web analytics

Standard Changes

Written By: - Date published: 10:05 am, September 30th, 2015 - 190 comments
Categories: notices, The Standard - Tags: ,

As a fair few peeps are aware ‘the standard’ has shed a wee few authors of late. This post isn’t about that.

There has been some back end discussion on what positive structural or organisational changes we might be able to implement. That’s what this post is about. We want your thoughts, suggestions and feedback.

None of what follows is written in stone and it won’t all be happening over-night. See it as ‘direction of travel’ contingent upon available resources. There’d be little point in explaining the back end structural changes that would underpin the following, where those changes are largely tech based and on Lynn’s shoulders..

In brief, we are looking to instigate a more consistent moderating policy backed by more robust structural procedures.

This may include a ‘library’ of previous bans that any moderator can quickly and easily refer to for guidance in how to proceed with any potential comment warranting a ban.

There may be essentially two tiers of ban. One tier of very short (24 -48 hours) bans, or post specific bans, that will be handed down more or less at the whim of any author (usually) on their own post. Anything an author might subjectively consider ‘miscreant behaviour’ will be enough for ‘bye-byes’. If any commenter develops a habit of attracting short bans, their bans will be lengthened and essentially they’ll cop bans in line with the next tier, which are…

Longer bans of weeks and months will be for specific breaches of policy. (eg, defamation and other sensible suggestions that may be forthcoming) These may carry a 48 hour cooling off period during which time the collective will of the community’s moderators may see the initial ban reduced. In other words, a system of moderating the moderators may be pursued. During that 48 hour period, there would be absolutely no point, well…okay, it would probably be a bad idea, for any commenter to regale a moderator over their ban.

There may be a ‘report button’ installed on the site so that commenters can flag any behaviour they think moderators should be aware of. The use of this function will be limited to long term commenters.

Levels of sexism and racism are a particular problem. There is no easy ‘quick fix’ to make ‘The Standard’ a safe space for all authors and commenters. Authors and moderators aren’t somehow superior or better attuned to racist and/or sexist comments than anyone else. It may be a case then that ad hominem attacks are absolutely stomped on since they are fairly easy to identify and are not subject to the same grey or subjective area of evaluation as specific ad hominem (sexist/racist) comments.

Feeling like writing “You’re a (insert derogatory or demeaning word/phrase of choosing)”? In future that might have to be reworded to focus back on the content of the comment. eg – That comment/idea/argument is (insert rejigged word/phrase from above) because…

Some people are going to find that adjustment more difficult than others I guess, but hey.

There may be graded level of moderation pursued by some authors. This might be as simple as flagging a post as a level 1 through level 5 post where 1 would be open mike and therefore fairly loose and 5 would be a fully moderated (all comments needing cleared). Alternatively, authors might simply explain what topics/angles will and will not be tolerated in comments to their post.

Finally, as happens and has been acknowledged at the top of this post, ‘the standard’ is experiencing a bit of a fallow period on the contributing author’s front. SO if you have something you want to say and reckon you can say it reasonably well in about 500 words or so….

190 comments on “Standard Changes”

  1. Ilicit 1

    A simplistic suggestion if Lynn is planning minor page changes, add like “Stuff” does, comment vote buttons Up/Down vote, plus a complaint flag.

    Would stop petty posts and get a wider range indication of readers, who don’t post, feelings on any given subject.

    • tracey 1.1

      Thanks for your comment

      “There may be a ‘report button’ installed on the site so that commenters can flag any behaviour they think moderators should be aware of. The use of this function will be limited to long term commenters.” from above

      • Lanthanide 1.1.1

        A + / – voting thing is different from reporting a comment. It’s just like a facebook “like” button, where people can indicate support for a comment without having to reply and write anything.

        Lynn briefly tried such a system but removed it for some reason; possibly because it was a crappy implementation. I also think it might have automatically hidden posts that had a negative rating (maybe -10?). I think that automatically hiding comments with negative ratings isn’t good on a political site, because people who express unpopular (but perfectly rational and reasonable) ideas are effectively muted, which drives them away and would turn the site into even more of an echo chamber than it already is.

        • tracey

          illicit asked about ” a complaint flag.” The comment I posted wa smeant to address that.

          • Rosemary McDonald

            If opinion is sought on a +/-, “like” or “dislike” function….please no.

            We all know that the ‘votes’ can be manipulated, rendering any resultant indicator of the worthyness of the comment meaningless.

            IMHO…sites which use this type of function….do I need to list them?…are just a little bit tacky.

            The convention of a “+ 1” comment is sufficient.

            I might add…FWIW…while I’ve had it explained to me why folk use pseudonyms, it seems to me that some feel that anonymity gives them licence to let rip indiscriminately.

            Commenting as a ‘real person’ makes one more than a little vulnerable…being slammed by an anonymous commenter for expressing “what they think and what they understand from their backgrounds and experience.” (lprent, down the page a bit.)

            • maui

              Anonymity does play a role on a political site such as this. A lot of good infornation might not be aired if it wasn’t there. it probably gives people more freedom, but I’m not sure how you control the downside of that. People are reigned in if they go overboard which is good.

            • lprent

              It runs both ways.

              One of the things that you lose by using a pseudonym is the ability to claim authority. To have the relative anonymity of a pseudonym (relative because it is damn hard to hide understanding or lack there of from long net denizens) you lose an ability to point to experience, degrees, and background unless you want to discard that protection.

              But in the terms of a blog, using a ‘real name’ is usually just about as useless as a pseudonym. Most other people on the blog won’t know anyone from a troll claiming authority using a sort of realistic ‘real’ name. Unless you happen to be a rather rare public figure already (and I check people who claim to be those).

              In both cases you will wind up with people deciding to believe you on the basis of your understanding and knowledge of whatever you’re speaking of. To establish that, people are going to query your background in a particular area closely and often harshly.

              It is like reading CVs. Anyone can say whatever they like on those. Not checking it is what is foolhardy.

        • marty mars

          I don’t see this site as an echo chamber at all, not even slightly. That seems to me to be a meme unsubstantiated.

          • tracey

            Seems to me that the voices of the labour movement disagree on a lot of stuff on this site

          • Bill

            I agree it’s an unsubstantiated meme. But I’d still very much like to see the place expand to encompass much more of the left than it currently does. It seems to me there’s a certain ‘weighting’ – social democrats and (pink/grey/sunburned) males being a bit over represented. 😉

            Some of that might be down to killing the ridiculous levels of racism and sexism that from time to time, and too often, spews around the show?

            • marty mars

              The left can be racist and sexist and that comes out on here and is debated vigorously with interesting arguments put and received.

              Lacking voices from Māori is an issue and I think the reason there is that lack is societal not relating to The Standard. Commenting on the net is lower maslowish than other aspects of life.

              Love the pink/grey/sunburned – white is okay because it includes the privilege associated with it 🙂

              • lprent

                …and is debated vigorously with interesting arguments put and received.

                Which is why I have tended to let it happen, and to just lop off the worst of it. I don’t consider that hiding known and widespread aspect of society from debate is likely to help to fix it. Similarly I haven’t tended to stifle aspects of talk on religion, conspiracy theories,

                Besides, I often suspect that the dominant trait in many of those debates is a string sense of “me-ism” as people express what they think and what they understand from their backgrounds and experience. They wind each other up as they do so.

                Commenting on the net is lower maslowish than other aspects of life.

                Indeed. That shows pretty clearly in the demographics stats for the site. We get most of our comments (readership is a whole different demographic) from people who are either pretty comfortably at the top of the Maslow heap, or those who are educated but very constrained and have access to the net and lot of spare time – especially people with disabilities.

              • Bill

                Difference between robust and vigorous debate and bullying/power tripping on personal insults. Especially where the recipient has good reason to be more sensitive or attuned to particular insults than ‘the average’.

                Fucked if I can see where or how a reasonable line can be drawn so that some types of insult are safely let go and others aren’t.

                • lprent

                  I don’t think that there is a line particularly at the edges.

                  The technique we have right now is that some moderators will pass over some things, and others will not. What they feel is critical depends on what they consider to be important enough to exert effort over. Since multiple moderators go over the same comments, there tends to be winnowing effect.

                  Mostly the moderators tend to support each other’s right to make those decisions, even when they disagree, on the basis that none of us think that we know all of the answers.

                  But we are short of moderators even more than we are short of authors right now. The moderators we do have are busier than ever outside of the site.

                  • Bill

                    Well yeah, I don’t think the line exists. And that’s problematic if (say) we are a pile of mods who share similar blind spots – or if we are the one mod without that particular blind spot.

                    I guess the “report button” could help on that front.

                    Otherwise, as you know, I reckon a period of just smacking the merest hint of shit with the proverbial sledgehammer to get the message through. Hardly elegant and we’d lose some pretty entertaining stuff.

                    On the upside, we just might attract a far more diverse pool of commenters – and possibly authors too.

                    Over time, those entertaining and more creative ‘edgy’ comments would come back, but be focused on the comment/idea being expressed, rather than the imagined writer behind the comment/idea.

                    • It doesn’t take much practice to mock the idea and not the person. (or at least, to restrict the checking of other players to just MPs and media figures who aren’t in the comments) A few weeks to get people used to it and you’ll have your edgy comments back in practically every thread.

                      I hope, btw, that the focus on moderating against personal attacks still allows bans for obvious but generalised mysogyny, racism, and queerphobia.

                      And yeah, nix on the upvote/downvote system. Save that for reddit. A login system that eventually exposes a report button would probably be very useful to mods, especially as it would encourage people who actually want to participate to value their account and follow the rules.

              • Rosie

                “Commenting on the net is lower maslowish than other aspects of life.”

                Meaning folks are too preoccupied and overwhelmed with just trying to get through their week to find the time to post a comment or consider a reply, or get engaged in a discussion? Or did you mean something more finely tuned than that marty?


                I see Lynn suggests some are comfortably at the top of the Maslow heap. Yes, you can feel the well educated ease and maturity with which some people write. (I hope the knowledge and passion of many of the fine contributors, both authors and commenters is channelled into activism, if they have time and energy).

                I’m interested in hearing from those at the uncomfortable part of the pile, those dwelling in the “safety” section. I want to know what they are thinking about the life they find themselves living and what ideas they have for social and political change. I don’t where their voices exist otherwise. I’m not on fb or twitter, maybe they are talking and organising there?

                Or are they just silent? Like the 2014 election.

                • Kia ora Rosie

                  Yep I was thinking that surviving, in all its aspects, has a higher priority for many rather than debating and discussing on the net.

                  I think the voices you mention are there in real life – luckily advocates exist and are able to advocate. Of course some on the lowest incomes, in difficult personal situations and generally suffering are able to express themselves on the net and that is great imo. FB does have some good groups especially the Mana ones and there are also heaps of concerned people posting links and comments.

                  Your comments on TS are ones I enjoy reading – thanks for that 🙂

                  • RedLogix

                    Plus the simple fact that the regulars here are very much an ‘in group’ who know each other and the history of most debates.

                    It’s not an easy, or welcoming space for newcomers – at any maslowish level.

                    • We’ve seen people come and go over the years though Red – your point is valid about the ‘in’ bit – maybe that’s how it always works.

                  • Rosie

                    Thank you marty for your kind comment.

                    Good to know that there is political activity and expression on fb, (well of course there is!) but I mean, here in nu zild.

                    Just a note about an earlier comment you made about the absence of Maori voices on TS. I’m aware of that and as a reader would welcome more contribution. It’s not a criticism, just an observation. More flavour and more perspectives are always beneficial 🙂

                    • “the absence of Maori voices on TS”

                      they may be here but not visibly so

                      for me I find it very difficult to comment as Māori because ‘who the hell am I to comment’ – I can only comment as one person, with a whakapapa and Iwi affiliations – what other Māori think, who knows, what they may think of my comments, who knows.

                      I started my blog to put more emphasis from a particular perspective out there and I think it did that and I’ve kept commenting here around the same subjects but it is so, so difficult. Luckily the community of TS is a community of generally like-minded people that I resonate with and every comment is a learning experience, so, for me, I’m just going to keep going until I can’t anymore or the power goes off.

                    • weka

                      Have you considered offering some of your blogposts as guest posts on ts marty?

                    • with a new baby and a new job I can’t seem to write a decent post anymore – it seems too much to me and I am not sure I want to put my head up that much.

                      but I do want to support TS so I’ll never say never

                    • weka

                      That all makes sense 🙂 When the time is right.

          • weka

            “I don’t see this site as an echo chamber at all, not even slightly. That seems to me to be a meme unsubstantiated.”

            Where I see the echo chamber is when people who know each other start having a go at each other based on previous experiences. If you don’t know the people involved and the history, then from the outside it looks weird. I often think about how many people read here without commenting and think it’s useful to consider that when we comment. What are those people seeing and understanding. If the discussions are influencing politics in NZ then excessive in-house conversation is counter productive. Not that we can or should do away with that altogether, but I do have times when I get sick of the perpetual bickering and the wasted energy that could be going into more constructive debate. That for me is the echo chamber.

            • marty mars

              “that could be going into more constructive debate”

              this is the perpetual question isn’t it

            • RedLogix

              Totally agree. I like that way of expressing it a lot.

              Which is at least partly why I’ve tried not to contribute to it lately.

            • JanM

              I agree – apart from anything else it’s very boring having to wade through a spat to get to the good stuff

        • lprent

          Lynn briefly tried such a system but removed it for some reason;

          There were several reasons.

          1. Most of the implementations used the unindexed text parsed comment meta info that slowed the site down a lot when used with the numbers of comments we have on posts here. I’d have to find (or write) one that was SQL table orientated.

          2. The auto-hide I didn’t like and turned off. But that was more of a symptom than anything else.

          3. Unlike facebook/twitter etc (I tend to unfriend people who over-like on those) the ticks were ‘free’ which led to unthinking ganging up. When I analysed the correlations of who ticked what, I could then almost exactly predict what any comment would receive. I could also predict the 20 people who would do more than 90% of all ticks.

          4. The general solution to that would be to give a very limited quota of ticks to make sure that people started to use them like they were a scarce resource. That requires quite a lot of work because you need to know who has used their quota. The easy implementation requires that everyone logs in (eg kiwiblog). The harder implementation requires some SQL searches that are nasty on CPU.

          5. I came to the conclusion that if I did put in a quota system, that it should have
          a. limited ticks
          b. show who had ticked (identicons?)
          c. only allow plus ticks
          d. ideally allow comment to tick out in twitter and/or facebook if requested.

  2. Anne 2

    I don’t suppose there is any chance of attracting back some of those who have gone walk-about once this “code of conduct” (or whatever it will be called) is in force?

    • tracey 2.1

      Efforts are made Anne

      • Puckish Rogue 2.1.1

        I’d suggest unbanning all those on long term bans 🙂

        • lprent

          We do that periodically anyway. The limiting factor is the amount of EXTRA time required to deal with the aftermath of amnesties. If we don’t have the moderator time available, we don’t do it.

          It takes time and effort to moderate, to ban, and to unban. That has to be pulled away from other more useful and interesting tasks. And after all we are talking about people who got themselves banned in the first place, causing an expenditure of that very limited moderation capacity.

          The problem is that our history shows that most of the people who wind up on long term bans after being unbanned will wind up getting banned soon afterwards. Most of them make no attempt to follow the rules of the site, and you can usually detect more than a hint of wanting the site to die.

          Generally I don’t find that they are worth wasting effort on. Others may disagree. However since they haven’t been the people doing the work, their opinions seldom carry any weight.

          If I build automatic systems, you will find that I build them with a inflexible system that tends to reward those stupidly repeating the same things causing a ban with an equally inflexible exponential doubling of sentence each time. I call this a “learning curve” for the terminally stupid.

    • mickysavage 2.2

      I would like to see Felix return. Using very few words he was able to repeatedly get to the nub of an argument and show up the trolls …

      • One Anonymous Bloke 2.2.1

        Me too. There are a few commenters I always read and Felix is one of them.

      • Anne 2.2.2

        Using very few words he was able to repeatedly get to the nub of an argument and show up the trolls …

        I remember Redlogix once describing felix as “dangerously intelligent”. I concur.

  3. Rolf 3

    The difference between moderating and Third Reich level censorship to railroad opinion is hardly visible. Those media who deny their reader a say, will soon find that readers will have their say, elsewhere. We recently had an article about The Herald demise. We hope The Standard will not be the next in line. Survival in the media jungle today is to open up for the reader. Lest we forget.

    • Bill 3.1

      Barely relevant. But I’ll indulge you for a second. The difference is that moderation stops all the bullying and nonsense that some of a ‘shit arsed monkey’ persuasion might wish to engage in so they can silence people or opinions they disagree with.

      Pretty simple difference to discern I’d have thought.

      • northshoredoc 3.1.1

        On occasion the moderation at his site is bullying nonsense of a ‘shit arsed monkey’ persuasion – perhaps that needs to be addressed at the same time ?

        • Bill

          Why don’t you quietly think of a real example of that and then test it against the suggestions of the post and see if it still ‘goes through’ and if it does, reflect on whether it would still be as prevalent as your ‘on occasion’?

          Then come up with a potential solution and throw it out here.

    • lprent 3.2

      To a degree. If you look at our existing policies, they are orientated to getting rid of people with bad behaviour. Effectively we export them to the ever diminishing numbers of places that still allow people to use their genital brains rather than their intelligence.

    • weston 3.3

      yep ive seen that effect happening in public adress clear as crystal and i think quite obliviously both to the mods and the in family commenters The desire to form groups and chase out strangers is prob hard wired into all of us So we form rules according to our value systems and more rules and yet more rules Ireckon rule number one should be you cant make a new rule unless you can throw out two old ones .JEEZ im only just getting to grips with the soon to be old rules hereand does anyone actually appreciate pc ??Hells bells ive never ever seen such an uncrossably powerfull interlect as lyns what more threat than her coming down on you could any site possibly want???The greater wisdom will usually prevail so why try and curb anything?Yes i know i know fuck all about anything not related to what i do but if the object of the exercise is is to get a wider readership imo its illogical to attempt to do that by censorship

  4. I like the robust level of debate on here including insults – and I fully understand the necessity of moderation of extreme examples of sexism/racism and horrible comments. My call would be for simplicity – I like that moderators can moderate at their level of tolerance. I’m not a fan of like/dislike and I like the idea of a reporting button where commenters can raise to the attention of moderators comments which breach standards.

    I remember the last time the format of The Standard changed – it was a time of trepidation for me and what transpired was so improved it has shown the value of change and also the continuation of the underlying ethos of The Standard posters and admin.

    You are all doing a wonderful job – kia kaha.

    • Bill 4.1

      I find some insults imaginative and entertaining – quite creative. But then there are the dull thuds of bullying.

      If we had a site that only had to accommodate (I’ll say) ‘Black Adder’ levels of invective and insult, but that didn’t have to deal with the dull shit and that never had to field sexist or racist nonsense then…hmm, petered out there – never mind.

    • Anne 4.2

      I’m not a fan of like/dislike…

      Definitely not. It can easily turn into a form of bullying by a bunch of people (eg. rwnjs from you know where) running a ‘dislike’ campaign against a commenter and driving them away from the site. Something similar – though it didn’t involve like/dislike buttons – occurred on the now defunct Red Alert site.

    • lprent 4.3

      I like the idea of a reporting button where commenters can raise to the attention of moderators comments which breach standards.

      That is my favorite suggestion as well form the backend discussions. It is implementable, helps fill a definite gap in available moderators time, and provides some history.

      I’d probably hook it into the authors area as well to allow discussion on what happens.

      • weston 4.3.1

        sounds like a refrain heard in every school yard in the country …winey voice ….im telling on you….disgusted that youd even think about such a device

        • BLiP

          What say the comment being reported exposed The Standard to unwelcome legal ramifications? Its not like the Tory Trolls wouldn’t try papering a site with comments designed specifically to trash its reputation or split its community of posters or attract trouble from the authorities, etc. Moderators don’t know everything and don’t read all the comments. Someone might know, for example, that a publication of particular name and/or has been suppressed or recognise the comment as part of a wider Tory astro-turfing iniative going on across all political blogs, etc. Also, giving people an easy way to help maintain a blog they enjoy fosters their engagement and facilitates them taking some responsibility. Your disgust is misplaced; save it for National Ltd™.

        • Pasupial


          It tends to be bullies who dread being told on, and who are eager to uphold the code of not squealing. Not just in school yards either.

          Imagine that you are at a public lecture about income inequality in Aotearoa. Would you really have such a level of disgust if someone was to notify the organizers to a drunk arsehole who was snarling about; “bitches knowing their place”, to the distraction of those around them?

        • lprent

          Most of us work, so there are significiant gaps in the time between when a comment is made and when it is picked up by moderators doing sweeps. This would reduce the time and thereby reduce our legal exposure.

          In my case, I’d probably hook it straight through to my cell and (except in a plane or driving) be able to make a decision immediately. But I really don’t need long explanations. I just need a pointer.

          The second reason will be to systematize the collection of information about people who get banned. In particular internet pests.

          For instance the ubiquitous Marc Spring, a so-called justice campaigner associated with the legal idiots who crawl around lauda finem violating name suppression orders in the name of promoting Stephen Cook’s posts at Whaleoil. Marc’s main thing appears to be to go to various sites under a lot of different handles to defame Matthew Blomfield (he was one of the sources for the HDD and documents that Slater copied). I don’t know the details of legal extent (the courts really need to provide us with a register of what we are not meant to allow), but this appears to be in violation of a restraining order against internet stalking.

          Similarly back in the day, dad4justice was well known for the same kinds of tactics using multiple ISP access points. At one point I had him banned from 6 separate local dialup providers. After demonstrating that he was recognizable regardless of handle, he generally kept to the site rules.

          These days I tend to keep an eye on Tor networks in case I need to remove access from the whole network to our site get rid of pests.

          The third reason is more basic. When Bill suggested 24 hour bans, my response was that I only looked at the bans list every few days to unban people whose sentences had expired. The obvious solution was to make the system more automatic for that. But that meant loading the data in a format that machines can read. If we were going to do that, then we may as well automate the whole process from tagging someone for a ban to unbanning them. It reduces the load on our scarcest resource – moderators.

  5. NZSage 5

    I run a sports forum and the “reporting button” is an excellent tool that facilitates self moderation by readers and contributors alike.

    On the downside, you will get some who use the report button in a vexatious manner.

    FWIW: I think The Standard mods do a sterling job and have a level of judgement and patience I’d find hard to adhere to!

    • Bill 5.1

      I believe the idea is for the vexatious ones to have an operable “reporting button” withdrawn from their reach 😉

      • McFlock 5.1.1

        Also with the reporting button, maybe a little box to say why it’s being reported, either free-text or radio buttons of the most likely reasons.

        On the downside it might prime the moderator to see the problem subjectively, on the upside it might make the reporter think clearly as to why they want to use a mod’s time on that comment.

        • lprent

          I was thinking a scrollable list and no free-text except on a “Other” selection. The Other selection being a cause for a close look at the complainant and reason for possible inclusion in the main list.

          We’d remove the Other free text after we have a list that covers everything.

  6. cogito 6

    Personally, I stand for free speech. Anything else smells of Big Brother.

    • tracey 6.1

      do you stand for consequences of free speech or is it just carte blanche in your view to say any old thing no matter who is hurt and be able to keep doing it?

      • cogito 6.1.1

        “consequences of free speech”

        Frankly, I am absolutely stunned to see such a phrase in writing on this site. Surely, free speech is something that we should all value as a basic human right.

        We live in a country where people are becoming increasingly brainwashed and fearful of expressing their views.

        I am opposed on principle to any moves aimed at clamping down on people’s freedom of expression, within the bounds of generally accepted standards of decency and good behaviour.

        • One Anonymous Bloke

          I dunno, “bounds” sound worse than “consequences”. Perhaps you’re both on the same page.

        • Tracey

          “I am opposed on principle to any moves aimed at clamping down on people’s freedom of expression, within the bounds of generally accepted standards of decency and good behaviour.”

          we agree

      • weston 6.1.2

        obviously tracy i f you hurt someone and youre able to percieve that hurt its up to you to make ammends and its probably benificial to society to practise doing that

        • Tracey

          beware the loudest and most bullyingest voice drowning the free speech of the vulnerable

  7. AmaKiwi 7

    Sometimes you have posts from someone who clearly has very expert, in depth knowledge on their subject. I find these posts extremely useful. They are a replacement for the in depth journalism our MSM lacks.

    “a bit of a fallow period on the contributing author’s front”
    IMO, that’s the case in all the media at the moment. I scan 15 or 30 news sources a day. In the past week I can barely find an article worth my time. That will change soon enough.

    My forecast for interesting stories later this week:

    1. The sovereign debt problem will fall off the cliff, accelerating into another global financial crisis.
    2. Jane Kelsey says we should know by week’s end if TPPA is signed or dead.

    • maui 7.1

      I’m picking the answer to 2. will be Yes, and will be hard to deflect attention away from.

      1. you could well be right, Martin Armstrong thinks things could really slide down from now until 2020. The second Global Financial Crisis looks set to go, but who knows if it will.

    • Observer (Tokoroa) 7.2

      To: AmaKiwi

      “Sometimes you have posts from someone who clearly has very expert, in depth knowledge on their subject. I find these posts extremely useful. They are a replacement for the in depth journalism our MSM lacks.”

      That is the real value of The Standard for me too. I am thankful for it.

      Personal abuse whether on this blog or in real life is just a total waste of time and space. But then again happiness for some people is being sour and abusive.

      Lprent ? We are lucky to have him at the levers.

  8. whatisis 8

    As a consistent reader I’d like to add my few cents worth regarding comment voting.

    Personally I hate the up down voting as its implemented in discus YouTube etc however I would would like to be able to up and downvote and have my votes available to me to see how I have rated other commenters previously.

    This would be especially useful here where there are many intelligent comments worth reading however there are certain commenters that consistently derail or occasionally derail or divert from what might otherwise be a useful thread. Usually they only truly become apparent in certain articles where I’m.left thinking ahhh so you regular commenter “twohandeddingle” are actually a derailer. Man I wish I can remember your name so i don’t have to waste my time reading you in other threads. Never happens and I’m none the wiser ten days later.

    So being able to up vote down vote would be really useful but only if its personal to my profile. I have no interest in seeing how other readers vote. Thank you.

    • Bill 8.1

      I’d hope that if moderators used ad-hoc short bans, then the amount of derailing and such like would diminish rapidly…no need to sit around thinking of a justification. Just ban ‘because’. And if they come back after one or two days and do the same shit. Ban. Then they eventually, fairly quickly, progress to long term bans.

    • lprent 8.2

      The underlying difficulty has been that we don’t require logins and don’t even allow registrations. Therefore there is no profile.

      That increases access to the site, allows for greater IRL anonymity, allows people to come back after they shit all over their handle, and means that it is whole lot harder to hack the site (wp-login is the favorite hacking point).

      However as you can see from the “replies” tab on the right, I can now effectively achieve that without requiring a user record. It just takes some severe coding to minimize CPU loadings.

      But if you want to see what someone has already said. Just click on their handle. That will show you what they have said in the past.

      • whatisis 8.2.1

        Thanks for giving my few cents worth some thought and a reply.

        Don’t require logins… Good thing, don’t stop a casual reader from commenting with hoops, i probably wouldn’t be here if i had to login or signup originally. But I am paranoid, tho correctly now it appears cuz of Snowden…

        I am unsure of what your third paragraph re the “replies” tab is saying. If “effectively achieve that” means achieve my request for personal voting record then please put on the severe coding hat and hack it up… It would be great to see some actual user friendly feature rather than the nudging / manipulating dross that blinks and surrounds online discourse.

        Ummmmm I don’t want to know what someone has already said, especially if it’s someone i’ve already decided to ignore in the future. Also I want to know who I think is worth reading. But I need it in a user friendly environment.

        Time and Attention are precious, ie I wrote first comment in man van at lunchtime on phone. Got home 5.30, started to reply, lit fire, then helped cook dinner, ate dinner, sat down watched entertainment 1/2 hr, played chess with 1 of my children, helped do dishes, got kids ready for bed etc, back here to finish reply, now 10pm and i still haven’t read the article on Kim Dotcom case. And I really want to do that… TIME… My Attention! I don’t want to waste it any more on commenters i’ve decided suck… But other than getting out a pen and paper and writing their pseudonyms down with names i like and dislike and taping that to side of laptop, there’s no answer? Ok little rant finished.

        “I would would like to be able to up and downvote and have my votes available to me to see how I have rated other commenters previously”
        I suspect this feature is inevitable….? even if it’s only 3 up and 3 down that would be enough for me to thoroughly enjoy comments, after that the ability to hide all but 3star, 2star etc so that even if the story is mildly interesting i can just read the comments from others i trust etc to see other opinions etc without wasting my time and attention on what is otherwise to me gross waste and i could then apply my precious attention and time to benefit.

        Thank you for your precious attention again.

        • lprent

          I am unsure of what your third paragraph re the “replies” tab is saying. If “effectively achieve that” means achieve my request for personal voting record…

          It just means that if you have commented on the site and your system carries a cookie that you pass back to us, then I return a list of all replies to your comments. ie my code knows who you are even if you don’t login.

          With that coding capability, I can do much the same kind of thing to keep track of who has voted on comments and how often in a given timeframe.

    • tracey 8.3

      or place someone on “ignore”?

  9. Michael 9

    “I do not defend what you say but I will defend to the death your right to say it.” Stay away from censorship. Let free expression of opinion flourish in cyberspace. Leave good ideas to grow and bad ones to wither in the rarified atmosphere of unconstrained liberty. Or something like that.

    • Bill 9.1

      Not going to defend any perceived right to berate or diminish someone for what they write, say or think though. N’fact – I might feel morally obliged to stand in the way of that.

      Or something like that 😉

    • tracey 9.2

      i will defend you right to say it and the consequences that flow from it. remember the context of the times of that quote… how long after that quote, for example, were women deemed intelligent enought to “give” a vote… let alone voice an opinion.

      • weston 9.2.1

        some men cared even though i guess thhat was hundreds of years ago trouble was they were prob humble ploughmen or farmers or tradesmen it would have been outside their station to comment. mind not continuing to feel bitter about it ?

        • BLiP

          How do you infer bitterness from tracey’s comment? Seems to me to be a valid response to a cliche which, although noble in content, didn’t actually apply at the time to half the population. Mind working on your reaction to being exposed to historical facts concerning the experience of women in society?

  10. McFlock 10

    500 words?! Seriously?
    That’s not even enough for an introduction! 🙂

    • Bill 10.1

      Focus McFlock! Focus!!

      Or use links to expand on some points? 😉

    • Puddleglum 10.2


      It’s not even enough for the clever aside that has only a tenuous connection to the main point of the post but seemed like a good ‘hook’ to start with before the real introduction even begins …

      500 words is just throat-clearing territory for me I’m afraid -I wasn’t really born for the digital age.

      I hear Twitter might be increasing its character length though, so who knows? 🙂

      • McFlock 10.2.1

        lol I know the feeling.
        I switched from finishing a dissertation to doing a 100-level for interest sake. My introduction for the first assignment exceeded the 1200 word limit for the entire thing. It was a discipline I had to re-learn to cut down the ideas and depth I wanted to look at.

  11. Mainlander 11

    here’s a good start get rid of the assholes like O.A.B that do bugger all on this site but abuse anyone with a different view and often he doesn’t even use that as an excuse, he constantly derails threats with his nasty vitriol, who wants to post here with any form of rational debate when you know its only a matter of time before the bullshit comments start, there is a reason why authors and new commentators are becoming scarce on this site and that is just one of them, I don’t care if you don’t post this its just free advice, I have returned to my original home TDB with Mods like Frank, Scarlett and even Martyn making it an enjoyable experience, even if they don’t agree they will at least engage you with polite discussion instead of running you down and unleashing the attack poodles, but hey by all means focus on the things that matter like up/downvote buttons… Sigh

    • weka 11.1

      Have a reread of the post. It’s talking about ad hominems and abusive posting.

    • Anne 11.2

      In fairness to O.A.B., I think quite a few of his comments are tongue in cheek and meant to be on the humorous side. Other times they may seen rather brutal but imo they are often correct. And btw I recall being on the receiving end once but wasn’t offended by his remarks – just concluded he was wrong. 😛

      • One Anonymous Bloke 11.2.1

        Which I probably was.

        I’m struck by Lprent’s remarks below re: troll-finders. Personally, I’m on the look out for (what I perceive to be) false narratives. The National Party spends an inordinate amount of its owners’ money building entire alternate realities made of nothing but words.

        That’s to be expected: it’s the only way they can get elected. They don’t need any help from us: I must work on my delivery 🙂

        • weka

          One concern I have around that is the new people that get jumped on for being roles or RWNJs when they’ve barely gotten 3 sentences out of their keyboard. You no doubt have a finer radar for false narratives that picks them up earlier than I do, but I think that I trust people more and am more interested in seeing what they are doing than shutting them down. There’s always going to be people that don’t get the culture right on their first attempts at commenting and some of the slap downs are going to put people off form commenting at all (including people reading).

          I got a slap down fom QoT early on, and survived, but then I’m used to being in this kind of debate culture. Lots of people aren’t. Where’s the balance?

          • RedLogix

            Well in general (and I’m sure there have been exceptions I could be quoted on to demonstrate otherwise) … I just try not to slap people down.

            Works for me.

          • Tracey

            I was guilty of this. You picked me up on it and I have kept the lesson in my mind.

    • lprent 11.3

      I watch OAB’s comments as I used to watch the behaviour of eye dogs and huntaways pushing sheep and cattle around. It tells me where to look.

      There have been several effective troll / bullshit finders on the site over the years. They use variants of the same technique, which is usually short caustic comments that cut close to the bone.

      I think that you are getting fooled about time cycles. At present we are in the year after an election, and in the middle of winter. I did some numbers on that…. here

      Looking at the 6 month period from March to August across non-general election years. The page views are ‘corrected’ by me downwards because of a problem in 2011 with facebook async protocols causing excessive page lookups. (For the inevitable trolls, these are not Whaleoil style figures. These are close to being accurate for real humans and without paid for added readership boosters).

      per month
      year corrected
      page views
      sessions users
      2009 Election
      2009 167k-206k 60k-70k 14k-18k
      2010 218k-287k 72k-92k 17k-22k
      2011 Election
      2012 305k-403k 93k-112k 24k-33k
      2013 333k-440k 103k-115k 21k-37k
      2014 Election
      2015 480k-530k 148k-165k 40k-50k

      Since these are largely the winter months, they are pretty good for looking at base levels of readership.

      Similarly we don’t have a problem with getting new commenters. That has been steadily climbing over the years as well and shows no sign of stopping. What we have lost is the number of two line parrot trolls with multiple handles and the pretentious bullshit artists with an ignorant opinion and no interest in engaging. The latter are usually pretty hilarious to rev up because they have a problem with anyone questioning their august opinions.

      Some of that whittling was from moderation, but probably even more from the efforts of people like robinsod, felix, OAB, and many others who taken the piss and pointed out the flaws of the intellectually flatulent. And you have to remember that they are a damn sight kinder than the alternative, which is my notoriously low toleration from reading utter crap that takes minutes to poke holes into (and in my case I usually carry on and poke holes through the egos as well).

      The issue that we have always had (and which is the main subject of the post) is with retaining and bringing board authors and moderators. They run out of time or inclination for one reason or another. We lose the most of them after an election.

      There is a really long learning curve bringing them on board, we’re having less and less time to do it as the site keeps growing in readership.

      We have those time / inclination pressures as well. Every time I have to do something like figure out how to drop our monthly costs from $700+ to $250 as I did last year, or change jobs, then that is several authors and moderators I cannot mentor on. Same with all of the other old hands. It is an issue for all voluntary only operations.

      What we’re looking for is ways to carry on surviving and growing without having to put our entire lives into this.

    • Pasupial 11.4


      TDB moderation is abysmal, especially so over last Christmas when it was just Bradbury doing all the work himself (even those who despise his writing have to admire his output). At the moment I’ve pretty much given up on commenting on the site; as the lag between typing something and it clearing moderation is too long for any real conversation (plus I never get the chance to edit so there’s always a couple of typos). That is one blog where the up and down clicking of comments (and starring posts) is valuable, because it is such a chore to make a comment and then reply to any replies.

      The +1 convention in place here is perfectly adequate, although may be best mentioned somewhere in the policy section for newcomers – though it is pretty self explanatory. Sometimes I feel that people do go overboard with the +100s & +1000s though.

  12. Puckish Rogue 12

    As someone that gets perodically banned from time to time I’d say the moderators have it more or less correct

    The last thing anyone wants (i think) is if the moderating gets to the level of Red Alert or The Daily Blog

  13. weka 13

    I’d like to see more diversity in posts and thus comments/discussion. I think the current authors are doing a good job of covering some areas so would be nice to add to that.

    If moderation was to change to make the place more comfortable and approachable to people (authors and commenters), that’s good if we got more diversity. I guess the trick is how to do that and encourage robust debate culture. The proposed changes look worthy of being trialled at least.

  14. weka 14

    One of the best improvements in the past year was the result of PG’s ban. Would be good if the new moderation system could take into account what happens after the next amnesty. It sounds like it might, because there is more focus on removing problems from threads early on and the shorter ban means it’s not about waiting until they’ve caused so much trouble they warrant a longer ban. And then people collecting multiple short bans do get looked at for longer bans. Makes sense.

  15. Ad 15

    I am pathetically grateful for this site.

    I imagine LPrent as some wetware android permanently plugged in to a machine, with tubes for fluids in and out, permanently awake.

    I’d like to see Swordfish stretch his legs more. And Weka, wet though he is.

    The graphics on the site are low grade. Needs a creative on to it. Give it a shove people.

    Needs to forge links and all ancestors with TransportBlog. Nerdy but good hitcount. I can help there.

    I will commit to writing more. There’s a few posts Mickey’s been holding on to.

    I’m between jobs for the next two weeks, so I’ll have a bit more time to polish my Blue Dog Democrat persona.

    • mickysavage 15.1

      Kia ora Ad.

    • millsy 15.2

      I’m between jobs for the next two weeks, so I’ll have a bit more time to polish my Blue Dog Democrat persona.

      You do that pretty good. I sometimes think you are Tony Blair and Helen Clark’s bastard child…;-)

    • BLiP 15.3

      I am pathetically grateful for this site.

      Yeah, me too. There was a while there when The Standard was my therapy. I was working in the bowels of an eeevil multi-national corporation as a small-link in its supply chain. Cruisey job, except the place was wall-to-wall Tory bully-boys. After a coupla years of that environment, it became essential for me to let off steam and say exactly what I would have said to my colleagues but couldn’t because doing so would’ve resulted in HR “right sizing” my job. Just being able to communicate at will with a few people thinking along the same lines as me was a balm. Even just communicating with people who think. I finally got around to finding a healthier work environment but have remained emotionally attached to The Standard since.

      I had to rethink things after the 2011 election. I had adopted this irrational idea that venting and raving in the internet somehow changed things in the real world. It doesn’t. Real world change can only come about by real world actions. If anything, the internet can be a distraction. And massive time waster for those of us with more spare time than most. I see this point has already been raised up thread so I won’t go on.

      Anyhow, just saying, I consider The Standard my friend and take this opportunity to sincerely thank lprent for everything he does. Thanks also to every author, and most of youse too.

    • Tracey 15.4

      Good on ya. I think Weka is a she.

      i worry about what happens if something happens to lprent. Is there a backup person?

      • Ad 15.4.1

        Apologies for the presumption.

      • lprent 15.4.2

        For the technical side, yes. They would be around for long enough to transition to a new site over several months and get every thing working there.

        For my other duties and getting the funds to pay for a more expensive operation. Those would require others to step up.


    • left for deadshark 15.5

      I imagine LPrent as some wetware android permanently plugged in to a machine, with tubes for fluids in and out, permanently awake.

      + 1 for the Standard.
      I hope those fluids are a quality beer, or a wee dram on occasion.
      cheers To Lynn. 🙂

  16. Ad 16

    Alliances, not ancestors

  17. The lost sheep 17

    I’ve wondered if commenters (or even Authors) could have the option of indicating their ‘comfort level’ of debate, and having done so, other commenters would have to respect the level of sensitivity they indicated?
    They would need to conform to the same standard when commenting themselves of course.

    Could be as simple as 2 levels…
    “Hell yeah I’m for for giving and taking anything and everything up to and including a group S&M orgy with OAB and the Naki Man”
    “I’d like to debate just the issues themselves in a structured and civilized manner, without getting involved in crap on a personal level thanks”

    • Bill 17.1

      2nd last para of the post covers some of that.

      As for commenters, I remember saying to PG that if he stayed away from my comments, I’d stay away from his. And it worked.

      The problem with three or four people going hammer and tongs (S&M orgy with OAB and Naki as you put it) is that other people have to read it too and aside from the fact that some of those might be new to the site, it trashes threads/discussion

    • mickysavage 17.2

      “Hell yeah I’m for for giving and taking anything and everything up to and including a group S&M orgy with OAB and the Naki Man”
      “I’d like to debate just the issues themselves in a structured and civilized manner, without getting involved in crap on a personal level thanks”

      The images your comment creates …

    • Naki man 17.3

      “Hell yeah I’m for for giving and taking anything and everything up to and including a group S&M orgy with OAB and the Naki Man”

      I dont read comments from the potty mouth Obnoxious Bloke

    • BLiP 17.4

      I’ve wondered if commenters (or even Authors) could have the option of indicating their ‘comfort level’ of debate, and having done so, other commenters would have to respect the level of sensitivity they indicated?

      Yeah, s’pose that could work. Another option is to actively be aware that some commenters and Authors are new. It can be bit spooky “speaking out loud” for the first time, especially as an Author. What would be ideal, IMO, is if the regulars here took on a little bit of responsibility for “nurturing the n00bs”? Just until they get a handle on participating and the rest of us can get an idea of where they are coming from and their ability to express themselves. Not all of us are confident and articulate but we can all learn to be so with encouragement.

      I regret to say that, in concert with others, I’ve probably frightened away a few new voices. I’ve since learned to address the argument rather than the person and to not participate in dog-piling. Also, DNFTT has been my motto for the likes of Gosman and that Peter George cockwomble. Doesn’t mean I won’t sling an insult into a comment or be less vigilant about time wasters and professional agent provocateurs employed to disrupt on-line communities. Just means I’ll be giving new voices plenty of space.

  18. Mike the Savage One 18

    Generally I thought the policy used here on TS was not that bad, although bans do not always seem to be handled quite as fairly in every single case.

    What I would strongly recommend is to maintain the option to comment under a pseudonym and to maintain anonymity, as some of us may be in employment or hold other positions that may expose us to added “scrutiny” be employers and state agencies. As we know, society has changed a bit since Key and the Nats won in 2008, and it is my humble view, it has not changed for the better.

    I can live with like or dislike options, as it is used on The Daily Blog. It seems to be prone to some abuse at times, but there I have noticed that at least trying to tick an up or down on the same day for the same comment is denied. That does not always seem to be the case over time though.

    But there must be a technical possibility to stop abuse, by only allowing one “like” or “dislike” per comment or post from the same used computer or IP address.

    This discussion gives me a bit of a worry, as there is the talk of more moderating and with that controls. So far The Standard has as a forum been somewhat liberal, and I would dread too rigid or stringent rules to come into play.

    Apart from that, I would suggest broadening the topics that can be published, so as to reach more people in the public, and some posters like those who have also been using The Daily Blog could perhaps be invited and encouraged to also share more posts here. The progressive movement is diverse, can do well with diversity, but also needs to have forums that provide sufficiently broad approaches and topics, to appeal to more. With that I do certainly not just thing of that so often quoted “centre” or “middle class”. A broad church, but not quite the “Labour Party way”, I suggest.

    I will be curious where this journey may go.

    • Bill 18.1

      Rather than thinking of the moderation in terms of policy, look at in terms of functionality – ie, time spent, consistency etc. That’s really what’s being looked at. Yes, that might involve tweaking some already existing policy to dovetail with (hopefully) better and less time consuming moderating procedures.

      The use of pseudonyms isn’t under any kind of threat.

      Rules of thumb and easier systems of operation for moderators isn’t about more control in the sense you’re talking. Again, more about consistency and freeing up time.

      I think the only ‘control’ feature – and it’s not a new addition in terms of rules per se – is in trying to find a better, preferably non ‘holdy hands’ PC way, to deal with the huge negative repercussions that come from expressions of sexism and racism. All suggestions welcome. 😉 Unfortunately, due to the highly subjective nature of the beasts, I keep winding up at sledgehammers.

      Anyway, my feeling is that dealing with sexist and racist nonsense in a consistent and effective manner (because it does lose us authors and commenters) could lend itself to creating a more diverse readership – which could produce a wider range of posts – which might encourage a wider readership….

      I’d love to see ‘the standard’ being a space for all (left) political stripes and types. Probably dreaming, I know.

      • Mike the Savage One 18.1.1

        Sexism and racism is usually pretty obvious, and should be easy to handle, i.e. stopped. So yes, if that is the major concern, deal with it. There have been some occasions though where accusations may have been made rather swiftly, where it may not have strictly been about sexism and racism.

        As I commented, I will look and see where the journey will go. I understand that feedback delivered here may assist the cooperative behind The Standard (machine) to make the needed improvements. Best wishes in any case.

    • lprent 18.2

      …although bans do not always seem to be handled quite as fairly in every single case.

      That is quite deliberate in my case. I don’t like people gaming decisions because they feel they know what the level of a ban will be like. If someone only pops in here every 2 weeks and they think that they only get a weeks ban, then it is no risk to them to crap all over the site’s policies. If they don’t know is it will be 6 days or 6 months then they tend to make better assessments of risk. So after I decide a ban is justified, I tend to “toss the dice” to figure out the severity.

      For people who really need to get something out, knowing it is likely to get a ban, the safest way is to say exactly that – say why they are risking a ban and which policy they’d be violating.

      And of course the unthinking people who try to use that get out of jail free mantra will find I don’t like people gaming the system.

  19. Aghast 19

    To state that (for example) OAB is a useful filter for the “intellectually flatulent” is in my opinion a copout at best. I ( & others I know) who have presented reasoned, relatively polite and even arguments against some of the frothy tirades by Authors or commentors have been first subject to abuse, then banned. I get that it is a blog pushing a Left wing viewpoint, but the lack of ability by more than a few of the supposed intellectually superior to defend or successfully argue their points instead of abusing or banning is possibly why the Left seems not only irrelevant but downright nasty to many people.

    • Bill 19.1

      If ad hominem attacks get swept up as ‘collateral’ in dealing with sexist/racist jibes, then there can be no ganging up or slamming of the type you’re alluding to, yes?

    • One Anonymous Bloke 19.2

      Interesting. You have made precisely two comments at TS (using this handle) and both of them are on this thread. So there’s no way of checking your claims of unfairness.

      It amazes me that people who support the Cameron Slater eugenics-proposing party complain about my effluent. Sensitive wee sausage.

      • mickysavage 19.2.1

        Yep what other handles have you used? Don’t answer that if you do not want to.

        Do you want to specify which “reasoned, relatively polite and even arguments against some of the frothy tirades by Authors or commentors have been first subject to abuse, then banned.”

  20. Aghast 20

    Hi Bill
    Thanks for illustrating my point so precisely.
    If you see overwhemingly ad hom attacks or sexist/racist jibes from me please point them out. I’m always happy to defend or argue my points, or explain the experiences which qualify me to make them, but I suspect it will be problematic for you to just write them off as irrelevant.

    • One Anonymous Bloke 20.1

      I cannot for the life of me figure out how you took Bill’s comment to mean that.

      “Ganging up and slamming” other commenters is a Bad Thing, no? Bill points out that it would be caught in the new net.

      He’s not accusing you of anything.

    • Tracey 20.2

      How can anyone provide evidence when you must have made those comments under a different handle tot his one?

  21. Pasupial 21

    Back in March I had a bit of problem with; the power imbalance between commenters and posters on The Standard. The cooling off period before longer bans are issued would seem to address many of the issues I saw with moderation on this site. It is certainly easier to institute than a; commenter-jury, or “Aotearoan Union for Blog Commenters”.

    I wish I had the time to craft some posts, but am deterred; not just by the compressing of complex issues into 500 words, but also by the need to tend the post afterwards (such moderation could easily be as time consuming as the original writing). Perhaps next time I come across an issue that is interesting but doesn’t make me too furious to type, I might give it a go.

    One suggestion I have for increasing the diversity of views/ number of posts is to have a; “comment of the day” (also “worst comment of the day” could be amusing), post the following day. This would encourage people to create thoughtful utterances that might contend for that accolade, or at least make their invective original. Carrot rather than stick in promoting a good commenter community. Maybe voting for that could be attached to the proposed report button, and limited to one vote per commenter per day (or two if also for the “worst comment”)?

    I don’t read the site as much as I used to, quite often getting lost following links from posts and don’t find my way back. I’m sure I’m not the only one who is missing some of the best comments because they are at the end of a tangentially related post at say; 11pm.

    • weka 21.1

      Any of us lot (the rabble) could post a ‘comment of the day’ in the Daily Review in the evening. Just thinking creatively around not making more work for the authors/admin (because it looks like what they’re trying to do is decrease workload).

      As for writing, if you are a guest poster you don’t have to moderate or get involved in the discussion at all (you can’t actually moderate as a guest poster anyway). You can post and then go out for the day.

      Even a logged in author afaik doesn’t have to take part in the discussion. I guess if it was a particularly controversial post that might be a bit unfair on the other authors. Perhaps someone could clarify on that?

      • Bill 21.1.1

        Clarify? So a guest poster cannot moderate. An author can only moderate their own posts. That leaves…a few peeps.

        Just me. After my experience of posting up what I thought was an innocuous post and coming back to a screed of all hell having broken loose, I tend to stay around my own posts for wee while at least.

        As for the rest of it, it can be a problem with time, availability and somewhat patchy modes of communication between moderators, but contentious posts are ‘sat on’. .

    • Bill 21.2

      If you have an issue to write about that might go over (say) 700 words, then see if you can break it down into two discrete posts. That’s what I tend to do. As mickey says upthread(?) somewhere, longer posts don’t seem to attract as much interaction as shorter, ‘single point’ ones. That’s not to say they aren’t as read, but 500 odd words seems to be a good, digestible length for some reason. I suppose where the writing style is up to it, people might just get hooked in by the flow though? I dunno. (Thinking puddleglum on that front just because I find his stuff particularly engaging and easy to read.)

      • One Anonymous Bloke 21.2.1

        Good prose (like Puddleglum’s) is good prose and a pleasure to read. That said, paring down doesn’t hurt: the length of a piece is best proportional to the amount of information imparted.

        I haven’t forgotten your encouragement to contribute something.

      • Puddleglum 21.2.2

        Thanks for the compliment Bill – much appreciated.

        I read (and comment) here mainly because I find really insightful, different and usually heartfelt opinions being expressed in a way that is far more direct than I can manage – and that is definitely the case with your posts and comments, Bill, which I always try to read if I see them.

    • BLiP 21.3

      I wish I had the time to craft some posts, but am deterred; not just by the compressing of complex issues into 500 words, but also by the need to tend the post afterwards (such moderation could easily be as time consuming as the original writing). Perhaps next time I come across an issue that is interesting but doesn’t make me too furious to type, I might give it a go.

      Do it, please! Even if you’re furious. Calling a spade a bloody shovel is not a sin and passion lends to veracity, IMO. Just check any facts your position relies on before pressing the submit button.

      Don’t worry too much about the 500 words or tending the post. First off, there are Authors here more than willing and able to help shape your post before it appears. This has helped me lots. I still struggle with a bad tendency to verbiage but, then again, some of the things I want to say actually require 750 words, or even a 1000. I guess, just as long as what is being said makes sense and the entire post has an internal coherency, its fine. Links to DOX are great and, yeah, tell me about, they can can send you off on time-sponge tangents. Handy hint: don’t click links until you’ve read the post and, if you want to, chucked in a comment. Caveat- this can be a bit tricky if your comment relates specifically to what fact or position is being bolstered by the link.

      As for tending the comments section, that’s not compulsory. I don’t with my posts. I might make the odd reply here and there but I’ve invested a little bit of myself into writing the post and am something of a sensitive soul. That means my response to anything that’s said about it will come from a subjective perspective which means I’m not really the best person to be responding or moderating. Also, there is a learning curve to moderating and it takes a long time to get any good at it. If learn, and it actually quite a fun thing to do, the crew here will help.

      • Pasupial 21.3.1


        The problem with posting while angry is that it would be all too easy to get TS into legal difficulties with unsubstantiated rumours and defamation, especially with the new “cyberbullying” law. Much of the point of making a guest post would be to relieve some of the pressure on regular posters, not make their task harder. As you point out above (/standard-changes/#comment-1076909), one of the best reasons for having a; Report Comment button, is to crowd source the detection of such legally perilous statements.

        I feel, even when just making a comment, it is de rigeur to respond to any replies (that aren’t blatant trolling), which is why I tend to comment less these days – being AFK so much. Though fortunately Bill seems to have responded to Weka’s concerns yestereve. A guest poster wouldn’t have moderation powers, but I imagine that I’d use the Report button a lot more one my own post than on another’s (unless I saw a potential legal site risk).

    • Tracey 21.4

      You don’t need to be around to moderate your own post. I have posted and NOT been able to moderate so leave a message on the internal system and ask for anyone who is a round to keep an eye out. I cannot ban people, and am happy with that system. Someone else judges whether that is appropriate. I can issue warnings (as I did to Clem the other day)

  22. Stuart Munro 22

    Personally I think the banning is too frequent/heavy handed – but then my political rhetoric is influenced by Game of Thrones & Conan the Barbarian – which mete out fairly robust poetic solutions to rogues not much different to NZ MPs.

    • Tracey 22.1

      Which, with respect, is quite a traditional male way to treat such things, which is fine if you are male. What is acceptable to, and works for, some chaps is unacceptable and driving away, for some women. It is not an easy thing to work out. BUT we have lost female authors and commenters because of it. Finding some kind of middle ground is the way but it’s more elusive than it seems.

  23. RedLogix 23

    Well The Standard (as a collective of left-wing authors – not a machine) is definitely going through an evolutionary crisis.

    Seven years ago it started as a very masculine, robust space where almost anything was allowed short of advocating anything criminal, libelous, boring flames-wars or doxing. And only the worst extremes of blatant racism or sexism were moderated.

    Well it’s changed. In order to attract and try to retain more authors it was necessary to make the place safer and more appealing to a wider range of sensitivities. But that has come at the cost of making moderation a more subtle and demanding task. I find I’m not up to it any more – the mistakes cause far more trouble than I’m willing to live with. And damage there has been.

    Alongside this I find topics around gender and race are pretty much no-go zones these days. Increasingly it’s easier to self-censor and avoid controversy.

    Still I retain a strong loyalty to this place; the left in this country is almost moribund at the moment and without The Standard it would be DOA. It’s worth fighting for people.

    But right now it’s also asking way too much physically and emotionally of a very small number of people. And that is not a stable, or sustainable configuration. No-one has any right to ask more of Lynn. Nor of Anthony Robins.

    So the challenge to everyone who does value The Standard is to consider what they can do to keep this place alive and vigorous into the future. Not something for someone else to do – but what is it YOU are capable of doing, however large or small, to make a positive difference.

    • mickysavage 23.1

      Ta RL. You are one of the people Anne is talking about.

      Basically I think the site needs four posts a day as well as OM and DR and N&F. Fifteen authors so that ten can contribute a post a week and three can post two and two post five.

      And a group providing support.

      And a community behind making sure that TS lives up to its historical mandate.

      • weka 23.1.1

        @ micky, that’s very helpful coming from a long time author perspective. How much of that exists currently?

        @Red, I agree completely that the focus should be on increasing support and decreasing workload for existing authors/admin, and that we in the commenting seats can think about how to do that.

    • The lost sheep 23.2

      topics around gender and race are pretty much no-go zones these days. Increasingly it’s easier to self-censor and avoid controversy.

      …the left in this country is almost moribund at the moment

      IMO, the syndrome described in second line is tightly connected with symptom outlined in first.
      But given up trying to suggest so to people suffering from the condition.
      That’s the real issue with dogma. You can’t question what you can’t question.

      • The lost sheep 23.2.1

        Thought after break for strong drink…

        Honestly, how long is it since anyone wanting to speak to an Left Wing audience has not started off by first considering the things you cannot say according to the current dogma?
        And then ticking the boxes of the things you must say according to the current dogma?
        And finally, considering what you can say of your own thoughts that falls safely between those two primary considerations?

        The Left cannot produce vibrant and spontaneous leaders any more? The Left has lost it’s ability to convince the public of the rightness of it’s vision with a compelling narrative?

        No connection with dogma. No. Not safe to say. Obey the dogma. Do not challenge the boundaries. Above all, do not risk a free and spontaneous thought giving offense. Fark. Another strong drink needed

        • One Anonymous Bloke

          Perhaps you can articulate a specific example of the phenomenon you assert. For a start, what is it you aren’t “allowed” to say? Do you believe your remarks are somehow beyond criticism? Can you accept that drivel is drivel no matter how hard you clutch at it?

        • weka

          Lost sheep, it’s be good if this didn’t get politicised. If you start making this about the political spectrum there’s just going to be an argument which will need to be moderated and will take time and energy away from the purpose of the post which is to garner feedback about the proposed moderation changes.

      • One Anonymous Bloke 23.2.2

        I’m curious. When was it you suggested that gender and race issues are the problem? Can’t I question that?

        That’s the problem with drivel: it’s drivel.

        • weka

          one man’s drivel is another man’s insightful comment. Who gets to decide where the objectivity bar is?

          • One Anonymous Bloke

            Neither: I’m quite happy to leave that to the reader.

            • weka

              really? I thought you took the view that people’s drivel have to be pointed out to them in strong terms irrespective of how that affected the conversation.

              • One Anonymous Bloke

                So you say, and it’s up to the reader to decide where the objectivity bar is, eh.

                • weka

                  I was inviting you to clarify. And it looks like you missed my point (or sidestepped it).

                  • One Anonymous Bloke

                    I’m pondering it: it expanded quite a bit from the whereabouts of objectivity.

                  • The lost sheep

                    I do note that OAB’s commenting ‘style’ has come up as quite a regular topic in this thread about changes to TS.
                    Personally I think the changes proposed in the post might eliminate some of his more bigoted anti-social excesses, and guide him towards being a more tolerant and inclusive TS citizen.
                    When he is reformed, I suggest we set a date for a virtual group hug.

    • RedBaronCV 23.3

      ( Moderation appears fine to me – although I get lost in some arguments to & fro)

      And yeah I agree we are asking too much of a small group of people so how can we get more resiliance built in. At the 40k-50k of readers this is attracting more than bigger newspapers.

      Money always helps but I can see the arguments against advertisments.

      I did wonder if we could perhaps have a “page 2” of ads only (this is giving as much exposure as the NZHerald just about so it is attractive I think- also given that TS has it’s share of opinion formers ). Then if we wanted to earn some dosh for TS we could pop on over and click on the advertiser list ( perhaps they could post how much they will pay for each view) so we could follow the money and earn a bit for TS. The money would also have to go into trust so there is a cushion if it has to go away, in which changes can be made.

      Of course it goes without saying that editorial is absolutely separate and there is a right of take down or creatively comment. Maybe stick only to coys listed on the stock exchange or above a certain size.

      Subscriptions would help too but there is the problem of paying anonymously – mabe an annual giev alittle appeal so we are divorced from the site?

      • mickysavage 23.3.1

        Yep $ could do all sorts of wonderful things.

        I keep thinking about the demise of the MSM and how extreme and superficial and right wing it has become.

        And how there are so many progressive left wing information sources happening.

        A kick ass left wing agglomeration site for media would be great. But it would need some $ …

        The Guardian model springs to mind.

        • RedBaronCV

          Yes I had thought about the Guardian financial model too as a lot of good non MSM writing is spread over a number of internet sites and together it is powerful. Also to do steady digging does mean a wage for someone. And the possibility of going international with links to similar AU and other country sites

        • Ad

          Might be more fun and have more real world power starting that up, than being a politician again Mickey.

      • lprent 23.3.2

        The problem with adverts is the same as all of the other issues. Time.

        We don’t have time to chase advertising. Getting an agent to do it (eg like our 4 years with Scoop) means that we get reliant on the money from it and on them doing it. After dealing with late arrivals of operational money far too often and paying for supporting the site when I was also paying for body corporate levies, I eventually just figured out how to reduce the costs so we didn’t need it.

        These days we largely run off the voluntary donations that come through the Donate button into our bank account. That only works because the direct operational costs of the site are about $250 per month, and the yearly overhead costs are about USD 300. Less than $3500 per year or $300 per month.

        At some point we’d probably like to build up a basic legal fund again to deal with the inevitable legal challenges. We’d expect more with the poorly written Harmful Digital Communications Act and whatever net idiot(s) that the government appoints as “approved agencies”.

        It provides far more room for the adult vexatious legal pests to make unwarranted allegations based on how they feel than on facts. Ramming the approved agencies through district court to educate them about the law and the net will take time and money. I suspect that we’re going to have to draw blood at court from the approved agencies before they start using the Act in a way that is compatible with underlying law and with the way that the internet operates.

        But I’d be surprised if more than a third of the actions taken under this law will be for its ostensible purpose – that of dealing with the cyber-bullying of kids and teens. Most will come from adults.

        BTW: At present, The Standard is in the process of helping to deal with the first court challenge against one of our people in the last 8 years. It is a vexatious private prosecution, the detail of which cannot be referred to for legal reasons. If anyone feels like helping out financially, then use the Donate button. Leaving donations frees up other resources for dealing with legal costs.

        But in view of this court challenge, we may have to rebuild our legal fund which got dissipated in the expense of election year 2014.

    • marty mars 23.4

      personally I don’t see it as a crisis – more evolutionary

      I also think it is okay to opt out of posts/comment threads if the subject or our reaction to the subject is triggering.

  24. One Anonymous Bloke 24

    Levels of sexism and racism are a particular problem.

    Is there a way to combat prejudice other than directly within the community where it emerges? Grass Mud Horse says you can’t stay ahead of new ways to offend.

    I like The Standard moderators’ approach to some posts whereby comments are held back until approved. I think the rejected ones could be sent to open mike for community critique…time and tolerance permitting.

    • Bill 24.1

      So, there’s always going to be prejudice.

      The point is either personally directed shit or inadvertently causing personal offense (referring to sexism and/or racism here) , but instead of accepting that and maybe apologising, getting all combative and defensive, thereby compounding the shit and taking things to ever higher (or deeper) levels.

      I usually hate it when people do what I’m about to do, but…

      Years ago. From my part of the world no woman I ever knew gave a toss about the term ‘bitch’. It had no impact whatsoever. but if the term ‘cow’ was used, well…you simply didn’t. There would have been no pause for an outraged ‘What did you just say!?’ You’d have been clattered – beaten. It was that simple.

      Then I was in another part of the world and casually threw out the term ‘bitch’ and I couldn’t get my head around the reaction. (Different class too so, for me a somewhat confusing lack of physical reaction – so civilised – or dishonest – depending on acculturated perspective)

      So anyway, who determines whether something’s offensive – eg, sexist? And is any particular thing universal? Do the same terms and associations even exist across the English speaking world? What about between different people from the same part of the world? And if someone is said to be ‘thin skinned’ have they maybe a damned good fucking reason to be particularly attuned?

      So here we are on a blog and for most of us the other person is a diminished imagining of a person we’ve never met that we probably construct from a pile of stereotypes we have in our heads. How do we make this blog and its threads comfortable for them and us and everyone who is the real person beyond our imagined constructs? That’s the problem. Whether we fully accept it or not, the (generalising here) pinky/grey male culture here is, by it’s very definition and with all its inherent bias, a really fucking difficult and somewhat foreign place for non- ‘pinky/grey males’ to negotiate or navigate.

      We’re wont to be favouring a cultural bias that excludes or makes things more difficult than need be for a majority of people. Personally I don’t favour ‘forcing’ them to ‘fit in or fuck off’. I’d rather we (the environment) changed.

      Jeez. Rant over – not my most articulate. Maybe something worthwhile can be fished from the gloop. Not caring at the moment.

      • Puddleglum 24.1.1

        It was very articulate. And it hits a whole lot of nails on the head.

        One of the worst things that can happen to any human being is to feel excluded or humiliated.

        I wouldn’t wish either on my worst enemy, let alone on people who genuinely want to add their voice and experience to this modern invention called the public world.

        [Edit: ‘public world’ = ‘public sphere’]

        • Bill

          Then, my perspective suggests that ‘ts’ has to take on board the fact that it’s exclusive and change.

          But some of this is stuff a fair number of people don’t even recognise when it’s in front of them or when they are the ones perpetuating it. And those numbers are made up from commenters, authors and moderators.


          I mean, we can’t leave it, because it’s losing voices…unless ‘the standard’ happily and collectively settles for being an ever more crystalised expression of a boys/ lads/old mens club.

      • marty mars 24.1.2

        all of us need to watch for our inherent bias and luckily other commenters usually spot it – it is self correcting within the environment.

        • Bill

          No marty, that’s the problem. It (the sexism and racism) isn’t self correcting. There are numerous instances of fucking unbelievable levels of shit that have rolled on and on, either between one person and another, a group of people and one other, or two distinct groups etc and some of those instances have lost us valuable contributors.

          And that’s the bit I can’t come up with an elegant solution to. I cannot for the world of me figure how to separate out that shit so it can be dealt with while leaving general ad hominem shit alone. And the reason I can’t figure it is because the divisions, if they really even exist at all, are grey. My genuinely pointed but general ‘throw-away’ insult or jibe is anothers just as genuinely felt piece of patriarchal bullshit descending – or not – depending.

          And as always ‘the dominant’ cultural mind set within the environment tends to dismiss or diminish the criticism, objection or complaint of ‘the other’.

          Now, if ‘the standard’ is to be a place for the broadest possible expression of ‘the left’….

          • marty mars

            Good points Bill – you have a kind heart imo.

            If it is seen, it is named. If it continues it is banned.

            The world and our country are not ‘safe’ places from sexism or racism – those who suffer from these attacks are aware of this imo – maybe it is too much to expect TS to be free of the vileness.

            I have to say I have found myself feeling utterly upset by some ‘left’ commenters who are unaware of their personal ‘issues’ around this and feeling even worse as the explanations they receive from the offended are just absolutely dismissed, minimised and discarded by them – what to do? Distress tolerance is what we call it at work.

            • Stephanie

              Sorry, deleting this comment myself. I don’t actually want to be involved in this conversation, it’s too pointlessly angry-making.

  25. maui 25

    What about re-posting articles from the Maoriland Worker? I’ve been looking at some of their old articles on the Papers Past site, and even though they’re 100 years old they could be talking about today’s society… strange as it is. I would be happy to email some through, but someone would need to check that they’re appropriate for the current day Standard 🙂

  26. weka 26

    Re getting more gender diversity in authors and commenters. I think that the standard is a generally unsafe and pretty unpleasant place for women to talk about politics that are important to them. It’s probably not even that safe for me to say that. If we want more women writing and commenting here then that would need to change. I think adjusting the moderation a bit would help a lot.

    In terms of getting women writing posts, I think the people that should be listened to on what would work are the women already writing (Tracey, Stephanie, Karol if anyone is still in touch with her). From the commenting side perspective, I think that putting a stop early on to various behaviours (send people to OM) would change things.

    It’s been appalling watching what Stephanie has had to go through at times including blatant breaches of the policy on not criticising or harassing authors (and I note she hasn’t written or commented much in recent times). I thought that Stephanie should have just shut those behaviours down by putting people into moderation, but then she has to deal with people attacking her elsewhere (on ts, in moderated comments and I would guess in email and other places on the net). This isn’t about Stephanie, because I think any strong feminist writing here on difficult gender issues is going to experience additional challenges.

    I’d like to suggest more support from the other moderators, but that’s increasing the workload, so maybe it’s something to bear in mind over time and new writers/mods come on board. My other suggestion is that some topics get all special treatment like the posts by MPs, but again, that’s more work for the mods. Ts probably need a women’s caucus where these things can be nutted out by the women affected (authors and commenters).

    I’m also aware that on the harder discussions on feminist issues many women don’t feel safe enough to comment. Those voices are the ones we need to be making space for if we want things to change politically.

    I think it’s ok for men to take a step back and not comment in those threads or start their own discussion elsewere, rather than bringing their own needs into it. As hard as that might be, the more space that can be made for women’s voices, the more likely it is that women will speak up.

    • Bill 26.1

      Hmm. Since one of the suggestions is that any author can ban anyone from their post for any unspecified reason, then if adopted, there would be nothing to prevent women only comments posts…bearing in mind that gender isn’t always obvious – but then, if ‘Julie’ is sounding suspect, ban him 😉

      Referring to the type of shit seen around Stephanie’s moderating – there are other suggestions back-end that didn’t go public – such as modes of communication between authors so that one author/mod can quickly flick another or others a request that someone else moderate “comment x” in light of probable or possible back-lash.

    • Tracey 26.2

      Thanks for saying this. I too,(like RedLogix) have written a few comments and then deleted them because I just don’t have the energy to keep defending myself. For example, I know that vto takes comments about certain gender issues to heart. I find that I just can’t be bothered, so there are things I won’t rite about as an author or a commenter.

  27. BLiP 27

    Great to see this rolling out. As far as I can tell, none of these changes will effect The Standard’s regulars nor any new visitor willing to engage positively in whatever is being discussed. Rather, its the Authors, Mods, and Admins who might have to change their ways in order to accommodate a slightly-more formal process for maintaining a positive “tone” (for lack of a better word) and a welcoming environment for new Authors, Mods and Admins.

    Don’t get me wrong: some of my best friends are grumpy, pakeha, middle-aged men and I find little to argue with in their posts. I would, though, love to see some more perspectives, especially from Maori, any other cultures, yoof (which I define as Under-30 years), and women. The few requirements such contributors need, really, is an ability to string together a sentence, something to say, and for that to be framed within a New Zealand politics context.

    Bring it on.

    • Tracey 27.1

      “some of my best friends are grumpy, pakeha, middle-aged men ”

      My very best male friend is that, but retired not middle-aged. I love him dearly.

  28. Vaughan Little 28

    comments toward the end remind me that there’s this only occasionally reported phenomenon of women copping quite a bit of negative shit in online comments, emails etc. like, industrial strength trolling. if it’s demonstrable that women are getting turned off reading, commenting on or posting on this site, it strikes me as worthwhile that some specific policy be developed to being them back in like Michael corleone in the godfather 3: a sequel too far.

    my christian group at uni had a men’s officer and a women’s officer to handle gender related issues. it seems that ts is way underresourced for this but in a perfecter world it might be good to have a designated person to chase up some.of this gender related stuff.

    my only.other bright idea on this is to ask.if anyone out there knows of codes of conduct operating on.other blogsites that we could.rip.off…

Recent Comments

Recent Posts

  • The disappearing Women …
    by The Council of Disobedient Women In her excellent oral submission to the Abortion reform select committee on 31st October on behalf of Otago University’s Department of Public Health, historian and public health researcher Hera Cook stated: “We would ask that the committee not use the term ‘pregnant persons’ and ...
    RedlineBy Daphna
    12 hours ago
  • “A Passage to India”: enduring art in changing times
    by Don Franks In 1957, E M Forster wrote, of his greatest work: “The India described in ‘A Passage to India’ no longer exists either politically or socially. Change had begun even at the time the book was published ( 1924) and during the following quarter of a century it ...
    RedlineBy Daphna
    13 hours ago
  • Contemptuous
    The Referendums Framework Bill was due back from select committee today. But there's no report on it. Instead, the bill has been bounced back to the House under Standing order 29593) because the Committee didn't bother to produce one. They probably tried. But given the membership of the committee (which ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    18 hours ago
  • Zero Carbon: It’s not just a good idea, it’s the law
    Two years into New Zealand’s Labour-led government, the long-delayed Zero Carbon Bill became law on 7 November. Passed essentially unanimously, the lengthy public debates and political manoeuvring faded away until the final passage was even anticlimactic: Flipping through the @nzstuff @DomPost I was starting to wonder if I’d dreamt ...
    SciBlogsBy Robert McLachlan
    19 hours ago
  • Climate Change: What happens next?
    Now the Zero Carbon Bill is law, what's next? Obviously, the ETS changes currently before select committee are going to be the next battleground. But we're also going to get a good idea of where we're going, and if the progress the Zero Carbon Act promises is good enough, during ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    20 hours ago
  • Climate change will fuel bush fires
    Grant Pearce The effects of the current Australian bushfires in New South Wales and Queensland (and also again in California) are devastating and far-reaching. To date, the fires have resulted in several lives being lost and many homes and properties destroyed. Here in New Zealand, the impacts have been only ...
    SciBlogsBy Guest Author
    21 hours ago
  • Participation rates
    A passing comment in a post the other day about the labour force participation rates of older people prompted me to pull down the fuller data and see what we could see about various participation rates over the decades since the HLFS began in 1986.   As it happens, the ...
    SciBlogsBy Michael Reddell
    23 hours ago
  • Not So Much “OK Boomer” As “OK Ruling Class”.
    Distract And Divert: The rise of what we have come to call “Identity Politics” represents the ideological manifestation of the ruling class’s objective need to destroy class politics, and of the middle-class’s subjective need to justify their participation in the process.THE RELIEF of the ruling class can only be imagined. ...
    1 day ago
  • Asking for it …
    "I saw a newspaper picture,From the political campaignA woman was kissing a child,Who was obviously in pain.She spills with compassion,As that young child'sFace in her hands she gripsCan you imagine all that greed and avariceComing down on that child's lips?" ...
    1 day ago
  • New Zealand’s Poor Pandemic Preparedness According to the Global Health Security Index
    Dr Matt Boyd, Prof Michael Baker, Prof Nick Wilson The Global Health Security Index which considers pandemic threats has just been published. Unfortunately, NZ scores approximately half marks (54/100), coming in 35th in the world rankings – far behind Australia. This poor result suggests that the NZ Government needs to ...
    SciBlogsBy Public Health Expert
    2 days ago
  • Climate Change: Thank Winston
    The Zero Carbon Act is inadequate, with a weak methane target designed to give farmers a free ride. But it turns out it could have been worse: Climate Change Minister James Shaw was so desperate to get National on board, he wanted to gut that target, and leave it in ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 days ago
  • Illicit markets and Bali Booze
    The Herald reprints an Australian story on a couple of tragic deaths in Bali from drinking cocktails that had methanol in them.  The story argues that methanol is likely the result of home distillation. But what the young tourists were experiencing was far from a hangover. They’d consumed a toxic cocktail ...
    SciBlogsBy Eric Crampton
    2 days ago
  • This is not what armed police are for
    Last month, the police announced a trial of specialist roaming armed units, which would drive round (poor, brown) areas in armoured SUVs, armed to the teeth. When they announced the trial, they told us it was about having armed police "ready to attend major incidents at any time if needed". ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 days ago
  • Spain’s failed electoral gamble
    Spain went to the polls today in the second elections this year, after the Socialists (who had come to power in a confidence vote, then gone to the polls in April) rejected the offer of a coalition with the left-wing PoDemos, and instead decided to gamble n a better outcome ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 days ago
  • The astroturf party
    National has finally rolled out its "BlueGreen" astroturf party, fronted by an array of former nats and people who were dumped by the Greens for not being Green enough. Its initial pitch is described by Stuff as "very business-friendly", and its priorities are what you'd expect: conservation, predator-free funding, a ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 days ago
  • How to cheat at university
    A couple of days ago I attended (and spoke at) the University of Waikato’s “LearnFest” event. There were lots of talks and sessions on very diverse aspects of teaching, mostly at tertiary level. One was by Myra Williamson from Te Piringa Faculty of Law here at Waikato, on Contract Cheating ...
    SciBlogsBy Marcus Wilson
    2 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
    2 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
    3 days 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. ...
    3 days 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 ...
    3 days 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 ...
    3 days 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
    3 days 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 ...
    4 days 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
    4 days 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 ...
    4 days 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
    5 days 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 ...
    5 days 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 ...
    5 days 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
    6 days 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
    6 days 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
    6 days 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
    6 days 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
    6 days 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
    6 days 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
    6 days 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 ...
    6 days 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
    7 days 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
    7 days 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
    7 days 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
    7 days 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
    7 days 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
    1 week 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. ...
    1 week 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 ...
    1 week 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
    1 week 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
  • Referenda on Euthanasia – NZ First’s Victory – or a Major Miscalculation?
    . . NZ First’s success in putting the euthenasia bill to a public referenda may not be the victory they believe it to be. They may even have sounded the death-knell for a second Labour-NZ First-Green coalition. On 23 July this year, NZ First MP, Jenny Marcroft, submitted a Supplementary ...
    Frankly SpeakingBy Frank Macskasy
    2 weeks ago
  • Corbyn the Mighty vs BoJo the Clown
    Interesting contrasting pictures in the Guardian:Corbyn gets the classic positive shot - low angle and a clear background, making him look authoritative (of course, being Corbyn, he doesn't do authoritative very well).Where as Johnson gets pictured with children at some sort of mad-hatters' tea party:Begging the question, who is the ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Public health, externality, and vaccination
    Paternalism is contentious. Arguments for state action to protect us from ourselves are fraught. I come down pretty heavily on the anti-paternalism side of the argument, but I’ve heard respectable defences of paternalism. But policy around vaccination is hardly paternalistic. There’s a clear market failure that could be pointed to ...
    SciBlogsBy Eric Crampton
    2 weeks ago
  • Happy Halloween
    Its Halloween, so its time for annual pumpkin trepanning and chocolate eating ritual. ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • Twenty thousand leagues under the sea
    I’ve been reading Jules Verne’s novel Twenty thousand leagues under the sea, considered as one of the very earliest science fiction stories. In brief, Monsieur Aronnax and a couple of sidekicks are taken prisoner by Captain Nemo and his mysterious crew and treated to an underwater voyage around the world ...
    SciBlogsBy Marcus Wilson
    2 weeks ago
  • Climate Change: Disclosing the risks
    The climate crisis is going to mean some pretty big changes in our country, both from its impacts and the policies required to address them. Most obviously, whole suburbs are going to be underwater by 2100, meaning people and businesses are going to have to relocate to higher ground. But ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • MPI fails again
    Yesterday a dairy company was fined $483,000 for repeatedly failing to report listeria in its facility. Its a serious fine for a serious crime: listeria is a serious disease, and they were effectively trying to kill people with it. But there's another story hidden in there, and its not a ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • Gay Men Address Gender Identity
    Gay men see the excesses of trans activism and are increasingly speaking out.  A new Facebook group addressing ‘gender identity’ and contemporary trans activism has been set up for gay men, by gay men. The following is the group’s Statement of Intent, Group Rules, and link to the group for ...
    RedlineBy Admin
    2 weeks ago
  • National’s Going Gangbusters.
    Criminal Enterprises: Gangs are not welfare institutions. Nor are they a substitute for the family their members never had. They are ruthless, violent, criminal money-making machines. That is all.OKAY, first-things-first. Gangs exist for one purpose – and only one. They are a sure-fired, time-tested institution for making crime pay – ...
    2 weeks 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 ...
    5 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 ...
    5 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 ...
    6 days 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 Zealand to lead Bougainville Referendum Regional Police Support Mission
    Rt Hon Winston Peters, Deputy Prime Minister, Minister of Foreign Affairs Minister of Foreign Affairs Winston Peters has announced today that New Zealand is leading a police support mission in Bougainville as the region prepares to vote in a non-binding referendum on its political future. “New Zealand has accepted an invitation ...
    3 weeks ago
  • We’re taking action on climate change
    “I refuse to accept the challenge of climate change is too hard to solve.” – Jacinda Ardern ...
    3 weeks ago
  • Shane Jones annoyed at “elevated sense of entitlement from a lot of immigrant leaders”
    New Zealand First MP Shane Jones is defending Immigration New Zealand (INZ) after it instructed officials to stop granting visas as an exception to instructions. He has also lashed out at immigrant leaders upset with the tightening of the rules, saying they had an “elevated sense of entitlement”. Members of ...
    3 weeks ago
  • New Zealand public likely to vote on euthanasia bill thanks to NZ First
    A change to the End of Life Choice Bill was passed in Parliament, meaning if politicians decide to vote for the law it must be approved by the public first. A binding referendum was a condition insisted on by New Zealand First, and Jenny Marcroft’s supplementary order paper (SOP) successfully ...
    3 weeks ago
  • Tairāwhiti Workforce development projects get $1.6m PGF boost
    Fletcher Tabuteau, Parliamentary Under-Secretary for Regional Economic Development The Provincial Growth Fund (PGF), through its skills and employment programme, Te Ara Mahi, is investing a further $1.6m into Tairāwhiti’s workforce development, said Parliamentary Under Secretary for Regional Economic Development Fletcher Tabuteau. “This PGF funding follows on from significant PGF investment earlier this ...
    3 weeks ago
  • NZ First welcomes primary sector support for climate change plan
    Rt Hon Winston Peters, New Zealand First Leader New Zealand First Leader Rt Hon Winston Peters says the Government’s steps to reduce farm livestock emissions are necessary and timely. Today the Government and farming leaders announced a plan to measure and price emissions at the farm level by 2025. “Many farmers ...
    3 weeks 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
    20 mins 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
    11 hours 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
    17 hours 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
    19 hours 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
    21 hours 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
    21 hours 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
    23 hours 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
    2 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
    2 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
    2 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
    5 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
    5 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
    5 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
    5 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
    6 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
    6 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
    6 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
    6 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
    6 days 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
    6 days ago
  • Te Huringa o Te Tai – Police Crime Prevention Strategy
    "A pathway for Police in leadership with Iwi Māori, to achieve the aspirations of Māori whānau." Police launch of Te Huringa o Te Tai, Pipitea Marae,  Thorndon Quay, Wellington Nau mai, haere mai. Tēnā koutou, tēnā koutou, ka nui te mihi, ki a koutou. Hello everyone, warm greetings to you all. ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    7 days ago
  • Kiwis getting higher pay
    Working New Zealanders are getting more in their back pockets under the Coalition Government’s economic plan. Stats NZ data today shows average weekly ordinary time earnings are up by $83 since the Government took office. This shows that working New Zealanders are getting higher take-home pay, and that employers are ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    7 days ago
  • More support for schools to reduce energy consumption and environmental impact
    The Government is supporting schools to cut down their energy consumption and reduce environmental impacts, with a quarter of all schools having their lights replaced with LEDs, a sustainability contestable fund and a plan to improve the environmental sustainability of all schools in the future. Education Minister Chris Hipkins and ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    7 days ago
  • New Zealand’s manaakitanga highlighted in China
    Tourism Minister Kelvin Davis heads to China on Friday to lead the New Zealand Government presence at the China-New Zealand Year of Tourism closing ceremony. The ceremony will take place at Canton Tower in Guangzhou on Sunday 10 November. “The Year of Tourism has been mutually beneficial for both New ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    7 days ago
  • Climate change research boost
    Should we plan for drought or deluge and how is CO2 released from the ocean’s floor? Several climate change projects were given a boost in the latest Marsden Fund investment of $83.6 million, Research, Science and Innovation Minister Megan Woods said today. “Climate change is long-term challenge that requires out-of-the-box ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Significant progress on Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP)
    Leaders of 16 countries negotiating the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP) have announced the completion of negotiation on the text as well as agreement on virtually all market access issues between 15 countries. The leaders said they will work with India to resolve its outstanding concerns in a way that ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Learn how to stay safe on World Tsunami Awareness Day
    Civil Defence Minister Hon Peeni Henare says World Tsunami Awareness Day today (5 November) is a chance for all New Zealanders to learn more about the tsunami risk in our regions and the right actions to take to stay safe. “All of New Zealand’s coastline is at risk of tsunami. ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Formal recognition at last for paramedics’ frontline medical role
    New Zealand’s more than 1000 paramedics are to have their role as key frontline health professionals formally recognised and regulated in the same way as doctors and nurses, Health Minister David Clark says. The Government has agreed to regulate paramedics under the Health Practitioners Competence Assurance Act 2003. “Paramedic leaders ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Government improving protections for consumers and workers when businesses fail
    Changes to insolvency law announced by the Government today will include requirements to honour up to 50 per cent of the value of gift cards or vouchers held by consumers, Commerce and Consumer Affairs Minister Kris Faafoi says. “When a business is insolvent, these consumers are often left out of ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Outstanding public service recognised
    Six New Zealanders tonight received medals for their meritorious work in the frontline public service. The Public Service Medal, established by Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II, is awarded annually. “For the second year this Government has recognised public servants who have made a real difference to the lives of New ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Global trade, business promotion focus of Shanghai meetings
    Minister for Trade and Export Growth David Parker heads to Shanghai today for the China International Import Expo and meetings focused on reforming the WTO. Over 90 New Zealand companies will be exhibiting at the second China International Import Expo (CIIE), which runs from 5-10 November. “China is one of New Zealand’s ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Drivers to get more time to gain full licence
    Drivers holding a current five-year learner or restricted car or motorbike licence, expiring between 1 December 2019 and 1 December 2021, will receive an automatic two-year extension, Associate Transport Minister Julie Anne Genter announced today. Over 144,000 drivers’ time-limited licences are due to expire in the next two years; 67,000 ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • NZ-China FTA upgrade negotiations conclude
    Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern and Minister for Trade and Export Growth David Parker have announced the conclusion of negotiations to upgrade New Zealand’s existing free trade agreement with China.   “This ensures our upgraded free trade agreement will remain the best that China has with any country,” Jacinda Ardern said.   She ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Fletcher Tabuteau congratulates winners of regional economic development awards
    Parliamentary Under-Secretary for Regional Economic Development Fletcher Tabuteau congratulates the Ten Kiwi organisations who have been recognised for their outstanding contribution to the wellbeing and the prosperity of their communities. Economic Development New Zealand (EDNZ), announced the awards at its annual conference in Blenheim last weekend. “A special congratulations to ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Minister welcomes record high building and construction apprenticeships
    Minister for Building and Construction Jenny Salesa has welcomed the record high of 13,000 building and construction apprentices in active training with main provider the Building and Construction Industry Training Organisation (BCITO). “We are committed to reversing the long-term decline in trades training and it’s excellent to see more people ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • More progress on cancer medicines
    PHARMAC’s decision to fund a new leukaemia treatment means three new cancer medicines have now been funded so far this year, Health Minister David Clark says. From 1 December venetoclax (Venclexta) will be funded for people living with chronic lymphocytic leukaemia.  Just last month funding was also confirmed for alectinib ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • New Zealand gifts White Horse to Nikko Toshogu Shrine in Japan
    Foreign Minister Winston Peters has today formally gifted a white horse to Toshogu Shrine in Nikko, Japan in front of thousands of attendees at a ceremony conducted by Chief Priest Inaba.  The horse named Kōmaru, which means ‘sheltered’ in Maori and ‘shining’ in Japanese,  is a white 12-year-old purebred Andalusian ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 weeks ago
  • High Commissioner to Canada announced
    Foreign Minister Winston Peters has named diplomat Martin Harvey as New Zealand’s next High Commissioner to Canada. “Canada is one of New Zealand’s closest and longstanding international partners,” said Mr Peters. “Our close friendship is underpinned by our shared democratic values, history and our parliamentary traditions. As Commonwealth countries and ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 weeks ago
  • New Retirement Commissioner appointed
    Commerce and Consumer Affairs Minister Kris Faafoi has today announced the appointment of Jane Wrightson as Retirement Commissioner. “Jane has strong leadership, management and governance skills which will help champion improved financial capability for all New Zealanders and provide advice on retirement income policy issues,” Kris Faafoi said. Jane Wrightson ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 weeks ago
  • New Zealand and Japan commit to greater cooperation in the Pacific
    Foreign Minister Winston Peters and his Japanese counterpart Toshimitsu Motegi announced a plan last night to cooperate more closely in the Pacific, as part of the strong and ambitious relationship between the two countries. “Japan is one of New Zealand’s most important partners and closest friends. My discussions with Minister ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 weeks ago