Speaking of mothers

Written By: - Date published: 1:28 pm, September 5th, 2017 - 31 comments
Categories: benefits, Economy, feminism, greens, welfare - Tags: , , , ,

As an aside to all the hooha last week about who has the biggest scandal, I was thinking about the use of mothers as metaphors for something big and impactful and what that might say about us.

Remember the Mother of All Budgets? The one in 1991 where benefits were cut so they were intentionally below what was liveable. Where the reforms started by the fledgling ACT party* in the 80s were solidified into a complete revolution of NZ society, economics and politics.

Richardson was a member of the radical right wing of the National Party, which took a miniarchist, libertarian standpoint which emphasized individualism and personal freedom.[1] These viewpoints were reflected in Richardson’s 1991 budget which resulted in a huge reduction in government spending, particularly in regards to social welfare. Richardson worked closely with Minister of Social Welfare Jenny Shipley and proudly announced her fiscal outlay as the ‘mother of all budgets’.[1]

The budget essentially dismantled much of what remained of the welfare state institutions established in the 1930s by the First Labour Government. The unemployment benefit was cut by $14.00 a week, sickness benefit by $27.04, families benefit by $25.00 to $27.00 and universal payments for family benefits were completely abolished.[2] Richardson also introduced many user pays requirements in hospitals and schools, services previously free to the populace and paid for by the government.[3] Public services such as state housing were devolved essentially into companies under government contract in all but name. This was not popular with many in the conservative wing of the National Party, and led to major disagreements over policy. Former Prime Minister Sir Robert Muldoon resigned from his Tamaki constituency in protest of Richardson’s policies.

This was a time when NZ was first getting used to women politicians in major roles, and here were Richardson and Shipley talking about mothers while destroying the social contract of looking after vulnerable people. NZ wasn’t ready to have that conversation about gender (see, Thatcher and Richardson prove that women are just as bad as men!) and it’s taken a good few decades for us to start to untangle ourselves from that piece of neoliberal treachery. One of neoliberalism’s tools is the misuse of gender politics. The value of having women do your dirty work is that it detracts from the value of women’s culture and what would happen if women collectively had power on their own terms.

Start talking about putting the kuia or aunties in charge and see what kind of reaction you get, even on the left. Instead we are allowed another woman making a run at PM, so long as she can play the game with the boys on their terms. Feminism lives within the patriarchy.

Compare National’s 1990s policy with the Green Party’s 2017 Budget for All Mothers, which isn’t a metaphor but an actual policy that understands that mothers are central to society because of their role in the wellbeing of children. When we place the wellbeing of children at the centre of society in meaningful ways we tend to organise society fairly and compassionately and inclusively, as well as create a healthy society that sustains itself. That’s as anti-neoliberal as it gets. It’s Māori, green, and feminist, and the neoliberal establishment hate it.

The Budget for All Mothers policy was followed by the Greens’ Mending the Safety Net package, which is the first real attempt by any political party to redress the wrongs that Richardson did 26 years ago. Those Green policies have provoked some of the worst political backlash we’ve seen in a generation which in turn led to the resignation of one of NZ’s finest politicians and champion of the notion that mothers are intrinsically valuable and should be respected and cared for. A notion deeply embedded in human evolution but in this instant of time is considered radical.  We prefer that our solo recalcitrant mums are sacrificed.

What we’re seeing since Metiria Turei’s welfare speech is the battle of values in NZ that’s taken 3 decades to come to a head. This is playing out in a number of different ways, including in the value of women. So we have the main woman leader being asked about her baby-making intentions, and white men of privilege siding with the patriarchy by insisting on their right to use metaphors about whores and lipstick on pigs. Because let’s not forget who and what is still in charge.

This isn’t just a left/right split either, because even on the left there are distinct factions that still see the Greens as liabilities or even the enemy despite the Green Party having not only the relevant policies but also the guts to stand up and push back against neoliberal culture in NZ, even if it comes at great cost. There are more than two sides here.

What kind of society do we want? In this election for the first time since Rogernomics we have the opportunity to choose life. For many of us it’s not enough to shift a bit to the left for another few terms and then suck it up while National have their go again. Thanks to the courage of the Green Party caucus and co-leaders we have a real chance at making the battle visible and mainstream enough that people take notice. The Greens excel at generating societal change and something important is building here.

This is critical in this election where a strong Green vote would allow the left to forge an actual progressive government. But it’s much bigger than this election too. With many things at stake here, NZ stands on the cusp of the same great changes that are happening globally. Which way are we going to jump?

In the meantime, this is where we are at as a nation in regards to mothers,

 

*aka the 4th Labour government.

31 comments on “Speaking of mothers ”

  1. esoteric pineapples 1

    “Afghans Respond to Insult of U.S. Dropping Massive Bomb: “Would a Mother Do That to Any Children?”

    “The “Mother of All Bombs” is the nickname for the bomb the U.S. dropped Thursday on Afghanistan, but our guests in Kabul say civilians there are asking if any mother would conduct such an attack. Basir Bita is a mentor with Afghan Youth Peace Volunteers, and Dr. Hakim is a medical doctor who has provided humanitarian relief in Afghanistan for over a decade. He works with Afghan Peace Volunteers, an inter-ethnic group of young Afghans dedicated to building nonviolent alternatives to war. We are also joined by Kathy Kelly of Voices for Creative Nonviolence, who is just back from Afghanistan, and Wazhmah Osman, professor of media and communication at Temple University and member of the Afghan American Artists and Writers Association.”

    https://www.democracynow.org/2017/4/14/afghans_respond_to_insult_of_us

  2. One Anonymous Bloke 2

    Well said Weka.

    This is a huge reason the Greens are getting my vote.

  3. savenz 3

    +100%

    At Auckland hospital mothers are discharged within hours of giving birth and made to go home or move to a facility to save money. The baby is birthed then bundled into a car seat instead of bonding with their mother.

    30% of kids are now failing Maths and writing by Year 8 of primary school. That is a shocking statistic – that suggests something is seriously wrong after 9 years of National in government. If we have 30% of the next generation illiterate Under National standards, there are going to be huge problems in this country. 5 -10% is bad, but 30%????

    Under National the education funding seems to have been diverted into real estate and different funding models worked out by economists to save money not educators, enlarging schools, etc not where it counts by having proper teaching help for children. There is less help, because of the disgusting testing regime more akin to surveillance than education, that takes away teacher time, and a lack of interest or help in ensuring kids meet standards as well as the enormous population growth that has effected all the schools.

    When kids fail National standards, it is completely arbitrary if help is given due to a lack of funding. Parents are now funding their own teacher aids or having to pay for expensive remedial schooling. These are normal kids that seem to be written off under the current system which is PROVEN to be damaging and creating the types of division and inequality in countries like the US and UK.

    Poverty can be eliminated by education. It seems that NZ is going backwards in this area.

    • Doogs 3.1

      savenz
      Thank you. As a teacher of long standing I have to say that you have absolutely hit the nail on the head. You probably realise that neo-liberalism relies on subjugated, uneducated and compliant people who are forced by ignorance and poverty to follow the party line. It is a studied approach, and embedded in the philosophy of the RWNJs. They cannot conceive of anything else. Example – why are Natzis so against the CGT? Because so many of our ‘serving’ politicians would have so much to lose under its application.

      Roll on 23 September!

      • North 3.1.1

        Save NZ and Doogs…….thanks for your comments…….even if (no, because) they really do make one weep. Your comments, your insights…….against the bastards I accidentally got to watch on TV3 breakfast show this morning. Garner, dressed up like a fucking downtown LA pimp, that whatever he is sports broadcaster pissing on…….it’s like they see the election as a big game comprising the primary political contestants and…….THEM. Nothing, no one else matters. Arseholes, particularly that overpriced slug pimp Garner.

  4. Nice post. There was a time in history ( still applies, I think ) that when a ship went down it was women and children first on the lifeboats ,.. under neo liberalism , –
    particularly the National party , it appears that time honoured and accepted maxim / practice has been reversed.

  5. joe90 5

    *aka the 4th Labour government.

    How the * colluded with conservatives to jigger the welfare state.

    http://bostonreview.net/class-inequality/melinda-cooper-all-family-debt

  6. tracey 6

    Thank you for an insightful post.

    Steven Joyce lied or showed enormous incompetence yesterday in his role as Finance Minister. English perpetuated it as PM and former Finance Minister. Yes it has been critiqued, and they have been chided but none of the fury that reigned down on Turei. Yet these two have cynically conspired to mislead the electorate to hold on to the power to impact millions of lives and use billions of dollars of others’ money. No calls to resign. No moral outrage. It is akin to the hunt for witches and the preservation of the status of doctors in the middle ages.

    The upside is that, evidenced by the behaviour of many in the 4th Estate, the vitriol and panic over Turei suggests a deep nerve was struck. And those who feel threatened rallied and attacked to preserve the system that serves them so well, and some who it does not serve defend it too.

    “An economic system that rewards psychopathic personality traits has changed our ethics and our personalities”. Paul Verhaeghe

    https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2014/sep/29/neoliberalism-economic-system-ethics-personality-psychopathicsthic

  7. greywarshark 7

    Mothers persist in furthering the human spirit. Men want it to be done by fathering, but in the end, when mother fails, its 90% likely that all fails.

    RW want to have the human thing under control, crush the spirit in cowed conformity. Many of the British stock many of us come from, would go to India for their careers and send their children home to boarding schools with little human spirit being taught. In the USA they may send 8 or 9 year olds to military academies. RW ultimately don’t care about others children and parents, human spirit and the wonderful things we are, they care only for money and position in society.

  8. tracey 8

    Weka, I have been reading around the Neo-Liberalism topic recently. I came across this

    “One of the main issues is the way people talk about neoliberalism; they don’t understand it very well. Neoliberals, first, are not conservatives. They are not libertarians. And they don’t believe in laissez-faire. I can’t believe the amount of confusion that there is in the media—and among reasonably intelligent political people, too. They don’t understand this.

    Neoliberals believe in a strong state. They need a strong state to impose the kind of market society that they think should exist. And their key doctrine—this is the part that I think is hardest to understand—is that the market mainly exists as an information processor more powerful than any human being. They mean it knows more than any human being ever could; they structure their politics around that.”

    and later in the same article

    ““Neoliberals don’t feel threatened by the fact that stuff just keeps getting worse, as long as they can convince people to keep doing the same things—more markets to fix markets.”

    author and historian of economic philosophy Philip Mirowski on 31 May 2014,
    https://antidotezine.com/2014/06/25/neoliberal-mythology/

    Perhaps feminism gets attacked because it has at its heart the concept of fair sharing. Neoliberalism is the antithesis of fair and sharing.

    • Perhaps feminism gets attacked because it has at its heart the concept of fair sharing. Neoliberalism is the antithesis of fair and sharing.

      QFT

    • Carolyn_nth 8.2

      Neoliberalism is a theory that is a smokescreen for a resurgence of power by the wealthy international elites.

      David Harvey explains it well in A Brief History of Neoliberalism.

      While those with power, access to the media and wealth preached small government and free markets, etc, in practice, they did whatever was necessary to give dominance to international corporates and power elites. It differed a bit from place to pace. But it took a lot of government intervention to get the results they wanted.

  9. Where are our moral values?
    After thirty plus years of capitalisms attack on our society do we have any left?

    • SpaceMonkey 9.1

      But it’s not capitalism outright that’s been the problem. Neoliberalism is more akin to a technocratic authoritarianism.

  10. Delia 10

    The insistence on women going out work, when the child is three years old, on the DPB is all part of this, bringing up children is not seen as a full time job. It is not just motherhood which is devalued,children are devalued. Both Labour and National see working jobs as more important than raising a family because Clark also promoted mothers working. There is no allowance for a mother or father raising a child alone, all must earn the almighty dollar.

  11. DRUM 11

    Thank you Weka…I appreciate and value your insightfullness.

  12. Carolyn_nth 12

    Mothers are often seen as very powerful figures in our patriarchal society – but this includes conflicting ideals of good and bad mothers.

    The good mother is traditionally seen as nurturing and domesticated, the bad mother more aggressive and destructive, stepping outside any conventionally feminine sphere.

    I’s interesting that the movie Aliens was successful in the 80s – the time when the neoliberal revolution was in full swing – it had a quite muscular, assertive, but asexual heroine, who spent a lot of time trying to save the child from the bad alien mother. The alien mother gave birth to numerous destructive children. The alien mother was imagined as something like a vagina with teeth.

    Not that big a step from the kinds of powerful roles allowed to women in politics – while the brunt of neoliberalism and austerity has descended on single mothers as beneficiaries – often described as bad mothers.

    So mother of all bombs or budgets uses the powerful association of mother stereotypes.

    And of course, recently we had #motherofallscandals – which seemed to be actually about a grandfather.

    The mainstream media went out of its way to paint beneficiary Turei as bad mother.

  13. Macro 13

    An excellent piece weka – thank you for this contribution to the debate.
    We need to constantly remind ourselves just how this current travesty of poverty, in which so many in New Zealand find themselves, originally began. It was a conscious political decision in the first place, that need never have been taken, and it requires a conscious decision to right that wrong. Tinkering around the edges, lifting 50,000 or even 100,000 out of poverty (while it might salve the conscience of some) is simply to leave 200,000 still in poverty. It is not good enough.

  14. McFlock 14

    Nice post, Weka.

    I’m pretty hopeful that the Greens will be a major part of the next government. We need them.

  15. mosa 15

    I don’t need convincing the Greens have had my vote since 2014 and this year more than ever because if Jacinda gets the numbers i want the Greens and their policies to be a part of a new direction, ” it is about time ”

    There has been a concerted effort to destroy them but it won’t succeed because they are a movement that is more relevant now more than any other time in their history.

    Thanks Weka great work as usual.

    • eco Maori/kiwi 15.1

      I agree Weka we need more women in power . The neo liberals will fight this.
      Because in my view they are scared that more women on boards and in government
      will kick there asses if they try and do stupid shit just to get what they want the neo liberals no WOMEN will keep them in check and women will make laws that benefit all people and not just the 1 %.
      Now these dick heads that are harnessing me are using propaganda to tell people that my views are manufactured by me to make people to think I am a saint well no I am not deceitful like them. And these are my real life views from the information off the internet and from my life experiences of living a life of a 30 % maori and 70 % other races a lot of different blood lines there . Living and razing and caring for my family in NZ.
      So in my view we are all human and all humans should share power and the resources of our WORLD. And thanks again Weka.
      Also you media people stop using the word CRACK as that shit is a killer and I will call you out on this word

  16. left_forward 16

    E mihi ana ahau ki a koe e Weka.
    I entirely agree with you Weka – thank you for articulating this.
    The progress of Labour is excellent, but if we want to turn this neo-libearl monster around, it remains critical to vote Green!

  17. xanthe 17

    dogwhistle?

    My view is that neoliberalism prays on the weak/dispossesed whatever gender, race, religion. it is counterproductive to portray it is sexist,racist,etc . it is essentially amoral in that it places a very narrow interpretation of “rational” above ethical or humanist. it dosn’t care who you are, only that it has an economic advantage and the “rational” thing is to exploit that advantage!

    don’t take it personally, it isn’t personal. it isn’t sexist. its simply amoral. and our only hope is collective action, not further division across demographic lines. That feeds the beast!

  18. Francesca 18

    An aside: Ruth Richardson had her daughter during the 1983 recess and became the first mother able to breastfeed her baby while serving as an MP as a special room was set aside for her to do this. Crazy how this didn’t translate into her having any compassion for the struggles of other mothers.

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    A nice bit of news today: my 4600-word historical fantasy-horror piece, A Voyage Among the Vandals, has been accepted by Phobica Books (https://www.phobicabooks.co.uk/books) for their upcoming Pirate Horror anthology, Shivering Timbers. This one is set in the Mediterranean, during the mid-fifth century AD. Notable for having one of history’s designated ...
    6 days ago
  • Ministerial conflicts of interest
    Since the National government came to power, it has been surrounded by allegations of conflicts of interest. Firstly, there's the fast-track law, which concentrates power in the hands of three Ministers, some of whom have received donations from companies whose projects they will be deciding on. Secondly, there's the close ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    6 days ago
  • The 2024 Budget Forecasts Are Gloomy Prognosis About The Next Three Years.
    There was no less razzamatazz about the 2024 Budget than about earlier ones. Once again the underlying economic analysis got lost. It deserves more attention.Just to remind you, the Budget Economic and Fiscal Update (BEFU), is the Treasury’s independent assessment and so can be analysed by other competent economists (although ...
    PunditBy Brian Easton
    6 days ago
  • A government that can't see twenty feet ahead
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    More Than A FeildingBy David Slack
    6 days ago
  • A post I hope is incorrect
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    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    6 days ago
  • Māori Cannot Re-Write New Zealand’s Constitution By Stealth.
    The Kotahitanga Parliament 1897: A Māori Parliament – at least in the guise of a large and representative body dedicated to describing the shape of New Zealand’s future from a Māori perspective – would be a very good idea.THE DEMAND for a “Māori Parliament” needs to be carefully unpicked. Some Pakeha, ...
    6 days ago
  • Cowpats and Colonials.
    Dumbtown, is how my friend Gerard refers to people like ZB listeners - he’s not wrong.Normally on a Friday I start by looking at Mike Hosking’s moronic reckons of the week which he vomits down the throats of his audience like helpless baby birds in a nest, grateful for the ...
    Nick’s KōreroBy Nick Rockel
    6 days ago
  • Gordon Campbell on cutting the sick leave of vulnerable workers
    Should sick leave be part and parcel of the working conditions from Day One on the job, just like every other health and safety provision? Or should access to sick leave be something that only gradually accumulates, depending on how long a worker has been on the payroll? If enacted ...
    WerewolfBy lyndon
    6 days ago
  • Nobody Move: Ageing Boomers, Laurie & Les, Talk Politics.
    So long as we live in a democracy, economic policy can never be anything other than social-democratic.“HEH!”, snorted Laurie, as he waved his debit card over the EFTPOS machine. “Same price as last week. I guess budgets aren’t what they used to be.”“I wouldn’t know,” replied the young barman, wearily, ...
    6 days ago
  • In Search Of Unity.
    Kotahitanga: New Zealand’s future belongs to those who do not fear a nation carved out of unity and solidarity, and are willing to trust the carvers. Some New Zealanders will be required to step up, and others, perhaps for the first time in their lives, will be expected to step ...
    6 days ago
  • Weekly Roundup 7-June-2024
    Welcome to another Friday roundup! Here are some recent links and stories that caught our eye, perfectly timed for your watercooler discussions and weekend reading. As always feel free to share more in the comments. Our header image this week is by Patrick Reynolds, and shows Te Komititanga from above. ...
    Greater AucklandBy Greater Auckland
    6 days ago
  • The Hoon around the week to June 7
    As Workplace Relations and Safety Minister, ACT’s Brooke van Velden is fronting proposed changes to sick pay regulations and The Holiday Act. Photo: Lynn Grieveson / The KākāTL;DR: The podcast above of the weekly ‘hoon’ webinar for paying subscribers features talking with:The Kākā’s climate correspondent talking about the ...
    The KakaBy Bernard Hickey
    6 days ago
  • Did we boil the oceans by cutting pollution?
    Lowering aerosol emissions from shipping has altered clouds, with potentially drastic effects. Photo: Getty ImagesTL;DR: Here’s the top six news items of note in climate news for Aotearoa-NZ this week, and a discussion above between Bernard Hickey and The Kākā’s climate correspondent Cathrine Dyer:New evidence is increasingly pointing at efforts ...
    The KakaBy Bernard Hickey
    6 days ago
  • Skeptical Science New Research for Week #23 2024
    Open access notables Abrupt reduction in shipping emission as an inadvertent geoengineering termination shock produces substantial radiative warming, Yuan et al., Communications Earth & Environment: Human activities affect the Earth’s climate through modifying the composition of the atmosphere, which then creates radiative forcing that drives climate change. The warming effect ...
    7 days ago
  • Fragments
    The best observation I’ve read this week about the deep, profound harm Trump is doingTrump has hurled threats and smears at witnesses, jurors and the judge (including his family)... [he] has tried to intimidate witnesses and delegitimize the New York courts as corrupt. In continuing to incite his mob (that ...
    More Than A FeildingBy David Slack
    7 days ago
  • March for Nature
    Do do do do do do do doDo do do do do doDi di di di di di di di di di diNature enter me…In 2018 the Labour lead government banned new oil and gas exploration in Aotearoa. A change welcomed by those who care deeply for our environment and ...
    Nick’s KōreroBy Nick Rockel
    1 week ago
  • Bernard’s Dawn Chorus and pick ‘n’ mix for Thursday, June 6
    The Transport Minister is trying to push through urgent legislation that would allow him to change emissions standards for car imports without approval from Parliament, after only consulting car importers. Photo: Lynn GrievesonTL;DR: Just as two major reports showed fossil fuel burning was warming the planet to dangerous levels and ...
    The KakaBy Bernard Hickey
    1 week ago
  • A Better Broadway: Act 2
    This is a guest post by reader Grant A, the second of a pair about how to fix Broadway. If you missed the beginning of the show, here’s the link to Act 1 from yesterday. Yesterday, I discussed changing traffic circulation around Broadway in Newmarket. This included implementing a car-free ...
    Greater AucklandBy Guest Post
    1 week ago
  • National breaks another health promise
    National has broken another manifesto health promise, apparently to save only $550,000. It will now train an additional 25 med students next year rather than the 50 it promised. This comes on top of the delays caused by National’s coalition partners in pushing ahead with the Waikato Medical School and ...
    PolitikBy Richard Harman
    1 week ago
  • Climate Adam: Coping as the world’s best known climate scientist
    This video includes conclusions of the creator climate scientist Dr. Adam Levy. It is presented to our readers as an informed perspective. Please see video description for references (if any). Katharine Hayhoe is quite possibly the world's most famous climate scientist. She's produced wide ranging research, and communicated climate change with ...
    1 week ago
  • SIS “evidence” isn’t, again
    Back in 2016, then-Internal Affairs Minister Peter Dunne cancelled a New Zealand woman's passport, claiming she was a terrorist. The basis for his decision was a secret briefing by the SIS, which claimed that if she was allowed to travel, the woman would "engage with individuals who encourage acts of ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • As Low As You Go
    Taking you as low as you goAs low as you goA sense of Déjà vu this morning. How many times have I begun a newsletter, “just when you thought they couldn’t go any lower…” Only for the groundhog to reappear, more pissed off than the day before.Another day with headlines ...
    Nick’s KōreroBy Nick Rockel
    1 week ago
  • Bernard's Dawn Chorus and pick 'n' mix for Wednesday June 5
    TL;DR: The public health costs of human-caused air pollution in Aotearoa-NZ is estimated at $38.8 billion a year because it kills 3,300 people each year, which is almost ten times more than the death toll on roads from accidents. Yet the Ministry for the Environment has just one staff member ...
    The KakaBy Bernard Hickey
    1 week ago
  • A Better Broadway: Act 1
    This is the first of a two-part guest post by Grant A, a long time reader and commenter with a keen interest in all things urban, especially cycling and public transport. He’s been thinking about how to fix Broadway. Stay tuned for Act 2! Readers might remember the pre-Christmas traffic snarl-ups in ...
    Greater AucklandBy Guest Post
    1 week ago
  • Road trance
    Sometimes technology is your friend and sometimes it can’t be bothered with you. Once you’re away from home and your dependable wifi, well, there’s no telling what will happen. I’ve been going in and out of high-speed and low-speed no-speed Internet pockets all over England and France and look, I’m ...
    More Than A FeildingBy David Slack
    1 week ago
  • You Can't Undo Fake News
    Hi,I’ve been thinking a lot about Corey Harris, the 44-year old man who went viral after Zooming into his court appearance while driving. The headlines generated were basically all the same: “Man With Suspended Driver's License Dials Into Court Hearing While Driving”. The headlines said it all, and most people ...
    David FarrierBy David Farrier
    1 week ago
  • At a glance – CO2 is the main driver of climate change
    On February 14, 2023 we announced our Rebuttal Update Project. This included an ask for feedback about the added "At a glance" section in the updated basic rebuttal versions. This weekly blog post series highlights this new section of one of the updated basic rebuttal versions and serves as a ...
    1 week ago
  • Acting Prime Minister David Seymour.
    When it came to David Seymour, Jacinda got one thing right, and another wrong. What is the sacrilege, I hear you ask? In what world in relation to David Seymour was our Jacinda ever wrong?Subscribe nowAs you no doubt remember, and personally I think there should be some sort of ...
    Nick’s KōreroBy Nick Rockel
    1 week ago
  • More democratic abuse from National
    "Abuse of democracy" seems to be the emerging theme of this government, with bills rammed through under urgency or given pathetically short select committee submission times seemingly designed to limit and undermine public engagement. And today we have another case, with the public given just nine days to submit on ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • Gordon Campbell on the curse of being politically moderate about everything
    Nigel Farage’s initial reason for not standing in the British election – because he wanted to be a Trump adviser – never looked very convincing. His perfectly timed “change of mind” though, has won him extensive media coverage, and he’s now plunging into the election campaign as the rival candidate ...
    1 week ago
  • Bernard’s Dawn Chorus and pick ‘n’ mix for Tuesday, June 4
    Placards at a 2018 rally for better funding for new cancer drugs. National’s pre-election promise to do so may have won it votes, but the attempt to quietly drop the plan has now ignited a firestorm of protest. Photo: Lynn GrievesonTL;DR: The Government is now being engulfed in a firestorm ...
    The KakaBy Bernard Hickey
    1 week ago
  • Budget 2024 Highlights
    Last week the government delivered their first budget and while there’s been plenty of other discussion about the main aspects of it, I was particularly interested to look at what it meant for transport. Before getting into too much detail, the chart below shows at a high level where transport ...
    1 week ago
  • Jeff Masters and Bob Henson give us the low-down on the 2024 Atlantic hurricane season
    This is a re-post from Yale Climate Connections by Samantha Harrington (Background photo credit: NASA/NOAA GOES Project / CC BY 2.0 DEED) To kick off hurricane season, Yale Climate Connections editors Sara Peach and Sam Harrington sat down with meteorologists and Eye on the Storm writers Jeff Masters and Bob ...
    1 week ago
  • Bernard's pick 'n' mix for Monday, June 3
    TL;DR: The Tiwai Point aluminium smelter, which consumes over 15% of the motu’s renewable electricity, has struck a deal to stay open for another 20 years. This will delay Aotearoa-NZ’s transition to carbon zero and make it more expensive and unfair for the 100,000 households who currently can’t afford their ...
    The KakaBy Bernard Hickey
    1 week ago
  • maBaguette
    Today we rolled through troglodyte caves and ate a fresh roast chook by the river, the mighty Loire River, the still quite angry-looking Loire River. The Loire is not itself because it has been raining here for the last seven months without a break, the locals have been telling us, ...
    More Than A FeildingBy David Slack
    1 week ago
  • Empty Promises.
    Fighting out of the blue corner, wearing a pale pink jacket, a half hearted smile, and a lot of flack from the left and the right, it’s your Finance Minister - Nicola Willis.Her challenger will probe the Minister for answers. Armed with boyish charm and tricky questions, the last remaining ...
    Nick’s KōreroBy Nick Rockel
    1 week ago
  • 2024 SkS Weekly Climate Change & Global Warming News Roundup #22
    A listing of 33 news and opinion articles we found interesting and shared on social media during the past week: Sun, May 26, 2024 thru Sat, June 1, 2024. Story of the week Sometimes one story is not enough. Our ongoing 2023-2024 experiences with lethal heatwaves, early wildfires and a threatening Atlantic hurricane season ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Treaty Principles Bill: Smokescreen for sweeping change?
    Much has been said about how the coalition government’s Treaty Principles Bill distorts te Tiriti o Waitangi. However, it could also serve as a Trojan horse, installing an extreme libertarian agenda. We don’t know the intent driving the proposed Bill; however, many serious effects may ensue. Far from simply clarifying the ...
    Nick’s KōreroBy Nick Rockel
    2 weeks ago

  • Government to reverse blanket speed limit reductions
    The Coalition Government will reverse Labour’s blanket speed limit reductions by 1 July 2025 through a new Land Transport Rule released for public consultation today, Transport Minister Simeon Brown says.  The draft speed limit rule will deliver on the National-ACT coalition commitment to reverse the previous government’s blanket speed limit ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 hours ago
  • Chair appointments for NZSO, CNZ and NZ On Air
    Minister Paul Goldsmith is making major leadership changes within both his Arts and Media portfolios. “I am delighted to announce Carmel Walsh will be officially stepping into the role of Chair of the New Zealand Symphony Orchestra, having been acting Chair since April,” Arts Minister Paul Goldsmith says.  “Carmel is ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 hours ago
  • Government focus on long-term food, fibre growth
    Food and fibre export revenue is tipped to reach $54.6 billion this year and hit a record $66.6b in 2028 as the Government focuses on getting better access to markets and cutting red tape, Agriculture Minister Todd McClay and Oceans and Fisheries Minister Shane Jones say. “This achievement is testament ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 hours ago
  • Govt consulting on cutting red tape for exporters
    A new export exemption proposal for food businesses demonstrates the coalition Government’s commitment to reducing regulatory barriers for industry and increasing the value of New Zealand exports, which gets safe New Zealand food to more markets, says Food Safety Minister Andrew Hoggard.  “The coalition Government has listened to the concerns ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    21 hours ago
  • New Zealand and Philippines elevating relationship
    New Zealand and Philippines are continuing to elevate our relationship, Foreign Minister Winston Peters says.   “The leaders of New Zealand and Philippines agreed in April 2024 to lift our relationship to a Comprehensive Partnership by 2026,” Mr Peters says. “Our visit to Manila this week has been an excellent ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • Paid Parental Leave increase to help families
    Workplace Relations and Safety Minister, Brooke van Velden says paid parental leave increase from 1 July will put more money in the pockets of Kiwi parents and give them extra support as they take precious time off to bond with their newborns. The increase takes effect from 1 July 2024 ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • Defence increases UN Command commitment
    The number of New Zealand Defence Force (NZDF) personnel deployed to the Republic of Korea is increasing, Defence Minister Judith Collins and Foreign Minister Winston Peters announced today.  NZDF will deploy up to 41 additional personnel to the Republic of Korea, increasing the size of its contribution to the United ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • New Zealand to attend 'Summit on Peace in Ukraine' in Switzerland
    New Zealand will be represented at the Summit on Peace in Ukraine by Minister Mark Mitchell in Switzerland later this week.    “New Zealand strongly supports Ukraine’s efforts to build a comprehensive, just, and lasting peace,” Foreign Minister Winston Peters says.   “Minister Mitchell is a senior Cabinet Minister and ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • Big step forward for M.bovis programme
    Farmers’ hard work is paying off in the fight against Mycoplasma bovis (M. bovis) with the move to a national pest management plan marking strong progress in the eradication effort, says Biosecurity Minister Andrew Hoggard.  “The plan, approved by the Coalition Government, was proposed by the programme partners DairyNZ, Beef ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • Build To Rent opening welcomed by Housing Minister
    Prime Minister Christopher Luxon and Housing Minister Chris Bishop formally opened a new Build to Rent development in Mt Wellington this morning. “The Prime Minister and I were honoured to cut the ribbon of Resido, New Zealand’s largest Build to Rent development to date.  “Build to Rent housing, like the ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • Agriculture to come out of the ETS
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    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • Luxon Tokyo-bound for political and business visit
    Prime Minister Christopher Luxon will travel to Japan from 16-20 June, his first visit as Prime Minister.   “Japan is incredibly important to New Zealand's prosperity. It is the world’s fourth largest economy, and our fourth largest export destination.  “As you know, growing the economy is my number one priority. A strong economy means ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • Bayly travels to Singapore for scam prevention meetings
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    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • More help for homeowners impacted by severe weather
    People who were displaced by severe weather events in 2022 and 2023 will be supported by the extension of Temporary Accommodation Assistance through to 30 June 2025. Social Development and Employment Minister Louise Upston says the coalition Government is continuing to help to those who were forced out of their ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • Government to reverse oil and gas exploration ban
    Removing the ban on petroleum exploration beyond onshore Taranaki is part of a suite of proposed amendments to the Crown Minerals Act to deal with the energy security challenges posed by rapidly declining natural gas reserves, Resources Minister Shane Jones says. “Natural gas is critical to keeping our lights on ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • New Zealand and Malaysia to intensify connections
    New Zealand and Malaysia intend to intensify their long-standing, deep connections, Foreign Minister Winston Peters says.    “Malaysia is one of New Zealand’s oldest friends in South-East Asia – and both countries intend to get more out of the relationship," Mr Peters says.   "Our connections already run deep and ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • Ending contracted emergency housing motels in Rotorua
    The end of Contracted Emergency Housing (CEH) motels in Rotorua is nearing another milestone as the Ministry of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) announces it will not renew consents for six of the original 13 motels, Associate Housing Minister Tama Potaka says. The government is committed to stop using CEH ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • First Home Grant closure exemptions
    The Government is providing a narrow exemption from the discontinuation of the First Home Grant for first home buyers who may face unfair situations as a result, Housing Minister Chris Bishop says. “The First Home Grant scheme was closed with immediate effect on 22 May 2024, with savings being reprioritised ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • Faster consenting for flood protection projects in Hawke's Bay
    Work to increase flood resilience in Hawke’s Bay can start sooner, thanks to a new fast consenting process, Minister for Emergency Management and Recovery Mark Mitchell and Environment Minister Penny Simmonds say.  “Faster consenting means work to build stop banks, spillways and other infrastructure can get underway sooner, increasing flood ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • Judge Craig Coxhead and Nathan Milner newest Māori Land Court appointments
    Tangata tū tangata ora, tangata noho tangata mate. Minister for Māori Development Tama Potaka today announced acting Deputy Chief Judge Craig Coxhead as the new Deputy Chief Judge, and Nathan Milner as Judge of the Māori Land Court. "I want to congratulate Judge Coxhead and Mr Milner on their appointments ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • Government signs Indo-Pacific Economic agreements to boost trade
    Trade Minister Todd McClay and Climate Change Minister Simon Watts, today signed three Indo Pacific Economic Framework (IPEF) agreements that will boost investment, grow New Zealand’s digital and green economies and increase trade between New Zealand and the 14 IPEF partners. IPEF’s partners represent 40 per cent of global GDP ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    7 days ago
  • Government signs Indo-Pacific Economic agreements to boost trade and cooperation
    Trade Minister Todd McClay and Climate Change Minister Simon Watts, today signed three Indo Pacific Economic Framework (IPEF) agreements that will boost investment, grow New Zealand’s digital and green economies and increase trade between New Zealand and the 14 IPEF partners. IPEF’s partners represent 40 per cent of global GDP ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    7 days ago
  • Visit to Viet Nam strengthens ties
    New Zealand and Viet Nam are focused on strengthening cooperation by making progress on mutually beneficial opportunities, Foreign Affairs Minister Winston Peters says. “Viet Nam matters enormously to New Zealand," Mr Peters says. "Our countries enjoy broad cooperation, in such areas as defence, security, trade, education and tourism. We are ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    7 days ago
  • Government delivers funding boost to fix potholes
    The Coalition Government is delivering on its commitment to boost funding for pothole prevention, with indicative funding levels confirmed by NZTA showing a record increase in funding to help fix potholes on our State Highways and Local Roads, Transport Minister Simeon Brown says.  The NZTA Board has today confirmed indicative ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    7 days ago
  • Government making fuel resilience a priority
    The Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment will halt work on procuring reserve diesel stock and explore other ways to bolster New Zealand’s diesel resilience, Associate Energy Minister Shane Jones says. The Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment (MBIE) will also begin work on changes to the minimum fuel stockholding ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Govt strengthens COVID-19 preparedness
    Health Minister Dr Shane Reti says additional supplies of COVID-19 rapid antigen tests (RATs) will enable New Zealanders to continue testing this winter.  “In January, we announced an extension of public access to free RATs until the end of June,” Dr Reti says.  “I’m pleased to confirm that Health New ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • NZ and Fiji commit to strengthening partnership
    Prime Minister Christopher Luxon has met with his Fijian counterpart, Prime Minister Sitiveni Rabuka, and discussed how New Zealand and Fiji can further strengthen their partnership.  During their bilateral talks in Suva this morning, Mr Luxon and Mr Rabuka canvassed a range of issues including defence and regional security, trade, ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Making it easier to invest in New Zealand
    The Associate Minister of Finance David Seymour has issued a new Ministerial directive letter to Land Information New Zealand (LINZ) to make consent processing timeframes faster under the Overseas Investment Act.  “New Zealand is currently rated as having the most restrictive foreign direct investment policy out of the OECD countries ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • $30m investment for faster access to radiology services
    New Zealanders will now benefit from free access to radiology services referred directly by their general practitioner, resulting in faster diagnosis and improved health outcomes, says Health Minister Dr Shane Reti. “Our Budget last Thursday delivered the foundations for a thriving New Zealand economy, but also for better public services ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Speech to Pacific Economic Development Agency – Pacific Business Trust
    Good afternoon everyone, and warm Pacific greetings. Thank you for your lovely introduction Mary Losé. It’s wonderful to be here today at the Pacific Economic Development Agency - Pacific Business Trust. I want to acknowledge the chair Paul Retimanu and chief executive Mary Losé, your team and the many business ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Progress for fixing the Holidays Act 2003
    The Minister for Workplace Relations and Safety Brooke van Velden says this Government will improve the Holidays Act 2003 [the Act] with the help of businesses and workers who will be affected by changes to the Act.  “Change has been a long time coming, and I know there are many ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • New Zealand and Niue mark special milestone
    Prime Minister Christopher Luxon and Niue Premier Dalton Tagelagi have agreed to enhance the special relationship that exists between their two countries, as Niue marks 50 years of self-government in free association with New Zealand. Mr Luxon and Mr Tagelagi held formal talks this morning and released a Joint Statement ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Ministry for Regulation kicks off first sector review – Early Childhood Education
    Minister for Regulation David Seymour today announced the terms of reference for the sector review into early childhood education (ECE) by the new Ministry for Regulation. This will be the first review by the Ministry.   “Issues with affordability and availability of early childhood education, and the complexity of its regulation, ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • $43 million commitment for local catchment groups
    The Government is backing farmers to improve land management practices with a $36 million commitment to support locally led catchment groups, and an additional $7 million direct investment into catchment groups across the country, Agriculture Minister Todd McClay has announced. “Budget 2024 provides $36 million over four years for regionally based ...
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    1 week ago
  • $36 million commitment for local catchment groups
    The Government is backing farmers to improve land management practices with a $36 million commitment to support locally led catchment groups, $7 million of which will go directly to catchment groups across the country, Agriculture Minister Todd McClay has announced. “Budget 2024 provides $36 million over four years for regionally based ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Communities reap rewards of regional investment
    The success of regional investment in the Far North has been highlighted with the opening of two community projects that benefit their communities, Regional Development Minister Shane Jones says. Mr Jones attended a dawn blessing for the $10.16 million Te Hiku Revitalisation project, which has provided much-needed community infrastructure improvements ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Government to sign groundbreaking Indo-Pacific agreements
    Trade Minister Todd McClay and Climate Change Minister Simon Watts travel to Singapore tomorrow to sign three Indo Pacific Economic Framework (IPEF) agreements.  IPEF’s 14 partners represent 40 per cent of global GDP and account for 50 per cent of New Zealand’s exports. They include critical markets for Kiwi exporters ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • King’s Birthday Honours recognise significant contributions to education
    Minister of Education Erica Stanford today recognises the significant achievements of those included in the King’s Birthday 2024 Honours List, particularly those being celebrated for their services to education. “This year’s King’s Birthday Honours recognises the commitment, dedication and passion that those who have been honoured have shown,” Ms Stanford ...
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    1 week ago
  • ...
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  • King’s Birthday Honours for East Coast champion
    Me aro koe ki te hā o Hine-ahu-one The devotion shown by Katareina Kaiwai to improving the lives of people across her community is an inspiration to all New Zealanders, Māori Development Minister Tama Potaka says. Katareina Kaiwai (Ngāti Porou, Rongomaiwahine, Ngāti Kahungunu ki Heretaunga) has been awarded a King’s Service Medal ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago

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