change, it’s actually the only sane thing to do. Even if the best we can do is prevent some other species from falling off the cliff, that is still a worthy thing to do.

              And thanks for prefacing that with “I think”. That’s all I’m asking. For people to acknowledge that we know things are very bad, but we don’t in fact know what is going to happen.

              • Colonial Viper

                It’s pretty easy for me to make the arguments for keeping on trying. Not least, but not only, is that the analysis might be wrong.

                Well, what about the deniers who say that there is no real problem, and who say that your analysis or Hanson’s analysis might be wrong.

                It’s absolutely the same argument, after all.

                I’ll tell you what I think is the most logical course ahead.

                That we get NZ and NZers ready for a world where 3-4 deg C temp rise with massive variability in the climate is the most likely scenario. And where access to fossil fuels (whether self imposed for climate reasons, or physically imposed by peak oil) is going to plummet around 25 years from now.

                NZ trying to cut a bit of CO2 output here or there will do nothing to change the trajectory the world is on, and will do nothing to get us ready for the nasty future currently coming down the pike.

                • weka

                  I think you’ve misunderstood. My objection isn’t to Mcpherson’s analysis. It’s that he claims it’s the one true way. He believes we are doomed but instead of presenting that as his opinion he says it as if it’s a fact. It’s not. The reason this is an issue is because the way he presents his analysis is likely to engender avoidance in a lot of people at the very time when it is absolutely critical that people engage and act. Why should someone give up their cost western lifestyle if it’s too late?

                  Yes denialists with influence who also present their view as fact are a problem, but I was specifically addressing the issue of McPherson. He holds sway in some critical parts of society that the denialists will no longer be reaching.

                  • Colonial Viper

                    McPherson touting that his own analysis and projections are but the one true way is a problem yes. But in fact its only a true problem if we are blind to that and become a pure McPherson adherent.

                    And even if you did, it doesn’t change the fact that his future scenarios need to be taken into account.

                    Personally I feel that there is a 5% or greater chance that he will be right. And if correct, that in itself demands a certain kind of attention and action.

                    • weka

                      “But in fact its only a true problem if we are blind to that and become a pure McPherson adherent.”

                      That is indeed part of the problem. I think it’s also a problem that he is engendering alarm and fear along with the message that it is too late. Most people (not the hardcore Mcpherson followers) are not going to respond to that by going yes we need to dig in and make radical change now. There is a whole bigger conversation around that that would be good to have some time. My main concern is the people who are aware of CC, just starting to get how serious it really is and who are looking for a path of action. The path Mcpherson prosposes is IMO not only wrong but deadly.

                      Personally I feel that there is a 5% or greater chance that he will be right. And if correct, that in itself demands a certain kind of attention and action.

                      And that’s certainly a framing I can get behind. We’re in serious danger of destroying everything, and we need to act now, and here are some of the things we can do…

                      (I’ll just repeat, I don’t think Mcpherson is necessarily wrong about extinction. I just think we don’t know yet and while there is a still a chance that we can avert that, we need to work towards that, not towards accepting our doom).

                    • Colonial Viper

                      That is indeed part of the problem. I think it’s also a problem that he is engendering alarm and fear along with the message that it is too late.

                      To me it’s not a message about being “too late”. (Too late for what, by the way? I would say that we’re already too late for 2 deg C warming).

                      It’s a message around what is the most likely trajectory that we are on. It’s about realism not optimism. And getting ready for that.

              • Robert claims to disagree with Guy/NTHE, but it looks like he is coming around?
                robertscribbler / May 11, 2016
                Well, we passed the 400 ppm atmospheric average last year. This year there’s good odds that we will not see any one month below 400 ppm in the Mauna Loa average. After 2016, we will never see 400 ppm again without anything other than a miraculous change of heart among nations, a sudden halt to fossil fuel burning, a heroic effort in land management, a huge helping of amazing luck when it comes to carbon feedbacks, and some massive deployment of carbon absorbing materials. So yeah, unless we really change things now and we are very, very lucky, it’s by-by 400 ppm for our lifetime and for scores to hundreds to thousands of lifetimes to come. We’ve basically set the Earth on a path toward a rapid transition to another geological era. And the way we are doing it is unprecedented in all of the history of nature.

                • weka

                  So improbable but not technically impossible. I don’t really care how we save the planet if it gets done, so why would we want to shut the door on a Hail Mary pass? People who preach it’s too late are part of the problem because they are promoting inaction.

  8. Incognito 8

    The genial Sir Isaac Newton famously said “If I have seen further, it is by standing on the shoulders of giants”.

    The collaborative spirit is particularly strong among scientists and pure curiosity is a strong driver & motivator for many. As such, neo-liberalism and free market ideology are often in direct conflict with the ideals of science and regularly clash with scientists.

    Unfortunately, the resulting increased selfishness and competition is not unique to the realm of science and scientists; other professions that strongly depend on collaboration are suffering from the same ill-effects.

  9. save nz 9

    Great post +100

  10. Incognito 10

    Last Sunday, before the release of his book, a very insightful Q & A interview by Jamie Morton with Shaun Hendy appeared in the NZ Herald Prominent scientist talks about Silencing Science.

    Interestingly, Steven Joyce was given an opportunity to respond and comment.

    Unsurprisingly, Hendy’s reasonable arguments fell on deaf ears:

    Mr Joyce also disagreed that a new independent parliamentary body representing science was warranted, saying this was what the political process was for.

    “There is never going to be a system where politics is subsumed, in these more politically controversial areas, to just a group of scientists having a strong view.

    “Because we have a political process and that’s democracy,” Mr Joyce said.

    “So, in my view, I don’t think there’s a need to keep adding additional arbiters simply because [Professor Hendy] is not getting the answers he wants.

    “Most people would say that just because a group of scientists want something to happen, doesn’t necessarily mean it should happen: it’s still subject to the political process.”

    Here it is clearly expressed by Joyce, for all of us to see and take note of: scientists are not supposed to have an independent voice and their messages need to be conveyed to the public (voters) through and by politicians (who happen to hold the purse strings and set policy & regulatory framework). The conduit for science communication (on ‘controversial’ issues) is not the (or any) media but politicians.

    Why are our Ministers so desperate to control data and flow of information? Why do they even pervert the spirit & workings of the OIA?

    In essence, Hendy’s argument is that scientists have a responsibility, an obligation, to directly communicate with the public, which, after all, pays for much of what scientists are doing. Similarly, the public is curious and demands answers to complex questions & problems that are free from spin and undue (political) influence.

    Yes, Joyce is right in the sense that ultimately decisions are political ones but his sub-text is again very clear: leave it to the politicians rather than the public. His reasoning is quite disingenuous and belittling – as if Hendy and scientists only want it their way and act like petulant little children if they get told “no” – and his ‘interpretation’ of the political process and democracy (in action) is certainly different from mine!

    • Simon Louisson 11.1

      Yes – very good

      • whateva next? 11.1.1

        Was the heavily promoted TVone”Kiwimeter-….What kind of Kiwi are you?” merely National’s free survey to continue being able to manipulate the message to suit the desires of the swing voters?

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    An essay by Judith Collins MP reported on Carbon News yesterday seems to show an alarming shift in attitude within the National Party. Collins argues against the Zero Carbon Bill, the Paris Agreement, and downplays the magnitude of climate impacts. The Paris Agreement was adopted in December 2015 and ratified ...
    SciBlogsBy Robert McLachlan
    2 days ago
  • More disappointment
    When they were running for election, Labour promised to overhaul the Employment Relations Act and introduce fair pay agreements to set basic pay and conditions on an industry level, preventing bad employers from undercutting good ones. They followed this up by establishing a working group, which reported back in January ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 days ago
  • What do these mother-child studies really say about fluoridation?
    A list of indicators of bad science – many of these are found in articles promoted by anti-fluoride activists. Anti-fluoride activists have been pouring money into a scaremongering campaign warning pregnant women not to drink fluoridated water. They claim fluoride will lower the IQ of their future child. Fluoride ...
    2 days ago
  • Losing Labour’s Mills-Tone.
    Nothing Left To Say: Labour's pollster, Stephen Mills, remains swaddled-up in the comforting myths of the 1980s. As if the experience of Roger Douglas’s genuinely radical post-Muldoon policy agenda was literally a once-in-a-lifetime thing – as much as the party could possibly absorb for at least the next 50 years.MEMO ...
    2 days ago
  • Speaker: Disability and the Royal Commission of Inquiry into Historical Abuse
    The Royal Commission on abuse in care is very significant for the disability community. For many decades last century, thousands of disabled children, and adults who managed to survive, were locked away from families and communities. This was not for anything they had done, but for the perceived threat their ...
    2 days ago
  • Spain is not a democracy
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 days ago
  • UK Conservatives hate democracy
    With an unfair voting system, uneven electorates and an un-elected upper house, the UK's "democracy" is barely worthy of the name. But now the government wants to make it worse:The government has been accused of suppressing voters’ rights with the potential disenfranchisement of tens of thousands of people after plans ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    3 days ago
  • What is wrong with our building industry?
    Back in the 90's and early 2000's, the building industry was building leaky homes which should never have been granted consent. Now it turns out they've been building dodgy office blocks as well:New imaging technology has revealed hundreds of major buildings nationwide have defective or missing concrete or reinforcing steel. ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    3 days ago
  • Local bodies
    Local body election results were released over the weekend, to joy or despair depending on where you live. In Auckland, Phil Goff trounced John Tamihere, who is muttering darkly about running for Parliament again (but which party would want him?) Wellington is now a wholly-owned subsidiary of Weta Workshop, except ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    3 days ago
  • A future of government
      How could government evolve over the next decades? Reports of democracy’s imminent demise are greatly exaggerated.  However, satisfaction with political systems in many countries is low, so there is much to do for governments of all political stripes to improve relevance and trust. Digital technologies are seen as one ...
    SciBlogsBy Robert Hickson
    5 days ago
  • Speaker: Catalonia, interrupted
    Two years have now gone by since the Friday afternoon when my university-student son and I headed out of our Barcelona flat to a nearby primary school, designated as a polling station for the vote that was to be held the following Sunday: the referendum on Catalonia’s independence from Spain ...
    5 days ago
  • Sage Decisions Unwisely Over-Ruled.
    Overruled: The joint decision of Finance Minister, Grant Robertson (Labour) and his Associate Minister, David Parker (Labour) arguably the two most powerful ministers in Jacinda Ardern’s government, to grant OceanaGold the consents which Land Information Minister, Eugenie Sage (Greens) had earlier denied them, offers bitter proof of how hard fighting ...
    5 days ago
  • Government may ban voting in effort to get more people to do it
    More than double the number of people who will vote in this year’s local body elections have tried marijuana or urinated somewhere they shouldn’t have. As local elections look set for the lowest turnout in decades, with many regions falling well short of 40%, the Government is exploring a number ...
    The CivilianBy admin
    5 days ago
  • Woman: Deleted.
    A Statement on Abortion Law Reform by the Council of Disobedient Women   On the eve of bringing an end to antiquated, anti-women abortion laws Green MP Jan Logie intends to write women out of the Bill. With a stroke of the pen, the woke are aiming for total erasure ...
    RedlineBy Daphna
    5 days ago
  • The Hollowest of Men Ride Again… SURPRISE!
    Musings continue apace about “the experienced businessman!” soon to be taking up a National Party MP position. Or to be more accurate, being parachuted into a seat to shut down their former MP Jamie-Lee Ross, who despite his own shortcomings shed at least some more light on the inner workings ...
    exhALANtBy exhalantblog
    6 days ago
  • Barbaric
    The Ugandan government wants to murder gay people:Uganda has announced plans to impose the death penalty on homosexuals. The bill, colloquially known as “Kill the Gays” in Uganda, was nullified five years ago on a technicality, but the government said on Thursday it plans to resurrect it within weeks. The ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    6 days ago
  • Fighting Monsters.
    Freedom Of Speech? The Säuberung (cleansing by fire) was the work of the German Student Union which, on 10 May 1933, under the watchful eye of the Nazi Reichminister for Propaganda, Joseph Goebbels, consigned 25,000 books to the flames in a ritual exorcism of “un-German thought”. According to the logic of the ...
    6 days ago
  • The next wave of kaupapa Māori politics: its constitutional, it must be.
      “There can be no such thing as kaupapa Māori political parties or politics in Aotearoa” (Willie Jackson, Labour Party (2017). Māori TV, General/List Election Special) I begin with that claim because at the time, I was confounded at first that it fell out of Willie Jackson’s mouth, and then ...
    EllipsisterBy Ellipsister
    6 days ago
  • Night lights of NZ from orbit
    New Zealand has prided itself for decades with regard to its lack of pollution, and all will be aware that the ‘100% Pure New Zealand‘ meme is under threat through land, water and air pollution of various causes. There is another type of contamination that the country also faces: light ...
    SciBlogsBy Duncan Steel
    6 days ago
  • Reporters deliver uplifting news to fleeing Japanese residents: they won’t miss any rugby
    New Zealand’s media is doing its part in Japan, reassuring those in the path of the storm that they won’t miss any rugby while away from their flooded homes. New Zealand sports reporters stationed in Japan for the Rugby World Cup have had the rare and heartwarming opportunity to inform ...
    The CivilianBy admin
    6 days ago
  • Government in contentious discussions about whether to put surplus on red or black
    Regional Development Minister Shane Jones is the only Cabinet member in favour of putting it all on green. As Finance Minister Grant Robertson finds himself with an enormous $7.5 billion surplus, the Government has begun intense, at times contentious conversations about whether to put the money on red or black at ...
    The CivilianBy admin
    6 days ago
  • Jordanian teachers’ successful strike has lessons for here
    by Susanne Kemp At the start of September close to 100,000 school teachers went on strike in Jordan.  They demanded a 50% pay rise.  A pay rise actually agreed to by the regime back in 2014. In early October, however, in the face of government repression and threats, the teachers’ ...
    RedlineBy Admin
    7 days ago
  • Why some people still think climate change isn’t real
    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 Why do people still think climate change isn’t real? David ...
    SciBlogsBy Guest Author
    7 days ago
  • The SIS unlawfully spied on Nicky Hager
    Back in 2011, journalist Nicky Hager published Other People's Wars, an expose on NZDF's activities over the previous decade of the "war on terror". NZDF didn't like this, and especially didn't like the fact that it was base don leaks from their own. So, they had the SIS investigate him ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    7 days ago
  • October 2019 – Newsletter
    https://mailchi.mp/7d9133add053/closing-the-gap-october-2019-newsletter ...
    Closing the GapBy Tracey Sharp
    7 days ago
  • And they wonder why we think they’re environmental vandals…
    The Zero Carbon Bill is due back from select committee in two weeks, and will likely pass its final stages in November. So naturally, farmers are planning a hate-march against it. But they're not just demanding lower methane targets so they can keep on destroying the planet; they're also demanding ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    7 days ago
  • Climate Change: Paying the price in California
    Last year, California burned. This year, to stop it happening again (or rather, to stop themselves from being found liable if it happens again), Pacific Gas and Electric is cutting power to half the state for a week:Schools are closed. Traffic lights down. Tunnels dark. Businesses unopened. Hospitals running on ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    7 days ago
  • Let’s Hear It For Up-Close-And-Personal, Hard-Copy Democracy!
    The Best Way: Missing from the on-line voting debate is any reference to the voting system that produces turn-out figures ranging from 77 to 93 percent of registered voters. The voting system used to collect and count the votes cast in our parliamentary elections. The system that involves citizens making ...
    7 days ago
  • 10/10: World Day Against the Death Penalty
    Today, October 10, is the world day against the death penalty. Out of 195 UN member states, 84 still permit capital punishment. Today is the day we work to change that. This year's theme is children. Having a parent sentenced to death or executed causes long-term trauma and stigmatization which ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    7 days ago
  • Talking Freer Lives: a Marxist gender-critical perspective from Australia
    Among the great new bunch of political friends we have been making recently is the excellent Australian-based Marxist gender-critical site, Freer Lives.  So we asked the comrade who set up that blog to write something for Redline on the blog, himself, his analysis of the rise of gender politics and ...
    RedlineBy Admin
    7 days ago
  • Government spin accepted by union leadership
    by Don Franks  The Auckland City Mission is struggling with a 40 percent increase in demand for food parcels this year. A total of 23,020 were needed by June. Last month Missioner Chris Farrelly told the Herald the “cupboards are bare” and without an emergency food drive, he can’t see ...
    RedlineBy Daphna
    1 week ago
  • Forbidden Thoughts
    by The Council of Disobedient Women   Massey Wellington Student Association had a sit-in today. Imagine a sit-in. On a campus. Against a women’s rights meeting. Did the ’60s really happen or did we fucking dream it? They gathered in the student square, an echo chamber. Sitting on soft pillows ...
    RedlineBy Daphna
    1 week ago
  • Much love to my loyal Ukrainian readership
    For some reasons, my post about the mystery message from inside the Downing Street bunker seemed to catch people's attention.  Quite a lot of hits from NZ (unsurprisingly) and the USA (a bit more puzzlingly, but hi there, USAians!!) and 76 views from the Ukraine.I've celebrated my Ukrainian readers in ...
    1 week ago
  • Another day of bonkers GNUmours (again, sorry)
    First, almost a score of Labour MPs seem to have sent a letter to the EU basically begging them to accept a deal - any deal - just so Britain can get the Heck on with Brexiting instead of being trapped in limbo:
    To avoid no deal, deliver on the ...
    1 week ago
  • Labour vs working class immigrants – again!
    by Phil Duncan In 2016 the National-led government suspended the Parent Visa Category, through which migrants were able to bring their parents into New Zealand.  Since then over 5,700 people have been in immigration limbo, stuck on the visa wait list. Labour is now bringing back the scheme.  Well, sort ...
    RedlineBy Admin
    1 week ago
  • Speak Up for Women press statement: on Massey University and Feminism 2020
    The following was released yesterday (Tues, October 8) by the women’s liberation organisation Speak Up for Women. On 23 September Speak Up For Women announced that we would be holding an event at the Massey University Theaterette in Wellington. The event is called Feminism 2020. The intention of the event ...
    RedlineBy Admin
    1 week ago
  • Farmers support dirty rivers
    The government is currently consulting on plans to improve freshwater quality. So naturally, farmers oppose it:South Taranaki farmers are preparing to fight proposed national freshwater changes that some fear will bankrupt them. The Government's proposed National Environment Standard on Freshwater Management, released in September, rated the Waingongoro River as one ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • No-one cares about local government
    Yesterday was the last day for (reliably) posting your vote away in local body elections. Turnouts are mostly much lower than the equivalent time last year (Palmerston North is down 2.3%), and so naturally people are pushing their online-voting snake oil again. Because the online census worked so well, lets ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • The political ghosts of eugenics may matter more than the genetic
    This essay, on the political legacy of the eugenics movement, by Kenan Malik was originally published in the Observer on 6 October 2019, under the headline ‘The spirit of eugenics is still with us, as immigrants know to their cost’. Birth control. Intelligence tests. Town planning. Immigration controls. It’s striking how ...
    RedlineBy Daphna
    1 week ago
  • “Surplus” again
    Another year, and the government has announced another enormous government "surplus". And just like last year, its nothing of the sort. When we have people homeless and sick and hungry, when we have schools and hospitals still falling down, when we have underpaid public servants and infrastucture unmaintained or unbuilt, ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • Inside the Downing Street bunker
    James Forsyth at The Spectator (I know, I know) has tapped one of his contacts inside Number Ten for an insight into the Johnson administration's thinking and strategy.It is fascinating, unsettling and quite, quite mad.  Some key points:Negotiations have stalled and the Johnson administration are keen to blame the EU: ...
    1 week ago
  • Taking Control Of The Nation’s Story.
    Fatal Contact: With the arrival of captain James Cook in October 1769, the islands of what would become New Zealand ceased to be the preserve of Polynesian navigators and settlers and became a part of both the world’s map and the world’s history.THE MAORI NATIONALIST assault upon the historical meaning ...
    1 week ago
  • Are GNUs extinct?
    Another round of tactical talks about forming a Government of National Unity have come to nothing with the Liberal Democrats still refusing countenance putting Jeremy Corbyn into Downing Street:Opposition talks on Monday made little headway over when to try and vote down Boris Johnson's government and who might succeed him as ...
    1 week ago
  • Labour chickens out again
    When the government was elected, it promised to lead the way on electric vehicles, and specifically to make the government vehicle fleet emissions-free where-practicable by 2025.They lied:There are 15,473 vehicles in the government fleet and only 78 are electric. When the coalition Government came into power in late 2017, the ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • Transgender extremism, violence at work against feminist meeting at British Labour Party conference
    by Nick Rogers The debate around the meaning of sex and gender made an appearance at this year’s British Labour Party conference in Brighton. Women’s Place UK – an organisation that questions the demand that biological males who self-identify as woman should have access to women’s spaces, to all-women shortlists, ...
    RedlineBy Admin
    1 week ago
  • Rebelling in Wellington
    Yesterday I went down to Wellington to participate in the Extinction Rebellion protest. Its part of the latest global wave of XR actions, with actions happening all over the world. Some of those protests are massively disruptive: in Canada, XR is blocking major bridges, stopping people from getting to work. ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • ‘The Workshop’ – Report: Talking about Poverty and Welfare Reform: A Guide to Strategies that ...
    The Workshop is a charitable trust for public good. The Workshop undertake research to find ways of communicating that will build support for the solutions that work to solve complex social and environmental problems. See their Report on Talking about Poverty and Welfare Reform below. ...
    Closing the GapBy Tracey Sharp
    1 week ago
  • Exclusive language
    What is language? We generally assume that it a facility unique to humans, allowing us to share what’s in and on our minds. We can tell of our plans, our past exploits, our knowledge. It also allows us to lie. And yet there are vast numbers of people we can’t ...
    SciBlogsBy Michael Corballis
    1 week ago
  • April 2018 – Submission to the NZ Govt Tax Working Group
    You can read our submission HERE ...
    Closing the GapBy Tracey Sharp
    1 week ago
  • 2018 – Submission to the NZ Government Tax Working Group
    Read our submission here ...
    Closing the GapBy Tracey Sharp
    1 week ago
  • Guardian: Poll shows DISASTER for Corbyn and the End of Times
    The Guardian - ever eager to forewarn of doom and disaster on the left - are leading with a new poll from Opinium, which puts the Conservatives 15% clear of Labour.Con 38% +2Lab 23% -1Lib Dem 15% -5Brexit 12% +1Green 4% +2This isn't good news, and it would be very ...
    1 week ago
  • How prostitution became the world’s most modern profession
    Being and Being Bought (Spinifex Press, 2013) by Kajsa Ekis Ekman  A synopsis and commentary of Chapters 1-2 by Daphna Whitmore Ekman, a Swedish journalist and critic, brings together a Marxist and feminist analysis of prostitution and surrogacy in this groundbreaking book She opens the discussion with a definition of ...
    RedlineBy Daphna
    2 weeks ago
  • Clever legal fellow on Scottish challenge to Brexit
    I make no claims to having much legal knowledge,  so I defer to those trained in this area.I am very much enjoying this twitter stream from m'learned friend in Edinburgh, deciphering the legal arguments around the Scottish court challenge to Boris Johnson, based on the charmingly obscure principle of Nobile ...
    2 weeks ago
  • An Open Letter From Closed Minds.
    Ivory Folly? The University of Auckland’s Vice-Chancellor, Professor Stuart McCutcheon, upheld the right of the radical nationalist group, Action Zealandia to exercise their freedom of speech – not matter how distasteful that speech might be. A wiser community of students and scholars would have nodded their agreement and moved on. ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Extinction Rebellion members want to “eat babies”
    If you are not convinced terrorist Organisation ‘Extinction Rebellion’ is very, very dangerous – watch this video at one of their recent meetings. Not only is this obviously mentally ill Woman begging the other terrorists to promote killing and “eating” babies and children, if you watch carefully other members nod ...
    An average kiwiBy admin@averagekiwi.com
    2 weeks ago
  • The government needs to tell people about the OIA
    The Ombudsman has been surveying people about their knowledge of the OIA and the right to information. Unfortunately, it doesn't seem that widespread:The Chief Ombudsman says too many New Zealanders were in the dark over their right to access official information. Peter Boshier said an independent survey released yesterday on ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • Climate Change: Join the rebellion
    In the wake of last Friday's climate strike, Peter McKenzie had an article in The Spinoff about protest strategies. The school strike movement is "polite" and cooperates with those in power because that's its kaupapa - its led by schoolkids who understandably don't want to risk arrest. But there's more ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • Jermey Corbyn, I don’t like GNU (sorry)
    So, the latest ruminations on the gnews from Westminster (Again, sorry; I'll stop making that pun right now).  This follows on from, and likely repeats bits of, my last post, on the suggestion that a Government of National Unity (GNU) should be set up and then oversee a referendum before ...
    2 weeks ago
  • New Fisk
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • About time
    New Zealand likes to think of itself as not a racist country (despite being founded on the racist dispossession and subjugation of Maori). But for years, we've had a racist refugee policy, which basicly excludes refugees from Africa and the Middle East unless they already have relatives here. Now, the ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • Legal Beagle: Vexation, or Something Too Long for Twitter
    Several people have asked me whether a particular repeat litigant could be declared a vexatious litigant, in light of their recent decision to appeal an adverse High Court ruling. My nascent tweet thread was getting ridiculously long, so it became this blog post instead.The short answer is: no. The particular ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Zealandia’s Lost Boys.
    Appealing To The Past: Action Zealandia, like so many of the organisations springing up on the far-Right, across what they call the “Anglosphere”, is born out of the profound confusion over what a man is supposed to be in the twenty-first century and, more importantly, what he is supposed to do.THE STATUE OF ...
    2 weeks ago
  • British trade union and political activists defend women’s right to speak, organise
      The attempts of anti-democratic transactivists to (often violently) disrupt women’s rights organising is largely ignored by those sections of the left most prone to misogyny and authoritarianism in New Zealand.  In Britain, however, scores of trade union and left activists added their names to a letter in July, defending ...
    RedlineBy Admin
    2 weeks ago
  • Turning their back on justice
    The Justice Committee has reported back on the Criminal Cases Review Commission Bill. The Bill would establish an independent, quasi-judicial body to investigate and review potential miscarriages of justice, and refer them back to the Court of appeal if required. It would be a vital backstop to our judiciary, help ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago

  • Indigenous Freshwater Fish Bill Passes
    The future for New Zealand’s threatened indigenous freshwater fish looks brighter with the passing of the Conservation (Indigenous Freshwater Fish) Amendment Bill in Parliament today said Minister of Conservation, Eugenie Sage. “Until now, our freshwater fish legislation has been 20 years out of date. We have lacked effective tools to ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    9 hours ago
  • Kiwis to take part in world’s biggest earthquake drill
    At 1.30pm tomorrow, hundreds of thousands of Kiwis will join about 65 million people around the globe in ShakeOut, the world’s biggest earthquake drill. The annual drill is to remind people of the right action to take during an earthquake which is to Drop, Cover, Hold, and to practise their ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    16 hours ago
  • Rising wages and low inflation supporting Kiwis
    Kiwis are benefiting from higher wage growth and low inflation under the Coalition Government. Stats NZ data out today shows the rise in the cost of living remains low, as annual Consumers Price Index (CPI) inflation fell to 1.5% in September from 1.7% in June. “The low inflation comes as ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    17 hours ago
  • NZ economy strong amid global headwinds
    New Zealand’s economic strength and resilience has been recognised in a major update on the state of the global economy. The IMF’s latest World Economic Outlook released overnight shows a reduced global growth forecast over the next two years as issues like the US-China trade war and Brexit take hold. ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    18 hours ago
  • Keeping New Zealanders safer with better counter-terrorism laws
    Justice Minister Andrew Little has today introduced a new Bill to prevent terrorism and support the de-radicalisation of New Zealanders returning from overseas. The Terrorism Suppression (Control Orders) Bill gives the New Zealand Police the ability to apply to the High Court to impose control orders on New Zealanders who ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    18 hours ago
  • Improved succession and dispute resolution core of Ture Whenua changes
    A Bill that proposes targeted changes to simplify the processes for Māori land owners when engaging with the Māori Land Court has had its First Reading today. “The approach taken by the Government is to ensure that the protection of Māori land remains a priority as we seek to improve ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    19 hours ago
  • Speech to CTU Biennial Conference
    Let me first thank all the new unionists and members in the room. There is nothing more important to improving people’s working lives than people making the decision to care, to get on board and help, to take up the reins and get involved. Congratulations to you. You bring the ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    19 hours ago
  • Minister ensures continued Whenuapai flight operations
    Minister of Defence Ron Mark has signed a certificate exempting the activity of engine testing at Whenuapai Airbase from the Resource Management Act 1991. The Act gives the Minister of Defence the power to exempt activities for the purposes of national security.  The certificate will mean the recent Environment Court ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    20 hours ago
  • NZ joins Coalition of Finance Ministers for Climate Action
    Finance Minister Grant Robertson has announced New Zealand will join the Coalition of Finance Ministers for Climate Action while attending APEC meetings in Chile. The objective of the 39 member Coalition is to share information and promote action to tackle climate change. It was formed in April this year, in ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    23 hours ago
  • CTU speech – DPM
    Ladies and gentlemen, NZCTU President Richard Wagstaff, members of respective unions – thank you for the invitation to speak to you today. This might be preaching to the choir, but the importance of trade unions in New Zealand’s historical arch is difficult to understate. And it is my belief that ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • Police Association Annual Conference
    "Let’s start by acknowledging that it has been a huge year. " Police Association Annual Conference James Cook Grand Chancellor Hotel Wellington Nau mai, haere mai. Tēnā koutou, tēnā koutou, ka nui te mihi, ki a koutou katoa. President of the Police Association, Chris Cahill; Members of the Association and ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • New Zealand announces a further P-3 deployment in support of UN sanctions
    Minister of Foreign Affairs Winston Peters and Minister of Defence Ron Mark have announced the New Zealand Government’s decision to again deploy a Royal New Zealand Air Force P-3K2 (P-3) maritime patrol aircraft to support the implementation of United Nations Security Council (UNSC) resolutions imposing sanctions against North Korea. New ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • New Zealand deeply concerned at developments in north-east Syria
    Foreign Affairs Minister Winston Peters says New Zealand continues to have serious concerns for peace and stability in north-east Syria. “Recent reports that hundreds of ISIS-affiliated families have fled from a camp are deeply concerning from a humanitarian and security perspective”, Mr Peters says. “While we acknowledge Turkey’s domestic security ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • Government on high alert for stink bugs
    Biosecurity Minister Damien O’Connor is warning travelling Kiwis to be vigilant as the high-season for the crop-eating brown marmorated stink bug (BMSB) is under way. “We’re on high alert to stop BMSB arriving in NZ. The high season runs until April 30 and we’ve strengthened our measures to stop stink ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • Better protections for students in halls of residence
    The Government is moving swiftly to change the law to improve the welfare and pastoral care of students living in university halls of residence and other tertiary hostels. Cabinet has agreed to several changes, including creating a new mandatory Code of Practice that sets out the duty of pastoral care ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • New trapping guide for community and expert trappers alike
    The Minister for Conservation Eugenie Sage has launched a new comprehensive trapping guide for community trappers to help them protect our native birds, plants and other wildlife, at Zealandia in Wellington today. ‘A practical guide to trapping’, has been developed by the Department of Conservation (DOC), and was launched during ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • Widening Access to Contraceptives Welcomed
    Associate Health Minister Julie Anne Genter welcomes PHARMAC’s move to improve access to long-acting reversible contraception (LARCs). PHARMAC has today announced it will fund the full cost of Mirena and Jaydess for anyone seeking long term contraception, lifting previous restrictions on access to Mirena. “I welcome women having greater choices ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • Major upgrade for Taranaki Base Hospital
    The Government has approved the next stage of a major redevelopment of Taranaki Base Hospital, which will deliver new and improved facilities for patients. Health Minister Dr David Clark has announced details of a $300 million dollar project to build a new East Wing at the New Plymouth hospital. It ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • Extra support for rural families
    Extra funding will allow Rural Support Trusts to help farming families, says Minister for Rural Communities and Agriculture Damien O’Connor. “I know that rural families are worried about some of the challenges facing them, including the ongoing uncertainty created by the Mycoplasma bovis outbreak. “Those concerns sit alongside ongoing worries ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • Howard Leaque Beekeeper programme graduation
    Thank you for the opportunity to be here to present certificates to the 16 graduates who have completed a beekeeping course delivered by the Howard League.  Let us start by acknowledging Auckland Prison’s Deputy Prison Director Tom Sherlock, and Acting Assistant Regional Commissioner of Corrections Northern Region Scott Walker - ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • Finance Minister to attend APEC meetings
    Finance Minister Grant Robertson leaves this weekend to attend the APEC Finance Ministers meeting in Santiago, Chile. Discussions between APEC Finance Ministers at the meeting will include the effects of the current global economic uncertainty, risks for APEC economies and sustainable development of the region. While at APEC Grant Robertson ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • Pacific languages are a source of strength, they ground us and build confidence
    The Minister for Pacific Peoples Aupito William Sio says for Pacific people, language can be a source of strength. It can help ground us and give us confidence. When we speak them, our languages provide us with an immediate and intimate access to our identity and our story - and ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • Major boost to support disabled people in sport and recreation
    The Coalition Government has announced an action plan to improve the wellbeing of disabled New Zealanders by addressing inequalities in play, active recreation and sport. The initiative includes training to develop a workforce that understands the needs of children and young people with a range of impairments, advocacy for fit ...
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