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Smells Like Stale Male Spirit

Written By: - Date published: 7:01 am, August 18th, 2019 - 92 comments
Categories: local body elections, local government, Politics - Tags: , , , , , , , ,

A very informative analysis showed that patriarchy is alive and well in NZ local authorities. The face of local government in NZ is white, male, and middle-aged. Since 1989, the number of female candidates and elected women has been gradually rising. However, the voter turnout has been steadily declining during this period.

The gender imbalance is not the only issue. The composition of local government does not reflect the population in terms if (voting) age or ethnicity either. All this means that we are not properly and fairly represented at local level. It also means that our local government is based on a pool of limited views and values, talent, ideas, and solutions, for example. This lack of diversity is a monoculture and these tend to be more resistant to change (cue climate change emergency) and less resilient to shocks or calamities. We are not served as well as we could and should be.

Unfortunately, local affairs receive limited attention in MSM; local reporting seems to be becoming a thing of the past, likely because of never-ending drive to cut costs. Only a few ‘newsworthy’ items can cut through the noise of the 24-hour news cycle in direct competition with international media and overseas affairs. We seem to be more interested in our central government in Wellington if MSM is to be believed. Of course, it is more ‘entertaining’ to read about what the PM or the Leader of the Opposition are up to. However, little of that affects us directly if at all.

Yet in our daily lives, we directly and indirectly experience much that is to do with local government (albeit not all can be voted for in local elections). I am not just thinking of roaming chickens and cat-sized rats infesting tranquil little suburbs. Much of the local roading network is managed by and through local government. For example, rubbish collection, noise control, potholes in the road, public transport, all sorts of bylaws, council rates, housing developments, climate change, et cetera, are largely if not solely under the control of local government.

Not only have voters switched and are switching off, candidates also seem to be suffering from increasing apathy. Some elections are anything but a contest of ideas and vote-off (run off) between high-quality candidates as some stand unopposed. So, it will be BAU and although each elected official will do their best it is hard to see how lack of competition will challenge them to be the best they can be; it breeds complacency IMO.

I should point out that not all middle-aged white males in local government are stale; some are progressive and open to change. However, they seem to be the exception that proves the rule. I see some parallels with TS, which has been struggling with finding more women or younger people to write posts here. The ones who do make a unique and invaluable contribution to this community. It is just an example of how diversity enriches and benefits us all, not just a few.

So, how can we improve things for and with local government?

92 comments on “Smells Like Stale Male Spirit”

  1. vto 1

    I thought ageism, racism and sexism were not allowed. Have the rules changed? Are candidates race age and gender are up for consideration then? 

    Or do you simply not have any info on candidates ideas and policies and so just grabbed at the front cover?

    Are there laws preventing certain ages genders and races from standing?

    Maybe the white males are the only ones who care enough and are sufficiently civic minded? Maybe young brown females are just slack and don't care?

    Who knows eh? Toss a few prejuices around eh?

    Who says the elected need to be the same age race and gender as the voters anyway? Don't know that's ever happened in history has it? 

    What a confused and incomplete post

    • Sacha 1.1

      You're expecting every post to include a full 101 of its topic? From the first google result I got, this might help:

      In prejudice people are basically defending privilege of position and thus stand to gain emotionally, culturally, socially and economically from an attitude of prejudice towards others.

      http://www.edchange.org/multicultural/papers/caleb/racism.html

    • Incognito 1.2

      Where do you see “ageism, racism and sexism”?

      The info can be found in the links provided in the post.

      AFAIK, you have to a NZ citizen aged 18 years or older without a criminal record or something like that. You don’t have to give your age, for example.

      Maybe the white males are the only ones who care enough and are sufficiently civic minded? Maybe young brown females are just slack and don't care?

      Who knows eh? Toss a few prejuices [sic] around eh?

      Is that an attempt at irony?

      What a confused and incomplete post

      You seem to have missed the point of the post, which was to stimulate debate, a starting point, to get the ball rolling. Commenters can add fresh ideas or insights and fill in gaps and correct mistakes; posts become more mature and complete thanks to high-quality comments. Your comments appear to be reflexive and reactionary instead of constructive and innovative.

      One final note, I hope you do realise that Authors here write in their spare time on topics that they care about, as ordinary citizens, not as professionals. Authors also write for a general audience. I am the first one to admit that it is not easy but at least we give it a go. Without Authors TS would be a barren place and an empty site. Thank you for your consideration.

  2. Robert Guyton 2

    Speaking as a pale, stale patriarch, snout in trough, taking the place of some more worthy young turk…at least the umbrella organisation, Local Government New Zealand, has made efforts, significant efforts, to facilitate the inclusion of people outside of the aforementioned group (pale etc.) by requiring CEO's to actively petition and advertise for a wider range of candidates come election-time. As well, they've raised the salaries for councillors, so that people other than retirees or those with fewer familial obligations can consider a term or 4 in the council chamber; it's difficult to live, especially if you have dependants, on a councillors' salary alone. Plus, the timetable is cranky and difficult to plan an otherwise busy life around, especially when that involves children. Whether that helps remains to be seen. We'll have some idea following these upcoming local body elections. Fingers crossed.

  3. Pat 3

    Its a certain 'type' that has a desire to be involved in politics be they local or national….and alongside the rare desire there are couple of important attributes that are also important, life experience, self confidence and ability…..all of which takes time to acquire, so perhaps its not surprising age at least is a factor.

    And then theres the wise adage worth remembering…anyone capable of getting themselves elected President should on no account be allowed to do the job

    • Incognito 3.1

      True, and self-selection obviously plays a major role. Then again, confidence is not always matched with competence.

  4. vto 4

    Frankly the young haven't experienced enough of the world to be let near the levers of power. Is why 'elders' have such place in most societies. Has this been considered in your post incognito? This historic fact? How does this get reconciled against your post?

    • Dukeofurl 4.1

      I agree with some of that.  In my  local board area  of Auckland the labour ticket has incredible diversity . Im happy to vote for all of those people.

      Often the older  people have incredible links to many community groups.

      Thats because they reflect Auckland and maybe  70,000 people .  Just looking at a collection of the smaller rural councils you wont  find that,  with many below 10,000 people eg Waimate in South Canterbury with 7,000.

      https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Districts_of_New_Zealand

      You would need 10 x those councils to have the same population as one Auckland community board in Auckland.

      Thats the problem with  assuming every council  is equivalent  for the population it serves , both in size and diversity.

      • Incognito 4.1.1

        The candidate ticket tends to be more diverse than the elected officials. The problem is that they don’t seem to be able to attract a plurality vote. As mentioned in the post, some contests have only one candidate standing.

    • weka 4.2

      that's an argument for not having an 18 yr old CEO. It's not an argument against *representation across age. Having an 18 year old on council will bring in perspectives just like having an 80 year old will. We need all of them.

      • Pat 4.2.1

        unless the council is to become impossibly large all that achieves is 'one' 18 year olds perspective….which may be as 'pale and white and stale' as the 60 year old they sit next to….or possibly even more so.

        The Irish were trialling (not sure if it continues) a citizens body of I believe a hundred (?) to address set issues….much like a working party or select committee….drawn at random from the community….that appears to me to be a more effective solution.

        • Sacha 4.2.1.1

          'Citizen Juries' are a great way of achieving informed decisions. At least some of our larger councils are doing similar stuff digitally.

            • Dukeofurl 4.2.1.1.1.1

              Not  all randomly chosen

               Convention members were a chairperson nominated by the government, 33 representatives chosen by political parties, and 66 randomly chosen citizens. Meeting over 15 months, it considered seven constitutional issues previously specified by the Oireachtas and two more of its own choosing.

              https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Citizens%27_Assembly_(Ireland)

              And some issues over ability to stick with it.
              “Of the original 99 members, 17 withdrew before the first working meeting, whose replacements immediately took over; another 11 withdrew before the final abortion meeting, whose replacements did not participate until the assembly moved on to its next topic for discussion.[14] Seven replacements joining in January 2018 were removed the following month when it emerged they were recruited via acquaintances of a Red C employee, who was then suspended, rather than via random selection.[22]

              • Pat

                so even in a citizens assembly the elite wish some measure of control….unsurprising I guess.

                Even so the concept is a good one and would IMO go a lot further in providing a true voice to the great unwashed and be far more likely to forestall the revolution (nod to Weka) than a few diverse councillors/MPs in an unreconstructed system

        • McFlock 4.2.1.2

          Diversity doesn't eliminate groupthink, but it makes it less likely.

          • Pat 4.2.1.2.1

            that assumes groupthink is the issue….they are after all essentially democratic institutions…a measure of diversity dosnt  address the tyranny of the majority nor the influence of vested interests

            • McFlock 4.2.1.2.1.1

              I do wonder how democratic they really are as institutions if their "representatives" are almost entirely of a very narrow demographic group.

              I wonder what the covert barriers are between other people and running or being elected.

              • Pat

                theyre democratic in that majority vote carries the motion.

                • McFlock

                  But there does seem to be a mismatch between the representatives and the people they supposedly represent.

                  • Pat

                    wouldnt disagree with that….and that is why I think a randomly selected citizens council (jury) would provide real representation of views, especially as opposed to the hope that the wider engaged community would provide a representative body through their vote.

        • Incognito 4.2.1.3

          Our local and national politics are supposed to be representative but in practice, this doesn’t mean that they are comprehensive. The current argument is that particularly local government poorly represents their people, that the level of diversity is less than optimal, and that there are no legal or institutionalised reasons as to why this cannot be remedied. This begs the question as what is, can, or should be done to achieve better representation, better voter engagement, and, consequently, better outcomes for all. Unless one would like to argue that this is as good as it gets.

          • Pat 4.2.1.3.1

            the level of diversity may well be less than optimal but given the process for selecting representatives (vote) and the number of positions available then I would suggest that representation by like and proportion is not achievable….that leaves disengagement and the frustration that may lead to undesirable outcomes.

            A randomly selected citizens body as the Irish have made use of is a practical and achievable option

            • Incognito 4.2.1.3.1.1

              If you scroll up a little to my response @ 9:10 PM to you, you’ll see that I agree 😉

              • Pat

                so i see….and yet you also said  @9.09 "..that particularly local government poorly represents their people, that the level of diversity is less than optimal, and that there are no legal or institutionalised reasons as to why this cannot be remedied."….which runs contrary to my assertion that representation by like and proportion is not achievable.

                confusing eh?

                • Incognito

                  Ah, yes, sorry.

                  I’d like to think that we can and must do better within the current framework. You argue that we can (and must?) only do much better if we change or expand the current framework (not quite a paradigm shift IMO). If I have this correct, I don’t think we’re necessarily disagreeing but perhaps talking about different stages of development or evolution of the local governing system.

                  • Pat

                    I thought I was being very clear….the representative system we have is incapable of delivering a representative sample of the communities they serve (that is not to say it couldnt be improved but only marginally.)…whereas the Irish method could provide valuable representative input (and free of vested interest) and it could do so tomorrow

                    • Incognito

                      Yes, you were clear. I’m not reading the comments properly at the moment, which is telling me something 😉

                      I doubt I’ll find time any time soon to delve further into the Irish idea 🙁

    • gsays 4.3

      Hi vto, you raise a good point about the elders and it is a double edged sword.

      I think it is a James A Michener quote – "shut up and listen to my 60 years experience said the old man, so we did and it turned out he had one years experience repeated sixty times".

      We live in interesting times and perhaps need a circuit breaker voice that isn't beholden to nostalgia, profit or the status quo.

    • Incognito 4.4

      That’s a brief comment but with lots of good stuff in it, thank you.

      Yes, I had considered it, but time and space constraints (the latter self-imposed) stopped me from including it in the OP.

      I had been thinking about something along the lines of the philosopher-king at local government level. Wisdom comes with age, apparently. However, I don’t think it is as clear-cut.

      It all depends on the variety and richness of experiences. Many older people I know, who are still fully active in the work force, are very set in their ways and the saying comes to mind “you can’t teach an old dog new tricks”. Some folks have been doing the same thing over and over again; their habits, thinking patterns, ideas and concepts of and about the rapidly changing world are engrained, fixed.

      Coincidentally, I was reading this article yesterday: https://www.abc.net.au/news/science/2019-08-17/creativity-neuroscience-your-brain/11420898. In it, they do touch on the age question and there is no (clear) answer.

      I think we need a combination of freshness, innovative new thinking and ways to solve problems, risk-taking, on the one hand, and life experience, wisdom, and risk-mitigation, on the other hand. I’d argue that we don’t have the right balance (or the balance right?) currently.

      I’d also argue that “the levers of power” is overstating it in the context of (local) government. By design, power, or decision-making and influencing rather, is usually practiced in a democratic fashion (by majority vote) with many layers of accountability, scrutiny, checks & balances, et cetera. In other words, “power” is limited and (almost) a misnomer. It is not like handing the wheel to a two-year old although “levers” is a nice metaphor. In the first link in the post, they talked about young voters and candidates below the age of 38. Is that too young? Are they to ‘hot-headed’ to make responsible decisions? I remain unconvinced this is the case; some younger people are wise beyond their years (the PM is 39). What better way to learn how to use the “levers of power” at a non-ancient or -geriatric age than ‘to have a go’ with so-called cooler heads giving advice and mentorship. Let’s not wait until you’re retired and have nine grandchildren before you should be allowed anywhere near any responsibility at local government level. It makes little sense to me.

      Personally, I don’t find it very useful to frame things in terms of inter-generational clashes. Often, it turns into identity politics and reduces issues (in)to over-simplified and/or perceived generational issues that can create problems with intersectionality (i.e. sub-populations falling between the cracks). Climate change could be such an example. The situation at Ihumātao might be another one.

      • Robert Guyton 4.4.1

        Plus no one's talking about the influence/power held/claimed by council executive/staff over that the councillors appear/profess to have.

        smiley

        • Incognito 4.4.1.1

          Yes, very good point, Robert, thank you again. I only hinted at that in the OP with a few cryptic words “albeit not all can be voted for in local elections” and in my long-winded comment @ 4.4. Maybe when power is too spread out and diluted nothing gets done and we stay stuck in BAU and status quo by design – stability and continuity are good. Maybe the idea of a benevolent dictator-Mayor is something to consider …

          • Robert Guyton 4.4.1.1.1

            I followed up your philosopher-king note. That's a whole thread of its own, I reckon. It conflicts with the de-individualising trend though; can we hope for an individual to play that part; if it takes a village to raise a child, what does it take to raise us all above our present circumstance?

            • Incognito 4.4.1.1.1.1

              Love, selflessness & altruism, willpower, determination & sheer grit, faith, honesty, integrity, courage, empathy & compassion, intelligence, patience, curiosity, holistic thinking, wisdom, et cetera.

              Ok, I admit I’m a little flippant but the answer is the same for all burning questions that are the cause and effect of the human race. I reckon. In essence, they are existential questions, closely followed by morality, e.g. what is the right to do? Doing nothing is not the answer although it is an answer.

              Crikey, Robert, this is much more than a whole of its own; it is about life!

              I’ll make myself another mint tea to calm down now.

              • Robert Guyton

                Mint? Sounds like you could do with a hot cup of skullcap!

                A discussion on will power would be very interesting.

                How is will power developed and in what might an increase in personal willpower result?

                But another time, perhaps; it's getting late…

  5. df 5

    Get out and participate.

  6. weka 6

    Good post. I think we will see some interesting candidates this year. Not sure we are quite at a tipping point in terms of engagement, but hoping it will be better.

    Anyone concerned about water issues (lake/river) or industrial dairying, could be looking at their regional council candidates closely and voting accordingly.

    • weka 6.1

      Lol, the Smith photo. Harsh.

      • Sacha 6.1.1

        Had forgotten how badly chewed some of the Amerkin accents in that movie were until last night's screening.

        • weka 6.1.1.1

          with the Aussie to Amerkin I assumed it was intentional.

          • Sacha 6.1.1.1.1

            Guess it easily added a sense of otherness before Aussies were as common in the US screen industry. Unreal that it has been 20 years.

      • Robert Guyton 6.1.2

        Smith: over 50?

        • weka 6.1.2.1

          timeless.

        • Incognito 6.1.2.2

          At the time of the movie, the actor was well under 50. However, Weka is correct that the character is timeless. Agent Smith was an AI program in and of the Matrix. He was also a metaphor, as the whole movie was a metaphor and full of symbolism, which is why I liked it so much – I do like Philip K. Dick and how Carl Jung heavily influenced him and his works. For the current post, I used the photo of Agent Smith as another metaphor, not be taken literally as such. I was hunting for a good image and this one seemed quite appropriate – you don’t recognise yourself or your fellow Councillors in it?

          • Robert Guyton 6.1.2.2.1

            A council of Mr Smiths?

            Not so exciting as that, I'm sorry to say, though it feels that way sometimes. The best I can say is I'm a red-piller amongst blue. Or at least, that's how I frame it.

            • Incognito 6.1.2.2.1.1

              Good one, Robert.

              Candidates are self-selecting, of course, and there always seems to be an element of the ‘old boys’ networks’ in politics. I’d like to think that party politics plays less of a dominant role in local than national politics, but I could be wrong. Whether this is good or bad for groupthink, I don’t know either, but polarisation and tribal factions sure are present, which is why the family photo of Mr Smith is apt IMHO. BTW, the pill was a placebo.

              • Robert Guyton

                Powerful stuff, that placebo.

                • Incognito

                  Yeah, nah. It’s all in the mind, not in the pill or any paraphernalia for that matter; it’s about the choices we make and what we believe in. Much happens at the sub-conscious level and when it reaches the surface of our consciousness we experience that eureka moment (or déjà vu). IMHO. But we’re going OT.

                  • Robert Guyton

                    Placebo though, requires an outside agency to administer something to the client/patient/person and how that is done is a powerful determinant for the effectiveness of the placebo, wrapped up as they are in promise, expectation, theatre and the rest of it. Sugar too. Red is best.

                    • Incognito

                      All correct, of course. Some people are administered hypnosis and suggestions to help them with addictions or phobias. In some cases, it is very effective. Auto-suggestion, self-hypnosis, meditation, mindfulness, et cetera, can have powerful effects, transformational even.

                      How did we get to this? It belongs in your post on how to get there IMO 😉

                    • Robert Guyton

                      Well, I'm getting there by being a regional councillor, proving that there's hope for us all!

              • weka

                As far as I can tell small town NZ is still run by the old boys network. Not as much or as bad, but it's still there.

                • Incognito

                  Personally, I don’t have much experience with the old boy’s networks. School BOTs can be particularly bad.

                • Stuart Munro.

                  I'm not certain about that. I can recall an incident on Stewart Island where the ladies of the town dealt to visiting naval forces decisively without male assistance. And years ago in Timaru, When I was flying through for MAF with more luggage than any reasonable person ever carries, some fool disrespected the fiftyish lady on the ticket counter. The ground crew, without prompting, patiently explained to him that the plane was overweight, and that he'd have to wait for the next flight – meanwhile our hundreds of kilos of gear was loaded without difficulty. Soft power is a big thing in some small towns.

                  • weka

                    of course. Women have power. That the old boys network still runs things just tells us that power is shared unevenly. Imagine how fast things would change if women had access to the institutional power still currently denied them.

                    (btw, there are women operating within the old boys network, but neoliberalism lets women in where they play the game right).

                    • Stuart Munro.

                      Maybe Vicki Buck could give some guidance – the most popular Christchurch mayor ever as far as I can tell – approval was 90% at one point.

                    • weka

                      how many of her colleagues are women?

                      Is she part of the old boys network?

  7. Dukeofurl 7

    https://www.stuff.co.nz/national/114930238/the-white-male-middleaged-face-of-local-government

    The data visualisation is  not comparing apples with apples.

    The compare ALL the councillors with ALL the population, when it should adjust the  number of councillors with  the population they represent.

    The reality is rural NZ is  older, where  a disproportionate  number of councillors represent smaller rural areas.

  8. cleangreen 8

    Todays local government are full of "Hollow people" who play the same game of saying first ‘what you want to hear’

    Then as soon as they are elected to the 'public cash trough' they turn into right wing zealots.

    And after several years stealing from us they go into another national party election as a candidate. I have sen this for the last 5 elections.

  9. weka 9

    I think it's worth pointing out that the call for diversity isn't a call to not have any wealthy, older, able-bodied white men in power. There's a general sense of inclusiveness. But people's patience isn't infinite, and the longer the patriarchy resists change, the more people are going to be inclined to remove power by whatever means necessary, and maybe have a period of time of rebalancing. Mostly it's still about wanting those men to learn how to *share power, and the sooner that happens the better for everyone.

  10. Dukeofurl 10

    Just looked at a few councils for places Ive lived 

    Napier: 12 councillors plus mayor .  6 are women incl Acting Mayor

    https://www.napier.govt.nz/our-council/mayor-and-councillors/

    Rotorua:  10 councillors plus mayor. 4 incl mayor are women.

    https://www.rotorualakescouncil.nz/our-council/mayor-and-elected-members/Pages/default.aspx

    Hastings: 13 councillors plus mayor. 7 women incl mayor

    https://www.hastingsdc.govt.nz/our-council/mayor-and-councillors/

    Palmerston North : Mayor +15 councillors 7 are women.
    https://www.pncc.govt.nz/council-city/about-council/mayor-and-councillors/

    A few other of  the small rural councils  seem to have a near  gender balance as well.

    Could it be that the regional Councils are the ones heavily skewed to men. They would involve travelling further to meetings and the  RC cover more technical areas   than local councils

  11. Cricklewood 11

    I'm not sure what to make of articles like this, I feel  they make the assumption that given the choice (and if they vote) people will vote for someone in a similar demographic to  themselves.

    Maybe I'm an outlier, but personally I vote on ideas age race or gender of the candidate dont come into it at all. 

    If anything I find the story divisive. I do whole heartedly agree that we should make it easier and financially viable for young people or those  with families to stand for election. Free childcare etc would be a great start.

    • Incognito 11.1

      No, that assumption was not made. In fact, that assumption is challenged in both the post as well as in the first link provided. For example:

      But it's not necessarily the case that older people vote exclusively for older candidates, or that Pākehā vote exclusively for Pākehā candidates.

      For one thing, the proportion of voters younger than 38 is significantly higher than the proportion of elected members younger than 38. This might mean that young candidates get little to no support from anyone older than 38, and thus are unable to command a plurality of votes; but it seems more likely that there are simply fewer candidates in that age cohort to vote for.

      Although, to be fair, that piece also did mention in-group bias.

      I wrote the post in relatively short time and late at night and wanted to keep it short. My intention was to stimulate thinking and debate, not to stuff my opinion down people’s throats. In this sense, you were not supposed to make anything of the post as such, just to do your own thinking.

      If anything I find the story divisive.

      Really? Care to elaborate? I really tried to argue for a more inclusive and representative local government and about the only thing you took from the post was that it was divisive!? I’m most intrigued!

      • Cricklewood 11.1.1

        Apologies was referring to the stuff article should have made that clearer… 

        • Incognito 11.1.1.1

          All good, but I’m still puzzled; I didn’t find it divisive but informative. I would not have included it otherwise.

  12. David Mac 12

    I think we get the representation we ask for. We get what we deserve.

    We deserve Chloe Swarbrick, a fresh young voice that has surprised many NZers. What a mature and measured handling of a hot potato like legalising weed she is delivering. 

    The Greens bring merit, it's a garden that encourages Chloes to flourish. I can see how people like Chloe would struggle to be inspired to share a floor dominated by archetypal councilors. 

    • Robert Guyton 12.1

      She'd find it … icky!

    • Incognito 12.2

      I think we get the representation we ask for. We get what we deserve.

      Although I don’t disagree, when I hear this sentiment expressed in various forms, it always feels slightly fatalistic to me, as if we have no other choice. That’s the whole point of the post, if we are not satisfied with the current situation, we can change it. In fact, most things are self-inflicted or social constructs and can be undone, reversed, fixed, repaired, corrected or whatever, if we choose to. Elections are all about choice albeit somewhat limited. Sorry, this is not personal, just a general ‘rant’.

  13. Obtrectator 14

    One trouble I've always had with local body elections is differentiating one candidate from another.  They all seem to want to run a more inclusive council while keeping rates (or rates increases) below a certain level and being committed to the area/region/town.  None of them actually say how these laudable objectives are going to be achieved.  Often enough, once the votes are counted and the feet are safely under the council table, they aren't achieved.  And the few genuine stand-outs tend to find themselves branded as trouble-makers, excluded from meaningful roles and ruthlessly criticised at every opportunity.

    • Robert Guyton 14.1

      Here's what I said, Obtrector, in the Southland Times:

      "Message to all candidates for local body elections; billboards are boring!

      Hard-working Southlanders, especially those living in Invercargill, have to drive past our uninspiring faces and irritating slogans for weeks on end and are generally too polite to take a black-marker to them to express their annoyance. Let’s all do something different this time around; entertain and amuse those whose votes we are chasing, with creative billboards, fun billboards, the likes of which have never been seen before! I’m happy start the ball rolling; I’ve still got my original billboards that show a younger me with a dark, clipped and tidy beard. Now that I’m 9 years down the councillor track, my beard is full and as white as a summer cloud. I’m going to up-date my billboards by glueing-on a fluffy, lamb’s-wool beard that would make Father Christmas proud! How about the rest of you? Have you any creative bones in your bodies? Let’s do the voting public a favour and make campaigning fun for a change!"

      I don't know if that helps alleviate your frustrations, but it did mine (a little)

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    Finally, governments seem slowly to be beginning to act on climate change. But its not enough. While they're publicly signing up to targets, they're planning to destroy the world by continuing fossil fuel extraction:The world’s nations are on track to produce more than twice as much coal, oil and gas ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    19 hours ago
  • As bad as we expected
    Stuff has begun interviewing NZ First's secret donors, and it turns out that its as bad as we expected. They start with racing industry figure Garry Chittick, who is predictably grumpy about NZ First's coalition choices. Meanwhile, I'm looking at the list of pork NZ First has effectively given its ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    20 hours ago
  • The Second (And Final?) Crucifixion Of Winston Peters.
    Stag At Bay: Twelve years ago, Winston Peters was still robust enough to come back from the political crucifixion which his political and media enemies had prepared for him. In his seventies now, the chances of a second resurrection are slim. We should, therefore, prepare for the last gasp of ...
    1 day ago
  • Earth’s artificial rings
    Satellites pass over NZ all the time (literally). Here I focus on the 187 Planet Labs ‘Dove’ Earth-imaging satellites, and I show that one can determine in advance where they will be, enabling scientists on the ground to correlate their environmental and other data collection with opportunities to get imaging ...
    SciBlogsBy Duncan Steel
    1 day ago
  • Softy Jejune Parson – the new Mother Superior of Wellington
      The Council of Disobedient Women has learned that the Prefect of Aro Valley has been promoted to a new role with the blessing of the Pope of Wellington. Softy Jejune Parson has been appointed Mother Superior of Woke Wellington for the work she has been doing calling out heretics, ...
    RedlineBy Admin
    1 day 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
    2 days 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
    2 days 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
    2 days 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
    2 days 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
    2 days 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
    2 days 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
    2 days 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
    3 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
    3 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 ...
    3 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
    3 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
    3 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
    4 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
    4 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
    4 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
    4 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
    4 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
    4 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 ...
    4 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
    5 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
    5 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
    6 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
    6 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
    7 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
    7 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
    7 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
    7 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 ...
    7 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 ...
    1 week ago
  • How does poor air quality from bushfire smoke affect our health?
    Brian Oliver, University of Technology Sydney New South Wales and Queensland are in the grip of a devastating bushfire emergency, which has tragically resulted in the loss of homes and lives. But the smoke produced can affect many more people not immediately impacted by the fires – even people many ...
    SciBlogsBy Guest Author
    1 week 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
    1 week 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
    1 week 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
    1 week ago
  • Why municipal waste-to-energy incineration is not the answer to NZ’s plastic waste crisis
    Trisia Farrelly, Massey University New Zealand is ranked the third-most-wasteful country in the OECD. New Zealanders produce five times the global daily average of waste per person – and they are getting more wasteful, producing 35% more than a decade ago. These statistics are likely to get worse following China’s ...
    SciBlogsBy Guest Author
    1 week 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
    1 week 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
    2 weeks 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
    2 weeks 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
    2 weeks 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
    2 weeks 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
    2 weeks 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
    2 weeks 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
    2 weeks 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
    2 weeks 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

  • New high tech traps will reduce the need for 1080 poison
    New Zealand First are celebrating the announcement of an investment of $3.5 million into five new trapping devices. These are a range of bait and trap devices, all designed to be left unattended for long periods of time. NZ First conservation spokesperson Jenny Marcroft says that this latest development will ...
    19 hours 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 ...
    2 days 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 ...
    2 days 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 ...
    3 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 ...
    3 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 ...
    3 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 ...
    4 days ago
  • Week That Was: Supporting our schools
    We're setting our young people up for success, investing in education around the country.  ...
    4 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 ...
    1 week 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 ...
    2 weeks ago

  • NZ economy in good shape amid global headwinds
    A major new report on the global economy shows New Zealand is in good shape amid increased global headwinds. The Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) has just released its latest Economic Outlook. It shows the OECD group of economies is forecast to grow between 1.6% and 1.7% across ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 hour ago
  • Milestone of 1800 new Police officers
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