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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 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
    7 days 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
    7 days 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
    1 week 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. ...
    1 week 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 ...
    1 week 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 ...
    1 week 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
    1 week 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 ...
    1 week 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
    1 week ago
  • Has Shane Jones Just Saved NZ First?
    Counter-Puncher: The “activists” and “radicals” (his own words) from the Indian community who took such strong exception to Shane Jones’ remarks about Immigration NZ’s treatment of arranged marriages, may end up bitterly regretting their intervention. Jones is not the sort of person who turns the other cheek to his critics.SHANE ...
    1 week ago
  • Climate Change: As predicted
    Yesterday, when National voted for the Zero Carbon Bill, I predicted they'd gut it the moment they regained power, just as they had done to the ETS. And indeed, they have explicitly promised to do exactly that within their first hundred days in office. What would their amendments do? Abandon ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • Let this never be forgot
    In the spirit of Remember, remember the fifth of November, let's keep this in mind FOREVER.
    Oh dear. Extraordinary interview on PM with Andrew Bridgen and @EvanHD just now. Bridgen was defending Jacob Rees Mogg’s Grenfell comments. Evan asked him if JRM had meant to say he would have left ...
    1 week ago
  • Too Late To Change Capitalism’s Flightpath?
    Collision Course? In conditions of ideological white-out, the international bankers’ “Woop-Woop! Pull Up!” warning may have come too late to save global capitalism.WHAT DOES IT MEAN when international bankers are more willing to embrace radical solutions than our politicians and their electors? At both the International Monetary Fund and the ...
    1 week ago
  • Whooping cough vaccine works well despite its imperfections
    Pertussis (whooping cough) is a conundrum. It is a disease that was described hundreds of years ago and the bacteria that causes it (Bordetella pertussis) isolated in 1906. We have had vaccines for about 80 years but this disease is defiant in the face of human immunity. I wanted to ...
    SciBlogsBy Helen Petousis Harris
    1 week ago
  • Climate Change: Passed
    The Zero Carbon Bill has just passed its third reading, uanimously. In the end, National supported it - but we all know they'll turn around and gut it the moment they regain power. Meanwhile, I guess ACT's David Seymour didn't even bother to show up. I am on record as ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • Retailing of vaping products – New NZ Research
    Dr Lindsay Robertson, Dr Jerram Bateman, Professor Janet Hoek Members of the public health community hold divergent views on how access to vaping products or electronic nicotine delivery systems (ENDS) products should be arranged. Some believe ENDS should be as widely available as smoked tobacco and argue for liberal ...
    SciBlogsBy Public Health Expert
    1 week ago
  • Justice for Bomber
    When the Police were trying to cover up for the National Party over Dirty Politics, they went all-in with their abuses of power. They illegally search Nicky Hager's house, violating his journalistic privilege and invading his privacy. They unlawfully acquired Hager's bank records. They did the same to left-wing blogger ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • Britain’s climate tyranny was unlawful
    Last month, in response to a wave of protests by Extinction Rebellion, the British government purported to ban their protests from the whole of London. It was a significant interference with the freedoms of expression and assembly, and another sign of the country's decline into tyranny. But now, a court ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • More crime from the spies
    Last year, the Inspector-General of Intelligence and Security reported on significant problems with the intelligence warrant system. While they were unwilling to declare any warrant "irregular" (meaning unlawful) due to the recent law change, they were also not willing to give the system a clean bill of health. Now, they've ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • Vaccination, compulsion, and paternalism for the lower orders
    The National Party has come out in support of encouraging greater vaccination uptake. But it sure isn’t the way I’d do it. National’s suggested docking the benefits of those on benefit whose kids aren’t keeping up with their vaccinations. Some in National have suggested extending that to payments under Working ...
    SciBlogsBy Eric Crampton
    2 weeks ago
  • Global Protests Rage On: But Slogans Are Not Plans.
    Feeding The Flames: It is simply not enough to demand an end to “corruption”, or “inequality”, or the overbearing influence of the authorities in Beijing. These are just “lowest common denominator” demands: the sort of slogans that pull people onto the streets. They are not a plan.WHERE’S THE PLAN? Across ...
    2 weeks ago
  • 11,000 employed under Labour
    The labour market statistics have been released, and unemployment has risen to 4.2%. There are 115,000 unemployed - 11,000 fewer than when Labour took office. In that time the minimum wage has gone up by $2 an hour, which shows that the right's fears about increases causing unemployment are simply ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • Boycott this democratic fraud
    The Foreign Affairs, Defence and Trade Committee has called for submissions on Andrew Little's tyrannical Terrorism Suppression (Control Orders) Bill. Normally I encourage participation in the democratic process. I am not doing so in this case. Instead, I encourage all of you to boycott this submissions process, and to post ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • Why Mars is cold despite an atmosphere of mostly carbon dioxide
    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 If tiny concentrations of carbon dioxide can hold enough heat ...
    SciBlogsBy Guest Author
    2 weeks ago
  • Climate Change: Ban private jets
    Aviation is one of the fastest growing sources of greenhouse gas emissions, and within it, one of the fastest sources is elite travel: billionaires flitting around the world in their private jets, spewing excessive pollution into the atmosphere just so they can avoid mixing with us dirty peasants. But in ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • Climate Change: Untold Suffering
    That's what we face if we don't stop climate change, according to a warning from 11,000 scientists:The world’s people face “untold suffering due to the climate crisis” unless there are major transformations to global society, according to a stark warning from more than 11,000 scientists. “We declare clearly and unequivocally ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • The left and violent misogyny
    by Phil Duncan Here’s just a few of the kind of threats issued day in and day out against gender-critical women – feminists, marxists, etc – overwhelmingly by MEN (albeit men identifying as women). “Kill all Terfs”. “Shoot a Terf today”. “All terfs deserve to be shot in the head”. ...
    RedlineBy Admin
    2 weeks ago
  • Imperialism and the iPhone
    This is the third of the synopses of parts of the opening chapter of John Smith’s Imperialism in the 21st Century (New York, Monthly Review Press, 2016). The synopsis and commentary below is written by Phil Duncan. Unlike the humble cup of coffee and t-shirt that we looked at in ...
    RedlineBy Admin
    2 weeks ago
  • The freshwater mussel housing crisis: eviction by invasive weeds?
    Tom Moore Traditionally a food source and cutting tool, freshwater mussels/kākahi are now widely valued as water filters that help clean our waterbodies and maintain ecosystem health throughout Aotearoa. The improvement they provide in water quality can make it easier for other animals to live in streams and rivers, as ...
    SciBlogsBy Guest Author
    2 weeks ago
  • Back it up Luxon: endorsing the destructive past is not actually the way forward
    And to think he gave all the potential goodwill away with that moronic, cult-like statement (repeated ad nauseam by many National hardliners) that Key is quite simply “the greatest PM we ever had”… Installation complete: this was nothing ...
    exhALANtBy exhalantblog
    2 weeks ago
  • Good riddance
    National MP and former Conservation Minister Maggie Barry will not seek re-election next year. Good riddance. Because in case anyone has forgotten, barry is a bullying thug who terrorised both public servants and fellow MPs. She is one of the people who makes Parliament a toxic workplace, and our country ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • Climate Change: D-Day
    The Zero Carbon Bill is back in the House today for its second reading. While this isn't the final stage, its still effectively D-Day for the bill. Because today, at around 5pm, is when we're going to find out if it has a majority, whether National will support it or ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • Winston is right
    Winston Peters is in court today, suing a bunch of former Minister and civil servants over their pre-election leak of his superannuation repayment. He's characterised the leak as malicious, and said that it is repugnant that his information was passed on to Ministers to use for political advantage. And he's ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • Media impartiality
    Sky's economics editor, Ed Conway has posted a Twitter thread responding to a claim that - as far as I can see - Labour never made:
    Are NHS operation cancellations at an all-time high? That's the impression you might have been left with if you read this story from the ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Finish what’s on your plate
    Murray Cox Do I have to finish my favourite genome? That’s an often-asked question. Geneticists generally strive to produce high-quality genomes that sequence every last gene, making full use of the state-of-the-art technologies coming on stream. Sequencing DNA means determining the order of the four chemical building blocks – called ...
    SciBlogsBy Genomics Aotearoa
    2 weeks ago
  • Gainful Employment: A Cautionary Tale.
    Transformative Politics: The idea is to turn each recipient into an unwitting accomplice in their own transformation. From interested observer to hyped-up activist, sharing our messages promiscuously with ‘friends’. You’ll be part of an ever-expanding circulatory system, Jennifer, for the ideas that will win us the election.”JENNIFER SKITTERED her chair ...
    2 weeks ago
  • New Zealand should not fund bigotry
    Two years ago, the Cook Islands government announced that it was planning to join the civilised world and decriminalise consensual homosexual sex between men. Now, they've reversed their position, and decided to criminalise lesbians into the bargain:Two years ago, in a step welcomed by many people including the gay and ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • New Fisk
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks 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 ...
    4 days ago
  • Addressing miscarriages of justice
    Darroch Ball, Spokesperson for Justice New Zealand First is proud that a key Coalition Agreement commitment which will provide for a more transparent and effective criminal justice system has been realised. Legislation to establish the Criminal Cases Review Commission, an independent body focused on identifying and responding to possible miscarriages of ...
    5 days 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 ...
    1 week 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 ...
    1 week 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
  • Week That Was: 2,000 teachers in two years
    We began the week by commemorating the New Zealand Wars and celebrating a major increase in the number of teachers. Then, we were busy supporting offenders into work and getting our rail back on track after years of underinvestment. And that's just the start! ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Winning an election one conversation at a time
    In October I was sworn in as the Mayor of Lower Hutt. It’s the privilege of my life to serve Hutt people as their Mayor. There is something really special to be able to serve the community where I was raised, and where I live.   ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Closer cooperation with Korean horse racing industry
    Rt Hon Winston Peters, Deputy Prime Minister, Minister for Racing Racing Minister Winston Peters met with Korea Racing Authority Chairperson Nak Soon Kim in Seoul today to discuss closer cooperation between the New Zealand and Korean horse racing industries. As part of the visit to the Seoul Racecourse, Mr Peters witnessed ...
    3 weeks ago
  • Otago to lead digital creativity
    Hon Shane Jones, Minister for Regional Economic Development The Provincial Growth Fund (PGF) is investing $10 million to establish Otago as the centre of New Zealand’s creative digital industry over the next ten years, Regional Development Minister Shane Jones announced today. “The initiative will bring us closer to the vision of ...
    3 weeks ago
  • Young Otago students encouraged to take on forestry careers
    Hon Shane Jones, Minister for Regional Economic Development The Provincial Growth Fund (PGF)’s skills and employment programme will help young Otago people into long-term forestry careers, Regional Economic Development Minister Shane Jones announced today. Te Ara Mahi will invest $63,000 in the 2020 school year to support eight 17 and 18 ...
    3 weeks ago
  • PGF backing Dunedin’s waterfront ambitions
    Hon Shane Jones, Minister for Regional Economic Development The Provincial Growth Fund (PGF) will support local plans to revitalise and stimulate economic development opportunities in Otago, Regional Economic Development Minister Shane Jones has announced. The four Regional Economic Development Ministers have approved an in-principle investment of $19.9 million towards the region’s ...
    3 weeks ago
  • M. Bovis eradication progress welcomed
    Mark Patterson, Spokesperson for Primary Industries New Zealand First is pleased to have received the Technical Advisory Group (TAG) report on the Coalition Government’s Mycoplasma bovis eradication efforts, which shows significant progress in the fight against the disease. New Zealand First Spokesperson for Primary Industries, Mark Patterson, says the report’s findings ...
    3 weeks ago
  • PGF boosts Otago’s engineering and manufacturing sector
    Hon Shane Jones, Minister for Regional Economic Development Hon David Parker, Minister for Trade and Export Growth The Provincial Growth Fund (PGF) is investing to support economic growth opportunities for Otago’s engineering and manufacturing sectors, Regional Development Minister Shane Jones and Trade and Export Minister David Parker announced today. Almost $20 million ...
    3 weeks ago
  • Minister Peters discusses Pacific challenges and denuclearisation in Seoul
    Rt Hon Winston Peters, Deputy Prime Minister, Minister of Foreign Affairs Foreign Minister Winston Peters and his South Korean counterpart, Kang Kyung-wha, discussed in Seoul today opportunities to work more closely in the Pacific and the situation on the Korean Peninsula. Mr Peters and Minister Kang confirmed New Zealand and the ...
    3 weeks ago
  • PGF supports high speed broadband for marae at Parihaka Pa
    Hon Shane Jones, Minister for Regional Economic Development  Hon Nanaia Mahuta, Minister for Māori Development The three marae in the historic Parihaka Pa complex in Taranaki have been upgraded to high speed broadband with the support of the Provincial Growth Fund (PGF), Regional Economic Development Minister Shane Jones announced today. “Connecting the ...
    3 weeks ago
  • Advancing Pacific Partnerships 2019 launched
    Hon Ron Mark, Minister of Defence Minister of Defence Ron Mark will today launch the Advancing Pacific Partnerships 2019 Defence Assessment  during a speech at Te Papa.  The Assessment outlines how Defence will partner with our Pacific Island neighbours and invest in Pacific regional security architecture. The Plan aligns with the Coalition ...
    3 weeks ago
  • PGF funding could transform Gisborne company into “beacon of employment” in two years
    A new Provincial Growth Fund investment could create about 80 new jobs in Gisborne over the next two years, turning a local small business into a “beacon of employment” in the process. Regional Economic Development Parliamentary Under-Secretary Fletcher Tabuteau said the PGF’s Te Ara Mahi funding stream would provide $1.6m ...
    3 weeks ago

  • Fairer rules for tenants and landlords
    The Government has delivered on its promise to the over one million New Zealanders who now rent to make it fairer and more secure, Associate Minister of Housing (Public Housing) Kris Faafoi has announced today. Both renters and landlords will benefit from the suite of practical changes to the Residential ...
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    9 hours ago
  • Food industry asked to step up fight against obesity
         The Government is asking the food industry to step up work to tackle obesity including reducing sugar, fat and salt in their products, better information for consumers, and tighter restrictions on advertising to children. Health Minister David Clark and Food Safety Minister Damien O’Connor have responded to a ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • Modern emergency care for Queenstown area
    ew, modern emergency department and outpatient facilities at Queenstown’s Lakes District Hospital mean better emergency care for the growing tourist mecca’s visitors and locals, says Health Minister David Clark. Today Dr Clark officially opened the hospital’s redeveloped Emergency Department and Outpatient facilities. The new facilities include: •    An extended Emergency Department ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • Contraception important for New Zealanders
    Associate Health Minister Julie Anne Genter says today’s release of sexual and reproductive health data reinforces the significance of the Government’s commitment to providing free or very low-cost contraception. The Ministry of Health today published statistics from the Ministry of Health’s 2014/15 Health Survey. “It is important people can make ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • NZ medical staff and measles vaccines going to Samoa
    Foreign Minister Winston Peters has announced that at the request of the Samoan Government, New Zealand will be providing further support to Samoa as it faces a worsening measles outbreak. “In response to a request from the people of Samoa, New Zealand is providing 3000 measles, mumps and rubella (MMR) ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • Disability Action Plan 2019 – 2023
    “The new Disability Action Plan 2019–2023 moves us towards the inclusive and accessible New Zealand that this government has committed to,” Minister for Disability Issues Carmel Sepuloni announced today.  “The Action Plan was designed by disabled people, their family and supporters, the disability sector and government agencies. It will ensure ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • Joint Statement – Third Singapore-New Zealand Defence Ministers’ Meeting
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    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • Sexual Violence Legislation Bill has its first reading
    A Bill to improve the court system’s response to sexual violence has passed its first reading in Parliament today. Justice Minister Andrew Little says the Sexual Violence Legislation Bill will reduce the trauma sexual violence complainants experience in court, while maintaining defendants’ fundamental rights and making sure the trial process ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • Streamlined business invoicing a step closer
    Streamlined payment practices are a step closer for Kiwi businesses with the formal launch of New Zealand’s e-Invoicing framework. Small Business Minister Stuart Nash says the government has now established the structure to enable automated and direct data exchange between the accounting systems of buyers and sellers. “The move to ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • More frontline biosecurity officers protecting NZ
    Another 51 quarantine officers and four new biosecurity detector dog teams will help protect New Zealand from invasive pests and diseases this summer, says Biosecurity Minister Damien O’Connor. “The Government is delivering on its commitment to strengthen New Zealand’s biosecurity system and support our valuable primary sector “New Zealand’s flora, fauna ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • NZ space economy worth $1.69 billion
    A new report has found New Zealand’s space sector contributed $1.69 billion to the economy in the last financial year and employs 12,000 people, Minister for Economic Development Phil Twyford announced today. The report by Deloitte was commissioned by the Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment and shows New Zealand ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • New Chair for Royal Commission into Abuse
    Judge Coral Shaw has been appointed as the new Chair of the Royal Commission into Historical Abuse in State Care and in the Care of Faith-based Institutions, Internal Affairs Minister Tracey Martin announced today. "Judge Shaw, who is currently one of the inquiry commissioners, is extremely well qualified for the ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • Better mental health facilities for Palmerston North
    The Government has confirmed its third major mental health facility upgrade since the Budget, this time at Palmerston North Hospital. The Prime Minister and Health Minister today visited MidCentral DHB to announce that $30 million has been allocated to upgrade its acute mental health facility. It follows earlier announcements in ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • Bowel Screening hits halfway point
    The roll out of the National Bowel Screening Programme has reached the halfway mark, with 10 out of 20 District Health Boards now part of the programme. MidCentral DHB, which covers Palmerston North, Manawatu and surrounding districts, this week became the latest to DHB to offer free bowel screening to ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • More vaccines for meningococcal disease
    The Government welcomes PHARMAC’s decision to fund a vaccine to protect young people from meningococcal disease from 1 December this year. “Meningococcal disease is a serious threat which people at higher risk should be protected from,” says Associate Health Minister Julie Anne Genter. “The combined pharmaceutical budget was increased by ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • Fisheries innovation projects supported
    Groups involved with innovative fisheries research projects are encouraged to apply for government support in the latest funding round from the Sustainable Food and Fibre Futures programme. Fisheries Minister Stuart Nash says the SFF Futures funding is designed to be flexible enough to support small or large projects across a ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • Government fixes culturally arranged marriage visa issue
    The Government has fixed an issue affecting how Immigration New Zealand has processed visa applications for culturally arranged marriages, which will now see a consistent process applied which ensures people with legitimate arranged marriages can visit New Zealand while also preventing any rorting of the system. Earlier this year Immigration ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • Extension for Royal Commission into Mosque attacks
    The Royal Commission into the Attacks on Christchurch Mosques will report back on 30 April 2020 to give it more time to hear submissions and consider information, Internal Affairs Minister Tracey Martin announced today. The Royal Commission was originally scheduled to report back to Government by 10 December 2019. “There has ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • Terrorism and Trade on agenda as Foreign Minister visits the United States
    Foreign Minister Winston Peters will travel to Washington DC today to attend a ministerial meeting focused on defeating ISIS, and to continue pursuing New Zealand’s trade opportunities. Mr Peters will participate in a meeting of Foreign and Defence Ministers from key countries contributing to the Global Coalition to Defeat ISIS. ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • Hoiho get extra support alongside 168 community conservation groups backing nature
    The recently crowned Bird of the Year, the hoiho/yellow eyed penguin, is getting a much needed helping hand alongside more than 168 other community conservation projects announced Minister for Conservation Eugenie Sage today. 168 community conservation projects throughout New Zealand are benefiting from $8 million in government grants, including $500,000 ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • New safety measures for modified pistols
    Controls on assault rifles and semi-automatic firearms are to be broadened to include some types of pistols, under changes to a bill currently making its way through Parliament. Police Minister Stuart Nash has tabled a Supplementary Order Paper to the Arms Legislation Bill, which is currently before a Select Committee ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • Minister of Defence to visit Singapore and Thailand
    Minister of Defence Ron Mark will travel to Singapore today to conduct a counterpart visit and to co-chair the third annual Singapore-New Zealand Defence Ministers’ Meeting with his counterpart, Minister for Defence Dr Ng Eng Hen. “Singapore is one of our most important defence partners in the region, and our ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • Future secured for Salisbury School
    Nelson’s Salisbury School is to be rebuilt, creating a modern and suitable learning environment for students at the residential special school, Education Minister Chris Hipkins and Associate Education Minister Tracey Martin announced today. The school for girls aged 8-15, in Richmond, was earmarked for closure by National until the process ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • Resource management reform options released
    The panel undertaking a comprehensive review of the Resource Management Act has identified the main issues to be addressed and options for reform and is calling for feedback to inform its final report.  In July the Government announced the comprehensive review of the resource management system, including the RMA - ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • Criminal Cases Review Commission established
    An important safety valve has been added to New Zealand’s criminal justice system with the third reading of the Criminal Cases Review Commission Bill today. The Criminal Cases Review Commission (CCRC) will investigate claimed miscarriages of justice. “We’ve seen how our justice system can very occasionally get things spectacularly wrong, ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • Racing Industry destined to be on-track
    Racing Minister Winston Peters welcomes the tabling of the Racing Industry Transition Agency (RITA) 2019 Annual Report in Parliament today. He says the 2019 Annual Report marks the point when New Zealand’s racing industry’s decline was arrested and a turnaround started. RITA’s 2019 Annual Report recorded an industry net profit ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • New Zealand firefighter support to Queensland
    The New Zealand Government is today sending 21 firefighters to help fight the ongoing catastrophic Australian bushfires. “The fires in Australia are in some of the toughest, most challenging conditions ever,” says Internal Affairs Minister Tracey Martin.  “As of yesterday morning, there were 100 active bushfire-related incidents across Queensland and ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • Supporting all schools to succeed
      More frontline support for schools through a new education agency, as part of a redesigned Ministry of Education More support for principals and school boards including through a new centre of leadership and local leadership advisor roles New independent disputes panels for parents and students Management of school property ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • Reform to support better outcomes for Māori learners and whānau
    The Government’s reform of the Tomorrow’s Schools system is a watershed moment in education and an opportunity to create meaningful change for ākonga Māori and their whānau, Associate Education Minister Kelvin Davis said today. “Last year through Kōrero Mātauranga | Education Conversation, Māori teachers, parents, ākonga, whānau, hapū and iwi ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
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  • Infrastructure pipeline growing
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