Stupi-duty and Wisharts works of political fiction

Written By: - Date published: 2:00 pm, August 19th, 2009 - 34 comments
Categories: scoundrels - Tags:

Open Parachute has a post Evidence, not lawyers about that well-known writer of political fiction, Ian Wishart, issuing a press release saying that he is preparing to sue the Chris Barton at the NZ Herald and Gareth Renowden at Hot-Topic.

As Open Parachute says

The offensive sentence? ‘Only this week breakfast TV host Paul Henry flirted with stupi-duty by lending support to Ian Wishart’s AirCon, a book that the excellent Hot Topic (www.hot-topic.co.nz) noted ‘appears to come from another planet” (see Chris Barton: Climate debate adrift on rising tide of lunacy). (The word ‘supi-duty’ was a parody on a critical missive the Herald had received from a climate change denier).

Seems pretty mild to me hardly worthy of legal action. After all it was Paul Henry who was accused of flirting with ‘stupi-duty.’ Yet Wishart is threatening legal action and also that ‘he may widen the lawsuit to include Renowden as well.’ Renowden is the author of the critical review of Wishart’s book on Hot Topic (see Somethin’ stupid ).

Ian Wishart in his delusions may believe that he is writing factual books. But in fact he is producing a body of political fiction. It is fiction because he doesn’t let facts get in the way of his imagination. If facts don’t fit his strange ideas of how the world should operate, then he twists them until they do, or just makes bullshit up and tries to market that as ‘fact’. They are political because they are targeted to activate the prejudices of the sewer or talkback.

It is difficult to understand why Ian Wishart is thinking about bringing this case. It is unwinnable because any reasonable person who has read any of his material before would have the same conclusion as Chris Barton without reading more than a review of Wishart’s latest opus, including me. The only reason that people I know haven’t bothered to sue Wishart in the past for his various defamation’s against them is because it is a negative sum game. Even if you win, then you’d have still lost in the time and effort taken.

However, if Wishart chooses to sue someone else, then all of those previous defamations would be admissible to show why Chris Barton’s statements were a reasonable opinion based on Wisharts previous writing. Not to mention that a legal offense fund would be easy to build.

After all Wishart has chosen to make a laughing stock of himself over time, along with gaining a considerable number of enemies. Personally, I’d be very interested in a court ordered disclosure of the finances of Wishart, Investigate, and the publishing of his books. It doesn’t appear to me that they could be self-funding. In which case a political blog like this would be very interested in who his supporters are.

In any case Chris Barton’s comments reflect a commonly held view of Ian Wishart and his books. Overleaf, I’ve pointed out how the authors of this site have viewed Ian Wishart. I’d suggest that other blogs pull out their posts from the archives. Besides like this one on Poneke’s blog about a comment by Danyl they are usually hilarious.

Various authors here have made their opinions clear over the last few years.

all_your_base commenting in Back to the future (again)

What this latest admission shows is that National hasn’t changed its spots since Brash. Turns out Key was actually telling the truth when he told Investigate magazine that he wouldn’t change the policy, just the tone. That could make it the first demonstrable fact that Ian Wishart has ever published.

From the Robinsod’s hilarious “review” of Absolute Power: Book review: Absolute Power

I had high hopes for Absolute Power, I really did. If Faulkner taught us anything with The Sound and the Fury it was that a tale told by an idiot could be a masterpiece, if Nabokov’s Pale Fire offers us any lesson it’s that an exposition of paranoia and madness can make for damn fine reading.

So it was with great literary expectation that I picked up on the first of the excerpts published on Cameron Slater’s blog. I have to say I was disappointed and further reading just brought further disappointment. I mean sure the idiocy, madness and paranoia are all there. So too the stream of consciousness prose, the wild Pynchonesque explosion of detail beyond logic and the refusal to be bound by traditional narratological process. It should have all added up to some kind of masterpiece.

But it hasn’t.

all_your_base pouring humour on Wishart ‘investigating’ Owen Glenn

I was particularly intrigued by the sensationalist chapter accusing Owen Glenn of Mafia connections. The basis for this defamation? ‘Some of his associates allegedly have names like ‘Guido’, ‘Luigi’ or ‘Tony’‘. Intrigued, I decided to do a little digging of my own. I’m delighted to be able to report that to these names we can also add ‘Mario’.

Steve Pierson in The best they’ve got?

When I heard a Chinese national had been approved for citizenship by a minister against the advice of officials and with a letter of recommendation from a Labour MP, after he had apparently donated to the Labour Party, I thought ‘seeing as this is coming from Ian Wishart, it’s probably nothing but the jokers better not have got themselves into anything dodgy’. So, it’s nice to see Wishart has made a fool of himself again, and accidentally turned what was meant to be this great scandal on Labour into an embarrassment for Key.

I commented in Book review of the insane about Gareth’s review of Aircon

Gareth has a lot of fun tearing the ‘science’ in Wishart’s opus to bits. As he points out, Wishart doesn’t actually understand the fundamentals of any of the science. It would involve learning and thinking, something that Wishart appears to consider is below his dignity.

I did this prior to reading Aircon. My subsequent read of that work of fiction merely confirmed my opinion. In the book Wishart manages to demonstrate his monumental lack of knowledge about science to a degree that is an appalling indictment of his lack of secondary level training. Where he has occasionally managed to find a “peer reviewed” paper, he has typically completely mis-interpreted the contents.

It is hardly surprising that Ian Wishart also appears to have committed a act of artistic plagarism on the cover of Aircon as Tane pointed out in Coincidence?.

So Chris Barton is hardly alone in considering that anything written by Ian Wishart is likely to be stupid, and Paul Henry (hardly the brightest spark around) was doing an act of stupi-duty by lending support to Wishart and Aircon.

In my opinion, Ian Wishart is a rather poor journalist who sometimes writes books. He doesn’t check his facts, preferring instead to selectively quote without making the effort to understand what he is talking about. This has showed up in the last two books of his that I’ve read.

In Absolute Power, I know many of the people he wrote about in the circumstances he was referring to, and what Wishart wrote was almost entirely a tissue of distorted and misinterpretation of facts, reporting of unsubstantiated rumours, plus some outright lies.

While my earth sciences degree is somewhat old and I’m not working in the area, I have been reading in the area for the last 30 years. It was clear to me reading Aircon, that Ian Wishart had no basic understanding of the topic. Again it was almost entirely a tissue of distorted and misinterpretation of facts, reporting of unsubstantiated rumours, plus some outright lies.

Open Parachute speculates on why Ian Wishart is thinking about bringing this case.

Seriously though, why the legal threats? Surely there is no serious ground for them? Wishart can’t seriously expect to win such a lawsuit? Has he lost the plot?

I think he has two motives:

1: Publicity. Some authors will do anything to promote their book. Legal stunts are not new. And there is the old adage ‘no news is bad news.’ Interestingly, though, my perception is that it is usually the purveyors of bad products who are the most likely to resort to defamation charges (consider the MaxiCrop case in New Zealand and the Chiropractors in the UK see Suppressing science).

2: Intimidation. Such legal action may have no chance of winning but companies can still be intimidated. They can often end up treating such litigious people with kid gloves. Editors may tell the journalists and columnists to go easy. Again we saw this effect of the MaxiCrop case pn the sensitivity of Crown research Insitutes in New Zealand (see Suppressing science).

Whatever. Legal intimidation is a sign of weakness. I would have thought that if Wishart was confident of his message he would rely on the facts, on the evidence, not the lawyers.

Probably he is trying both and looking at the posturing with little substance Crosby-Textor legal approach to silencing critics.

Seriously, Chris and Gareth, if Ian Wishart does bring this case. Don’t fold. Just ask around and you’ll get a whole lot of help from affidavits to cash. There are a lot of people who are very pissed off with Ian Wishart. As well as the scientific distortions in Aircon, a case like this allows all of those previous distortions of fact to be brought forward to show why it would be reasonable to consider a Wishart book to be a work of political fiction.

34 comments on “Stupi-duty and Wisharts works of political fiction ”

  1. Rex Widerstrom 1

    You write a book, you expect reviews. Some of those reviews are going to be critical, perhaps even mocking. Hardly lawsuit material I would have thought.

    Any publicity for the book will surely be subsumed under the the “WTF?!” reaction of most people, wondering what all the fuss was about.

    At least he got a better reaction than The Satanic Verses

    Having said that, I await the day when Mullah Gore declares a fatwah on the “denialists” and the more fanatical of his acolytes vow to carry it out 😯

    The fact that people wedded strongly to one or other side of the debate aren’t the best at tolerating opposing views is evidenced by the fact that I find I must now… *deep breath*… support Paul Henry.

    He can interview whomever he likes and I agree it could be argued he’d be shirking his duty if he didn’t. Whether he does so competently, well that’s a different story…

    • lprent 1.1

      Paul Henry can do whatever he wants. It is not as if I ever watch him anyway.

      However suing people saying what they thought of your book and/or authoring abilities seems more like trying to silence criticism. If he is that sensitive, then it probably time that Wishart found another line of work. The only reason that I really bother reading Wisharts stuff is because of the strange people that influx to this site before and after the publication writing comments lauding his latest pile of rubbish. Essentially using trolls on the The Standard for free advertising. That pisses me off.

  2. Bright Red 2

    I was in a bookstore in hamilton the other day – Air-Con was in the sicence fiction department.

    • Jarvis Pink 2.1

      Priceless

    • Lew 2.2

      Booksellers have good sense – most put holocaust denial in the ‘War Fiction’ section. Right there with Tom Clancy.

      But putting Wishart in the same section as Wells, Heinlein, Asimov seems a bit off…

      L

      • Rex Widerstrom 2.2.1

        Specially when he’s already undercutting them by offering a “buy one, get one free” deal on his website.

        Presumably it’s a new marketing ploy… “Books in 3D! Just hold one in front of each eye, defocus slightly, and you’ll feel like the truthiness has lept off the page and slapped you right on the forehead!!”

      • Scott Yorke 2.2.2

        Maybe it should go in the Religion section

        • Lew 2.2.2.1

          Maybe it should go in the Religion section

          An insult to the Prophet! Infidel!

          L

          • bill brown 2.2.2.1.1

            Well, most bookshops don’t have a complete fuckwits section so it’s probably near enough.

            Oh and by the way mr security, fishs is not a word.

    • lprent 2.3

      Arrghhh that is a nasty contamination.

  3. Jarvis Pink 3

    1: Publicity. Some authors will do anything to promote their book. Legal stunts are not new. And there is the old adage “no news is bad news.’ Interestingly, though, my perception is that it is usually the purveyors of bad products who are the most likely to resort to defamation charges (consider the MaxiCrop case in New Zealand and the Chiropractors in the UK see Suppressing science).

    The British Chiropractic Assoc. must be ruing the day they decided to sue Simon Sing. The whole thing appears to have backfired on them badly by triggering wide media exposure of the pseudoscience behind chiropractic. If a legal action by Wishart led to similar discussion and exposure of the weakness of the AGW denialists case then he’d be doing us all a favour.

  4. Ianmac 4

    I did sort of wonder if the discussion here might be gold for Wishart? Narcism anyone?

  5. Lew 5

    Lynn, expect a message which reads “address for service?” from Mr Wishart presently.

    That’s what Sam Vilain got, after all. He gladly provided it and has compiled all the relevant communications in the case here. Makes for hilarious reading.

    (H/T Russell Brown in the comments to this thread.)

    L

    • lprent 5.1

      😈

      I look forward to it. I wonder how many affidavits I can get to attest to the fact that he distorts whatever he writes about, makes stuff up, and is just has a distorted viewpoint of the world from his last book. There are a lot of people that are severely pissed with him, who’d like nothing better than get a day or two in court describing exactly how nonfactual his books are.

      That is before we get on to the current bit of fiction.

  6. NickS 6

    Stupid does as stupid is, and Whishart is deep in the stupid.

    Though I’m kind of wishing something similar to the “classic crackpot” thing done to Stuart Pivar after he threaten to sue a science blogger for U$15 million

  7. lukas 7

    Iprent, you going for the repeat a lie enough and it will become true by claiming Ian plagiarized the artwork of Air Con? Oh do you not bother to actually read your own blog? Here is a tip, look in the comments section regarding where the image came from.

    There is too much wrong in your article to address now, but it confirms my belief that the “standard” is going down hill rather fast in recent times. Being in opposition hasn’t been good for you.

    • felix 7.1

      There is too much wrong in your article to address now…

      But you will be back to address it later, won’t you lukas?

  8. lyndon 8

    Surely Wishart knows defamation law. The idea that this is actionable is nonsense.

    If I thought it would proceed, I’d suggest getting as many people as possible named in the suit and see how he likes having all their costs awarded against him.

    • Ron 8.1

      Why would he know defamation law. The guy thinks the world is 8000 years old and that humans are more closely related to mice than chimps. He clearly knows FA.

      • Pascal's bookie 8.1.1

        As he’s ever so fond of saying, he has a lawyer check most things he publishes to be sure that he stays scrupulously away from defaming people.

        Why he thinks admitting this enhances his reputation is anyone’s guess, but I suspect that he thinks people are fooled into thinking that it means that what he writes, and more importantly what he implies, must be true.

        And to be fair, he’s probably right about some people. After all he apparently makes a living from churning this stuff out. Though the ‘blog’ has turned into an extended ad for whatever the latest book or Investigate scoop-de-doo might be which may indicate desperation, or just not getting blogging, or just treating his readership like an ATM. But who knows?

        I also suspect that he won’t be suing anyone, and that he’s just feeling ignored, which isn’t good for business.

        • lprent 8.1.1.1

          The question is if he is checking that what he writes is defamatory, or (as I suspect) if the probability of being sued for defamation is high.

          There is an important difference between the two in my untutored opinion. The first would be covered by privilege. The second could be argued is a business practice – in which case you could probably argue that the court should see the communications (if any). Wouldn’t that be fun. Look at exactly why Ian was saying about his evidence backing his opinions. Because he usually he leaps from some basic and public facts to a completely absurd conclusion that is not supported by the facts.

          The only reason that he hasn’t been sued by a number of people is because there was no intervening logic, and therefore he was expressing an opinion rather than a chain of logic. Typically about people who may be political and may be covered by the defamation exemptions. It’d be interesting getting these into an open court to establish a legal position about people who are not politicians. The current state of the law is a bit murky about all of that – eg Pope.

          • Pascal's bookie 8.1.1.1.1

            Yep, it’s why his prose is so god awful dense. It’s hard to actually follow what he is arguing because, as you say, there is no actual structure to the ‘argument’. It’s just a grab bag of context shorn quotes, and a heap of innuendo, questions, and references to earlier not really answered questions, wrapped up in a sack of mind reading and dumped in the river of motive.

            Like you I get the impression that he doesn’t get a lawyer to see if something he wrote is defamatory, but rather to check that writing something this way isn’t defamatory. So yeah t’would be fun to see some of that advice, so we could stop speculating.

            • Lew 8.1.1.1.1.1

              I reckon he gets it checked by a lawyer to make sure that when people level fairly ordinary criticism at him, he’ll be able to sue them for defamation.

              L

          • Scott Yorke 8.1.1.1.2

            Any communications between Wishart and his lawyer are likely to be subject to legal professional privilege. I can’t imagine any of the common exceptions to privilege would apply.

            So we’ll probably never know what his lawyer told him, unless Wishart releases the info himself.

  9. Mac1 9

    Felix, I have in the past been the proud co-owner of a house with various cats (one never owns a cat) and you are indeed happily named.

    Sometimes the cat would wait outside the mouse hole, sometimes would walk away feigning indifference. Sometimes it would dispatch its victims with one swipe and crunch, sometimes play for hours. One memorable Christmas day, we humans got delivered a mouse to play with as we sat down to dinner al fresco.

    Never yet though have I seen a cat ask its potential dinner whether it’s returning for a rematch…..

  10. Spectator 10

    Say what you want about Wishart, but he has performed one great service to the English language: in an era when politicians of all colours do not know the difference between a denial and a refutation, his allegations against David Parker a few years ago provided that politician with the opportunity to demonstrate one of the few categorical refutations of allegations against a politician that this country has seen in living memory.

    • r0b 10.1

      the difference between a denial and a refutation

      I’m glad someone finally said something! That really is one of my pet grumpy old sod language peeves.

  11. Nick 11

    Yeah, me too r0b especially when David Benson-Pope is involved.

  12. Wishart’s claim that Barton defamed him is laughable. This almost certainly won’t get to court. If it does Wishart will lose, unless APN buckles under pressure (and if APN settled with Wishart over this they’d be a laughing stock).

    It would be interesting to know who pays Wishart’s legal bills. I simply can’t believe operating a shabby magazine and selling a few thousand books would cover his costs. Defamation is an extremely expensive business, and he’d need tens of thousands to fund a legal fight. Maybe he thinks the publicity will help shift some stock, but he really hasn’t done his homework if he thinks he can come out of this looking good, or financially better off. There just aren’t enough tinfoil hat wearers in this country to swallow his rubbish.

    • lprent 12.1

      Defamation in NZ is almost always a negative sum game at almost any level you want to look at it for the initiator. Which is what Wishart depends apon to prevent people suing him over his books.

      If he goes through with this, he’ll find that effort isn’t going to be worth it. Especially as the commentary about his actions will be worse than the original ‘offense’ (and a lot more voluminous).

  13. Damian 13

    I have a confession to make; I tend to do my bit for humankind by stealthily moving
    Wishart‘s books from the science sections of bookshops to the mysticism or spiritual sections. Been doing it for years.

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  • Fact Brief – Is ocean acidification from human activities enough to impact marine ecosystems?
    Skeptical Science is partnering with Gigafact to produce fact briefs — bite-sized fact checks of trending claims. This fact brief was written by Sue Bin Park in collaboration with members from the Skeptical Science team. You can submit claims you think need checking via the tipline. Is ocean acidification from human ...
    5 days ago
  • Happiness is a Warm Gun
    She's not a girl who misses muchDo do do do do do, oh yeahShe's well-acquainted with the touch of the velvet handLike a lizard on a window paneI wouldn’t associate ACT with warmth, other than a certain fabled, notoriously hot, destination where surely they’re heading and many would like them ...
    Nick’s KōreroBy Nick Rockel
    5 days ago
  • Still doing a good 20
    Hello! Here comes the Saturday edition of More Than A Feilding, catching you up on the past somewhat interrupted week. Still on the move!Share Read more ...
    More Than A FeildingBy David Slack
    5 days ago
  • Coalition of the Unwilling?
    What does Budget 2024 tell us about the current government? Muddle on?Coalition governments are not new. About 50 percent of the time since the first MMP election, there has been a minority government, usually with allied parties holding ministerial portfolios outside cabinets. For 10 percent of the time there was ...
    PunditBy Brian Easton
    6 days ago
  • Of red flags and warning signs in comments on social media
    Somewhat surprisingly for what is regarded as a network of professionals, climate science misinformation is getting shared on LinkedIn, joining other channels where this is happening. Several of our recent posts published on LinkedIn have attracted the ire of various commenters who apparently are in denial about human-caused climate change. Based ...
    6 days ago
  • All good, still
    1. On what subject is Paul Henry even remotely worth giving the time of day?a. The state of our nationb. The state of the ACT partyc. How to freak out potential buyers of your gin palace by baking the remains of your deceased parent into its fittings2. Now that New ...
    More Than A FeildingBy David Slack
    6 days ago
  • The looting is the point
    Last time National was in power, they looted the state, privatising public assets and signing hugely wasteful public-private partnership (PPP) contracts which saw foreign consortiums provide substandard infrastructure while gouging us for profits. You only have to look at the ongoing fiasco of Transmission Gully to see how it was ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    6 days ago
  • The Illusion of Power: How Local Government Bureaucrats Overawe Democratically-Elected Councillors..
    The Democratic Façade Of Local Government: Our district and city councillors are democratically elected to govern their communities on one very strict condition – that they never, ever, under any circumstances, attempt to do so.A DISINTEGRATION OF LOYALTIES on the Wellington City Council has left Mayor Tory Whanau without a ...
    6 days ago
  • Lowlights & Bright Spots
    I can feel the lowlights coming over meI can feel the lowlights, from the state I’m inI can see the light now even thought it’s dimA little glow on the horizonAnother week of lowlights from our government, with the odd bright spot and a glow on the horizon. The light ...
    Nick’s KōreroBy Nick Rockel
    6 days ago
  • Weekly Roundup 14-June-2024
    Another week, another roundup of things that caught our eye on our favourite topics of transport, housing and how to make cities a little bit greater. This Week in Greater Auckland On Monday, Connor wrote about Kāinga Ora’s role as an urban development agency Tuesday’s guest post by ...
    Greater AucklandBy Greater Auckland
    6 days ago
  • The Hoon around the week to June 14
    Photo: Lynn Grieveson / The KākāTL;DR: The podcast above of the weekly ‘hoon’ webinar for paying subscribers features co-hosts and talking with:The Kākā’s climate correspondent about the National-ACT-NZ First Government’s moves this week to take farming out of the ETS and encourage more mining and oil and ...
    The KakaBy Bernard Hickey
    6 days ago
  • Climate policy axed in broad daylight, while taxpayer liabilities grow in the dark
    In 2019, Shane Jones addressed the “50 Shades of Green” protest at Parliament: Now he is part of a government giving those farmers a pass on becoming part of the ETS, as well as threatening to lock in offshore oil exploration and mining for decades. Photo: Lynn GrievesonTL;DR: Here’s the ...
    The KakaBy Bernard Hickey
    6 days ago
  • Rage Bait!
    Hi,Today’s newsletter is all about how easy it is to get sucked into “rage bait” online, and how easy it is to get played.But first I wanted to share something that elicited the exact opposite of rage in me — something that made me feel incredibly proud, whilst also making ...
    David FarrierBy David Farrier
    6 days ago
  • Bernard's Dawn Chorus and pick 'n' mix for Friday, June 14
    Seymour said lower speed limits “drained the joy from life as people were forced to follow rules they knew made no sense.” File Photo: Lynn Grieveson / The KākāTL;DR: My six things to note in Aotearoa-NZ’s political economy around housing, climate and poverty on Friday, June 14 were:The National/ACT/NZ First ...
    The KakaBy Bernard Hickey
    6 days ago
  • Friendly but frank talks with China Premier
    It sounded like the best word to describe yesterday’s talks between Chinese Premier Li Qiang and his heavyweight delegation of Ministers and officials and Prime Minister Christopher Luxon and New Zealand Ministers and officials was “frank.” But it was the kind of frankness that friends can indulge in. It ...
    PolitikBy Richard Harman
    6 days ago
  • Skeptical Science New Research for Week #24 2024
    Open access notables Wildfire smoke impacts lake ecosystems, Farruggia et al., Global Change Biology: We introduce the concept of the lake smoke-day, or the number of days any given lake is exposed to smoke in any given fire season, and quantify the total lake smoke-day exposure in North America from 2019 ...
    7 days ago
  • Join us for the weekly Hoon on YouTube Live
    Photo by Mathias Elle on UnsplashIt’s that new day of the week (Thursday rather than Friday) when we have our ‘hoon’ webinar with paying subscribers to The Kākā for an hour at 5 pm.Jump on this link on YouTube Livestream for our chat about the week’s news with special guests:5.00 ...
    The KakaBy Bernard Hickey
    7 days ago
  • Geoffrey Miller: China’s message to New Zealand – don’t put it all at risk
    Don’t put it all at risk. That’s likely to be the take-home message for New Zealand Prime Minister Christopher Luxon in his meetings with Li Qiang, the Chinese Premier. Li’s visit to Wellington this week is the highest-ranking visit by a Chinese official since 2017. The trip down under – ...
    Democracy ProjectBy Geoffrey Miller
    7 days ago
  • The Real Thing
    I know the feelingIt is the real thingThe essence of the soulThe perfect momentThat golden momentI know you feel it tooI know the feelingIt is the real thingYou can't refuse the embraceNo?Sometimes we face the things we most dislike. A phobia or fear that must be confronted so it doesn’t ...
    Nick’s KōreroBy Nick Rockel
    1 week ago
  • Gordon Campbell on how moderates empower the political right
    Struth, what a week. Having made sure the rural sector won’t have to pay any time soon for its pollution, PM Christopher Luxon yesterday chose Fieldays 2024 to launch a parliamentary inquiry into rural banking services, to see how the banks have been treating farmers faced with high interest rates. ...
    1 week ago
  • Bernard's Dawn Chorus and pick 'n' mix for Thursday, June 13
    In April, 17,656 people left Aotearoa-NZ to live overseas, averaging 588 a day, with just over half of those likely to have gone to Australia. Photo: Photo: Lynn Grieveson / The KākāTL;DR: My six things to note in Aotearoa-NZ’s political economy around housing, climate and poverty on Thursday, June 13 ...
    The KakaBy Bernard Hickey
    1 week ago
  • Our guide to having your say on the draft RLTP 2024
    Auckland’s draft Regional Land Transport Plan (RLTP) 2024 is open for feedback – and you only have until Monday 17 June to submit. Do it! Join the thousands of Aucklanders who are speaking up for wise strategic investment that will dig us out of traffic and give us easy and ...
    Greater AucklandBy Connor Sharp
    1 week ago
  • The China puzzle
    Chinese Premier Li Qiang arrives in Wellington today for a three-day visit to the country. The visit will take place amid uncertainty about the future of the New Zealand-China relationship. Li hosted a formal welcome and then lunch for then-Prime Minister Chris Hipkins in Beijing a year ago. The pair ...
    PolitikBy Richard Harman
    1 week ago
  • Fossil fuels are shredding our democracy
    This is a re-post of an article from the Climate Brink by Andrew Dessler published on June 3, 2024. I have an oped in the New York Times (gift link) about this. For a long time, a common refrain about the energy transition was that renewable energy needed to become ...
    1 week ago
  • Life at 20 kilometres an hour
    We are still in France, getting from A to B.Possibly for only another week, though; Switzerland and Germany are looming now. On we pedal, towards Budapest, at about 20 km per hour.What are are mostly doing is inhaling a country, loving its ways and its food. Rolling, talking, quietly thinking. ...
    More Than A FeildingBy David Slack
    1 week ago
  • Hipkins is still useless
    The big problem with the last Labour government was that they were chickenshits who did nothing with the absolute majority we had given them. They governed as if they were scared of their own shadows, afraid of making decisions lest it upset someone - usually someone who would never have ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • Exercising with the IDF.
    This morning I did something I seldom do, I looked at the Twitter newsfeed. Normally I take the approach of something that I’m not sure is an American urban legend, or genuinely something kids do over there. The infamous bag of dog poo on the front porch, set it on ...
    Nick’s KōreroBy Nick Rockel
    1 week ago
  • Helm Hammerhand Anime: First Pictures and an Old English ‘Hera’
    We have some news on the upcoming War of the Rohirrim anime. It will apparently be two and a half hours in length, with Peter Jackson as Executive Producer, and Helm’s daughter Hera will be the main character. Also, pictures: The bloke in the middle picture is Freca’s ...
    1 week ago
  • Farmers get free pass on climate AND get subsidies
    The cows will keep burping and farting and climate change will keep accelerating - but farmers can stop worrying about being included in the ETS. Photo: Lynn Grieveson / The KākāTL;DR: My six things to note in Aotearoa-NZ’s political economy around housing, climate and poverty on Wednesday, June 12 were:The ...
    The KakaBy Bernard Hickey
    1 week ago
  • Six ideas to secure Te Huia’s Future
    This is a guest post by our friend Darren Davis. It originally appeared on his excellent blog, Adventures in Transitland, which features “musings about public transport and other cool stuff in Aotearoa/ New Zealand and around the globe.” With Te Huia now having funding secure through to 2026, now is ...
    Greater AucklandBy Darren Davis
    1 week ago
  • The methane waka sinks
    In some ways, there may be less than meets the eye to the Government announcement yesterday that the He Waka Eke Noa proposal for farmers to pay for greenhouse gas emissions has been scrapped. The spectre of farmers still having to pay at some point in the future remains. That, ...
    PolitikBy Richard Harman
    1 week ago
  • At a glance – Does positive feedback necessarily mean runaway warming?
    On February 14, 2023 we announced our Rebuttal Update Project. This included an ask for feedback about the added "At a glance" section in the updated basic rebuttal versions. This weekly blog post series highlights this new section of one of the updated basic rebuttal versions and serves as a ...
    1 week ago
  • Climate Change: Farmers get what they wanted – for now
    Since entering office, National has unravelled practically every climate policy, leaving us with no effective way of reducing emissions or meeting our emissions budgets beyond magical thinking around the ETS. And today they've announced another step: removing agriculture entirely. At present, following the complete failure of he waka eka noa, ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • Presumed Innocent?
    The blue billionaireDistraction no interactionOr movement outside these glazed over eyesThe new great divideFew fight the tide to be glorifiedBut will he be satisfied?Can we accept this without zoom?The elephant in the roomNot much happens in politics on a Monday. Bugger all in fact. Although yesterday Christopher Luxon found he ...
    Nick’s KōreroBy Nick Rockel
    1 week ago
  • Gordon Campbell on our doomed love affair with oil and gas
    What if New Zealand threw a fossil fuel party, and nobody came? On the weekend, Resources Minister Shane Jones sent out the invitations and strung up the balloons, but will anyone really want to invest big time in resuming oil and gas exploration in our corner of the planet? Yes, ...
    WerewolfBy lyndon
    1 week ago
  • Building better housing insights
    This is a guest post by Meredith Dale, senior urban designer and strategist at The Urban Advisory. There’s a saying that goes something like: ‘what you measure is what you value’. An RNZ article last week claimed that Auckland was ‘hurting’ because of a more affordable supply of homes, particularly townhouses ...
    Greater AucklandBy Guest Post
    1 week ago
  • Putin would be proud of them
    A Prime Minister directs his public service to inquire into the actions of the opposition political party which is his harshest critic. Something from Orban's Hungary, or Putin's Russia? No, its happening right here in Aotearoa: Prime Minister Christopher Luxon has announced the Public Service Commission will launch an ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • Resources for debunking common solar and wind myths
    This is a repost from a Yale Climate Connections article by SueEllen Campbell published on June 3, 2024. The articles listed can help you tell fact from fiction when it comes to solar and wind energy. Some statements you hear about solar and wind energy are just plain false. ...
    1 week ago
  • Juggernaut
    Politics were going on all around us yesterday, and we barely noticed, rolling along canal paths, eating baguettes. It wasn’t until my mate got to the headlines last night that we learned there had been a dismayingly strong far right result in the EU elections and Macron had called a ...
    More Than A FeildingBy David Slack
    1 week ago
  • Numbers Game.
    Respect Existence, Or Expect Resistance? There may well have been 50,000 pairs of feet “Marching For Nature” down Auckland’s Queen Street on Saturday afternoon, but the figure that impresses the Coalition Government is the 1,450,000 pairs of Auckland feet that were somewhere else.IN THE ERA OF DRONES and Artificial Intelligence, ...
    1 week ago
  • Media Link: AVFA on post-colonial blowback.
    Selwyn Manning and I discuss varieties of post colonial blowback and the implications its has for the rise of the Global South. Counties discussed include Palestine/Israel, France/New Caledonia, England/India, apartheid/post-apartheid South Africa and post-colonial New Zealand. It is a bit … Continue reading ...
    KiwipoliticoBy Pablo
    1 week ago
  • Policy by panic
    Back in March, Ombudsman Peter Boshier resigned when he hit the statutory retirement age of 72, leaving the country in the awkward (and legally questionable) position of having him continue as a temporay appointee. It apparently took the entire political system by surprise - as evinced by Labour's dick move ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • PSA: NZ's Richest Company, Zuru, Sucks
    Hi,Today the New Zealand press is breathlessly reporting that the owners of toy company Zuru are officially New Zealand’s wealthiest people: Mat and Nick Mowbray worth an estimated $20 billion between them.While the New Zealand press loses its shit celebrating this Kiwi success story, this is a Webworm reminder that ...
    David FarrierBy David Farrier
    1 week ago
  • Bernard's Dawn Chorus and pick 'n' mix for Monday, June 10
    TL;DR: The six things to note in Aotearoa-NZ’s political economy around housing, climate and poverty in the past day to 8:36 pm on Monday, June 10 were:20,000 protested against the Fast-track approval bill on Saturday in Auckland, but PM Christopher Luxon says ‘sorry, but not sorry’ about the need for ...
    The KakaBy Bernard Hickey
    1 week ago

  • School attendance increases
    School attendance data released today shows an increase in the number of students regularly attending school to 61.7 per cent in term one. This compares to 59.5 per cent in term one last year and 53.6 per cent in term four. “It is encouraging to see more children getting to ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 hours ago
  • Record investment in public transport services
    The Government has announced a record 41 per cent increase in indicative funding for public transport services and operations, and confirmed the rollout of the National Ticketing Solution (NTS) that will enable contactless debit and credit card payments starting this year in Auckland, Transport Minister Simeon Brown says.“This Government is ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 hours ago
  • GDP data shows need to strengthen and grow the economy
    GDP figures for the March quarter reinforce the importance of restoring fiscal discipline to public spending and driving more economic growth, Finance Minister Nicola Willis says.  Data released today by Stats NZ shows GDP has risen 0.2 per cent for the quarter to March.   “While today’s data is technically in ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 hours ago
  • Women continue to make up over 50 per cent on public sector boards
    Women’s representation on public sector boards and committees has reached 50 per cent or above for the fourth consecutive year, with women holding 53.9 per cent of public sector board roles, Acting Minister for Women Louise Upston says. “This is a fantastic achievement, but the work is not done. To ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    7 hours ago
  • Government supporting Māori business success
    The Coalition Government is supporting Māori to boost development and the Māori economy through investment in projects that benefit the regions, Regional Development Minister Shane Jones and Māori Development Minister Tama Potaka say. “As the Regional Development Minister, I am focused on supporting Māori to succeed. The Provincial Growth Fund ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    7 hours ago
  • Better solutions for earthquake-prone buildings
    Building and Construction Minister Chris Penk has announced that the review into better managing the risks of earthquake-prone buildings has commenced. “The terms of reference published today demonstrate the Government’s commitment to ensuring we get the balance right between public safety and costs to building owners,” Mr Penk says.  “The Government ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    9 hours ago
  • Prime Minister wraps up visit to Japan
    Prime Minister Christopher Luxon has just finished a successful three-day visit to Japan, where he strengthened political relationships and boosted business links. Mr Luxon’s visit culminated in a bilateral meeting with Japanese Prime Minister Kishida Fumio followed by a state dinner. “It was important for me to meet Prime Minister Kishida in person ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    16 hours ago
  • Major business deals signed on PM’s Japan trip
    Significant business deals have been closed during the visit of Prime Minister Christopher Luxon to Japan this week, including in the areas of space, renewable energy and investment.  “Commercial deals like this demonstrate that we don’t just export high-quality agricultural products to Japan, but also our world-class technology, expertise, and ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 day ago
  • Strategic Security speech, Tokyo
    Minasan, konnichiwa, kia ora and good afternoon everyone. Thank you for the invitation to speak to you today and thank you to our friends at the Institute for International Socio-Economic Studies and NEC for making this event possible today.  It gives me great pleasure to be here today, speaking with ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 day ago
  • National Infrastructure Pipeline worth over $120 billion
    The National Infrastructure Pipeline, which provides a national view of current or planned infrastructure projects, from roads, to water infrastructure, to schools, and more, has climbed above $120 billion, Infrastructure Minister Chris Bishop says. “Our Government is investing a record amount in modern infrastructure that Kiwis can rely on as ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 day ago
  • Making it easier to build infrastructure
    The Government is modernising the Public Works Act to make it easier to build infrastructure, Minister for Land Information Chris Penk announced today. An independent panel will undertake an eight-week review of the Act and advise on common sense changes to enable large scale public works to be built faster and ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • NZ enhances North Korea sanctions monitoring
    New Zealand will enhance its defence contributions to monitoring violations of sanctions against North Korea, Prime Minister Christopher Luxon announced today.  The enhancement will see the New Zealand Defence Force (NZDF) increase its contributions to North Korea sanctions monitoring, operating out of Japan. “This increase reflects the importance New Zealand ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • Speech to Safeguard National Health and Safety Conference
    Good afternoon everyone. It’s great to be with you all today before we wrap up Day One of the annual Safeguard National Health and Safety Conference. Thank you to the organisers and sponsors of this conference, for the chance to talk to you about the upcoming health and safety consultation. ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • Ōtaki to north of Levin alliance agreements signed
    Transport Minister Simeon Brown has welcomed an important milestone for the Ōtaki to north of Levin Road of National Significance (RoNS), following the NZ Transport Agency (NZTA) signing interim alliance agreements with two design and construction teams who will develop and ultimately build the new expressway.“The Government’s priority for transport ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • Improvements to stopping Digital Child Exploitation
    The Department of Internal Affairs [Department] is making a significant upgrade to their Digital Child Exploitation Filtering System, which blocks access to websites known to host child sexual abuse material, says Minister of Internal Affairs Brooke van Velden.  “The Department will incorporate the up-to-date lists of websites hosting child sexual ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • New vaccine research aims to combat prevalent bovine disease
    A vaccine to prevent an infectious disease that costs New Zealand cattle farmers more than $190 million each year could radically improve the health of our cows and boost on-farm productivity, Associate Agriculture Minister Andrew Hoggard says. The Ministry for Primary Industries is backing a project that aims to develop ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • Making it easier to build granny flats
    The Government has today announced that it is making it easier for people to build granny flats, Acting Prime Minister Winston Peters and RMA Reform Minister Chris Bishop say. “Making it easier to build granny flats will make it more affordable for families to live the way that suits them ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • High Court Judge appointed
    Attorney-General Judith Collins today announced the appointment of Auckland King’s Counsel Gregory Peter Blanchard as a High Court Judge. Justice Blanchard attended the University of Auckland from 1991 to 1995, graduating with an LLB (Honours) and Bachelor of Arts (English). He was a solicitor with the firm that is now Dentons ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • Health workforce numbers rise
    Health Minister Dr Shane Reti says new data released today shows encouraging growth in the health workforce, with a continued increase in the numbers of doctors, nurses and midwives joining Health New Zealand. “Frontline healthcare workers are the beating heart of the healthcare system. Increasing and retaining our health workforce ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • Government to overhaul firearms laws
    Associate Justice Minister Nicole McKee has today announced a comprehensive programme to reform New Zealand's outdated and complicated firearms laws. “The Arms Act has been in place for over 40 years. It has been amended several times – in a piecemeal, and sometimes rushed way. This has resulted in outdated ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • Government delivers landmark specialist schools investment
    The coalition Government is delivering record levels of targeted investment in specialist schools so children with additional needs can thrive. As part of Budget 24, $89 million has been ringfenced to redevelop specialist facilities and increase satellite classrooms for students with high needs. This includes: $63 million in depreciation funding ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • Major health and safety consultation begins
    A substantial consultation on work health and safety will begin today with a roadshow across the regions over the coming months, says Workplace Relations and Safety Minister Brooke van Velden.  This the first step to deliver on the commitment to reforming health and safety law and regulations, set out in ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • Growing the potential of New Zealand’s forestry sector in partnership
    Forestry Minister Todd McClay, today announced the start of the Government’s plan to restore certainty and confidence in the forestry and wood processing sector. “This government will drive investment to unlock the industry’s economic potential for growth,” Mr McClay says. “Forestry’s success is critical to rebuilding New Zealand’s economy, boosting ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • Government cancels forestry ETS annual service charges for 2023-24
    Annual service charges in the forestry Emissions Trading Scheme (ETS) will be cancelled for 2023/24, Forestry Minister Todd McClay says. “The sector has told me the costs imposed on forestry owners by the previous government were excessive and unreasonable and I agree,” Mr McClay says. “They have said that there ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • Speech to the LGNZ Infrastructure Symposium
    Introduction Thank you for having me here today and welcome to Wellington, the home of the Hurricanes, the next Super Rugby champions. Infrastructure – the challenge This government has inherited a series of big challenges in infrastructure. I don’t need to tell an audience as smart as this one that ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • Government boosts Agriculture and food trade with China
    Trade and Agriculture Minister Todd McClay and Food Safety Minister Andrew Hoggard welcomed outcomes to boost agricultural and food trade between New Zealand and China. A number of documents were signed today at Government House that will improve the business environment between New Zealand and China, and help reduce barriers, including on infant formula ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    7 days ago
  • NZ and China launch Services Trade Negotiations
    Trade Minister Todd McClay, and China’s Commerce Minister Wang Wentao, today announced the official launch of Negotiations on Services Trade between the two countries.  “The Government is focused on opening doors for services exporters to grow the New Zealand’s economy,” Mr McClay says.  As part of the 2022 New Zealand-China Free Trade Agreement Upgrade ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    7 days ago
  • Prime Minister Luxon meets with Premier Li
    Prime Minister Christopher Luxon met with Chinese Premier Li Qiang at Government House in Wellington today.  “I was pleased to welcome Premier Li to Wellington for his first official visit, which marks 10 years since New Zealand and China established a Comprehensive Strategic Partnership,” Mr Luxon says. “The Premier and ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    7 days ago
  • Government and business tackling gender pay gap
    The coalition Government is taking action to reduce the gender pay gap in New Zealand through the development of a voluntary calculation tool. “Gender pay gaps have impacted women for decades, which is why we need to continue to drive change in New Zealand,” Acting Minister for Women Louise Upston ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Funding Boost for Rural Support Trusts
    The coalition Government is boosting funding for Rural Support Trusts to provide more help to farmers and growers under pressure, Rural Communities Minister Mark Patterson announced today. “A strong and thriving agricultural sector is crucial to the New Zealand economy and one of the ways to support it is to ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Latest data shows size of public service decreasing
    Spending on contractors and consultants continues to fall and the size of the Public Service workforce has started to decrease after years of growth, according to the latest data released today by the Public Service Commission. Workforce data for the quarter from 31 December 23 to 31 March 24 shows ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Speech to the Law Association
    Thank you to the Law Association for inviting me to speak this morning. As a former president under its previous name — the Auckland District Law Society — I take particular satisfaction in seeing this organisation, and its members, in such good heart. As Attorney-General, I am grateful for these ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • 25 years on, NZ reaffirms enduring friendship with Timor Leste
    New Zealand is committed to working closely with Timor-Leste to support its prosperity and resilience, Foreign Minister Winston Peters says.   “This year is the 25th anniversary of New Zealand sending peacekeepers to Timor-Leste, who contributed to the country’s stabilisation and ultimately its independence,” Mr Peters says.    “A quarter ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Inquiry requested into rural banking
    Promoting robust competition in the banking sector is vital to rebuilding the economy, Finance Minister Nicola Willis says.  “New Zealanders deserve a banking sector that is as competitive as possible. Banking services play an important role in our communities and in the economy. Kiwis rely on access to lending when ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Ministry for Regulation targets red tape to keep farmers and growers competitive
    Regulation Minister David Seymour, Environment Minister Penny Simmonds, and Food Safety Minister Andrew Hoggard have today announced a regulatory sector review on the approval process for new agricultural and horticultural products.    “Red tape stops farmers and growers from getting access to products that have been approved by other OECD countries. ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Government to reverse blanket speed limit reductions
    The Coalition Government will reverse Labour’s blanket speed limit reductions by 1 July 2025 through a new Land Transport Rule released for public consultation today, Transport Minister Simeon Brown says.  The draft speed limit rule will deliver on the National-ACT coalition commitment to reverse the previous government’s blanket speed limit ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Chair appointments for NZSO, CNZ and NZ On Air
    Minister Paul Goldsmith is making major leadership changes within both his Arts and Media portfolios. “I am delighted to announce Carmel Walsh will be officially stepping into the role of Chair of the New Zealand Symphony Orchestra, having been acting Chair since April,” Arts Minister Paul Goldsmith says.  “Carmel is ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Government focus on long-term food, fibre growth
    Food and fibre export revenue is tipped to reach $54.6 billion this year and hit a record $66.6b in 2028 as the Government focuses on getting better access to markets and cutting red tape, Agriculture Minister Todd McClay and Oceans and Fisheries Minister Shane Jones say. “This achievement is testament ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
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  • Govt consulting on cutting red tape for exporters
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