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Spinning the media: commericial imperatives

Written By: - Date published: 10:55 am, September 2nd, 2014 - 22 comments
Categories: blogs, books, news, newspapers, radio, tv - Tags:

Dirty Politics has resulted in many questions being asked about the quality and reliability of the coverage of politics by the news media and blogs.

component politics

Blogs, the Media and Two-Track Politics

Many are trying to claim that left wing blogs are as bad as those that are the focus of Hager’s book.  The book focuses on a right wing network focused on attack and smear politics, with Cameron Slater and his Whale Oil blog a central focus.

Remember, the main argument of Dirty Politics is that, since at least 2008, the National Party and its allies have used a two track strategy: one track is the positive public face of John Key as a nice, smiley ordinary Kiwi; the second track is a covert, black ops smear machine involving people like Cameron Slater, Jason Ede, Cathy Odgers and Simon Lusk, who have a strong connection with Judith Collins.

Left blogs like the Standard, have never been involved in that kind of extensively orchestrated black ops.  This can bee seen by anyone who spends the time looking at the content of Standard posts over time, and comparing them with whale Oil.  For instance, stories have been broken on the latter blog that have been picked up by the mainstream media.

dirty politics connections

And, surely the journalists on the receiving end of sources from within the blogosphere would have some idea of which blogs/bloggers are feeding attack lines to them?

Mediawatch on Dirty Politics

Last weekend, Radio New Zealand’s Mediawatch explore some of the issues.  It includes extracts from interviews with TV 3 News chief Mark Jennings, business journalist Patrick Smellie, and ex TV3 political reporter Duncan Garner.

Mediawatch

Mediawatch presenter Colin Peakcock provides a summary of Sunday’s Mediawatch on the RNZ website.

In the programme Duncan Garner says that the content of Dirty Politics is significant and serious. It is itneresting that he, like some commenters and authors on The Standard, had, in the past suspected that Jason Ede, Cameron Slater were part of a covert team feeding smear/attack stories to the media.

Garner says that back when he was working for TV3, he had written a blog post about Ede and Slater being involved in some kind of triangle.  He had talked to ede about it, and Ede convinced him not to publish the post.

The Mediawatch focuses on the example reported in Dirty Politics, of a letter from David Cunliffe to immigration officials in support of Donghua Liu. [NZ Herald report on the story].  Journalists had been contacted suggesting they ask Cunliffe about his contacts with Liu.  Cunliffe, not remembering a form letter from his electorate office several years previously claimed he’d had no contact with liu.  Then the journalists produced the letter.

As Peacock says, the letter itself wasn’t damning, it was merely embarrassing when it was produced after a denial had been issued by Cunliffe.

Garner says that sort of thing happens all the time. He also says that he had said on air at the time that Cameron Slater and Jason Ede were probably responsible for breaking the story.

Jennings said that 3 News were involved in breaking that story, and had done their own forensic investigation about the sources. He assures listeners that Slater was not the source: that they had been looking at the story for a while, and had been communicating with other sources.

The Problems are with the Commericalised, Corporatised Media System

moneyandpolitics

The problem though is that journalists and media producers and editors tend to be looking to defend themselves on the technicalities related to the production of individual stories.  The problem is much bigger.  It has to do with the system.  For instance, why are mainstream news organisations putting so much effort into relatively trivial “gotcha” politics?  The highly commercialised, corporatised news media encourages such a focus. The need to produce copy, under pressure of time, and in a way that generates ratings, advertising and sales, produces infotainment: dramatic headlines, personality conflicts and beatups.

We need a public service (on and offline) media that is free from such commercial pressures.  Jennings expects new blogging networks like the Whale Oil-Ede one, to replace them.  But, a stronger, public service media, focused more intensely on significant issues, and thorough research and analysis would provide a context in which such malicious and malevolent smear networks would not thrive.

In his RNZ article Peacock summarises a Horizon Poll that is featured on the Mediawatch programme:

When Horizon Research asked 1752 people if the media act had acted impartially with bloggers offering information, more than half said they had failed to do so.

According to Horizon Research, that means mainstream media’s alleged association with political attack bloggers would be of concern to around one and half million adult New Zealanders.

It is not just that such malevolent networks are operating, it is the way journalists respond to them that is the issue.

Online Media Standards Authority – MSM Dominated

The programme, like many journalists currently, talk up the use of the Online Media Standards Authority as a way to keep bloggers in check.  However, this is MSM dominated and part of our role is to hold journalists an media organisations to account with critical op ep posts. Current laws of defamation are already sufficient to keep us in line.

Furthermore, it wasn’t so much what was being posted on Whale Oil and, at time Kiwiblog, that has been the problem. The problem has been that mainstream journalists gave them too much credibility and were too ready to run their lines.

The Dirtiness of Dirty Politics

On top of that, according to Dirty Politics and some related released emails, the Whale Oil network have been allegedly attempting to blackmail and pressure journalists in to doing their bidding.

22 comments on “Spinning the media: commericial imperatives”

  1. Bill 1

    …it wasn’t so much what was being posted on Whale Oil and, at time Kiwiblog, that has been the problem. The problem has been that mainstream journalists gave them too much credibility and were too ready to run their lines.

    Agree.

    Also, I wonder…here at ‘ts’ and on other notable blogs, ideas and critical analysis are fairly common. Some of them are important and (it seems) they very seldom if ever get traction in the mainstream.

    A part of me, and not completely absently, wonders then, if ‘the word’ was put out, by or through WO etc, to ignore ‘ts’ and other blogs if journalists wanted to preserve easy access to scoops and insider info coming from WO. It would make sense when running lines and ‘capturing’ the narrative to exclude ‘interference’, no?

    • emergency mike 1.1

      Yes Bill, I wonder how much WO & friends of the VRWC kept an eye on the discussions here. I’ve often thought that the distraktor tr0lls and sock muppets who used to comment here but now seem to have disappeared for some strange reason were simply testing their Ede/Farrar spin lines here. To see what kind of objections a bunch of intelligent lefties would come up with. Close to 100% of the time the discussion simply ended with them looking like incoherent morons – but they kept coming back.

      As it’s been pointed out there is no left leaning equivalent to WO. But what needs to be said is that there is no right leaning equivalent to TS. There is high level discussion here which has consistently offered critical lines that have proven to be prescient that the MSM could have investigated, but didn’t.

      WO and Kiwiblog have consistently offered attack and smear lines that appears to be propaganda coordinated with the National party. The MSM lapped it up and jumped on board.

    • Tracey 1.2

      And hooton and farrar have been used by MSM evan after suggestions of their manipulation were made public…

  2. Tigger 2

    +1 Karol. ‘Authorities ‘ are old media ways to provide relief. It won’t work moving forward. We need to use existing laws, as you rightly say, and root out/not tolerate the kind of behaviour Slater et al have engaged in.

    The current situation arose because of the conspiracy between the media and our government. It would help to have the entire thing examined, picked over and held up as an example of what should not happen.

  3. Anne 3

    It’s my view that Nicky Hager only captured the tip of the iceberg in his book “Dirty Politcis”, and sooner or later the whole truth is going to be revealed. Unfortunately not before the election.

    Take the Donaghua Liu pro-forma letter:

    It’s clear Liu was working in tandem with some National politicians, Slater’s mob, and in all probability “the PM’s Office”. It was they who encouraged Liu to go public with his claims. From memory, it was the Herald journo who OIA’d the letter and knowledge of it’s existence could only have come from Liu in the first instance.

    An orchestrated campaign to bring down Cunliffe by the Nat. Party Black Ops. machine operating out of the PM.s Office and some unethical and partisan journos.

    Cunliffe’s Phil Goff moment. Only this time they didn’t get away with it due to the diligence and courage shown by the hacker, Rawshark and Nicky Hager.

    • disturbed 4.1

      Joe,

      I am blown away by this National Government closely aligning their propaganda policy’s to Goebbels system.

      Steven Joyce is the man behind this as his elk William Joyce was the radio broadcaster who defected to NAZI Germany from Britain in 1941 to spout NAZI propaganda for Hitler.

      We now have proof that John Key attended a secret NAZI founded organisation in Europe in 2011 and with held this from the NZ public.

      The organisation Bilderberg was founded by NAZI Party in 1943, to have the NAZI party stay alive when Germany lost the war.

      We need to have a full independent royal commission to investigate all National affiliation with any foreign agents who are assisting National to subvert the course of our Democracy and Justice,

      § Why did John Key not inform the citizens of this Country in 2011 when he attended a NAZI founded organisation called the Bilderberg group, in Europe?

      This group is well known as one of the most secretive clandestine organisations globally, that specialises in weakening Governments with Black Ops special forces.
      Below he was in attendance as John Key Prime Minister of New Zealand.

      Attended by most the biggest industrial and richest elite globally their aim is to dominate the globe and control all activities.

      http://twochurchesonly.com/supmat/03/most_influential/bilderberg_group/
      list_of_bilderberg_attendees.pdf

      List of Bilderberg participants 4
      New Zealand
      • John Key (2011-2012), Prime Minister of New Zealand
      http://www.sourcewatch.org/index.php?title=Bilderberg

      No Bilderberg meeting agenda has ever been made public. “It is the epitome of low-profile dark ops, a shadow government hidden in a doorway.” According to critics and close observers, it’s agenda is to weaken all world leadership but their own. It is also, according to a U.S. law called the Logan Act, [15] illegal:

  4. fambo 5

    The irony of the claim that The Standard is doing the same as Whale Oil is that the MSM has had so many great story leads to follow on The Standard and Daily Blog but has actually ignored them all, putting it days, weeks and even months behind breaking news.

  5. Excellent analysis karol.

    I think the ‘crunch’ that the media have been under – as with every other part of society – since the 1980s leads almost inevitably to this kind of weakening of the public interest role.

    That ‘interest’ is replaced by rather more commercial interests. Even a ‘public interest’ story is pursued only if it can also meet the commercial interest. There is no sense of the public interest role being a requisite for a serious news organisation irrespective of its effect on the ‘bottom line’.

    In parallel and interconnected is the general population – which is under the same ‘crunch’ – seeking from media a distraction from life, a softly chewable version of the world with no ‘hard bits’ in it.

    The end result is the kind of tolerance for deception and projects of misinformation (even approval of them as being ‘clever’) that we see today.

    • Tracey 6.1

      Shift of focus to bottom line thinking results in staff cuts and pandering pieces… Hence glucoma is actually paid for what she does… And “opinion” writers like Hide, Laws, McCarten, coddington, peope whocannot escape their tie to a particular ideology but get presented with valuable air time to influence and run lines

  6. ghostwhowalksnz 7

    This bit of weasel speak is interesting:

    “3 News were involved in breaking that story, and had done their own forensic investigation about the sources. He assures listeners that Slater was not the source: that they had been looking at the story for a while, and had been communicating with other sources.”

    Thats pretty easy to use Slater as a straw man here as National didnt run everything through him. As the original letter was found by Woodhouse when he did a full search of files, it probably didnt go to Ede at all, just another one of the Orifices press flunkies.

  7. Phat Psycho Hen Joky 8

    Cognitive Dissonance, the Rule of Consistency and Our Media/Political Commentators

    Has anyone been listening to our Media/Political Commentators lately, and are they going through Cognitive Dissonance? It appears they hate being inconsistent. I would almost say they are becoming a little unhinged.

    Cognitive Dissonance http://www.simplypsychology.org/cognitive-dissonance.html:
    “we hold many cognitions about the world and ourselves; when they clash, a discrepancy is evoked, resulting in a state of tension known as cognitive dissonance. As the experience of dissonance is unpleasant, we are motivated to reduce or eliminate it, and achieve consonance (i.e. agreement).”

    These are some of the comments on a particular radio station this week (hopefully not out of context, you need to check accuracy)

    Mr X:
    • It would be a shame that the current issues with dirty politics would influence the election.
    • They should take stock and look over the policies and how it will pan out in the next 3 years?
    • An important consideration is what effect the revelations in Dirty politics will have on legitimate public discourse

    Mr Y:
    •Gives advice to JK (he should have come clean and this would have all been avoided)
    •Mentions the National Party were treating him badly and that he has a soft spot for a particular minister because he stood up for him for a contract (also mentions he got paid quite well for the contract)?
    •Gets a jibe in at Nikki Hager using a 3rd party, John Keys comment
    •Then mentions how bad all this dirty politics and the influencing of politics

    Mr & Mrs Z:
    •The usual: interview someone about dirty politics, then say, gee, everyone does it, the left does it to (then make it a recurring theme in every interview – i.e. too distract)

    The odd fair comment, but in general, these guys are in denial. Just take this one comment from the above:

    “It would be a shame that the current issues with dirty politics would influence the election”

    So, your saying let’s separate out dirty politics, ignore what was going on, pretend that all is well, that democracy is just fine? Its like saying it’s ok to be abused then let your abuser off the hook and say that he is a nice guy?

    These commentators sound (tonal) balanced, but, really, are they? Personally, it appears to me they are going through a crisis of consistency and cognitive dissonance. its apparent a number of media people are feeling left out in the cold. How do you reconcile this?

    How do you reconcile with a smiling assassin?

  8. Phat Psycho Hen Joky 9

    If you think about it, Cognitive Dissonance is an extremely clever part of attack politics.

    People will simple turn off and go away, or keep moving in the same direction.

    I am blown away by how many people are in denial about this, they just don’t want to know and will come up with every excuse under the sun to justify it.

    How can the clean cut Keys be such a sleaze…. its not possible?

    So, how do you turn this around?

    How do you get people to change tack? Thats the fundamental question.

    • One Anonymous Bloke 9.1

      Studies indicate modest success with emotion-based strategies when tackling right wing bigotry. No doubt the government will cut their funding.

    • adam 9.2

      It’s called counter propaganda. Basically what OAB said – but, lets keep the details, mum.

  9. Peter_T 10

    Great, but I’m still a bit disappointed that Labour has not fully committed to properly funding the sort of public media system it (rightly) diagnoses as the answer to the identified problems with the corporate media and right-wing blogosphere.

  10. Dont worry. Be happy 11

    Jane Goodell when asked how do you change peoples’ minds said, “you tell them a story and change their hearts”

  11. Paul 12

    Shadows of Liberty …film
    Recommended viewing for us…so we don’t end up as bad as the USA.
    http://shadowsofliberty.org/
    http://www.imdb.com/title/tt1543807/

    We’re getting close.

  12. dave 13

    a lot of reporters are very compromised know creditability as reporters blown apart best use for a herald is a wrapper for fish and chips that’s it they are struggling to sell there paper get subscriptions this whole affair is not going to help I think there should be a boycott campaign launched at some of the media

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    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
    1 week 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 ...
    1 week 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
    1 week 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
    1 week 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
    1 week 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
    1 week 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
    1 week 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
    1 week 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
    1 week 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
    1 week 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
    1 week 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
    1 week 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
    1 week 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
    1 week 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 ...
    1 week 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
    1 week 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 ...
    1 week 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
    1 week ago
  • New Fisk
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • More tyranny in Australia
    The boycott is a fundamental tool of protest. By choosing who we buy from, we can send a message, and hopefully change corporate behaviour. Historically, boycotts have been effective, for example over apartheid in South Africa and Israel, in forcing divestment from Myanmar, and in ending bus segregation in the ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • Submission for rationality and science against the assaults of pre-modernism and post-modernism
    Jan Rivers spoke at the Abortion Legislation Select Committee in favour of the bill, but in opposition to calls from other submitters to exchange the word ‘woman’ for ‘person’ throughout the bill. Jan is a supporter of the feminist group Speak Up For Women and has recently written an excellent ...
    RedlineBy Daphna
    2 weeks ago
  • My loyal readership of … Cam girls and Pornbots?
    I checked my traffic stats:I was intrigued by 'monica29' - who was this very dedicated individual?  I clicked on the link, to be greeted with ...Ho, hum.Spreadin' the word, spreadin' the word.  Doesn't matter who hears it, as long as it gets out there. ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Worth repeating forever
    There have been three polls since the election was announced, and I will shamelessly steal YouGov / UK Polling Report's Anthony Wells' summary of them:Survation – CON 34%, LAB 26%, LDEM 19%, BREX 12%, GRN 1% Ipsos MORI – CON 41%, LAB 24%, LDEM 20%, BREX 7%, GRN 3% YouGov ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Lutte Ouvriere on the explosion in Chile
    The following article is translated from Lutte Ouvrière, the weekly newspaper of the organisation usually known by the same name in France. When, for the second time this year, Chilean President Piñera announced an increase in the price of Metro tickets from 800 to 830 pesos, students in the high ...
    RedlineBy Admin
    2 weeks ago
  • Wage theft – I’m fucking over it.
    Today, a worker contacted me asking if she could go to the police over her employer stealing thousands of dollars from her in unpaid wages. The employer also did not pay this worker’s taxes or student loan which amounts to tax fraud. As a workers rights activist, who founded the ...
    PosseBy chloeanneking
    2 weeks ago
  • On The Rebound.
    Signed, Sealed, Delivered, They're Yours: Is there any person more vulnerable than a jilted lover on the rebound? Or, anything more certain than that the charmer, the predator, the glib spinner of lies and promises will seek such broken people out? Yes, of course, he will love every one of ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Rabbi urges congregation to vote against Corbyn
    Though Jonathan Romain is a fairly high profile Rabbi, writing in several papers and popping up on TV and the radio, this story doesn't seem to have made it to the Guardian yet, so I'll take the unusual step of linking the Stephen Pollard edited Jewish Chronicle:Rabbi Dr Jonathan Romain ...
    2 weeks ago
  • My absurdly optimistic prediction
    There's an election afoot, and that is when noted opinion formers such as myself get to make wild fools of ourselves by pretending we have the faintest idea what will happen.So, here is my absurdly optimistic prediction:Labour - 285Conservative - 262SNP - 53Lib Dems - 20PC - 5Ireland - 18 ...
    2 weeks ago
  • October ’19 – NZ blogs sitemeter ranking
    Image Credit: Increase Social Media Traffic & Website Traffic I notice a few regulars no longer allow public access to the site counters. This may happen accidentally when the blog format is altered. If your ...
    2 weeks ago
  • A mountain of a challenge in banning glyphosate
    Belinda Cridge I was reading my son a story last night. A great tale of derring-do of five mountaineers scaling the Matterhorn for the first time. One in the party had tried six times previously and failed, this was the last attempt before winter closed another season. They tried a ...
    SciBlogsBy Guest Author
    2 weeks ago
  • This government has a problem with secrecy
    As introduced, the Zero Carbon Bill included an expansive secrecy clause, which would have covered virtually all decisions by the Climate Change Commission over our most important policy area. The Ministry for the Environment admitted this was a mistake (or as they put it, an "oversight"), and the select committee ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • A small New Zealand songbird that hides food for later use provides insights into cognitive evolutio...
    Rachael Shaw, Victoria University of Wellington When we think about animals storing food, the image that usually comes to mind is a squirrel busily hiding nuts for the winter. We don’t usually think of a small songbird taking down an enormous invertebrate, tearing it into pieces and hiding these titbits ...
    SciBlogsBy Guest Author
    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 hours ago
  • Addressing miscarriages of justice
    Darroch Ball, Spokesperson for Justice New Zealand First is proud that a key Coalition Agreement commitment which will provide for a more transparent and effective criminal justice system has been realised. Legislation to establish the Criminal Cases Review Commission, an independent body focused on identifying and responding to possible miscarriages of ...
    1 day 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 ...
    6 days 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 ...
    6 days 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 ...
    1 week 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 ...
    1 week 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 ...
    2 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 ...
    2 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 ...
    2 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 ...
    2 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 ...
    2 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 ...
    2 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 ...
    2 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 ...
    2 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 ...
    2 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 ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Week That Was: Two years of progress
    This week, we’re taking action on climate change, expanding trades education – and celebrating two years of progress! ...
    3 weeks ago
  • Minister of Foreign Affairs to visit the Republic of Korea and Japan
    Rt Hon Winston Peters, Deputy Prime Minister, Minister of Foreign Affairs Minister of Foreign Affairs Winston Peters will travel to the Republic of Korea and Japan next week. “The Republic of Korea and Japan are two of New Zealand’s closest partners in the region with whom we share common values and ...
    3 weeks 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
    52 mins 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
    2 hours 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 hours 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 hours 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
    19 hours 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
    23 hours 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
    1 day 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
    1 day 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
    1 day 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
    1 day 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
    1 day 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
    1 day 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
    1 day 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
    2 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
    2 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
    2 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
    2 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
    2 days ago
  • Infrastructure pipeline growing
    Infrastructure Minister is welcoming the first of many updated project pipelines from the newly established New Zealand Infrastructure Commission today. The New Zealand Infrastructure Commission, Te Waihanga, has released an expanded pipeline of major capital projects – another crucial step towards delivering better infrastructure outcomes. “The first iteration of the ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • Tighter firearms law to further improve safety
    Tougher gun laws designed to improve public safety through firearms prohibition orders are proposed in a new document released for public input. Police Minister Stuart Nash says firearms prohibition orders (FPOs) would give new powers to Police to ensure high-risk individuals come nowhere near firearms. “We have already prohibited the ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • New TVNZ chair & directors confirmed
    Andy Coupe has been confirmed as TVNZ’s new Board Chair. “Mr Coupe has strong commercial and capital markets experience and TVNZ has benefited from his technical knowledge of business and finance, as well as his extensive governance experience,” the Minister of Broadcasting, Communications and Digital Media Kris Faafoi said.  Andy ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • Hutt Road cycle path officially opened
    Associate Minister of Transport Julie Anne Genter today officially opened a separated pathway, following the completion of the Kaiwharawhara Stream bridge, which will improve safety for cyclists and pedestrians along Hutt Road.  The $6.8m Hutt Road project provides a separated path for cycling and pedestrians, the replacement of informal parking ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • Announcement of new Ambassador to Russia
    Foreign Affairs Minister Winston Peters today announced the appointment of career diplomat Si’alei van Toor as New Zealand’s next Ambassador to Russia. “I’m pleased to appoint Ms van Toor to this position. She brings a wealth of experience to the role having previously served as Senior Trade Adviser to the ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • Half Year Economic and Fiscal Update
    The Treasury’s 2019 Half Year Economic and Fiscal Update (HYEFU) will be released on Wednesday December 11, Finance Minister Grant Robertson says. The Coalition Government will publish the 2020 Budget Policy Statement at the same time, outlining the priorities for Budget 2020. Further details on arrangements for the release will ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • Giving a Boost to Kiwi small businesses
    A new initiative to better support small businesses through hands-on mentoring and advice has been launched by the Minister for Small Business. The first event in the Kiwi Business Boost series of regional workshops and online tools has been launched in Wairoa by Stuart Nash. “The Business Boost initiative combines ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • Nearly three quarters of Rolleston connected to UFB
    The latest Quarterly Connectivity Report shows that more and more New Zealanders are moving to Ultra-fast Broadband (UFB), with Rolleston having the highest uptake at 74 per cent, as at the end of September. “This means that nearly three quarters of Rolleston’s households and businesses have moved to ultra-fast services. ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • Historic day for landmark climate change legislation in New Zealand
    The passing of the Climate Change Response (Zero Carbon) Amendment Bill will help ensure a safe planet for our kids and grandkids, the Minister for Climate Change James Shaw said today. The landmark legislation which provides a framework to support New Zealanders to prepare for, and adapt to, the effects ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    7 days ago
  • Release of Oranga Tamariki Practice Review
    The review of Oranga Tamariki practice around the planned uplift of a Hastings baby in May shows significant failings by the Ministry and that the planned and funded changes to shift from a child crisis service to a proper care and protection service need to be accelerated, Children’s Minister Tracey ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    7 days ago
  • Minister wishes students success in exams
    Education Minister Chris Hipkins has wished students the best of luck for this year’s NCEA and New Zealand Scholarship exams which start tomorrow. Around 140,000 students will have participated in 119 NCEA and New Zealand Scholarship exams by the end of the exam period on 3 December. “I want to ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    7 days ago
  • New High Commissioner to the United Kingdom announced
    Foreign Affairs Minister Winston Peters today announced the appointment of Bede Corry as New Zealand’s next High Commissioner to the United Kingdom. “The appointment of a senior diplomat to this important role underlines the significance New Zealand places on our relationship with the United Kingdom,” said Mr Peters. “The United ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    7 days ago
  • New Police recruits making Auckland safer
    An innovative approach to boosting the number of frontline Police has seen 20 new officers graduate from one of the uncommon training wings in Auckland. Police Minister Stuart Nash says the graduation of 20 constables today means that 1,765 new Police officers have been deployed since the coalition government took ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Over 1.2 million hours of community work helps local communities
    Corrections Minister Kelvin Davis says the 1.2 million hours of community work completed by offenders in the last financial year has helped local communities right across the country. “Community work sentences are a great way for people to pay something positive back to society. There is a massive benefit to ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
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  • Te Huringa o Te Tai – Police Crime Prevention Strategy
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