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State of Nations

Written By: - Date published: 6:11 pm, January 29th, 2014 - 24 comments
Categories: capitalism, class, class war, crime, Environment, Ethics, global warming, International, peak oil, poverty, prisons, sustainability, war - Tags: , , , ,

This post isn’t a ‘contrast and compare’ piece on the policy announcements of National, the Greens and Labour. It’s enough to say that National are pursuing privatisation while both Labour and Green are at least trying to do good things.

Shame about the reality of the bigger picture then.

Admittedly, I might have this the wrong way around. So with that in mind, let’s just say I’m going for the more positive scenario.

Market economies operate by way of profit. If something doesn’t spin a profit, then it simply doesn’t happen or stops happening pretty quickly. Two solutions are offered up. The state can step in and use tax revenue to fund non-profit but socially valuable activity/institutions. Or we find ways to monetise everything (eg – Nats so-called education policy) and settle for wrap around, degraded ‘user pays’ systems.

Those are the poles of any economy wedded to market (regulated/unregulated) principles. And we can argue the pro’s and cons of each scenario, or of some mish-mash of the two until the cows come home.

Except we can’t.

To borrow Paula Bennets’ phrase from a different scenario – ‘The Party’s Over’.

How over? Here’s one indicator.  31% of US oil and gas shares are owned by retirement funds. But we can’t use some 80% of discovered oil that your pension funds are invested in without ‘burning’ the planet.

Extrapolating the above 31% to apply to global fossil investment, it seems either we say  ‘hang it all’, drill and burn the oil to get you your retirement return meaning that you won’t get your retirement return because the planet’s burned. Or we don’t, which means that a huge chunk of your retirement investments will be worth precisely zero (the retirement component of about US$20 trillion worth of investment ) and you don’t get your retirement return.

Nice choice, and I can almost see a future filled with the stunned tears of people protesting that they only tried to do what was good and what was right.

Want to throw resource depletion into the AGW mix?

Well, here’s a wee trick. Market economies are about market share. They just aren’t – not in any way shape or form – about market size. If they were, then all the people in Africa, South America, Latin America and elsewhere would have been pulled into the consumerist ways of life a hundred years ago or more.

So what to do when looking at peaked resources and market share? Why – you shrink the market, and –  oops! – there goes any idea you might have had about reinvesting all of that US$20 trillion of oil money elsewhere (though your bank deposits underwrite any actual bank losses). So lots more people get equal status with countless Africans, South and Latin Americans… excluded.

Here’s, an admittedly quick, hodge podge of measures and indicators from across the world that suggest the groundwork for our exclusion is being laid in. I’m sure you can join the dots and add many, many more illustative examples without any difficulty.

 

‘Anti Social Behaviour Orders’ (ASBOs) in the UK.

Also from the UK, serious attempts to bring in ‘Injunctions to Prevent Nuisance and Annoyance’ (Ipnas)

In the US, natural life jail sentences for such misdemeanors as stealing a US$159 jacket.

Global internet and electronic surveillance

From Scotland, 3 years in jail for a stupid facebook post.

NZ cities passing bye laws to ban begging

Throughout the world, austerity being sold as reform that serves to remove progressive reforms won in the past.

The never ending wars against drugs and terrorism that allow the poor to be harvested for profit in private prison systems.

Wars of occupation in Iraq, Afghanistan, Libya…

And against all that, an ever increasing number of protests across the world

Anyway, avert your gaze, keep your mouth shut and you may, by luck, get to hang in there. Just keep struggling and scrabbling faster than the necessarily ever faster slowest, and you might get health care and welfare and a pension fund. Yup. You too can be a part of a shrinking, multi-layered  elite, while the burgeoning majority (that you won’t be a part of, of course!) get their heads kicked in, or get jailed, or get killed for…well, the equivalent of planting a vegetable. I mean, never mind about getting shot or whatever for trying to organise people or some such. You can get murdered in some parts of the world for having the temerity to plant a fucking vegetable. And the dynamics of exclusion that play out elsewhere will be playing out over here, and sooner rather than later. Though, maybe there’s an alternative for the masters of the universe. Maybe they  have in mind something else – something other than shrinking the market to survive resource depletion?

If not, put aside concerns over the possible effects of Global Warming. That (if I haven’t got things the wrong way round – a possibility) probably comes after the lock down/ lock out that most likely, due to the Pareto Principle, won’t allow market economic practices  to continue and ‘civilisation’ (what’s going to pass for it anyway) to skite below catastrophic global warming.

So finally, I wonder if the likes of David Cunliffe understand what we’re up against when they ask that we all pull together to make NZ decent again, and whether they have the steel to see things through when international political pressure is brought to bear on the good intentions of their government?

24 comments on “State of Nations”

  1. karol 1

    Well, I think any major shift will need to involve some leadership from above, and a groundswell of pressure from within the flax roots. But, while a lot of the people are still focused on getting and having the latest shiny things, such a groundswell will be small. It’ll only be when people see in their daily lives what power down means, that they will start to engage – but by then it may be too late.

    Russel Norman did produce a power down narrative yesterday in response to the PM’s statement. I summarised and quoted from some of Norman’s speech in my post last night.

    Norman’s speech was low key, and not full of flashy rhetoric. But his speech was very well done. He first created the context of NZ’s history of progressive legislation – Savage, Kirk, etc. Then this:

    He then said that NZ needs a Green government with “values of egalitarianism, sovereignty and democracy“. But, more than that, it needs to “integrate these values with new modern values of sustainability.“ The “next wave of progressive change that is sweeping the world is green.” This is necessary as we learn a new way of living “good lives” with finite and limited natural resources.

    We are learning to access the unlimited resources of human creativity, ingenuity and generosity in order to live prosperous lives…

    It was so low key, it’ll have missed most people. But that narrative needs to be repeated again and again, in differnet ways, differnt contexts.

    • Bill 1.1

      Hmm. I wasn’t really writing this post with any ‘major shift’ in mind. I was just kinda speculating on where we’re going and what it might mean.

      So, ‘powerdown’ – or the same effect as, is achieved by excluding people from resources…just like has been the lot for billions since colonisation snapped up the worlds’ resources for ‘the west’.

      Would I rather see an across the board step change? Of course. Is it likely? Nope. Does that matter to those who hold power and make decisions? Nope. Will it matter to us? Most likely.

      And if Labour and Greens try to push against an international tendency that would exclude ever more people from resources etc to preserve ‘the market’ or capitalism…and I do believe that is happening and will be happening more…. then they will most definitely be getting ‘the hard word’ from international quarters…even if they are simply undermining the excuses put forward to justify austerity.

      It happened to Helen Clark in a different and much less dire context (business as usual neo-liberalism) – and she backed down.

      Cunliffe and who-ever, maybe unsuspectingly, are taking on much, much bigger ‘kettle of fish’ in the present.

      People and institutions with much more power than the NZ government are out of ideas and playing for keeps. They aren’t going to quietly countenance a ‘western liberal democracy’ stepping out of the fold or merely (as I suspect would be the reality of Labour/Green government) contradicting the austerity line. These ain’t the days of Savage or Kirk who, in spite of their progressive tendencies, stayed very much within the parameters of ‘acceptable’ government for their times.

      • weka 1.1.1

        Are you thinking there are options here, or that there isn’t really anything to be done?

        Great post btw.

        • Bill 1.1.1.1

          I’m just looking at the trajectories of governments in a world squeezed between AGW and peak resources. I’ve suggested alternatives in other posts.

          In this one I’m more interested in whether the idea that total market size will be shrunk to accommodate resource depletion and maintain power is a reasonable one (ie, broadly correct) or whether it’s completely ‘off the wall’.

          If it’s not ‘off the wall’ and is something that’s pursued, then many, many people in NZ and across ‘the west’ are going to be living lives we’ve previously only associated with the excluded majorities in ‘third world’ nations.

          AGW is a second driver for that scenario to be pushed. I guess the hope in some quarters would be that a shrunken market that caters for the needs of far fewer people would run on far lower CO2 emissions.

          Lastly I’m wondering, if in spite of all the best intentions of a Labour/Green government, whether they are factoring in the stark reality of resource depletion and AGW…and regardless of that, whether they have the steel to face down inevitable international pressures that would have them stay on the austerity/surveillance/market and social exclusion bus.

          • Colonial Viper 1.1.1.1.1

            In this one I’m more interested in whether the idea that total market size will be shrunk to accommodate resource depletion and maintain power is a reasonable one (ie, broadly correct) or whether it’s completely ‘off the wall’.

            The overall size of the financial markets and the electronic credit IOUs out there in the ether far surpass, as you have already said, what the real physical economy can deliver on.

            And the financial system is continuing to expand.

            The leaders of our power elite have consciously, or unconsciously, embraced Thanatos on behalf of the entire world. (I doubt the people who have been in the bottom 50% of the world’s population are at all surprised by this, but most living in relatively wealthy western countries are going to be very surprised, at a guess.)

            Civilisations do not end in sanity. Even as the barbarian hordes descended into the Italian peninsula, money and resources were being poured into bread and circuses.

            • Bill 1.1.1.1.1.1

              I guess I’m not so much focusing on the financial sector as the possibility for people to be excluded from the ‘nuts and bolts’ of production and distribution.

              Seems we’re already being ‘eased out’ – diminishing welfare, more precarious jobs with worsening terms and conditions and a massive corporate bureaucracy of low/middle management types who will be surplus to needs soon enough.

              Then, short term, we have the possible implosion of economies like China and India leading to a whole new waves of cut backs and austerity….set against the bigger medium term picture I’ve tried to outline in the post.

          • weka 1.1.1.1.2

            “In this one I’m more interested in whether the idea that total market size will be shrunk to accommodate resource depletion and maintain power is a reasonable one (ie, broadly correct) or whether it’s completely ‘off the wall’.”

            I guess I always assumed this would happen, although I haven’t thought about it in the frame you are presenting here before, which seems a more intentional strategy rather than an inevitable consequence.

            I don’t know about AGW being a second driver, or whether resource depetion will happen soon enough to have any effect. Seasoned Peak Oil analysists are talking about how the effects of peak oil aren’t happening as fast as predicted. Looks to me like the future is still very much up in the air.

            I have no doubt that key people within the Greens get the reality (and would probably include Norman in that). I doubt that they can factor in the stark reality of peak everything or AGW, other than in broad strokes in terms of working in the right direction. How could they? Those that do get it, are unable to talk about it in public or be honest about it in their work. I would guess they have to have a special kind of cognitive dissonance.

            No idea about Labour.

            “and regardless of that, whether they have the steel to face down inevitable international pressures that would have them stay on the austerity/surveillance/market and social exclusion bus.”

            This is where my mind went immediately to strategy. Assuming there was a L/GP coalition at the critical time, how could they be supported and/or pressured to do the right thing. What would the right thing entail? What are the conditions that might enable them to choose one or other? etc I think there is definitely work that could be done now on this, esp changing the political discourse.

            btw, it’s my understanding that Lange faced this dilemma in 1984. The pressure was on immediately after the election and we all know where that led.

            another btw, the term ‘powerdown’ has been used for a while now to refer to powering down with intention and degrees of democracy (esp in grassroots terms), rather than the colonisation comparison you used. I think it’s useful to consider both, and how we might go one way or other, or where they overlap.

            • Colonial Viper 1.1.1.1.2.1

              Assuming there was a L/GP coalition at the critical time, how could they be supported and/or pressured to do the right thing. What would the right thing entail? What are the conditions that might enable them to choose one or other?

              Yes this is critical. Constant broad societal pressure must go on to the pollies, and open acceptable policy space up for the political parties to move into.

              I don’t know about AGW being a second driver, or whether resource depetion will happen soon enough to have any effect. Seasoned Peak Oil analysists are talking about how the effects of peak oil aren’t happening as fast as predicted.

              I once thought that fossil fuel reserves would run down fast enough to prevent really severe climate change.

              I changed my mind a few months ago. With the accessing of arctic oil and gas (and then after that Antarctic oil and gas) and global coal consumption likely to climb year on year for at least 10 years, we’re pretty much screwed on this track.

              • weka

                Unless the GCF fucks that 😉

                “Constant broad societal pressure must go on to the pollies, and open acceptable policy space up for the political parties to move into.”

                Spot on. I’ve been enjoying how you’ve been mentioning this idea in various ways in the past few weeks. Would love to see more discussion at some point.

                • Bill

                  On pressure. The second to last link in the post – ‘protests’…if you have the bandwidth to run a simple graphic, I recommend you link through and wait for it to play through to the present.

                • Colonial Viper

                  I figured you would pick up on the idea and run with it 🙂

            • Bill 1.1.1.1.2.2

              I don’t really go for conspiracy or intention. I’m aware it might come across like that in the post. Maybe that’s because I’m just looking at things and trying to figure it/see it for what it is.

              Anyway, I think it’s a given that the real economy is being bled to gorge the financial sector. And that, in itself, is excluding people from being able to access resources. So maybe, rather than seeing intent or deliberate and nefarious plans to leave people with nought, it could be seen as a consequence of feeding financial capital markets….ie, a secondary effect but just the same as though there was a deliberate intention.

              Or maybe just the basic competitive grasping of ‘the market’ is playing a role…take Sony(?) apparently deliberately fishing out Mediterranean (?)tuna stocks and throwing them in deep freeze for later – shades of Futurama (anchovies) – but true.

              “another btw…” yeah, I was more contrasting the two scenarios (powerdown and colonisation). Both have similar effects with regards CO2 levels – ie they decrease. But sure, one leaves us utterly fucked, excluded and powerless while the other doesn’t..

  2. Tracey 2

    Bill english turning his sights on internet shopping. Seems he is pretending he is doing it to help mums and dads.

    ” A bigger threat to New Zealand’s tax base is the increasing use of online retail spending, which avoids the country’s 15 percent goods and services tax, he said. What made both issues murky was that traditional jurisdictions were muddied by the questions over geographical and digital boundaries.

    “The most urgent issue is not the large end of town, it’s the small end of town, it’s hard-working mums and dads spending on the internet,” English told the committee.”

    • Murray Olsen 2.1

      Wouldn’t it be good if they took the same approach to internet shopping and GST that they took to the GCSB? “It’s not good, the tax isn’t being paid, so we’ll scrap it.”

    • Will@Welly 2.2

      Tracey – we all know what will happen – all the small consumers will see their goods subjected to GST, while the big boys continue to flout the rules. This is just Bill English and National just feigning concern. More b.s. and spin.

    • RedBaronCV 2.3

      And this internet shopping is insignificant, is it not, compared to the spending of corporates on services sourced overseas, avoiding decent enviromental,health and safety standards, and not being taxed a cent. How about GST levies on imported services as they cross the border, non refundable of course. This should make local sourcing of labour more attractive.

      • Tracey 2.3.1

        English says not.

        • RedBaronCV 2.3.1.1

          He was talking about income tax avoidance ( & given the size of the banks tax avoidance he is wrong) not cross border labour shopping which is likely to be even larger.

  3. Joe 3

    Roger Douglas and others in the 80s, argued for the process of deregulation, corporatisation, asset sales and currency flotation based on the TINA principle.

    This so called “principle” is now being regurgitated and peddled in Christchurch to soften up public opinion for a sell off the assets of the City Council to pay for the grandiose rugby stadium, metro sports facility, town hall and other white elephants.

    • Lanthanide 3.1

      The metro sports facility isn’t a white elephant in the terms the others are, because it is for the general public and will improve their fitness etc.

      The town hall is a white elephant because it’s a hideously ugly building, and the performing arts groups in Christchurch think it is unfit for purpose (too large) and would rather have several new venues built instead.

      The stadium is a white elephant because it’ll cost far too much and probably only be used by rugby. Frankly if rugby wants a big flash stadium, the crusaders and those who pay to go to rugby games should pay for it, not the rate payers.

      Convention centre is an obvious white elephant because they’re building massive ones in both Auckland and Queenstown, so there’s no reason for Christchurch to have a state-of-the-art one as they’re proposing. Sure we need something, but not on the scale they’re proposing.

      • Molly 3.1.1

        The convention centre in Auckland is a white elephant also – in the way that all convention centres usually are.

        Also, up here in Auckland we had a purpose built sports centre for the general public – I believe the cost was around $60 million. The facility is well built – all chrome and concrete – and clean lines. Feels like a hospital. Participants come in on schedules and can relax in the bar. Which knocks out the pre and non-drinking set. It will always need to be funded by council and ratepayers.

        Moutere Hills Community Centre – on the other hand – cost $2.5 million to build, and is much less imposing. After a few years of operation, it provided enough surplus income to employ a full-time manager. The community feels like they own it, and use it accordingly. Not just for sports but for a variety of other uses. After a fire, they have worked hard to rebuild – and the community has been behind it all the way.

        I don’t know the budgeted cost for the facility, but it should be part of the process that a proposal such as the Metro Sports Centre – includes the cost of the loss of opportunity to provide a number of smaller facilities.

        Not only do they provide a place – they become a magnet for community to start meeting and social networks to form. Much better value for money.

        Edit: And for my mind – a better location for those community hubs for the Green Party than schools are.

  4. miravox 4

    Along with the new law against everything in the UK an old laws (1824 Vagrancy Act) is used so people can’t take food from rubbish bins either

    A man will stand trial next month after being caught taking some tomatoes, mushrooms and cheese from the dustbins behind a branch of Iceland.

    It is expected Paul May, a freelance web designer, will argue that he was taking the food because he needed it to eat and does not consider he has done anything illegal or dishonest in removing food destined for landfill from a skip…

    …Lawyers for the three men have asked the Crown Prosecution Service to consider dropping the case, but the CPS responded this month that the case would go ahead, because “we feel there is significant public interest in prosecuting these three individuals”.

    Public interest in seeing it thrown out of court, I reckon.

  5. aerobubble 5

    Tricky Cunliffe promises not to raise GST when elected.

    [lprent: What is the relevance to this post? ]

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    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    4 days ago
  • Climate Change: Showing us how its done
    The government has been congratulating itself over the passage of the Zero Carbon Act, which sets out long-term emissions targets. But those targets are insufficient. Meanwhile, Denmark is showing us how its done:Denmark’s parliament adopted a new climate law on Friday, committing to reach 70% below its 1990 emissions in ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    4 days ago
  • New Fisk
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    4 days ago
  • Public sector dysfunction should not be allowed to undermine freedom of information
    Another day, another piece of legislation with a secrecy clause. This time its the innocuous-seeming Mental Health and Wellbeing Commission Bill, which (after establishing a new body and making it subject to the OIA in three different ways) includes the rapidly-becoming-standard clauses enabling it to request information from other public ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    4 days ago
  • “This is England, this knife of Sheffield steel…”
    The state of the United Kingdom is fractured, torn up, shredded. The Empire is gone, it died a long time ago. And yet, the country is still tracking with a lead in favour of the ones who play to the ingrained, class-bound division for political gain. It is a disgrace ...
    exhALANtBy exhalantblog
    6 days ago
  • CORSIA, coming soon to an airport near you
    On 27 September, Greta Thunberg addressed a crowd of 500,000 at the School Strike for Climate in Montreal, saying: “You are a nation that is allegedly a climate leader. And Sweden is also a nation that is allegedly a climate leader. And in both cases, it means absolutely nothing. Because ...
    SciBlogsBy Robert McLachlan
    6 days ago
  • Cloaking hate speech and fake news in the right to free expression.
    It should be obvious by now but let’s be clear: The same folk who regularly traffic in disinformation, misinformation and “fake news” are also those who most strongly claim that their freedom of expression rights are being violated when moves are made to curb hate speech (as opposed to protected ...
    KiwipoliticoBy Pablo
    6 days ago
  • The Physics (and Economics, and Politics) of Wheelchairs on Planes
    Michael Schulson When Shane Burcaw flies on an airplane, he brings along a customized gel cushion, a car seat, and about 10 pieces of memory foam. The whole arsenal costs around $1,000, but for Burcaw it’s a necessity. The 27-year-old author and speaker — who, alongside his fiancée, Hannah ...
    SciBlogsBy Guest Author
    6 days ago
  • To Advance Civil Rights, Oppose Transgender Extremism
    We are very pleased to publish this submission is from Lucinda Stoan. She is a social justice activist, mother, and educator, based in Washington State in the  US.   This detailed and comprehensive source-linked overview of trans issues and what is at stake will be useful for many people, especially in ...
    RedlineBy Daphna
    7 days ago
  • Faafoi should be fired
    Newshub last night reported that Broadcasting Minister Kris Faafoi had apparently promised to help out a mate with an immigration issue. While its normal for people to approach MPs for assistance in this area, when you're a Minister, the rules are different: as the Cabinet Manual says, Ministers must "at ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    7 days ago
  • Adrian Orr – The Reserve Bank’s Revolutionary Governor?
    New Zealand's Underarm Banker: It bears recalling that the “independence” of the Reserve Bank Governor was for decades held up by neoliberal capitalists as the most compelling justification for passing the Reserve Bank Act. Interesting, is it not, how the ruling class’s support for the Bank’s independence lasted no longer than ...
    1 week ago
  • Driving Us Up The Poll.
    Rubbish In, Rubbish Out: Put all this together, and it’s difficult to avoid the conclusion that anyone who responds positively to a pollster’s request to “answer a few questions” is just ever-so-slightly weird. Desperately lonely? Some sort of psephological train-spotter? Political party member primed to skew the poll for or against ...
    1 week ago
  • Jordan Williams, Colin Craig podcast series announced
    “Free at last, Free at last, Thank God almighty we are free at last.” ― Martin Luther King Jr. A long and bitter court feud between former Conservative Party leader Colin Craig and Jordan Williams has been settled, with an apology and compensation from Williams. On Tuesday, Craig sent out ...
    The PaepaeBy Peter Aranyi
    1 week ago
  • How plant-based meat is stretching New Zealand’s cultural and legal boundaries
    Samuel Becher, Victoria University of Wellington and Jessica C Lai, Victoria University of Wellington Earlier this year, the New Zealand-based pizza chain Hell Pizza offered a limited-edition “Burger Pizza”. Its customers weren’t told that the “meat” was plant-based. Some customers complained to the Commerce Commission, which enforces consumer law in ...
    SciBlogsBy Guest Author
    1 week ago
  • Scientific integrity requires critical investigation – not blind acceptance
    Some people seem to want to close down any critical discussion of the current research into the relationship between water fluoride and child IQ. They appear to argue that claims made by researchers should not be open to critical review and that the claims be accepted without proper consideration ...
    1 week ago
  • Climate Change: The shameful reality
    The government has been congratulating itself over the passage of the Zero Carbon Act, which sets out long-term emissions targets. Meanwhile, Climate Action Tracker has the shameful reality: those targets are insufficient:While New Zealand is showing leadership by having passed the world’s second-ever Zero Carbon Act in November 2019, under ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • More secrecy
    The government introduced a Racing Industry Bill today. As an urban who horse racing as pointless-to-cruel, and gambling as a tax on stupidity and/or hope, this isn't normally a bill which would interest me in the slightest, beyond grumpiness at more government money for a dying industry. But there is ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • Unlikely online bully, Liam Hehir
    Check. Check. One, two, three, four. Is this thing ON? Hello readers, I logged in last night (yeah, it’s been a while) to mark THE END of the landmark legal case, Jordan Williams v Colin Craig, which (gulp) reached The Supreme Court, in which New Zealand’s most-defamed man was suing the politician he ...
    The PaepaeBy Peter Aranyi
    1 week ago
  • The Birth Of Israel: Wrong At The Right Time.
    Before The Birth: Israel’s most fervent supporters set their clocks ticking in Biblical times. They cite the kingdoms of David and Solomon as proof that, in the words of the Exodus movie’s theme-song: “This land is mine.” The majority of Israel’s backers, however, start their clocks in 1933 – the year Adolf ...
    1 week ago
  • Hard News: Public Address Word of the Year 2019: Korero phase
    In an unreliable, strange and confusing world, Public Address is proud to present a measure of comfort and stability by annually asking everyone what words or phrases sum up the year that's been – and then giving some of them consumer goods as prizes for being clever or simply lucky.Well, ...
    1 week ago
  • Generalist to specialist
    Both my parents are pretty handy – and they seem to have the right tools for most jobs in the garage and they know how to fix practically anything. A similar story could be told about their generation’s experience in the workforce – being a generalist was not unusual and ...
    SciBlogsBy Guest Author
    1 week ago
  • A “coincidence”
    When it was revealed that NZ First had tried to enrich itself from public office via the Provoncial Growth Fund, the Prime Minister assured us that everything was OK as Shane Jones, the Minister responsible for the fund, had recused himself. Except it seems that that recusal came very late ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • Member’s Day
    Today is a Member's Day, and probably the last one of the year. After the marathon of the End of Life Choice Act, most of the bills up for debate today are uncontentious. First up is the second reading of Chlöe Swarbrick's Election Access Fund Bill. This will be followed ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • Worse than I thought
    The Foreign Affairs, Defence and Trade Committee has reported back on the government's odious and tyrannical control orders bill. As expected, the fraudulent select committee process has made no significant changes (partly because they couldn't agree, but mostly because it was a stitch-up from the start, with no intention of ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • The cannabis bill and the referendum
    Yesterday, the government released its draft Cannabis Legalisation and Control Bill, which will be put to a non-binding referendum at the next election. I'm not a drug policy expert, but Russell Brown is, and he thinks its pretty good. And pretty obviously, it will be a massive improvement on the ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • Hard News: The Cannabis Legalisation and Control Bill: pretty good so far
    As you're probably aware, the draft bill outlining the proposed legal cannabis regime to be put to a referendum late next year was published yesterday, and has already attracted a flurry of comment. It's notable that a good deal of the comment is about proposals that aren't actually new.A minimum ...
    1 week ago
  • Climate Change: Alignment
    One of the big problems in New Zealand climate change policy is the government working at cross-purposes with itself. It wants to reduce fossil fuel use, but encourages oil and gas exploration. It wants to reduce transport emissions, but then builds enormous new roads. The problem could be avoided if ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • How climate change will affect food production and security
    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 According to the United Nations, food shortages are a threat ...
    SciBlogsBy Guest Author
    1 week ago
  • More bad faith
    Last year, the government announced it was ending offshore oil exploration by no longer issuing new permits. The idea was that the industry would then die off as permits expired. Except almost immediately the government revealed its bad faith, by saying they would extend permits and alter conditions to keep ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • Banning foreign money from our elections
    The government has said it will ban foreign donations to political parties and candidates, and will be introducing legislation to be passed under all-stages urgency this afternoon. While I agree with the goal, I don't see a particular case for urgency, unless the government is concerned about a flood of ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • Reforming the Education Acts
    The government introduced the Education and Training Bill to Parliament yesterday. Its a massive bill, which replaces both existing Education Acts, as well as various other bits of legislation (including some which are still proceeding through the House). I'll leave the serious analysis to teachers and people who actually know ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • Bite-sized learning
    Amelia SharmanThere’s no one-size-fits-all when it comes to micro-credentials, those bits of bite-sized learning that can help workers stay on top of technological change.  What’s a micro-credential? While definitions vary, micro-credentials can be understood as short courses that allow people to learn new skills or have an existing competency recognised. ...
    SciBlogsBy Guest Author
    1 week ago
  • “Not The Labour Party We Once Knew.”
    All Smiles Now: Claire Szabo is taking up her presidential role after serving as the CEO of Habitat For Humanity. Which is absolutely perfect! After KiwiBuild was so comprehensively mismanaged by Phil Twyford, the party has not only elected a new president from a thoroughly respectable not-for-profit, but one who ...
    1 week ago
  • Marxist versus liberal methodology on transgender ideology/identity politics
    While much of the NZ left has transitioned to postmodern and identity politics in relation to transgender ideology, there are some very good articles about that deploy Marxist methodology in relation to this subject.  The one below is from the British marxist group Counterfire and appeared on their site here ...
    RedlineBy Admin
    1 week ago
  • Book review: The Farm by Joanne Ramos
    by Daphna Whitmore At Golden Oaks, a luxurious country retreat in the Hudson Valley, pregnant women have the best care money can buy. From the organic food, personalised exercise programmes, private yoga instruction and daily massages Golden Oaks looks like a country lodge for the upper class. Set some time ...
    RedlineBy Daphna
    2 weeks ago
  • Loosening the purse strings
    When Labour was running for election in 2017, it felt it needed to demonstrate "fiscal responsibility" and signed itself up to masochistic "budget responsibility rules". It was a fool's errand: the sorts of voters who demand fiscal responsibility are also the sorts of voters who believe that labour can never ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • Climate Change: How to get there
    Writing in Stuff, Joel MacManus looks at what we need to do to meet the Zero Carbon Act's targets. The core of it:1. Convert 85 per cent of vehicles on the road to electric. 2. Eliminate fossil fuels from all industrial heating up to 300 degrees Celsius. 3. Double our ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • anti-vaxxers in a measles epidemic: so many ways to be untruthful
    “Anti-vaxers are a pro-death movement,” those comments from Dr Helen Petousis-Harris speaking about six more Measles related deaths in Samoa over the past twenty-four hours. “Anti-vaxers are a pro-death movement,” those comments from Dr Helen Petousis-Harris speaking about six more Measles related deaths in Samoa ...
    SciBlogsBy Alison Campbell
    2 weeks ago
  • Is Youth Vaping a Problem in New Zealand?
    Professors Janet Hoek and Richard Edwards, Emeritus Professor Phil Gendall, Jude Ball, Dr Judith McCool, Anaru Waa, Dr Becky Freeman Recent media reports have presented conflicting evidence on youth vaping in NZ. While some NZ school principals report concerns about increasing vaping on school grounds and confiscating vapes, ASH Year ...
    SciBlogsBy Public Health Expert
    2 weeks ago
  • In pursuit of “Freedom and Democracy”: Forever Wars in “America’s backyard”.
    “America the Beautiful!”, staunch defender of democracy, freedom and… a whole lot of despotic tyrants that play nice with what is called “the Washington Consensus.” America is indeed capable of immense good, but like any Nation, and most assuredly any aspirant to the mantle of Empire, great, immense evil. All ...
    exhALANtBy exhalantblog
    2 weeks ago
  • November ’19 – NZ blogs sitemeter ranking
    Image credit: The beginner’s guide to blogging 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 blog is ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Whodunnit? Finding the mystery 1080 testing lab
    1080 is used to control pests in NZ. Its use is contested by a noisy few. A new report claims high levels of 1080 in rats washed up on a beach. Flora and Fauna of Aotearoa (F&F) won’t name the laboratory that did their testing. It has sparked a hunt ...
    SciBlogsBy Grant Jacobs
    2 weeks ago
  • Authoritarian Friends, Democratic Enemies.
    What Kind Of Empire? The thing for Kiwis to decide is what kind of empire they want to belong to. The kind that, while offering its own citizens democratic rights, demands absolute obedience from its “friends”? Or, the kind that, while authoritarian at home, takes a relaxed attitude to the ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Boris Johnson Goes Down
    It hasn't been a good week for the Conservatives, pollwise.  All major recent polls are showing their lead shrinking.Comparing each pollster's current (between 29/11 and 22/11) and previous most recent poll.Com Res - Conservative lead down 3 points.You Gov - Conservative lead down 1 point.Kantar - Conservative lead down 4 ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Interesting
    Within quick succession, Countdown maths wizard and twitterer Rachel Riley, alleged comedian David Baddiel and prominent lawyer Andrew Julius have all expressed very similar opinions / ideas:
    These #3billboards are going round London today, organised by ex-Labour people, horrified by what their party has become. Their principles haven’t changed, they’re ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Damn the Polls
    So, there have been a bunch of bad polls out for Labour, and even the Leftie's friend, Survation, have recently given the Conservatives a rip-snorting 11% lead.  You Gov's much vaunted MRP poll - which pretty much nailed the result in 2015 - is currently predicting a comfortable majority for ...
    2 weeks ago

  • Government takes bite out of loan sharks
    The days of vulnerable consumers falling victim to loan sharks, truck shops and other predatory lenders are numbered, following the Credit Contracts Legislation Amendment Bill passing its third reading tonight. “Too many Kiwis are being given loans that are unaffordable and unsuitable, trapping them in debt and leaving their families ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    17 hours ago
  • New Zealand safer as Terrorism Suppression (Control Orders Bill) becomes law
    A Bill that prevents terrorism and supports the de-radicalisation of New Zealanders returning from overseas has passed its third reading, Justice Minister Andrew Little says. The Terrorism Suppression (Control Orders) Bill is a carefully targeted response to manage the risk posed by a small number of New Zealanders who have ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    18 hours ago
  • Foreign Minister and Pacific Peoples Minister to visit Samoa
    Foreign Affairs Minister Winston Peters and Minister for Pacific Peoples Aupito William Sio will travel to Samoa on Friday, where New Zealand medical teams are helping Samoa respond to an outbreak of measles. “New Zealand has been working closely with the Government of Samoa and offering our assistance from the ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    18 hours ago
  • New Pastoral Care Code will support tertiary students in 2020
    The Government has changed the law to improve student safety and welfare in university halls of residence and other student accommodation. The Education (Pastoral Care) Amendment Bill passed its third reading this afternoon and details of an interim Code of Practice setting out the Government’s expectations of tertiary providers have also been released. ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    19 hours ago
  • New infrastructure funding tool to build housing developments faster
    A new tool to help councils fund and finance infrastructure could mean some housing developments happen a decade earlier than currently planned, Urban Development Minister Phil Twyford said today. “This new tool, developed by the Government in partnership with industry and high-growth councils, will allow councils to access private debt ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    21 hours ago
  • Vision to unite the primary sector launched today
    Agriculture Minister Damien O’Connor has welcomed the release of a bold new vision for the country’s vital food and fibre sector. “I’m delighted that New Zealand’s major farmer and grower organisations are today supporting the Primary Sector Council’s vision – Fit for a Better World,” he said. “The international consumers ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    22 hours ago
  • NZ congratulates PNG and Autonomous Bougainville Government on referendum
    Foreign Minister Winston Peters has congratulated the Government of Papua New Guinea and the Autonomous Bougainville Government for completing a well-conducted referendum on the future political status of Bougainville. “New Zealand supported the referendum process by providing technical advice through the New Zealand Electoral Commission and leading a Regional Police ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    23 hours ago
  • Next steps for Upper North Island logistics
    In light of Cabinet’s position that freight operations on prime land in downtown Auckland are no longer viable, the Government will now embark on a short work programme to enable decision-making in the first half of next year, Associate Transport Minister Shane Jones says. Minister Jones is today releasing the ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    24 hours ago
  • Surgical mesh restorative justice report received
    Associate Health Minister Julie Anne Genter has received the report back from a surgical mesh restorative justice process undertaken by Victoria University. The process heard stories, either in person or online submission, from more than 600 people affected by surgical mesh. “The report made for heart-breaking and confronting reading,” says ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 day ago
  • The Water Services Regulator Bill – Taumata Arowai a milestone for drinking water safety
    The Water Services Regulator Bill – Taumata Arowai , introduced to Parliament today, is a milestone for drinking water safety in New Zealand and will help improve environmental outcomes for urban waterways, rivers and lakes.  “This is a breakthrough for New Zealanders in terms of providing safe drinking water throughout ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 day ago
  • Speech to new direction for criminal justice reform announcement
    Kia ora koutouE ngā mana, e ngā reo, e ngā matā wakaTēnā koutou katoaHaere ngā, moe maiKoutou ma ngā Rangatira Ko Anaru ahauKo au te Minita mo ngā TureHe Honore tino nui kei roto I ahau No reira tena koutou katoa Today, we are releasing two reports that are the ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 day ago
  • New direction for criminal justice reform
    The Government is looking to turn around the long-term challenges of criminal justice by taking a new approach to break the cycle of offending to ensure there are fewer victims of crime. Justice Minister Andrew Little released two reports today, Turuki! Turuki! from Te Uepū Hāpai I te Ora, and ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 day ago
  • New law sets up $300m Venture Capital Fund
    New Zealand firms expanding beyond the start-up phase are set for more support after today’s passage of the Venture Capital Fund Bill, Associate Finance Minister David Parker said. The Bill, which establishes a $300 million Venture Capital Fund, puts in place a key initiative of the Wellbeing Budget’s economic package. ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • New Zealand’s National Statement to COP25
    E ngā mana, e ngā reo, e ngā iwi, e ngā rau rangatira mā. Tēnā koutou, tēnā koutou, tēnā koutou katoa. Señora Presidenta, Excellencies, Delegates. International action A common thread that runs through the Paris Agreement is the commitment we have made to each other to do what we can to ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • $12 billion in extra infrastructure investment
    The Government is lifting capital investment to the highest level in more than 20 years as it takes the next step to future-proof New Zealand. Finance Minister Grant Robertson has announced $12 billion of new investment, with $8 billion for specific capital projects and $4 billion to be added to ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • Strong economy, careful spending gives $12bn of surpluses
    The Government is forecast to run $12 billion worth of surpluses across the four years to 2023/24 as the economy continues to grow. The surpluses will help fund day-to-day capital requirements each year. These include fixing leaky hospitals, building new classrooms to cover population growth and take pressure off class ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • Priorities for 2020 Wellbeing Budget outlined
    Budget 2020 will continue the Coalition Government’s focus on tackling the long-term challenges facing New Zealand while also investing to future-proof the economy. When the Government took office in 2017 it was left with crumbling infrastructure, severe underinvestment in public services, degraded rivers and lakes, a housing crisis and rising ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • Minister welcomes data-rich coastline mapping tool
    The Minister responsible for the Marine and Coastal Area (Takutai Moana) Act 2011 (te Takutai Moana Act 2011), Andrew Little has welcomed the launch of an online geospatial tool that provides data-rich, dynamic coastline maps that will significantly boost research and evidence-gathering under the Act. Te Kete Kōrero a Te ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • Chief Victims Advisor reappointed for a further two years
    The Chief Victims Advisor to Government Dr Kim McGregor, QSO, has been reappointed in her role for a further two years. Dr McGregor has held the role since it was established in November 2015. She provides independent advice to government on how to improve the criminal justice system for victims. ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • New Zealand tsunami monitoring and detection system to be established
    Foreign Affairs Minister Winston Peters and Civil Defence Minister Peeni Henare have today announced the deployment of a network of DART (Deep-ocean Assessment and Reporting of Tsunami) buoys. “New Zealand and the Pacific region are particularly vulnerable to natural disasters. It is vital we have adequate warning systems in place,” ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • DART Buoys Announcement
    DART Buoys Announcement Aotea Wharf, 9.30am 11 December 2019   Acknowledgements Acknowledgements to Minister for Civil Defence Hon Peeni Henare also here today. White Island It is with regret that this event shadows the tragic natural disaster two days ago. The volcanic eruptions on White Island have claimed 5 lives, ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • Final steps for racing industry reform
    Racing Minister Winston Peters has welcomed the first reading of the Racing Industry Bill in parliament today. This is the second of two Bills that have been introduced this year to revitalise New Zealand’s racing industry. “Our domestic racing industry has been in serious decline.  The Government is committed to ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • Funding to promote New Zealand Sign Language initiatives
    Minister for Disability Issues, Carmel Sepuloni, is pleased to announce that $291,321 is to be awarded to national and local community initiatives to maintain and promote the use of New Zealand Sign Language (NZSL). “New Zealand is one of the few countries  in the world where Sign Language is an ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • How New Zealand defines and recognises veterans
    Minister for Veterans Ron Mark has announced today the Coalition Government’s initial response to work completed by the independent statutory body, the Veterans’ Advisory Board. “When Professor Ron Paterson completed his review of the Veterans’ Support Act in 2018, he made a number of recommendations, including one which I referred ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • Government to fund lion’s share of Ohakea water scheme
    The Government will fund the bulk of the cost of a rural water supply for the Ohakea community affected by PFAS contamination, Environment Minister David Parker announced today at a meeting of local residents. This new water scheme will provide a reliable and clean source of drinking water to the ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • Prime Minister statement on White Island eruption
    I have had the opportunity to be briefed on the details of the volcanic eruption of Whakaari/White Island, off the coast of Whakatane in the Bay of Plenty.  The eruption happened at 2.11pm today.  It continues to be an evolving situation.  We know that there were a number of tourists ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • Govt funds $100k for weather-hit communities
    Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern and Minister of Civil Defence Peeni Henare have today confirmed initial Government support of $100,000 for communities affected by the severe weather that swept across the South Island and lower North Island over the weekend. The contribution will be made to Mayoral relief funds across the ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • Death of NZ High Commissioner to Cook Islands
    New Zealand's High Commissioner to the Cook Islands, Tessa Temata, died in Palmerston North over the weekend, Foreign Minister Winston Peters said today. Ms Temata, 52, had recently returned to New Zealand for medical treatment. "On behalf of the Government and the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade, we extend ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • Wellington rail upgrade full steam ahead
    Transport Minister Phil Twyford today announced construction is underway on Wellington commuter rail upgrades which will mean more frequent services and fewer breakdowns. The upgrades include converting the Trentham to Upper Hutt single track section to a double track, with a new signalling system, upgraded stations and level crossings, and ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • Defence Climate Change Implementation Plan released
    Minister of Defence Ron Mark and Minister for Climate Change James Shaw have announced the release of a Defence Climate Change Implementation Work Plan, titled Responding to the Climate Crisis: An Implementation Plan.  The plan sets out a series of recommendations based on the 2018 New Zealand Defence Assessment, The ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • Govt releases funding to support South Canterbury
    A medium-scale adverse event has been declared for the South Canterbury district, which will see up to $50,000 in funding made available to support farming communities which have been significantly affected by recent heavy rain and flooding in the area, says Agriculture Minister Damien O’Connor. “Two weeks of solid rain ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • Speech at launch of Rethinking Plastics Report
    Thank you Professor Juliet Gerrard and your team for the comprehensive and extremely helpful report and recommendations. Thank you too to all the stakeholders and interested parties who have contributed ideas and thinking to it. “Making best practice, standard practice” is a great framework for change and the action plan ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • Govt pledges next steps on plastic waste
    The Government will phase out more single-use plastics following the success of its single-use plastic bag ban earlier this year and the release today of a pivotal report for dealing with waste. Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern has welcomed the Rethinking Plastics in Aotearoa New Zealandreport, released by her Chief Science Advisor ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • International student enrolments grow in universities and the regions
    International education continues to thrive as the Government focuses on quality over quantity, Education Minister Chris Hipkins said. The tuition revenue from international education increased to $1.16 billion last year with the average tuition fee per student increasing by $960. The total number of international students enrolled in New Zealand ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • Speech to Government Economics Network 2019 Conference
    I want to talk about one of the most pressing issues in our national life: the housing crisis and the poor performance of our cities. The argument I want to make to you is that generations of urban land use policy have lacked a decent grounding in economics. The consequences ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • DHB leadership renewed and strengthened
    Health Minister Dr David Clark says new appointments to DHBs represent a significant changing of the guard, with 13 new chairs including four Māori chairs. Today 76 appointments have been announced to complement elected board members, as well as eight elected members appointed as either chair or deputy chair.  Four ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • Tabuteau to advance New Zealand’s trade and political interests with European partners
    Parliamentary Under-Secretary for Foreign Affairs, Fletcher Tabuteau, is travelling to Germany, Poland, Austria, and Spain next week to bolster New Zealand’s political and trade relationships in Europe. While in Spain, Mr Tabuteau will represent New Zealand at the 14th Asia-Europe (ASEM) Foreign Ministers’ Meeting in Madrid. “New Zealand strongly supports ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    7 days ago
  • Statement from the Prime Minister on Kris Faafoi
    “I’ve spoken to Minister Faafoi, who has apologised for his poor handling of this issue,” Jacinda Ardern said. “I have confidence in Kris as a hardworking and effective Minister, but this should have been dealt with in a much clearer manner, and I’ve made my views on that very clear ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    7 days ago
  • Tonga-New Zealand Joint Ministerial Forum
    Deputy Prime Minister Winston Peters met with Tongan Prime Minister and Foreign Minister Pohiva Tu'i'onetoa in Wellington today. The pair signed a Statement of Partnership setting out joint priorities for cooperation out to 2023.  “We welcomed Prime Minister Tu'i'onetoa on his first visit to New Zealand as Prime Minister. Tonga ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    7 days ago
  • Shooting in Kurow
    The Minister of Police Stuart Nash says his sympathies are with the family of a man who died after being shot by Police in Kurow. “Initial reports are that Police were called by a family member to help the man who was threatening to harm himself,” Mr Nash says. “However ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    7 days ago