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Summer service: open mike 01-02/01/2012

Written By: - Date published: 6:00 am, January 1st, 2012 - 43 comments
Categories: open mike - Tags:

Happy New Year!  As usual, it’s reduced service over the summer break, unless anything big happens. We hope you’ll get a good break with those dear to you, and that we’ll have some decent weather to enjoy. And if you still need your politics fix – open mike is your post…

43 comments on “Summer service: open mike 01-02/01/2012”

  1. Carol 1

    A fitting night to transition from 011 to 012?

    http://www.stuff.co.nz/national/6205504/Happy-wet-year

    In a year blighted by natural disasters, mother nature was unrelenting to the end, with several New Year’s Eve celebrations cancelled as rain lashed the country.

    Campsites were flooded and rain contributed to carnage on the roads. There was also a near-miss for two people whose car was swept into a river near Whangamata.

    And the political news seems just as dismal, with NActMU set to oversee policies dominated by (so-called, but far from liberal) neoliberal business ethics of autocratic cost-cutting rather than an ethos of acting for the common good.

    http://www.stuff.co.nz/national/christchurch-earthquake/6205501/EQC-cops-shoddy-jobs-complaints

    The Earthquake Commission has received hundreds of complaints from Christchurch residents unhappy with the work contractors have done to fix their houses, leading to accusations that “Mickey Mouse” operators are fleecing the system.
    […]
    The commission retained responsibility for paying contractors directly for their work, but once a customer’s house was being repaired by Fletchers, they were unable to opt out because the work had already been paid for.

    Fletchers also managed the recruitment and accreditation of contractors who did repair work, and was responsible for quality control and managing workmanship.

    Meanwhile prison policies favour retribution over rehabilitation:

    http://www.stuff.co.nz/national/crime/6205532/Judges-throw-book-at-prisoner-drug-rehab

    and Nact’s marginalisation (PRed as reorganising for improved efficiency) of departments of women’s and Pacific affairs is evident in a high staff turnover:

    http://www.stuff.co.nz/national/6205527/Mass-departures-in-govt-departments

    Smaller government departments are churning through staff at a rate triple that of the public sector average.

    The Serious Fraud Office and Ministry of Women’s Affairs had the highest staff turnover rate of 30 per cent in the past financial year.

    That amounted to almost a third of staff leaving in a 12-month period.

    Ministry of Pacific Island Affairs came in third with a turnover rate of 24 per cent – almost a quarter of all employees.

    Welcome to 2012, http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/2012_phenomenon

    the beginning of the end or a positive change to a new era?

    • just saying 1.1

      Thanks for this post Carol.
      Makes for grim reading though, so today I’m going to ‘step back from the computer’, get outside, and pretend the lovely conditions we are enjoying down here, will last forever.

    • Fotran 1.2

      I like the “average” wages for MOWoman’s Affairs and Pacific. Great if you can get it. Amazed at those “average” salary levels that neither can get competant staff.

      • QoT 1.2.1

        Oh, Fotran, are we going to play the “mean/average must mean everyone’s earning ALL THE DOLLARS!!!” derail?

        If six people earning $10k a year each are sitting in a room and Paul Reynolds walks in, the “average” earnings of the people in that room goes from $10k to $1 million.

        Guess they shouldn’t complain, right? Because obviously they’re all totes rich.

        • RedLogix 1.2.1.1

          Yeah… whenever I see the term ‘average’ misused in this sort of context, I immediately know without needing to read a word further that either the article concerned is either:

          1. Lazy dreck written in a hurry by someone who doesn’t know the topic.

          2. Misinformation carefully written by someone who doesn’t want YOU to know the topic.

          • Herodotus 1.2.1.1.1

            The same can be applied to mean or any other stat term as well. When referring to salaries/Wages/Income there is no consideration to other benefits “gifted” by the employee e.g. Kiwisaver/pensions/benefits attracting FBT/ additional leave or exit packages
            Also the makeup of the workforce fulltime/parttime/job share.
            And RL, many of us can only use the infonmation available to support our points, otherwise we might as well just write unsupported editorials.
            Happy New year to all 😎

            • bbfloyd 1.2.1.1.1.1

              what a load of crap heroless…. you are telling us you would be happy to go back to a time when workers were paid no more than starvation wages, and when their usefulness was deemed surplus, then they were simply tossed aside…. to be thrown in prison if they objected too strenuously to being treated so appallingly….or got caught stealing food to feed their starving families…….

              oh wait… that was how australia was populated….. silly me…. we just need to take a reasonably large pacific island off those undeserving savages who simply aren’t exploiting their environment profitably enough….build some shiny new prisons there, and then rename the place for when the prisoners get out and look to form up a new society because they are stuck there with no way to get back here….

              we just need one that has huge mineral resources to exploit….voila! the new frontier….so many opportunities for profit……

  2. Carol 2

    David Beatson firmly blames the death of Stratos on the lack of government support for public service broadcasting.

    http://www.pundit.co.nz/content/stratos-is-dead-whos-next

    Stratos did not die from lack of community support
    […]
    Stratos did not die from lack of staff support.
    […]
    In my view, Stratos died – and other small, and not-so-small, free-to-air TV channels will also die – in the bureaucratically-botched transition to digital broadcasting because public broadcasting policy is no longer aligned with public need, or the multi-media realities of the digital age.
    […]
    Regional television was plumped firmly in the too hard basket by both NZ On Air and the Ministry of Culture and Heritage.
    […]
    In October last year, regional broadcasters were suddenly informed that the Cabinet had changed its mind. NZ On Air is now funded to offer up to $70,000 to each regional broadcaster to help them find their own way into the new digital world. To date, two regional broadcasters have accepted. The low take-up is hardly surprising, given that the digital switchover will quadruple their transmission costs – their major expense – if their programmes are to be accessible on all the digital platforms their local audiences are likely to adopt.

    Now, Stratos is gone. It is a sad, bad story – and we have not heard the end of it.

    But we now have many people with the expertise and networks that could be used to develop comprehensive multi-platform (on TV and the Internet) public service broadcasting.

    Is there any way that the lack of will on the part of the government can be over-ridden or circumvented?

    • tc 2.1

      It’s by design carol, these no lack of will but rather a cunning and strong one that wants fewer voices of those it doesn’t have influence or alignment with.

      Stratos with beatson, bomber etc will not be mourned by Coleman, bover boy Joyce and the rest of the dark lords as its all part of the plan……RNZ will continue to bland out.

  3. Colonial Viper 3

    Break the Auckland Port Union, Fire Everyone Immediately, Fly New Workers In

    Life according to Damien Grant in the NZ Herald. Good start to the year.

    http://www.nzherald.co.nz/business/news/article.cfm?c_id=3&objectid=10776111

    Moving containers at the port is clearly something any trained monkey could do after a few weeks.

    He thinks that private companies are better run than public ones, despite massive evidence that private companies are the ones destroying the global financial system.

    He even considers Qantas CEO massively botched handling of a union dispute leading to unquantifiable and long term damage to Qantas as ‘saving’ the airline.

    • Janice 3.1

      I wonder what really is behind the Ports of Auckland trouble. If Banks had become mayor I guess that the port company would be on the block at the moment. Because Auckland voted for Len Brown this sale didn’t go ahead and all the government’s rich mates (and no doubt the Nat MP’s trusts as well) who were waiting for an opportunity to spend some of their tax (cut) gains, missed out. If the Auckland port starts losing money and ratepayers have to help prop it up, then the mood for its sale will no doubt change. Mersk didn’t just decide to move some of its business to Tauranga on a whim, they probably own shares in the port and wanted a piece of Auckland as well. The whole matter appears to be being stage managed to me, and the union bashing will get worse this year as all the rich look for somewhere safe to put their money, hence the sale of solid assets like power companies.

      • tc 3.1.1

        Get used to this as the MSM monkeys will parrot the govt CT spin lines around evil unions destroying our souls and peddle any industry line.

        Recent article about wine prices going up as the glut is over being another example of this IMO…..highly dubios logic, a PR piece issued by the wine industry presented as if it’s news. the gluts not over with reduced international demand NZ is swimming in wine it can’t shift, on the back of 3 consecutive bumper harvest seasons.

        it simply smacked of blatant industry propaganda to hopefully trigger demand, no balance. Do the math and look at those prices people what’d ya reckon.

        • newsense 3.1.1.1

          oops beat me to it.

          they keep repeating this 90 thousand dollars- so everyone regardless of experience earns 90 thousand?

          how much is the CEO on?

      • chris73 3.1.2

        Tosser union leaders would be a good place to start

        • millsy 3.1.2.1

          So do you think the PoA should have their union deregistered and their wages cut to the minimum wage then?

        • bbfloyd 3.1.2.2

          spoken like a true halfwit young chris…… so what do you think of the port company shutting down the wharf, effectively doubling the time the wharf is inactive because”they did it, so this is our response”….. which, of course was reported as a “reasonable” response by the govt propaganda unit(tvnz)…..and, of course… the unions were blamed for the companies decision to drag out the dispute so that the media could portray the union as sabotaging trade over xmas………..

          so are you one of the utterly thick individuals that swallowed that blatant lying as some sort of “grown up” behavior?

  4. Ready to launch into the new year.

    Dunedin Voice will be used to discuss and debate issues like these and decide how and what to advocate for, via our MPs, through local government and local agencies, any way that might make a difference.

    2012 will be a better year for local involvement in politics and issues that affect us – we will make sure of that. Things will change for the better because we will make them change.

    http://yourdunedin.org/2012/01/01/a-new-year/

    Anyone interested in getting involved in less talk, more action in Dunedin this year please get in touch. This is a cross party cross city initiative, the wider the range of opinions, leanings and ideas the better.

  5. Jackal 5

    Editorial: ‘Tea-tape’ costs bid is disturbing:

    The decision to seek an order for costs may most charitably be described as churlish and vindictive. The High Court’s refusal to intervene in the process, which started when the Prime Minister laid a complaint with police, was neither a vindication of the PM’s case nor a rejection of Ambrose’s.

    […]

    At any time, and particularly in the middle of an election campaign, the Government has a duty to answer legal challenges to its authority and not bill citizens for making them. The request for an order of costs should be withdrawn.

    National’s free ride is over.

  6. Huginn 6

    From the Financial Times:

    Secret UK government papers from 30 years ago are revealed each December. This time it’s 1981 – year of the royal wedding, the Toxteth riots and the purge of the ‘wets’ from Mrs Thatcher’s

    Among some of the interesting insights coming to light we learn that:

    Senior members of Margaret Thatcher’s government argued that Merseyside and other deprived urban areas could be candidates for “managed decline” rather than economic regeneration

    http://www.ft.com/intl/cms/s/0/cd6851e2-2d8a-11e1-b5bf-00144feabdc0.html#axzz1i9ffZkpU

    And that:

    Geoffrey Howe [then chancellor] proposed massaging unemployment figures to keep the figure below 3m as jobless levels grew to almost three times that of the Winter of Discontent two years earlier.

    http://www.ft.com/intl/cms/s/0/a89c67de-2d9b-11e1-b5bf-00144feabdc0.html#axzz1i9ffZkpU

  7. newsense 7

    http://www.nzherald.co.nz/business/news/article.cfm?c_id=3&objectid=10776111

    FFS that’s 3-0 to the the wharfies are unskilled labourers earning 90k a year crowd. Is there going to be no reply at all?

    Shall we just say over and over again wharfies earn 90k and are whining complainers until the public believes it because there is no alternative viewpoint out there?

    • Hammer 7.1

      Maybe the answer is that we do have “unskilled labourers earning 90k a year”
      and Waitakere Man is not too happy?

      Maybe that is why he has stopped voting Labour?

      • Colonial Viper 7.1.1

        We have unskilled CEO’s earning a million dollars a year so what is the problem.

  8. Jenny 8

    In America, the US Congress is considering a bill to protect water resources from hydraulic fracturing. American drillers, (like those in NZ), oppose any regulation as unnecessary, claiming it is impossible for fracturing fluids to reach underground water supplies and that no such case has ever been proven.

    David Biello writing for Scientific American, lists contamination of drinking water by Fracking, (second to the discovery of Earth sized Planets.) In his round up of last year’s top science stories.

    Significantly, for those who follow this debate, Scientific American reports, have exposed the EPA (the US governmental agency charged with protecting the environment) as down playing the risks and even repeating the industry claim: “That there’s never been a documented case of contaminated water supply.” when all along the EPA had damning evidence to the contrary.

    “There’s never been a documented case of contaminated water supply,” Ed Ireland, executive director of the Barnett Shale Energy Education Council, an industry group, told me in 2010. It’s a line that has been repeated by various people in the energy industry—and quoted by reporters like me—as the practice of fracking (or using pressurized water to fracture shale and release the natural gas within) has come under increased scrutiny. It’s been almost a mantra among key players in energy policy, including, U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Administrator Lisa Jackson. “I’m not aware of any proven case where the fracking process itself has affected water…..

    David Biello, Scientific American, August 4, 2011

    David Biello writing for Scientific American reports that the non-government, Environmental Working Group has revealed that a 1987 study by the EPA itself, had documented at least one case where some of the gel used in fracking, had contaminated well water.

    In other latter cases of ground water contamination, the EPA has actively downplayed any links to Fracking.

    (the EPA), said the contaminant causing the most concern – a compound called 2-butoxyethanol, known as 2-BE – can be found in some common household cleaners, not just in fracturing fluids.
    But those same EPA officials also said they had found no pesticides – a signature of agricultural contamination – and no indication that any industry or activity besides drilling could be to blame. Other than farming, there is no industry in the immediate area…….

    EPA officials told residents that some of the substances found in their water may have been poured down a sink drain. But according to EPA investigation documents, most of the water wells were flushed three times before they were tested in order to rid them of anything that wasn’t flowing through the aquifer itself. That means the contaminants found in Pavillion would have had to work their way from a sink not only into the well but deep into the aquifer at significant concentrations in order to be detected.

    An independent drinking water expert with decades of experience in central Wyoming, Doyle Ward, dismissed (EPA) explanations as “less than a one in a million” chance.

    Abrahm Lustgarten, Scientific American, August 26, 2009

    Source Material:

    1/ Scientific American; “1980’s study linking Fracking to fouled drinking water”

    2/ Scientific American; “Chemicals found in drinking water from natural gas drilling”

  9. Jenny 9

    Labour Party and Green MPs call for an independent body to investigate Fracking.

    The laissez faire response to Fracking by the EPA, the US government department set up to protect the environment, should be seen as a warning of how not to, approach this issue, or like the Leaky Homes issue may end up costing us all far more in the long term.

    Taranaki Daily News: February 5, 2011;Labour Party MPs Andrew Little and Rick Barker support inquiry into Fracking

    Mr Little says Taranaki people were used to the process but proposed fracking on the East Coast had people worried.

    “If there is public concern they are entitled to have a process that provides some assurance, and my opinion is that it needs to be in the form of an independent body and it needs to provide scientific evidence,” he said.

    Labour candidate for Taranaki-King Country Rick Barker is based in Hastings where there has been concern about future fracking in the area.

    “I’m not in a position to make an expert opinion about whether I think it’s a good or a bad process because I’m not an expert on it.”

    He said there had been mixed reports about how much fracking was done in New Zealand but if the public were concerned then they should be given answers.

    My hope is that in the new year, the Labour and Greens opposition parties do not back down from holding an independent inquiry into Fracking. Such an inquiry should go ahead as soon as possible. With, or without the support, of our do nothing pollute and ask questions later government

  10. Im hearing some grumbles about Kate Wilkinsons “food bill’ .Would one of our enlightened readers give me some information please.

  11. Im hearing some grumblings about Wilkinson’s “Food Bill” would one of our enlightened readers please inform me.

  12. Jackal 13

    Quackery!

    Under the cover of peoples New Year’s Eve hangovers, TV3 repeated a program today called Are Vitamins Killing You? Being that the original concept for the documentary came from ‘Executive Comedian’ John Glass… it’s no wonder it’s filled with quacks!

  13. Vicky32 14

    Bookmarking

  14. r0b 15

    Christchurch hammered again last night.  No end in sight.

  15. Armchair Critic 16

    http://www.stuff.co.nz/national/6206710/Wellington-Canterbury-to-become-supercities
    Less democracy, and a move to ease asset sales of council assets in Wellington and Christchurch – why does this not surprise me?

    • RedLogix 16.1

      Less democracy, and a move to ease asset sales of council assets in Wellington and Christchurch

      More likely if central government is allowed to drive the process.

      Currently Fran Wilde, Chairman of Greater Wellington Regional Council, is working very hard to promote a reforms that are driven at the regional level:

      n November, Greater Wellington regional council chairwoman Fran Wilde and a group of regional councillors circulated a discussion paper pushing for a Wellington “super-council”.

      “It’s no secret that my view is that we need some local government reform in the Wellington region,” Ms Wilde told The Dominion Post last week. “We need the ability to grow.”

      The vision she is pushing for is rather sophisticated; essentially shifting those functions that gain from efficiencies of scale, like transport, water, biodiversity and land managment into a larger Regional Council, while firmly retaining those functions which affect people’s participation in democracy, such as zoning, noise and animal control at a Local Council level.

      What it will look like is a better co-ordinated and integrated two-tiered structure. I’ve read the reports in detail and I rather like them. At some point I should pull finger and write a full post on the topic.

      Most people accept that the status quo is going to have to change… the real question is who gets to define the change. If Fran is given support from the various regional city and district bodies we will get an excellent outcome, a result that will look very much like how Auckland should have been done.

      But it needs some turkeys to vote for Christmas in various local councils, and sadly delays in overcoming that somewhat understandable resistance will put the initiative firmly into the hands of the Minister of Local Government. And at that point we’ll get another damned dysfunctional super-city. Complete with CCO’s for transport and water.

      • Carol 16.1.1

        Well I hope that Wellington and Christchurch if they do “supercities”, follow Fran Wilde’s approach rather than that of Auckland.

        The article says this:

        However, in a speech to the Auckland One Year On Conference, held in Auckland recently Mr James said: “Seen from outside, the mayor does not yet appear to have generated a whole-of-Auckland ethos.

        He comes from Manukau but is running a city that looks to many to be operating as if it is an extension of the old Auckland city.”

        As I understand it, the new Auckland Council has more of an autocratic, top down approach than was the case in some of the old cities: especially I think in comparison with West and South Auckland.

        These other areas, as I understand it, had more of a team work approach where rank-and-file employees took more responsibilities in day-to-day decision making. To do this they had a different kind of management structure and communitcation networks from the old Auckland City. But they have all been incorporated into one imperfect structure, based on that of the old Auckland City, causing on-going problems for workers in their daily work. Of course, no employee is going to go public and describe exactly what some of these difficulties are.

  16. Colonial Viper 17

    Sociopaths hiding amongst us in society

    Explains a hell of a lot, this.

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    How should we think about artificial intelligence and the implications that it has for our work and leisure? There are many articles on artificial intelligence and its potential impacts on jobs, and the ethics of applications. These are important topics, but I want to focus on some less discussed aspects, ...
    SciBlogsBy Robert Hickson
    4 days ago
  • Statistical manipulation to get publishable results
    I love data. It’s amazing the sort of “discoveries” I can make given a data set and computer statistical package. It’s just so easy to search for relationships and test their statistical significance. Maybe relationships which ...
    4 days ago
  • More lies on the Twitter (Dan Hodges edition)
    The other big story concerning Leeds Hospital is Boris Johnson's bizzare behaviour at Leeds Hospital, where he was confronted by a journalist and challenged about a four year old boy with suspected pneumonia who was left sleeping on the floor, rather than getting  abed like a sick kid would in ...
    4 days ago
  • LabourActivistPunchedMattHancock’sSPADGate
    So, for a brief period of history, it was alleged that a protester had punched Matt Hancock's SPAD (not a euphemism; special adviser) when Hancock visited Leeds Hospital.This was reported by the likes of Robert Peston and Laura Keunssberg, as well as the less credible Guido Fawkes.  It also quickly ...
    4 days ago
  • France’s anti-Zionism is anti-liberté
    by Daphna Whitmore Last week France passed a law that equates anti-Zionism with anti-Semitism. It is based on a definition of anti-Semitism that includes criticism of Israel such as: “Denying the Jewish people their right to self-determination, e.g., by claiming that the existence of a State of Israel is a racist ...
    RedlineBy Daphna
    5 days ago
  • Another bus lockout
    Over the past year we've seen major bus problems in Hamilton and Wellington, as drivers have sought better wages and an end to the bullshit of split shifts, which basicly see them "married to the job". And now its Auckland's turn. When NZBus's drivers planned low-level strike action of not ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    5 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
    5 days ago
  • New Fisk
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    5 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
    5 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
    7 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
    7 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
    1 week 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
    1 week 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
    2 weeks 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
    2 weeks 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
    2 weeks 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
    2 weeks 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 ...
    2 weeks 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
    2 weeks 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

  • PM congratulates Boris Johnson on election victory
    Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern has congratulated United Kingdom Prime Minister Boris Johnson on his election victory.  “New Zealand and the United Kingdom are close friends and despite our distance we are strongly connected by our history and people,” Jacinda Ardern said.  “I look forward to continuing to work with Prime ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    10 hours ago
  • Building a platform for the future of rail
    The Government has released its long term vision for a sustainable 21st Century rail network that gets our cities moving, connects our regions and gets more freight off the roads.   Deputy Prime Minister and State Owned Enterprises Minister Winston Peters said the Government is committed to rebuilding New Zealand’s ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    11 hours ago
  • Prime Minister statement Whakaari White Island recovery operation
    I want to start by acknowledging the families who have experienced such grief and such loss since the extraordinary tragedy on Monday. Today was all about reuniting them with their loved ones. We've just come from the airport where many of them were gathered and in amongst what you can ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    11 hours ago
  • New Zealand medical specialists to provide further support to Samoa
    Foreign Minister Winston Peters today announced further support for Samoa’s longer term needs as it continues to respond to a devastating measles epidemic. “Samoa’s health system has experienced massive strain in the wake of the measles epidemic. The volume of patients needing care during this outbreak, and the number of ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    14 hours ago
  • Discounted electric-bikes offered to public sector workers
    Discounted electric bikes will be offered up to public sector staff across the country as part of the Government’s work to reduce transport emissions and support healthier transport options.  Associate Minister of Transport Julie Anne Genter officially launched the new initiative at Wellington Hospital today.  “The Government has negotiated bulk-purchase ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    15 hours ago
  • Australia and New Zealand confirm joint bid for FIFA Women’s World Cup
    The Australian and New Zealand Governments today launch an historic joint bid to bring the FIFA Women’s World Cup to the Southern Hemisphere for the first time. Australian Minister for Youth and Sport, Richard Colbeck and New Zealand Minister for Sport and Recreation Grant Robertson will announce the bold campaign, ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    16 hours ago
  • Blackwater gold mine gets PGF boost
    The Provincial Growth Fund (PGF) has approved a $15 million loan to help re-establish a gold mining operation at Blackwater Gold Mine, near Reefton, Rural Communities Minister and local MP Damien O’Connor announced at an event on the West Coast today. “This is great news for the Coast that could ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    16 hours ago
  • Papakāinga model inspires whānau well-being
    Papakāinga model inspires whānau well-being A housing project by Kohupātiki whānau in Hastings is an outstanding example of a Māori-led housing initiative that can reduce financial pressure and reconnect whānau to their whakapapa says the Minister for Māori Development Hon Nanaia Mahuta.  Minister Mahuta officially opened the Aroha Te Rangi ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    17 hours ago
  • Government provides more funding for major community wetland restoration project
    Restoration efforts for a significant wetland in the Hawke’s Bay are getting more support announced Associate Minister for the Environment Eugenie Sage. “Wetlands are vital to healthy landscapes and ecosystems. They function as nature’s ‘kidneys’, filtering and protecting water quality, acting as nature’s sponges after rain and are home to ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    17 hours ago
  • Housing First to help Nelson Tasman homeless
    Nelson has today seen the launch of Housing First Nelson Tasman. Today’s launch marks the expansion of the Government’s homelessness programme, Housing First, to the top of the South Island. “Housing First is a proven programme that puts people who are experiencing homelessness and multiple, high and complex needs into ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    18 hours ago
  • New funding to support Environment Centres working for sustainable local solutions
    New Government funding announced today will help communities make a difference in tackling environmental issues Associate Minister for the Environment Eugenie Sage announced in Hawkes Bay today. The Ministry for the Environment’s Community Environment Fund is dedicating $243,101 to growing the capacity and capability of the Environment Hubs Aotearoa’s (EHA) ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    18 hours 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
    1 day 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
    2 days 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
    2 days 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
    2 days 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
    2 days 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
    2 days 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
    2 days 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
    2 days 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
    2 days 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
    2 days 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
    2 days 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
    2 days 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
    3 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
    3 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
    3 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
    3 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
    3 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
    3 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
    3 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
    3 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
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  • Funding to promote New Zealand Sign Language initiatives
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