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Take the oil!

Written By: - Date published: 6:23 pm, January 28th, 2019 - 87 comments
Categories: uncategorized - Tags: , , ,

Before he was elected President, Donald Trump’s approach to United States illegal attacks on Iraq and Libya was that their only mistake was that the US didn’t “take the oil.”

[youtube https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eWTCB0ueqXk]

After becoming President, his approach to oil-rich Venezuela was “can’t we just invade them?” Persuaded out of that course by the “adult” advisers Rex Tillotson and HR McMaster, Venezuela is once again in the firing line. It holds the largest proven oil stock in the world.

Rania Khalek provides an excellent overview,  antidote to the sort of stuff we are fed by the BBC and others. The standard first step to regime change is to foment internal division.

[youtube https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TQBpHwJczRg?feature=youtu]

There’s been a lot of talk from the US, Uk, Australia and Canada about the “rules-based order” we are supposed to subscribe to. International law doesn’t seem to be one of the rules involved.

I am very glad that New Zealand does follow those rules, and is not joining the latest “coalition of the willing” in an illegal regime change coup to ‘take the oil.’

Update: John Bolton confirms its about the oil.

87 comments on “Take the oil! ”

  1. Siobhan 1

    I’m still trying to get my head around how ‘the West’ is able to simply bring about regime change by deciding who they think should be a countries leader,. Has this ever happened before? Or is Nicolás Maduro so beyond the pale, worse than any other leader of any country ever that we need to make this ‘executive’ decision?
    It seems like a whole new level of ‘Introducing Democracy’ at it scariest. I’m waiting for the “coalition of the willing” to decide Trump and The Russians stole the election and just deal with Hilary. Ah, but then maybe not, because ‘we’ seem to think Trump is very wise and reasonable and able to take the lead on this issue, plus, you know, he’s also a fan of privatization so he’s not really‘The Enemy’

    https://grayzoneproject.com/2019/01/25/venezuela-us-coup-leader-juan-guaido-state-oil-company-imf/

    • Gabby 1.1

      Humble beginnings but yanker education. Wonder if he moonlighted in ‘security’ work while in yankistan.

    • DJ Ward 1.2

      But that’s not true. Tens of thousands marched in protest resulting in the Guarido declaring himself leader, then Trump supported his cliam.

      Trump didn’t organise the people to come together on mass to get rid of Meduro. Trump didn’t announce Guarido leader for him to then declare himself interim leader.

      How could have Trump organised that. Maduro has imprisoned the media and the Internet hardly works if at all. This is a self generated regime change.

      Not surprising.

      Maduro helps the poor?
      Reduced minimum wage by 90%
      Nearly tripled unemployment.
      Next to no healthcare.
      Restricted petrol supplies, subsidised at 1/50 of cost.
      Introduced tolls.
      Closed boarders to trade and movement.
      Nationalised supermarkets.
      Forced fire sales of electronics, halting the market.
      Import costs and regulation triple goods prices.
      Introduced ID cards system for food that failed.
      Railway system failing due to unpaid bills.
      Huge government spending on propaganda.
      Imprisoned opposition media.
      Imported large amounts of military equipment while children starved. To control protesters.

      • Adrian Thornton 1.2.1

        Here is one for our resident Trump/CIA/IMF puppet DJ Ward…

        Confirming US Orchestration, Report Details Pence’s Key Phone Call to Venezuelan Opposition Leader
        “The U.S. had been planning this coup in Venezuela. It was the Trump administration that told the little-known opposition leader Juan Guaidó to declare himself (unelected) ‘president.'”

        https://www.commondreams.org/news/2019/01/25/confirming-us-orchestration-report-details-pences-key-phone-call-venezuelan

        Oh and by the way who do you think Juan Guaidó is talking to for funding his Right wing paradise…The IMF of course.

        Venezuela’s US-Backed Coup Leader Immediately Targets State Oil Company and Requests IMF Money
        https://consortiumnews.com/2019/01/25/venezuelas-us-backed-coup-leader-immediately-targets-state-oil-company-and-requests-imf-money/

        • DJ Ward 1.2.1.1

          I’m nobody’s puppet so some opinions.
          IMF. Many nations in desperate need have been rescued by the IMF. The unavoidable offset is the increase in debt or behavour change. So they act as a necessary evil.
          CIA. An entity with a long history of acts that deserve prison terms for the people involved. Not much different to its equivalents like the French, Russians, Isreali. They also do good work with organised international crime. So we hear the bad but the vast amount of legitimate stuff doesn’t get news. So they act as a necessary evil.
          Trump is brilliant. It’s hard dealing with corrupt Dems living in a swamp.

          As for the oil company. What do you expect him to do. The company looses $12.5 billion dollars a year. Production has dropped 13%. It needs investment but the nation is nearly bankrupt. It brings foreign exchange but is so badly run and politically manipulated that it’s presently a disaster. As long as ownership remains with Venuzuela what’s the issue. He seems to be looking for investment in infastructure. Which after years of socialism and negligable investment needs help.

          Imagine if NZ was oil rich but the taxpayer had to pay $12.5 billion each year to keep it running.

          • Adrian Thornton 1.2.1.1.1

            My first thought was that I was going to put together an informed rebuttal with supporting neutral links to your crazed and quite twisted depressing world view, then a second thought occurred to me…why bother? going with that second one, good night.

            • Gosman 1.2.1.1.1.1

              “neutral links ”

              LOL!

              • Adrian Thornton

                True neutral might be a bit of an exaggeration , as the great historian Howard Zinn stated “You can’t be neutral on a moving train”
                So I will rephrase that, neutral as in nonprofit news outlets/reporters generally funded by many small donations from individual citizens in the countries concerned as opposed to the links you will provide that would often be either purely for profit new sources or news outlets that are funded directly or indirectly by arms of government or international corporations/their proxies or wealthy individuals/families…so if we are talking about what information is more in the interests of most citizens, I would say one funded by them directly would be….don’t you think?

                • Gosman

                  You mean news organisations that support your preconceived bias on the World.

                  • Morrissey

                    Go away, troll. It’s clear to everyone here that you have read neither seriously nor at length about politics or history or probably anything else for that matter.

                    You’d be ideal as a host at Radio Sport. Have you approached them? They used to have a bloke called Bill Francis, who made a point of hiring “non experts” and “know nothings” like Martin Devlin and Larry Williams because he reckoned the mouth-breathers who listened in could identify with them.

                    Please apply for a job there. But don’t keep on polluting this site.

                    https://morrisseybreen.blogspot.com/2018/01/daisycutter-sports-world-cup-special.html

                    https://morrisseybreen.blogspot.com/2018/01/daisycutter-sports-rugby-world-cup.html

                    • Gosman

                      You are so smart Morrissey. Just a pity that even fellow left wingers tend to disagree with your take on various topics such as Venezuela.

                    • Andre

                      How about you spare us your public self-pleasuring?

                      There really is an argument about how much of Venezuela’s current distress is due to Chavez/Maduro screwing up and how much is due to US and other western meddling.

                      Gosman actually is arguing the case to sheet it home to Chavez and Maduro.

                      Almost everything you’re contributing is pointless abuse and linking back to your own wankery.

                      Frankly if the mods do get involved, I’m hoping it’s going to be a swat the mozzie instead of cooking the goose.

                    • Morrissey

                      There really is an argument about how much of Venezuela’s current distress is due to Chavez/Maduro screwing up and how much is due to US and other western meddling.

                      Of course there is. Like any government, the democratically elected government of Venezuela has made some terrible errors. Does that mean it should not quell a violent insurrection instigated and funded by the extreme right?

                      Gosman actually is arguing the case to sheet it home to Chavez and Maduro.

                      If in fact that was what Gosman was doing, I would have no problem. But he, like you and several other so-called “liberals” here have gone far, far beyond that, and echoed the harsh and violent rhetoric of Trump, Bolton, Pompeo, and Abrams in calling for the democratically elected government to be overthrown.

                      I’ll skip the rest of your pedestrian exercise in abuse.

                  • rata

                    Your lucky Gosman as the NZ news media has been
                    right wing for the last 150 years.
                    Reading and hearing right wing all day all night
                    all your life must be heaven.
                    It has made you impervious to any other point of view.
                    The NZ news media has been so dependent on money
                    it has had to always favour the right who have the most money.
                    Like listening to the Nazi party in the 1930’s Germany.
                    Terrible for the Jews great for the rest.

                • Gosman

                  It is incredibly difficult to determine if these “citizen” news agencies are composed of a representative selection of society or just a bunch of fringe nutters obsessed with wacky conspiracy theories or far left or right politics.

                  • Adrian Thornton

                    I don’t find that very difficult at all, read a story, follow their links and sources…are their links and sources credible?
                    Who are they asking for opinion to support their positions are they credible? what is their history?
                    What has the person who has written the piece you are reading done before, who did they write for previously etc..
                    It is pretty straight forward, every now and then you get caught out, but that is good, it just makes you more vigilant to check credibility in the future.

                    Once you have established the credibility of a news source and the writers you like, then of course you don’t have to check their shit all the time because you have done your home work and can be pretty sure that they are legit.

                    Maybe you should try this method?
                    But I know you won’t, because as you well know, all your sources will expose your views as being as compromised and flimsy as we all know they are already.

                  • Adrian Thornton

                    Media bias
                    Common Dreams;
                    Factual Reporting: HIGH
                    Overall, Common Dreams produces solid journalism and sources their information well. The only fault is they sometimes source other to far left sources rather more neutral ones.

                    So in other words Common dreams is a reliable news source that gets it’s fact right but has a left lean.

                    Anyway I have had enough of this, but now going forward, how about when you comment on this site you start putting up your supporting links instead of all the time just spouting off shit.

                  • Adrian Thornton

                    Enough already, you just put up links to your sources that confirm and/or establish the credibility of your views in future.

                  • Blazer

                    How do you like…dem apples?

          • Ed1 1.2.1.1.2

            A company that looses $12.5 billion dollars are year – whether that is by dividends or donations or support for the country – is certainly not costing taxpayers, it is a valuable asset, especially if the country is as you claim nearly bankrupt. What are you talking about?

          • ropata 1.2.1.1.3

            Excellent points DJ, but that doesn’t fit the simplistic “US evil empire” narrative that others like to peddle. There are no simple answers to the suffering of the Venezuelan people.

            The Guardian: Life’s a struggle as Venezuela inflation heads for one million per cent

            Organisation of American States denounces Mr Maduro’s election as non-democratic: OAS:: Resolution on the Situation in Venezuela

            Federica Mogherini, EU high commissioner for foreign affairs, calls Maduro’s election non-democratic: Declaration by the High Representative on behalf of the EU on the situation in Venezuela

            The Lima Group (via DW): Lima Group refuse to recognize Maduro mandate and urge him to revert power to the National Assembly

            It’s not just a CiA plot…

      • rata 1.2.2

        @DJ Ward
        “Reduced minimum wage by 90%
        Nearly tripled unemployment.
        Next to no healthcare.
        Restricted petrol supplies, subsidised at 1/50 of cost.
        Introduced tolls.
        Closed boarders to trade and movement.
        Nationalised supermarkets.
        Forced fire sales of electronics, halting the market.
        Import costs and regulation triple goods prices.
        Introduced ID cards system for food that failed.
        Railway system failing due to unpaid bills.
        Huge government spending on propaganda.
        Imprisoned opposition media.
        Imported large amounts of military equipment while children starved. ”
        Look the ACT party made mistakes but Roger Douglas and Derek Quigley
        just needed more time.

        • DJ Ward 1.2.2.1

          Yes it’s one of the ironic things about left wing dictators. They end up being what the left cliam the far right wants.

          • rata 1.2.2.1.1

            @DJ Ward .Yes it’s one of the ironic things about right wing dictators. They end up being what the right claim the far left wants.

          • Adrian Thornton 1.2.2.1.2

            No the real irony of the Right, is they couldn’t manage an national economy to save themselves, their economic ideology is so flawed that even one of it’s modern guru’s admitted himself that it doesn’t work, and he has no idea what human think, or what motivates them…and then the Left wing get voted in and have to clean up all the lack of maintenance, mismanagement, destruction and chaos caused by you Right wing nutters and get the country back on some sort of even keel again…and then comes the most mind numbing irony of all…you idiots blame the Left for spending to much, which is of course parroted verbatim by most corporate/millionaire owned MSM…right wing economics are such a joke.,unfortunately for most people a very bad one.

            I Was Wrong! Alan Greenspan
            https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PWen53eqmJo

    • Morrissey 1.3

      Has this ever happened before?

      “The West”, i.e. the gangster states of the U.S., U.K. and France, aided and abetted by vassals like Canada, Australia and New Zealand, has actively “intervened in” (destroyed or deterred) democracy in Spain in 1936, Iran in 1953, Guatemala in 1954, Vietnam in 1956, Brazil in 1964, the Dominican Republic in 1965, Indonesia in 1965, Chile in 1973, Grenada in 1983, Panama in 1989, Haiti in 1993, and (for three days until massive civil disobedience defeated the U.S.-backed coup) Venezuela in 2002.

      What we are witnessing now is nothing new. The tortured and murdered people of South America have experienced U.S. “intervention” many, many times before.

      • DJ Ward 1.3.1

        What crack up. The Dems wanted to give them more guns.

        So what about all the Russian guns. It was the Cold War but your implying it was something else?

        • Morrissey 1.3.1.1

          It was the Cold War but your [sic] implying it was something else?

          Your ignorance and arrogance—one goes with the other—are exceeded only by your illiteracy.

    • Richard McGrath 1.4

      Hillary got in first while Secretary of State, by selling the Ruskies a fair chunk of the US stock of uranium. Apparently Bill did very well out of some speeches he made in Russia just after that.

  2. joe90 2

    And things went okay for Nixon too, after he helped overthrow Allende.
    /

  3. DJ Ward 3

    But the US already gets there oil. There has never been a halt to there exports and imports to the US.

  4. Adrian Thornton 4

    I put this important link up on another thread, it is good piece on the report by Alfred-Maurice de Zayas, an independent expert of the United Nations on the real situation in Venezuela in 2018…please read.

    http://misionverdad.com/mv-in-english/exclusive-report-summary-of-the-report-by-alfred-de-zayas-independent-expert-of-the-un

    Some interesting passages…

    “Alfred de Zayas noted that his time in
    Venezuela was accompanied by an atmosphere of intimidation aimed at forcing him to settle in “a predetermined mold”. In this context, “I received letters from some NGOs asking me not to continue (with my work) for not being the ‘relevant’ rapporteur and almost dictating what I should include in the report.”

    “risk rating agencies, mainly Standard & Poor’s, Moody’s and Fitch, have permanently issued a negative rating on the Republic’s capacity to make external payments, which essentially has closed its possibilities of access to the financial market.”

    Venezuela crisis: Former UN rapporteur says US sanctions are killing citizens
    https://www.independent.co.uk/news/world/americas/venezuela-us-sanctions-united-nations-oil-pdvsa-a8748201.html

    https://www.democracynow.org/2019/1/24/former_un_expert_the_us_is

  5. timeforacupoftea 5

    We should be doing this, New Zealand needs a cheap supply of oil.

    It seems to me the US is streets ahead of us poor pacific islanders.

    • DJ Ward 5.1

      Nah. We are still living in the age of exploitation. The bright thing to do is buy other people’s cheap oil. Then in the future when the oil producers have exploited there resources and production nose dives, our resources will be worth a genuine fortune. The problem with that is market forces due to price will embrace alternatives. Like plant derived plastics, electric cars.

      What makes you think our oil will be any cheaper. The market decides the customer and the price. Unless you like Venuzuelas model.

      • Ed1 5.1.1

        Well It seems you agree with the current governments decision not to issue new exploration permits at the end of last year, and to potentially not issue any this year either. But it could be even more profitable to do what you appear to support the USA doing – the clip of Bolton above suggested they will try to get USA companies extracting Venezualan oil; left less defined is what would happen to Venezualen companies selling oil products in the USA. Is that the sort of respect for contract and the sanctity of property ownership that you support, DJ Ward?

    • Richard McGrath 5.2

      Er, our PM hates the oil industry and has shut a lot of their activities down in Taranaki. So won’t be producing any cheap local oil any time soon.

  6. Poission 6

    us democrats stick oar in.Greens state the obvious.

    • Adrian Thornton 6.1

      @Poission +1
      A very good point from Stein, also exposing just how weak the Dems have left themselves with all their unresolved baggage from the last election…all just waiting to come back and haunt them.

      Because of their internal corruption Trump could well win next time round..unbelievable that some good people on this site still aggressively defend them…strange, very strange.

  7. IMHO don’t like trump at all. Especially it refers to his statements. HE looks so unprofessional when he does that.

  8. JO 8

    This article provides more historical background than the usual, unsurprising supporters of intervention choose to recognise. Oil is like carrion, it attracts vultures. Winston Peters was a sane international voice in saying our government will not take sides.

    Oscar Guardiola-Rivera teaches human rights and philosophy at Birkbeck College, University of London:
    ‘There is plenty to criticise Maduro for: late or misguided economic measures, corruption, power-hoarding. But these criticisms cannot disguise a coup or justify an intervention that, if and when it comes, would engulf us all.’

    https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2019/jan/28/venezuela-coup-trump-juan-guaido

  9. joe90 9

    Bolton lets the cat out of the bag – ..and Iran’s interest in Venezuela’s uranium deposits..

  10. esoteric pineapples 10

  11. rata 11

    To be fair the USA and New Zealand are very similar.

  12. DJ Ward 12

    Re the update.

    Bolton is as psychopathically anti Russian as McCain.

    This is a power play. Meduro, who sells off oil production to the Russians and buys its weapons with the money. Or a pro US person who intends to open things up to competition.

    Who said the Cold War is over.
    Trump anti Russian? Quick close this discussion down.

    https://www.americasquarterly.org/content/russia-beating-china-venezuelas-oil-fields

  13. Kevin 13

    Ramping up the pressure.

    Of course the US doesn’t interfere in other countries economies…

    https://www.theguardian.com/world/2019/jan/28/trump-venezuela-sanctions-oil-pdvsa-maduro-guaido

  14. Gosman 14

    A question to all the dendeders of the Venezuelan regime.

    There is a lot of criticism directed against sanctions and the impact of them on the economy but why should Western Capitalists support a regime that is trying to replace Capitalism with Socialism? It would be like expecting Turkey’s to support year round Christmas.

    • Andre 14.1

      I’m not a defender of the Venezuelan regime, and at best a luke-warm defender of capitalism.

      What I’m mostly interested in is that people get to exercise their right to self-determination. From what I can see, that right to self determination is getting fucked with by the Maduro regime and by the US government (such as it is at the moment) and by other regional governments and quite possibly by rooskies and other further away powers. I’d be a hell of a lot happier if all the meddlers just fucked right off and let the venezuelans sort things out themselves, except for maybe a modest UN intervention to ensure the will of the population got heard.

      As far as I’m concerned, if the venezuelans as a whole want socialism, we should support them in that even though our dominant structure is capitalism. I really don’t give a shit what economic structure people want to organise themselves by, what I care about is that it’s their choice and not someone else’s.

      • Morrissey 14.1.1

        Your views match mine, Andre. So why all the abuse before?

      • Richard McGrath 14.1.2

        The Venezuelans ARE sorting things out. That nice Mt Maduro just tried to load 20 tons of gold onto a plane that his ever-helpful Russian friends provided. I wonder if he was going to give the people of Venezuela a dividend from all that wealth generated by the fabulously successful socialist economy.

    • DJ Ward 14.2

      If we are not carefull the tradition might spread to NZ. The Christmas hams might be happy at the change.

    • Thank you for the implicit recognition that western countries are run by their capitalist ruling classes, and that these capitalists have interests they’re unscrupulous about protecting. It’s very refreshing.

    • McFlock 14.4

      wet lunch, was it?

      Anyhoo, nobody says that the US needs to support anyone other than the UN. It would be nice if they stopped trying to destabilise other nations, though, regardless of political or social orientation.

    • Poission 14.5

      The argument best postulated is not against capitalism,but against corporatism and finacialization.

      https://ideas.repec.org/p/uma/periwp/wp153.html

      and the anti democratic outcome of globaliztion.

      https://www.globalpolicy.org/globalization/defining-globalization/27669-the-collapse-of-globalism.html

    • Sabine 14.6

      It is up to the people of Venezuela to care about Venezuela.

      The rest of the world can but out and care about its own business, about its own poor people, about its own homeless people, its unemployed people, its handicapped people who are neglected, its old people who are neglected, its falling apart and underfunded school etc etc etc.

      As for the US, they are the least to lecture anyone on democracy, democratic principles, democratic elections, democratic anything.

      Expecting the ‘western regimes’ to bring anything good to Venezueal via regime change and the likes is like believing that Turkeys support Thanks giving Day.

      • ropata 14.6.1

        Unfortunately the Venezuelan people do *not* get a say in their own government, as Maduro is following the playbook of Robert Mugabe, “Socialist” in name only, while importing arms from Russia, rigging elections, and stealing the nation’s oil revenues for the private profit of himself and his cronies.

        • Sabine 14.6.1.1

          and it is still not on us to fuck up their country even further, it is up to the Venezuelans to fix their country.

          The US and ‘allies’ should keep their grubby fingers of that country and its resources.

  15. Ad 15

    Here’s a nice ready-reckoner on how United States oil dependence has continued to shape its foreign policy.

    https://www.cfr.org/timeline/oil-dependence-and-us-foreign-policy

  16. Sabine 16

    Of course it is about hte oil.
    Did anyone here believe it is about the people and democracy?

    As for the orange turd, he showed and he spoke very clearly who he is, what he is about, and how he would go about getting what he wants.
    Might it be time to believe the turd and his spoken work and his written word and his actions? Or would that interfere with daytime dreaming about stuff that could be if only …………?

  17. Poission 17

    From the couldnt make this stuff up file .Bolton takes pad with OPSEC troop movements to press conference.

  18. Dennis Frank 18

    “The Trump administration sanctions stopped short of banning U.S. companies from buying Venezuelan oil, but because the proceeds of such sales will be put in a “blocked account,” PDVSA [Venezuelan state-owned oil firm] is likely to quickly stop shipping much crude to the United States, its top client.” https://www.reuters.com/article/us-venezuela-politics-usa-sanctions/u-s-imposes-sanctions-on-venezuelan-state-oil-firm-pdvsa-idUSKCN1PM2DP

    So the USA has finally deleted itself from its long-held status as Venezuela’s favourite trading partner. Poor Maduro will have no choice but to sell more product to the Russians & Chinese. Gosh the yanks are such meanies, eh? But wait, the Chinese seem to be heading in the opposite direction: https://www.reuters.com/article/us-china-venezuela-oil/venezuela-oil-exports-to-china-slump-may-hit-lowest-in-nearly-8-years-sources-data-idUSKBN1JB0YI

    Looks like PDVSA can’t even get oil extracted sufficiently to supply customers: “GlobalData also forecast that Venezuelan crude oil production would fall to around one million barrels per day by the end of 2018. This is a steep decline from the three million barrels per day that Venezuela produced in 2011.” https://www.forbes.com/sites/rrapier/2018/06/08/venezuelas-oil-exports-are-headed-toward-zero/#3895cf976876

    Hard to see how Russia & China can rescue Venezuela from state-imposed suicide, despite their promise to try…

  19. greywarshark 19

    Why jis it that no-one can take male reporters and commenters seriously unless they are in shirts and jackets and probably a tie. Yet women like Rania can wear any old thing, just as if they were out socialising, and everything they say is accepted. It seems sexist against men to me. I think women should dress more formally as if they take the news and its reporting seriously.

  20. Tiger Mountain 20

    What part of US Imperialism, and its grisly South American historical record, do various commenters at The Standard not get? This American coup is from the playbook that gave us Chile 1973 and all the other interventions covert and clandestine, that Morrissey refers to.

    Petty bourgeois moaning about a left govt in trouble, while the Yanks prepare an oil heist and takeover of a sovereign state.

  21. Infused 21

    Venezuela needs some freedom bombs

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    Closing the GapBy Tracey Sharp
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  • Getting Tough.
    Not Mucking Around: With upwards of 800 dead from the virus’s resurgence in the Australian state of Victoria, leniency is not on Premier Daniel Andrews’ agenda. The Victorian Police are cracking down hard on the protesters the Australian press has labelled "Covidiots".IMAGES OF POLICE, some in riot gear, others on ...
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  • Media Link: Nuclear strategy, then and now.
    Although I had the fortune of being a graduate student of some of the foremost US nuclear strategists of the day (1970s) and later rubbed shoulders with Air Force and Naval officers who were entrusted with parts of the US nuclear arsenal, I seldom get to write or speak about ...
    KiwipoliticoBy Pablo
    2 days ago
  • The Chinese List.
    News that Zhenhua Data, an arm of China Zhenhua Electronics Group, a subsidiary of the military-connected China Electronic Information Industry Group (CETC), maintains a list of 800 New Zealanders on a “Overseas Key Information Database” that contains personal information on more than 2.4 million foreign individuals, has caused some consternation ...
    KiwipoliticoBy Pablo
    3 days ago
  • Things that grow fast, and things that surprise us
    Marie Becdelievre January 2020. The number of news article mentioning coronavirus exploded and anxious voices whispered about a global pandemic. Whisper? To me, it was only a whisper. I tend to learn about the world through non-fiction books, conferences, and academic research rather than news and social media, so ...
    SciBlogsBy Guest Author
    3 days ago
  • Skeptical Science New Research for Week #37, 2020
    2,082,476,000,000,000 Viability of greenhouse gas removal via the artificial addition of volcanic ash to the ocean  (not open access, unfortunately) walks us through the numbers on a particular means of CO2 removal, addition of volcanic tephra to the ocean. The mechanism is straight chemistry and the cost is fully an order of ...
    3 days ago
  • Barbados to become a republic
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    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    3 days ago
  • Party Like It’s 1989: Bait and Switch is a Bad Look, Mr Hipkins
    At the 2017 election, the New Zealand Labour Party promised a Fees Free Policy for tertiary students. Basically, it would make the first year of university education free in 2018, with a second year in 2021, and a third in 2024. It also promised to restore Post-Graduate access to the ...
    4 days ago
  • Will the tropics eventually become uninhabitable?
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    SciBlogsBy Guest Author
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  • A first-hand look: What it’s like to live in a 2020 California wildfire evacuation zone
    This is a re-post from Yale Climate Connections by Daisy Simmons It felt like 100 degrees in my in-laws’ Grass Valley, California, kitchen, but at least the lights were on and for the moment we were safely “distanced” from the Jones Fire. We’d just finished dessert, after pizza and a movie ...
    4 days ago
  • A flaw in our electoral transparency regime
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    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    4 days ago
  • Don’t Steal This Book
    On “In Defense of Looting” Matt Taibibi takes an entertaining look at this generation of woke activists and how they compare with Abbie Hoffman the iconic anti-Vietnam war counter-culture figure of the 1960s On Thursday, August 27th, the same day Donald Trump formally accepted the Republican nomination, National Public Radio ...
    RedlineBy Daphna
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  • Climate Change: Carbon prices must rise
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    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    5 days ago
  • Climate Change: Disclosure
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    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    5 days ago
  • Tackling the hard issues – trust and relationships
    By Claire Grant, Genomics Aotearoa Communications Manager Community consultation is becoming an increasingly important aspect of research programmes in New Zealand, and with that comes the art of relationship building. Engagement between scientists and user-groups is certainly nothing new. But as stakeholder involvement becomes more of a requirement for science, ...
    SciBlogsBy Genomics Aotearoa
    5 days ago
  • Equality Network – September Newsletter
    Read the Equality Network newsletter here ...
    Closing the GapBy Tracey Sharp
    5 days ago
  • The Left’s Lost Allies.
    Rebels In A Wrong Cause: The truly frightening thing about Jami-Lee Ross’s and Billy Te Kahika’s success in persuading thousands of New Zealanders that Covid-19 is just another trick, just another way of stealing away their power, is realising just how many of them once marched at the Left’s side. ...
    5 days ago
  • Legal Beagle: Low-Hanging Fruit
    In a couple of months, the 53rd Parliament will meet in Wellington, and approximately 120 MPs will be sworn in, many of them for the first time.They will all have political goals, some aligning with their party platforms, some not, some complex, and some simple, but they will gain one ...
    5 days ago
  • Closing the Gap thinks that Labour’s proposal to raise the top tax rate is great but………
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    Closing the GapBy Tracey Sharp
    5 days ago
  • Climate Change: No nonsense
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    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    5 days ago
  • My Climate Story: Coming full Circle
    This blog post is a follow up to my recap of Al Gore's Climate Reality Leadership Training I recently participated in. One of the exercises we were asked to complete was to write about our respective "Climate Story". This is a slightly updated version to the one I had submitted during ...
    6 days ago
  • A bill to criminalise wage theft
    Wage theft is a problem in New Zealand, with a widespread practice of forcing employees to work without pay, and regular cases of underpayment and exploitation. One reason why its such a widespread problem is impunity: rather than a crime, wage theft is merely a tort, dealt with by the ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    6 days ago
  • Liam Hehir: What the voting age debate tells us about our disconnected political media
    New Zealand’s media and online politics often reflect the values of liberal and progressive agendas. According to Liam Hehir, the current proposals to lower the voting age to 16 years – which the media overwhelming supports – is indicative of a wider mismatch with society, which is not good for ...
    Democracy ProjectBy bryce.edwards
    6 days ago
  • Why Pay Taxes?
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    Bryan GouldBy Bryan Gould
    6 days ago
  • Now everyone’s a statistician. Here’s what armchair COVID experts are getting wrong
    Jacques Raubenheimer, University of Sydney If we don’t analyse statistics for a living, it’s easy to be taken in by misinformation about COVID-19 statistics on social media, especially if we don’t have the right context. For instance, we may cherry pick statistics supporting our viewpoint and ignore statistics showing we ...
    SciBlogsBy Guest Author
    6 days ago
  • More timid bullshit from Labour
    Over the weekend, Labour released its welfare policy: an increase in benefit abatement thresholds. And that's it. Faced with clear evidence of ongoing hardship among beneficiaries and a call from its on Welfare Expert Advisory Group to raise core benefits by between 12 percent and 47 percent, Labour's response is ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    6 days ago
  • The Police Kill as Part of their Social Function
    by Gearóid Ó Loingsigh (Bogota; 09/11/2020) The murder of Javier Ordoñez in the neighbourhood of Villa Luz in Bogotá, Colombia at the hands of two policemen brings to the fore the issue of police violence and its function in society. First of all we should be clear that we are ...
    RedlineBy Admin
    6 days ago
  • 2020 SkS Weekly Climate Change & Global Warming Digest #37
    Story of the Week... La Niña Update... Toon of the Week... Quote of the Week... Coming Soon on SkS...  Poster of the Week... SkS Week in Review... Story of the Week... Humans exploiting and destroying nature on unprecedented scale – report Animal populations have plunged an average of 68% ...
    6 days ago
  • The 2019 measles epidemic in Samoa
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    SciBlogsBy Guest Author
    6 days ago
  • Shifting all Isolation/Quarantine Facilities to a Single Air Force Base: The Need for a Critical Ana...
    Prof Nick Wilson*, Prof Michael Baker In this blog the arguments for and against shifting all COVID-19 related isolation/quarantine facilities to a single air force base at Ōhakea are considered. The main advantage would be a reduction in the risk of border control failures, which can potentially involve outbreaks ...
    SciBlogsBy Public Health Expert
    6 days ago
  • The difference between Green and Labour: a tale of two Finance Ministers
    So the Greens co-leader James Shaw recently made a mistake. In his role as Associate Finance Minister approving funding for “shovel-ready” projects, he fought hard for a private “Green school” to get funding to expand their buildings and, therefore, their student capacity. There are many problems with what he did: ...
    Cut your hairBy calebmorgan
    6 days ago
  • Bryce Edwards: Political Roundup – The missing election policy on free dental visits
    Over the last three years there have been growing calls for the government to provide dental services under the health system – universal free dental care. This is because at the moment there’s an anomaly in which teeth are regarded as different from the rest of the body which means ...
    Democracy ProjectBy bryce.edwards
    7 days ago
  • 2020 SkS Weekly Climate Change & Global Warming News Roundup #37
    A chronological listing of news articles linked to on the Skeptical Science Facebook Page during the past week: Sun, Sep 6, 2020 through Sat, Sep 12, 2020 Editor's Choice With California ablaze, Newsom blasts Trump administration for failing to fight climate change Trinity River Conservation Camp crew members drown ...
    7 days ago
  • Letter to the Editor
    Dear Sir, As we head into the run up to the upcoming election I feel it is my duty to draw your attention to the lack of fun we are currently forced to ensure by the Adern regime. In their efforts to keep the nation’s essential workers, health compromised people, ...
    My ThinksBy boonman
    1 week ago
  • Participating in Al Gore’s Climate Reality Leadership Corps Training
    It finally happened: about 13 years after first watching Al Gore’s documentary “An Inconvenient Truth” (AIT) in 2007 when it became available in Germany, I recently completed the Climate Reality Leadership Corps Training! Participating in this particular training had been on my to-do list for quite some time but it ...
    1 week ago
  • Dysfunctional Design
    Windows 95 is famous for requiring the shutting down the system by clicking ‘start, like stopping your car by turning the ignition key on. Why are so many interfaces so user-unfriendly? The Covid app to register your entering premises can be so clumsy. Sometimes I have signed in, sat down ...
    PunditBy Brian Easton
    1 week ago
  • Josh Van Veen: Can we trust the polls?
    Is the 2020 election result really the foregone conclusion that the polls and commentators are suggesting? Josh Van Veen suggests otherwise, pointing to some of the shortcomings of opinion polling, which could ready some politicians to say “bugger the pollsters” on election night.   In November 1993, opinion polls foretold ...
    Democracy ProjectBy bryce.edwards
    1 week ago
  • The UK wants climate action
    Back in 2019, six select committees of the UK Parliament established a Citizen's Assembly to investigate how to respond to climate change. The Assembly's deliberations were forced online by the pandemic, but it has finally reported back, and overwhelmingly supports strong action: Taxes that increase as people fly further ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • In the US, the End of Days.
    I am feeling a bit impish today and so for no particular reason I thought I would share this thought, which I first posted over on twitter: “Hurricanes, wildfires, floods, heatwaves, street protests, armed vigilante militias, a lethal pandemic and a corrupt authoritarian using the federal government for partisan and ...
    KiwipoliticoBy Pablo
    1 week ago
  • Government too slow in deploying military to assist with Covid-19 response, former defence minister ...
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    Democracy ProjectBy Geoffrey Miller
    1 week ago
  • Underwhelming
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    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • Five things we know about COVID-19, and five we don’t
    Five things we’ve learnt 1. We know where the virus ultimately came from We know that the virus originally came from bats, and most probably a species of horseshoe bat in South East Asia. However, the spike protein in SARS-CoV-2, which allows the virus to attach to cells and infect ...
    SciBlogsBy Robert Hickson
    1 week ago
  • Stewardship land is conservation land
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    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • The price of Green co-operation just went up
    If they get into Parliament, everyone expects the Greens to form a coalition with Labour. But James Shaw has said that that might not be the case, and that they might instead choose to sit on the cross-benches: The Greens are prepared to forego a coalition or confidence and ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • Swimming with whales: you must know the risks and when it’s best to keep your distance
    Chantal Denise Pagel, Auckland University of Technology; Mark Orams, Auckland University of Technology, and Michael Lueck, Auckland University of Technology Three people were injured last month in separate humpback whale encounters off the Western Australia coast. The incidents happened during snorkelling tours on Ningaloo Reef when swimmers came too close ...
    SciBlogsBy Guest Author
    1 week ago
  • Driving Out The Money-Changers Of Reactionary Christianity.
    Den Of Thieves: They describe themselves, and the money-making rackets they dignify with the name of church, “Christian”, but these ravening wolves are no such thing. The essence of the Christian faith is the giving of love – not the taking of money. It is about opening oneself to the ...
    1 week ago
  • Could academic streaming in New Zealand schools be on the way out? The evidence suggests it should b...
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    SciBlogsBy Guest Author
    1 week ago
  • A Time To Begin Again.
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    1 week ago
  • Labour’s tax trauma victims and how they might help the Greens
    If there was any doubt left, we can surely call it now. Time and date. End of. Finito. Perhaps you thought you saw a flickering eyelid or a finger move? You were wrong. Labour has given up on tax reform for the foreseeable future. One of the key remaining left/right ...
    PunditBy Tim Watkin
    1 week ago
  • Bryce Edwards: Political Roundup – Labour gives up on tax transformation
    Will the rich get richer under Labour’s latest tax policy? Based on the analysis in reaction to yesterday’s announcement, the answer would seem to be yes. The consensus from commentators is that inequality and severe economic problems will remain unchanged or even be made worse by Labour’s new policy. Although ...
    Democracy ProjectBy bryce.edwards
    1 week ago
  • Labour on energy: Business as usual
    Labour has released its energy policy, and its basicly business as usual: bring forward the 100% renewable target to 2030, build pumped storage if the business case stacks up, restore the thermal ban and clean car standard (but not the feebate scheme), and spread a bit of money around to ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • Climate Change: Overshoot
    California is burning down again. In Oregon, the city of Medford - a town the size of Palmerston North - has had to be evacuated due to the fires. In the Atlantic, Tropical Storm Rene has become the earliest "R"-storm to form since records began, beating the previous record by ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • Says it all
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    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • Secret Lives of Lakes
    McKayla Holloway The helicopter carries a team of four Lakes380 scientists and me; we hug the Gneiss rock walls that tower over Lake Manapouri. It’s arguably one of New Zealand’s most well-known lakes – made famous by the ‘Save Manapouri’ campaign of the 1970s. My chest is drawn back into ...
    SciBlogsBy Guest Author
    1 week ago
  • Winning Joke: Why The Traditional Left Will Just Have To Live With Rainy-Day Robertson’s Disappoin...
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    1 week ago
  • The Adventures of Annalax: Volume VIII
    When we last left our intrepid Drow Rogue, he was sitting in a tavern with his companions, only for a crazy Paladin to burst in, and start screaming about the Naga. It soon turned out that ...
    1 week ago
  • Skeptical Science New Research for Week #36, 2020
    Slight tweak to New Research Articles in NR are categorized by domain, roughly. This introduces the problem of items that don't neatly fit in one slot, or that have significance in more than one discipline (happily becoming more frequent as the powerful multiplier of interdisciplinary cooperation is tapped more frequently). ...
    1 week ago
  • Pressing the pause button after an adverse event happens to a vaccine trial participant
    Today AstraZeneca pushed the pause button on its late-stage trials of a COVID-19 vaccine. A clinical trial participant has experienced a serious health event and an investigation is underway to determine the cause. What does it mean? A cautious approach – trials can halt to assess safety data With over ...
    SciBlogsBy Helen Petousis Harris
    1 week ago
  • ‘Compassionate conservation’: just because we love invasive animals, doesn’t mean we should pr...
    Kaya Klop-Toker, University of Newcastle; Alex Callen, University of Newcastle; Andrea Griffin, University of Newcastle; Matt Hayward, University of Newcastle, and Robert Scanlon, University of Newcastle On an island off the Queensland coast, a battle is brewing over the fate of a small population of goats. The battle positions the ...
    SciBlogsBy Guest Author
    1 week ago
  • Is Euthanasia a health priority for New Zealand at present?
    Dr Ben Gray* This blog discusses what will be needed to operationalise the End of Life Choice Act in the event that it is approved at referendum. It argues that this will take significant resources. Judging by the experience in Oregon it is likely that this may only benefit ...
    SciBlogsBy Public Health Expert
    1 week ago
  • Tuhia ki te rangi: a new space for student science communication
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    SciBlogsBy Sarah-Jane O'Connor
    2 weeks ago
  • If not now, when?
    I'm grappling with my sheer fucking anger over Labour's pathetic tax policy. Yes, it utterly contradicts their pretence of being a "centre-left" party and shows that they have no interest whatsoever in fixing any of the problems facing New Zealand. Yes, its self-inflicted helplessness, which will allow them to cry ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • TikTok suicide video: it’s time platforms collaborated to limit disturbing content
    Ariadna Matamoros-Fernández, Queensland University of Technology and D. Bondy Valdovinos Kaye, Queensland University of Technology A disturbing video purporting to show a suicide is reportedly doing the rounds on the popular short video app TikTok, reigniting debate about what social media platforms are doing to limit circulation of troubling material. ...
    SciBlogsBy Guest Author
    2 weeks ago
  • Is that it?
    Labour announced its tax policy today: a new top tax rate of 39% on income over $180,000. And that's it. No intermediate rate between the current top rate of 33% at $70,000 and the new one. No land tax. No wealth tax. Nothing (in fact worse than nothing, because they ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • Methane is short-lived in the atmosphere but leaves long-term damage
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    SciBlogsBy Guest Author
    2 weeks ago
  • Community Values
    Most mornings, when we’re at home, my wife and I will have coffee on our deck. I am the barista of the household and I make the coffee, the way we like it, on our espresso machine. This winter we have sat with our coffee, day after day, in glorious ...
    Bryan GouldBy Bryan Gould
    2 weeks ago

  • Government backing Māori landowners
    The Government will provide up to $1.69 million through the One Billion Trees programme to Māori landowners to make their whenua more productive through the planting of forests, both native and exotic, and improve economic and environmental outcomes, Forestry Minister Shane Jones has announced. “Around 1.5 million ha of land ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    18 hours ago
  • New tools to make nature more accessible
    People planning to head outdoors now have a resource that lets them know how accessible an area is for people with varying levels of mobility, Minister of Conservation Eugenie Sage announced today. The Halberg Foundation, Sensibel, and the Department of Conservation (DOC) have launched Accessibel, a new tool which helps ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • PGF makes Māori history more accessible
    One of the most significant battle sites of the 1860s Land Wars will receive $2.96 million from the Provincial Growth Fund to improve the site and help tell the New Zealand story to visitors, Māori Development Minister Nanaia Mahuta and Regional Economic Development Minister Shane Jones have announced. Nanaia Mahuta ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • Making it official: The journey of te reo Māori | Kia whakapūmautia: Ngā piki me ngā heke o te r...
    The journey towards recognising Māori as an official language and taonga has been captured as a web series and launched today during Te Wiki o te Reo Māori, announced Associate Arts, Culture and Heritage Minister Carmel Sepuloni. “Te reo Māori is a living language, and understanding its significance, and pathways to ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • Better-than-forecast GDP reflects decision to protect New Zealand
    Today’s better-than-forecast GDP figures show the expected impact of the decision to act quickly to protect New Zealanders from the global COVID-19 pandemic. GDP fell 12.2% in the June quarter from March, reflecting decisions to close New Zealand’s borders and enter Alert Level 4. “This result was better than the ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • Boost for COVID-19 related Pacific education needs
    The Government is investing $39.7 Million over four years to support the educational needs of Pacific learners and families in the regions hardest hit by COVID-19, with Auckland getting an immediate boost, Associate Minister of Education Jenny Salesa says.   “Like all New Zealanders Pacific families want learners to do well ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • More resources for kiwi conservation
    New Zealand’s goal of 100,000 kiwi by 2030 is being helped by an extra $19.7 million in funding to accelerate iwi and community efforts to protect kiwi, Minister of Conservation Eugenie Sage announced. “$19.7 million of Jobs for Nature funding is being invested in kiwi conservation activities including increased predator ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • Improving access to affordable electricity
    Ensuring New Zealanders can get the best deal on their electricity takes a step in the right direction today with the South Island launch of the EnergyMate pilot run by the Electricity Retailers’ Association, says Minister of Energy and Resources, Dr Megan Woods. EnergyMate is an industry-led programme providing coaching ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • Government achieves 50 percent women on state boards
    Minister for Women Julie Anne Genter announced today that the Government has reached its target of 50 percent on women on state sector board and committees – setting a new record level of women on state sector boards. “This Government is committed to having more women in leadership roles - ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • Record transport investment to help economic recovery and save lives
    Transport Minister Phil Twyford released today the final Government Policy Statement on land transport (GPS) 2021 which outlines the planned $48 billion investment in services and infrastructure over the next decade. “The final GPS supports our Government’s five-point plan for economic recovery by confirming our record investments in transport infrastructure ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • Advancing clean energy technology
    Three ambitious and cutting-edge research programmes that will lift New Zealand’s advanced energy technology research capability over seven years, have been supported by Government today, says Research, Science and Innovation Minister Megan Woods. The projects will each receive a share of $40.7 million investment from the Strategic Science Investment Fund. ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • Major milestone reached in Pike River Re-entry
    The critical area for forensic examination known as Pit Bottom in Stone has been reached in what is a major milestone for the Pike River re-entry project, Minister Responsible for Pike River Re-entry Andrew Little announced. “The infrastructure located in Pit Bottom in Stone is of very significant interest in ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • Economic recovery guides Govt response to retirement income policy review
    The Government is working on how New Zealand’s retirement income policies and settings can best support Kiwis in light of the COVID-19 economic recovery, with the help of the Retirement Commissioner’s latest review, Commerce and Consumer Affairs Minister Kris Faafoi said. “The Retirement Commissioner’s three-yearly review into New Zealand’s retirement ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • Iwi community hub opens in Murupara
    A new digital hub and development centre in Murupara will be instrumental in growing the region’s productivity, said Under-Secretary for Regional Economic Development Fletcher Tabuteau at the official opening of two community initiatives today. “I’m pleased to be here celebrating a significant milestone for two projects set to make a ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • PREFU shows economy doing better than forecast
    PREFU shows economy doing better than forecast Unemployment to peak at 7.8%, down from 9.8% forecast in the Budget Year-to-June accounts show tax revenue, debt and OBEGAL better than forecast Global forecast downgraded as COVID-19 second waves and uncertainty grows Balanced plan to support critical public services, manage debt and ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • Spruce-up for Ōtaki community facilities
    The Kāpiti Coast town of Ōtaki will receive $1.4 million in Government funding for two projects providing scores of jobs for locals while improving community facilities, Regional Economic Development Minister Shane Jones has announced. The Māoriland Charitable Trust will receive a $900,000 Provincial Growth Fund (PGF) grant to upgrade the ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • PGF funding for Jobs for Nature programme
    The Provincial Growth Fund will provide $11.88 million to fund fencing and waterway projects nationwide that will improve the environment and create jobs in their communities, Regional Economic Development Minister Shane Jones has announced. “These projects will create more than 100 jobs nationwide with work starting within the next couple ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
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  • Procurement to promote jobs, Māori and Pasifika businesses and sustainability
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