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Te Tai Tokerau final results good for Labour

Written By: - Date published: 2:10 pm, July 6th, 2011 - 23 comments
Categories: by-election, labour, mana-party, maori party, uncategorized - Tags: , ,

Of the 1,916 special votes reported on the night a bare 769 made it into the final results. Of which Hone Harawira got 454 and Kelvin Davis got 204. This slightly increased Hone’s majority by 250 over election night, but there really isn’t anything in it with a by-election majority of 1117. It will make this a tight contest at election time because Labour will now view this electorate as being quite winnable.

Final Provisional Valid
Specials 
Votes Counted: 12339 11570 769
Majority: 1117 867 250
Candidates
ALP, Kelvyn OUR 72 63 9
DAVIS, Kelvin LAB 4948 4744 204
HARAWIRA, Hone MANA 6065 5611 454
HERBERT, Maki ALCP 135 126 9
TIPENE, Solomon MAOR 1087 1026 61
Candidate Informals 32 36 -4
TOTAL 12339 11570 769

 

If you’re like me and interested in campaign performances by the numbers,  look back to the 2008 election where you will find that the electorate vote for Kelvin Davis was 5,711 – in other words despite the by-election he hung on or gained 86% of the vote in the general election. Whereas if you look at the combined Hone Harawira and Solomon Tipene vote against Hone’s vote of 12,019 for the Maori party in 2008 it was 59%.

Bearing in mind the turnout in the electorate of 60% of the 2008 turnout this is very good result for Kelvin Davis and Labour. He turned Labour voters out into some really miserable weather for a by-election and nearly made his 2008 figures. I suspect he will be spending quite a lot of time in the electorate helping to boost those figures for the general election.

At this point Te Tai Tokerau looks quite winnable for Labour. Of course Labour will not be able to put as many people on the ground as they did with this by-election. However the effect of canvassing and targeting operations is cumulative. The more information you collect the more efficiently you can use scarce resources. They will leverage off that.

The picture for the nascent Mana Party is a bit more problematic. They will need to really look at how they can boost their support in this electorate if they want to use Te Tai Tokerau to boost themselves into Parliament from a party vote that increasingly looks like it will be below the threshold. Part of that will be from the Hone doing the speaking and greeting and the biggest cost of that will probably be that it reduces his ability to do it across the country.

But I suspect that much of the effort for Mana will require the sheer drudgery of building an electorate organisation that can campaign against Labour. Because Labour doesn’t give sweetheart deals like National is trying to give to Act in Epsom.

The Maori Party in Te Tai Tokerau? That really depends on how much of a spoiler they want to be to Mana. It looks very unlikely that the can win against Hone this year. But you can understand why the peace feelers are being extended from Hone – they can probably tilt the Mana Party to oblivion if they fight hard and let Labor through instead.

It is going to be interesting watching what happens in Te Tai Tokerau at ground level over the next five months. But I’d have to say (as a long time electorate campaigner) that some of the spinning from the Mana supporters about their performance in the by-election has been greatly over blown. They may have effectively seen off the Maori Party in the electorate, but that leaves them facing a Labour party candidate who is did pretty well.

23 comments on “Te Tai Tokerau final results good for Labour ”

  1. Gina 1

    “Of the 1,916 special votes reported on the night a bare 769 made it into the final results. ”

    Why were so many votes not allowed?

    • lprent 1.1

      To have a special vote allowed for an electorate you must be on the roll in that particular electorate.

      1. That means you have to be enrolled. The enrollment levels in the TTT are pretty low.

      2. You must have had a letter addressed to your last known address not returned to the electoral commission. The usual purging exercise’s have been run. 

      3. In TTT you must be on the Maori roll for that area. No point in voting in TTT if you are on the general roll

      So usually special votes are allowed if they are..

      1. Not in published roll (ie domestic violence etc)
      2. Are in the roll after printing but at a different new address. 
      3. Name changes.
      4. Enrolled after the printed roll done.

      Basically you have to make sure that you are on the roll. Easy enough to check out – just go to http://elections.org.nz and look yourself up.

      Incidentally, I was off the roll for a while until a few weeks ago. I’d moved and the s-mail was bouncing at the old address.

  2. Pascal's bookie 2

    Lynn, do you think Davis will get as much support from the LP machine in the general as he did in this one?

    It’s pretty possible that the LP turned out it’s vote in this one*, and them what sat this one out will break more for Hone in the general just as they went for the mP last time.

    *I’m thinking that as well as the machine support there was the polling and the general belief that he could win it. The Labour vote was motivated to get out.

    • lprent 2.1

      He will have less support obviously. But he and his team will have much longer to do the canvassing and greeting work. It balances out. It is the effectiveness of how you do the work that tends to count more than the numbers of bodies.

      Moreover, the work that was done and information collected during the by-election campaign doesn’t get wasted. It cumulatively builds up and really really helps when you’re focusing your campaign. You plan on collecting that information and doing those contacts over multiple elections. That is how you win and hold electorate seats over the longer term. 

      Of course you have to be smart enough to use it. But Kelvin and his team are.  

      I come from a operations background so I tend to look at politics as being a system rather than competing philosophies. You figure out how to get the best use out of your scarce resources and you frequently do that by concentrating them.

      We’ve been doing that pretty successfully around the isthmus in Auckland, and in the North Harbour across multiple election cycles. The by-elections just speed that up for particular electorates (sure did for Mt Albert – there is so much data there…).

      One of the problems with smaller parties is that they have less resources to concentrate. 

      • Richard 2.1.1

        lprent: One of the problems with smaller parties is that they have less resources to concentrate.

        Yes, but when it comes to the general election a smaller party such as Mana is not going to contest every electorate, unlike a large party such as Labour.

        So, Mana will probably have at lease a similar density of resources in the general election in the electorates it actually contests.

        Hone got 9% more than his closest rival, Davis.

        In the 2008 general election, National got 11% more party vote than Labour. Nobody seriously considers that a close or marginal result.

        • lprent 2.1.1.1

          But what was interesting was the relative decreases in a by-election. Davis had a lot less drop compared to the 2008 electorate votes than Hone.

          That suggests that either a lot of people are flipping their vote to Davis and away from Hone/MP or that Labour is capable of getting more of their supporters out during by-elections. The latter has not happened to anything like the same extent in previous by-elections this term in Mt Albert, Mana, and Botany despite Labour being able to concentrate more resources in those smaller electorates. So the former scenario seems more probable.

          That suggests that when the number of voters increases during a general election and if Davis picks up support at the same or similar rate amongst the people who did not vote in this election or did not bother to vote in 2008, then there is a pretty good chance that Davis can win the electorate seat. But that isn’t even the most important thing for Labour.

          The result also shows that there is a significant voting shift going on inside the electorate. There were a lot of party votes cast in 2008 for the Maori Party. It doesn’t look like that will happen in 2011. Labour should make a significant effort to get those wobbly votes to vote for Labour rather than Mana or the MP. That makes it worth while for Labour to expend some effort in the 10+ general seats that overlap TTT to capture those. It is probably easier (ie less resources required) party vote than trying convince 2008 floaters who voted National or getting ENV’s to the polls.

          Fiddling the numbers with rather irrelevant percentages (ie apples compared to oranges) to try and deflate Hone’s failure to get voters to enthusiastically support him don’t change how Labour is going to view those newly floating voters.

          • Richard 2.1.1.1.1

            lprent: Fiddling the numbers with rather irrelevant percentages…

            Ha.

            Certainly, on the face of it, Hone has a reduced majority in TTT. However, he convincingly won, and I think you are grasping at straws to think that Labour has a significant chance of winning the seat in November.

            Precisely how many electorate Hone votes translate into Mana party votes is a different question though.

  3. Must say I disagree.

    Labour poured everything they had into the byelection. Former MPs, for example Dover Samuels, sitting MPs, including Parekura Horomia and members of the Maori Caucus and the Auckland Caucus, Wellington activists, including the party’s top number crunchers, Kelvin was given priority access to Labour’s Parliamentary staffers, for example press secretaries and advisors, general electorate branches committed resources to the campaign, including hundreds of canvassers, and Labour members – including MPs, candidates and normal members – donated money to the campaign (tens of thousands in total I would estimate). Labour also had access to E-trac and utilised parliamentary resources.

    Hone had no money, he could not piggy back off of general electorate branches, he did not have access to Parliamentary resources, he lacked access to software like E-trac and his support base was largely apathetic. In the face of the most formidable electorate machine in the country (Labour) the Mana Party team did extremely well. Without a dollar to their name they managed to out-campaign the best campaigners in New Zealand. Pretty good for a bunch of half time activists in my opinion. Labour should be deeply ashamed that they could not beat a bunch of pohara Maori and a rag tag team of amateur Socialists.

    Labour should have won, but the Mana Party organisation was, in my humble opinion, too good.

    • lprent 3.1

      Sitting MP’s almost invariably have the major advantage in any electorate seat. They have had time to build up all of the personal networks.

      The point is that Labour can concentrate resource over time as well as for these short periods. They will do so where they see a seat is winnable.

      The scale of resources committed to TTT simply wasn’t that great compared to what was put into the Mt Albert by-election. After all there is an election to win later in the year. 

      E-trac isn’t  particularly good in my opinion (my code was a order of magnitude or two better at nosing out targets), but at least it is e-trac is central these days. It isn’t that hard to write something that works, and you can even buy such things off the shelf. The real trick is to set up the systems to feed the data and to use it to ferret out the data you want. That is an organisational issue.

      I wasn’t expecting Labour to win. I was expecting a good result from the effort that was put in. The result was better than I expected. 

      • Teo 3.1.1

        Labour has no chance to win TTT, Hones majority will increase greatly come the general election. Kelvin is a great and nice guy his best chance to win the seat is when Hone retires at some stage. I have some local knowledge with all parties concerned and my prediction is not based on hope unlike yours lprent.

        • lprent 3.1.1.1

          It is a big and diverse electorate – you only have to read the diversity in the polling place results to see that. Trying to read the mind of that many people scattered over that kind of area is simply daft. I don’t even try that in a relatively compact electorate like Mt Albert. The differences between suburbs like Kingsland and Avondale, Mt Eden and Point Chev are just too extreme and I grew up around that area.

          But as I said earlier, I rely largely on numbers and trends. I don’t rely on hope or faith, I’m a operations political mechanic rather than a philosopher. The numbers say that Labour can do well in TTT without diverting too much effort from other areas.

          I really don’t care much if Hone wins or loses in TTT. Regardless, there is a good opportunity for Labour to pick up party votes in TTT. As a bonus after the by-election, the electorate is marginal enough to be attractive for diverting effort and resources into it because we could win the electorate seat as well.

          In terms of the effort involved, it isn’t that high for the canvassing/get out strategy because it can be easily integrated into the election strategies of the general electorates that overlap TTT.

  4. Shazzadude 4

    Hone won by 9%, and was just 89 votes away from an outright majority. It’s hardly marginal. Almost all of the swing can be accounted for: the Maori Party retained 8.8% of the vote, and most of the 9.4% who gave their party vote to National last time will have voted for Kelvin Davis after Key’s endorsement (Davis managed just 8% of the electorate vote from National vote in 2008; Hone got 48% of the National vote last time, Tashkoff 27%).

    A likely arrangement with the Maori Party will make Te Tai Tokerau a safe seat for Mana.

  5. Shazzadude 5

    “Because Labour doesn’t give sweetheart deals like National is trying to give to Act in Epsom.”

    Coromandel, 1999.

    • lprent 5.1

      You’re mistaken. It pretty much a 3 horse race between National, Labour, and the Greens (umm  where are the damn electorate vote details at http://electionresults.org.nz ?). A lot of the usual National and Labour vote went to the Greens for different reasons. 

      But it was such a three horse race that it was decided on the specials and I seem to remember that it was close for all three parties.

      • gingercrush 5.1.1

        Oh please I remember 1999 too and there was quite the persuasion to get Labour voters to vote Fitzsimmons.

        • The Voice of Reason 5.1.1.1

          Worked on me. It’s only the second time I didn’t vote the Labour candidate (the other being for Bruce Beetham in a by-election). I can’t find the election result, but on the night Jeannette was behind the tory (Maclean?) by a couple of hundred, but won on specials. And I think the Greens also scraped past the 5% on specials too.
           
          Large parts of the northern suburbs and surrounding towns of Tauranga were included in the electorate at the time and it was Labour voters there that tipped the balance. If they’d still been in Tauranga, Winston would have lost to labour.

        • lprent 5.1.1.2

          That probably explains why the Greens were left out of the Alliance’s agreement with Labour then? Labour was actively trying to get the Greens into parliament so that they could snub them?

          Perhaps you should look at some actual politics rather than fantasies. The Greens are not usually notable as being the preferred flavour of the month amongst many Labour politicians. One of those was the Labour leader at the time. 

          If you can pull up some actual evidence then I’d be interested. But you haven’t managed to do so in the past when you’ve made the same strange and unsupported assertion. I just view it as being another of those strange myths that seem to crawl out from sewers.

          FFS: Labour doesn’t bother with sweetheart details. Especially when it is a MPP election because that way you just lose party votes – which are the important ones – because your local electorate organisation will go and work for electorate campaigns outside the area. 

          The Greens would have been selling that message of vote for us if you want to dump the National MP. I’m sure that many Labour voters locked in a National area would have gone for it. But it certainly wasn’t coming from the Labour party or their candidate. If it had then there would have been the same kind of anger heaped at them as Stuart Nash got in Epsom.

            • lprent 5.1.1.2.1.1

              As I said. When you ignore all of the speculation from journo’s what you come up with is this.

              November 20th 1999 on the eve of the election.

              Mrs Hawkeswood is on the Maori roll and will vote for Labour’s Hauraki candidate John Tamihere but said that if she were on the general roll she would cast her electoratevote for Ms Fitzsimons.

              “If I was (on the general roll) I’d be voting for the Greens (in the electorate vote). . . because they are a left-leaning party and I want to get rid of National,” she said.

              Which is a statement of fact (and I bet she got a bollocking for it) in response to a hypothetical question from a reporter. All of the other statements say that Labour will fight to win the seat. When pressed you get statements like Helens on October 26th – again in response to a hypothetical.

              Clark has said while she will not instruct Labour supporters in the seat to vote for Fitzsimons she acknowledges the seat is a two way race between Fitzsimons and McLean and that voters should be aware of that. Clark knows Labour has nothing to lose and everything to gain through assisting a Green victory in the Coromandel and these initial noises may be only be the first.

              Clark has said the position in the Coromandel is constantly under review however Labour’s Margaret Hawkeswood has promised to give 100 per cent in the campaign and has ruled out standing aside or endorsing Fitzsimons. She says closer to the election it will become obvious to Labour supporters that in order for a change of government – which she says is her ultimate aim – her supporters may have to vote tactically, but she will not be instructing them to do so.

              Again that is a statement of fact. Voters will make up their own minds about how to vote. Parties shouldn’t bet trying to tell them to vote for someone else.

              If you dig around you’ll find that there was never a statement from the Labour Party or its leaders to their supporters to vote for some other party (you do occasionally get it from some candidates). Nothing like what Bolger did in Wellington Central in 1996 (?) or various National leaders including John Key have done on Epsom.

              Hell even the journo’s had to resort to “strong signal”. As I said – you’re making shit up to say that Labour throws elections.

  6. Tiger Mountain 6

    Spinning, spinning lprent. A 1117 majority is not too bad at all “in the situation” for Mana. My prediction is an increased majority for Mana and Hone in November. ‘Voice of Reason’ made a few predictions here too on the TTT by–election which did not bear fruit, though we can of course always do with more fruits and nuts in the Far North.

    I remember one FPP election where as CAFCA’s Murray Horton put it– “66 Waitaki sheep shaggers” helped get National over the line. Close results abound in electoral politics.

    Now onto special votes: I maintain it is crook for polling booth staff to not be trained well enough to resist giving special declaration voting papers to people that clearly are not enrolled just for an easier day. Some such “voters” persist year after year and it is not helpful to anyone.

    • The Voice of Reason 6.1

      G’day, TM. Dead right about my Mystic Meg abilities, though I almost got the numbers right, just had the wrong names attached. I’m looking forward to growing fruit and nuts down here too. I predict I’ll have a bumper crop of pineapples in 2020 if global warming keeps up like this!
       
      I still agree with LP though. This is now one of the ten marginals Labour will target in November and while it’s true that there won’t be the same level of head office and Ak support that turned out for Kelvin in the by-election, equally Hone’s ability to campaign at the same level is diminished by his need to build a national party vote for Mana if he isn’t going to turn into a one trick pony like Dunne or Anderton.
       
      So I expect a close race. But I still don’t think Labour will deal with him, if he wins, because they know he isn’t going to vote with National any more, so they can afford to ignore his one vote in the talks to form a Government with the Greens and whoever else is in the running.
       
       
       
       

    • lprent 6.2

      Hardly spinning. Just look at the numbers – that is how I tend to look at electorate campaigns (and I have a done heap of them).

      The point is that if you look at the electorate vote only, Kelvin got very close to the vote he had at the last general election. 86% of it. But even if you look at Hone and the guy from the MP vote together they only made 59% of Hone’s 2008 electorate vote. 

      But the by-election vote was 62% of the turnout in the 2008 general election, and 2008 wasn’t a high turnout amongst past elections. Enrolled non-voters (ENV’s) are useful targets as well. That means there are a hell voters to pick up in TTT who are now demonstrably changing their votes. I’d be chasing it.

      Now Labour can maybe win the electorate seat in TTT (and some of the other Maori seats), and they’d dearly like to get those Maori seats back.  Because sitting members in seats provide a kernel for organisational activity for them as well. It is a hell of lot easier to organize in an electorate with a sitting MP.

      But look at what is in it for Labour if they lose. They can also hunt for party votes in TTT amongst the 2008 MP party voters and ENV’s whilst campaigning. For Labour doing an active hard campaign in TTT is a win-win situation. They can do a lot of the work over the next 5 months by siphoning of minimal effort from people in the general electorates in the TTT area. That means a lot of resources over a longer period to identify who they have to get out and on the roll and voting. 

      Sure Mana can probably win in TTT electorate seat. Sitting MP’s have a hell of a lot of advantages in an electorate.

      But if Mana exert the effort and resources required to make it safe in TTT by building a more effective electorate organisation, then they lose the opportunity to try and build a wider constituency. They also have the problem that a lot of their supporters outside TTT are scattered over the country making it a lot harder to concentrate them. 

      It is the same corundum that has been facing Act in Epsom over the years. It is an interesting strategic electorate for Labour and the results from this by-election will be quite encouraging. Be fun to work on.

  7. alex 7

    A deficit of 1000 against Davis isn’t great, considering just how many people got in behind him. I think this blog might be somewhat slanted against the fact that Hone retaining the seat after the negative publicity shitstorms he endured was quite an achievement. No disrespect to Davis though, he remains a fine MP.

    [lprent: This blog doesn’t have an opinion. It is a dumbarse machine. Read the policy on the consequences from a programmer of trying to attribute a mind to a idiot machine. I assume that the perp has a self-martyr fetish and needs education on the limits of machine intelligence.

    On the topic of Hone and Mana… I have an opinion, Eddie has a different opinion, The Sprout seems to think that Mana is great, all the authors have different opinions. Address your opinion to one of their opinions. The machine has no opinion because I haven’t programmed code that makes it have one. I could program something in especially for you called a auto moderated ban if you wantto see what a machines opinion looks like? ]

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    by Don Franks Some commentators have likened the struggle against Covid 19 to the world war experience. To those of us not alive in those times, that comparison can only be academic. What the anti virus battle reminds me of much more is an industrial strike. In my twenties and ...
    RedlineBy Admin
    4 days ago
  • “Angry Blowhards”
    In today’s Herald, their excellent columnist, Simon Wilson, takes to task those “shouty” people whom he further describes as “angry blowhards”. They are those whose prime reaction to the pandemic is anger – an anger they seamlessly (and perhaps unwittingly) transfer from the virus to the government. The basis for ...
    Bryan GouldBy Bryan Gould
    4 days ago
  • Looking Forward To 2022.
    Future Tense? Okay, so that’s where we are in 2022. Living in a New Zealand where all the usual rules of politics once again apply. And, guess what? Jacinda’s government, once again, isn’t doing very well – not very well at all.LET’S PLAY A GAME. Let’s pretend we’re half-way through ...
    4 days ago
  • Gordon Campbell on Covid mandates, and the Covid pill
    The cliché about “living with Covid” will not mean life as we’ve known it, Jim. Vaccination is fast becoming a condition of employment, and also a requirement to participate in aspects of social life, such as travel, attending bars, cafes, and concerts etc. These protective measures enjoy a high level ...
    4 days ago
  • NZ Politics Daily: 12 October 2021
    Today’s NZPD testimonial from Prof Alan Bollard, Professor of Practice at the School of Government, Victoria University of Wellington; Chair of the Infrastructure Commission: “NZ Politics Daily” provides a great public service – a quick and unbiased way to check policy announcements and analysis every morning.” Anyone can sign up to NZPD ...
    Democracy ProjectBy bryce.edwards
    4 days ago
  • Legal Beagle: A submission on the COVID-19 Public Health Response Amendment Bill (No 2)
    I have made a submission on the COVID-19 Public Health Response Amendment Bill (No 2).In preparing it, I looked at the Hansard for the first reading debate, and got name-dropped as someone likely to make a submission. So, of course I did. I focus on a small bit of the ...
    4 days ago
  • Hard News: More tales from the Medicinal Cannabis Scheme
    You may have read last week that two years after the publication of regulations for medicinal cannabis – and three years after the enabling legislation – two local products from a local manufacturer have finally met the minimum quality standards for prescription. You may also be interested to know that ...
    5 days ago
  • Climate Change: Real action requires government
    Over the weekend someone pointed me at a journal article on "The Poverty of Theory: Public Problems, Instrument Choice, and the Climate Emergency". Its a US law journal article, so is a) very long; and b) half footnotes (different disciplines have different norms), but the core idea is that the ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    5 days ago
  • Climate Change: Not doing our bit
    Last month the US and EU announced they would push an agreement to cut methane emissions by 30% (from 2020 levels) by 2030 at the upcoming climate change conference in Glasgow. The good news is that New Zealand is looking at joining it. The bad news is that that won't ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    5 days ago
  • Delta’s Week Of Doom.
    Classic Shot: Are the Prime Minister’s formidable communication skills equal to the task of getting her government’s anti-Covid campaign back on track?IF JACINDA ARDERN thought last week was bad, the week ahead promises to be even worse. Sixty community cases of Covid-19, one of the highest daily totals so far ...
    5 days ago
  • Urgent measures needed to allow the safe re-opening of Auckland schools
    Dr Rachel Webb, Dr Jin Russell, Dr Pip Anderson, Dr Emma Best, Dr Alison Leversha and Dr Subha Rajanaidu* In this blog we describe the range of urgent measures that are needed to facilitate a safe return to schools in Auckland and other regions of the country where there is ...
    SciBlogsBy Public Health Expert
    5 days ago
  • Children live online more than ever – we need better definitions of ‘good’ and ‘bad’ scree...
    Kathryn MacCallum, University of Canterbury and Cheryl Brown, University of Canterbury   The pandemic has fundamentally altered every part of our lives, not least the time we spend on digital devices. For young people in particular, the blurred line between recreational and educational screen time presents new challenges we are ...
    SciBlogsBy Guest Author
    5 days ago
  • Putting Aotearoa on the map: New Zealand has changed its name before, why not again?
    Claire Breen, University of Waikato; Alexander Gillespie, University of Waikato; Robert Joseph, University of Waikato, and Valmaine Toki, University of Waikato   Our names are a critical part of our identity. They are a personal and social anchor tying us to our families, our culture, our history and place in ...
    SciBlogsBy Guest Author
    5 days ago
  • Speaker: Yes, of course festival organisers will follow the law on vaccination
    On Tuesday 5 October the New Zealand Government announced that proof of COVID-19 vaccination would be a requirement to attend large events this summer.It took a few days for event owners to absorb the information and understand the implications. By the end of the working week, most of the big ...
    5 days ago
  • NZ Politics Daily: 11 October 2021
    Today’s NZPD testimonial from Jim Hubbard, Cartoonist “NZ Politics daily is a go to for cartoonists, or should be.  Political reporting enmasse like this gives cartoonists and political junkies a smorgasbord to get their teeth into. Essential and I daresay vital reading for those who care about the future of NZ.” Anyone can sign ...
    Democracy ProjectBy bryce.edwards
    5 days ago
  • 2021 SkS Weekly Climate Change & Global Warming News Roundup #41
    Listing of articles linked to on the Skeptical Science Facebook Page during the past week: Sun, October 3, 2021 through Sat, October 9, 2021 The following articles sparked above average interest during the week: VFX Artist Reveals how Many Solar Panels are Needed to Power the ENTIRE World, Will you fall ...
    6 days ago
  • The Night of Parmenides: accepted
    A bit of good news on the writing front. My 3900-word short story, The Night of Parmenides, has been accepted by SpecFicNZ for their upcoming Aftermath anthology, to be published in early 2022. This is my first published short story to be explicitly set in my home-town of ...
    6 days ago
  • The Virus, the Politician, and the gang member
    . . . . . References Newshub Nation: Gang leader Harry Tam denies Winston Peters’ claims he helped infected woman breach COVID boundary, sparking Northland lockdown Te Ao News: ‘Apologise!’ Mob leader slams Peters’ Covid, Northland allegations Stuff media: Covid-19 – Search for contact of Northland case ‘extraordinarily frustrating’ CNBC: ...
    Frankly SpeakingBy Frank Macskasy
    6 days ago
  • Rapid kits, responses, and openings: watch motivations, or catch something worse with Covid…
    Last week was probably a high point for many armchair “experts”, fresh from their high after some deep inhaling of the various musings and fumings, of an actually very smug, and very insualted John “Things all work for me…” Key, former Prime Minister and FOREX trader, had blitzed the ...
    exhALANtBy exhalantblog
    7 days ago
  • Bollocks
    It would appear we have an unwelcome presence in town.Positive wastewater results had been detected in Hamilton and Palmerston North on October 6 and 7. There are 26 cases in hospital, seven of these are in ICU or high dependency units (HDU).One of the people in hospital is in Palmerston ...
    7 days ago
  • World-leading?
    So, the Herald has found someone, as we can see from today’s issue, who is able to explain why we should not claim to have been “world-leading” in our response to the covid epidemic. It seems that we have been kidding ourselves when we celebrated our low total number of ...
    Bryan GouldBy Bryan Gould
    7 days ago
  • Why Is Labour So Frightened Of “Mr Stick”?
    Force Multiplier: Why are Ardern and her ministers so loathe to put a bit of stick about? The “emergency” legislation eventually enacted to authorise the measures needed to combat the Covid-19 pandemic failed to confer upon the New Zealand Government the unequivocal authority that subsequent events showed to be so ...
    1 week ago
  • The Need for an Updated Strategic Approach to Covid-19 Control in Aotearoa NZ
    Prof Nick Wilson, Dr Jennifer Summers, Prof Michael Baker* The NZ Government appears to have drifted into an unclear strategic approach to Covid-19 control. In this blog we outline one potential way forward: a regional strategic approach that considers “regional suppression” and “regional elimination”. To maximise the success of this ...
    SciBlogsBy Public Health Expert
    1 week ago
  • Mairon: The Actual Source for the Blasted Name
    Long-time Tolkien geeks – or those bemused enough to run across a certain internet phenomenon – might know that ‘Sauron’ is not actually the real name of the Lord of the Ring. ‘Sauron’ is just an abusive Elvish nickname, meaning ‘the Abhorred.’ Sauron’s actual name, at least originally, ...
    1 week ago
  • Forced Re-entry
    The elimination of Covid strategy is not so much defeated but changing circumstances means that policy has to evolve. Our elimination stance was never sustainable or at least it would not be until the rest of the world also eliminated Covid-19. Elimination of the virus was a strategy we adopted ...
    PunditBy Brian Easton
    1 week ago
  • Repeal this unjust law
    Yesterday the Supreme Court ruled on National's unjust "three strikes" law, and found that the sentence it required was (in the case in question) so disproportionate as to "shock the conscience" and violate the Bill of Rights Act ban on disproportionately severe treatment or punishment: The Supreme Court has ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • Climate Change: Preparing for the flood
    The Christchurch City Council has published new "coastal hazards" data, indicating which places are under threat from sea-level rise. And its not good news: Parts of Christchurch and Banks Peninsula are likely to become unhabitable [sic] as the city council figures out how to adapt to sea level ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • The Virus, Not The Government
    I wonder if Mike Hosking ever reads the paper in which he appears so regularly? If he does, he might have noticed a report in today’s Herald about the problem that could face churches in Auckland if a vaccine passport becomes mandatory for those wishing to attend church services. The ...
    Bryan GouldBy Bryan Gould
    1 week ago
  • NZ Politics Daily: 8 October 2021
    Today’s NZPD testimonial from Bill Ralston, Media consultant and columnist: “NZ Politics Daily provides an invaluable service for journalists, politicians, businesspeople, decision makers and the public at large by providing an easily accessible, exhaustive, link to every significant political story in the country’s media that day. It’s a gem of a service ...
    Democracy ProjectBy bryce.edwards
    1 week ago
  • Open letter to Michael Barnett, Julie White, et al
    . . Congratulations,  Mr Barnett, Ms White, and your business colleagues. It appears that we will end up having to “live” (ie, get sick, end up in hospital, perhaps in ICU, intubated on ventilators, and possibly dying as our lungs fail) with covid19. But at least businesses will open up. ...
    Frankly SpeakingBy Frank Macskasy
    1 week ago
  • Introducing Mr Stick.
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    1 week ago
  • Skeptical Science New Research for Week #40, 2021
    "Old" research There's little point in trying to best this excellent article describing the 2021 Nobel Prize in Physics by Ars Technica authors Jennifer Ouelette and John Timmer, each having a gift for concisely on-target, accessible science journalism. Here at New Research we'll punt and quote the The Royal Swedish Academy of ...
    1 week ago
  • Standing on one leg is a sign of good health – and practising is good for you too
    Dawn Skelton, Glasgow Caledonian University Research shows that people’s ability to stand on one leg is an indicator of health and that getting better at standing on one leg can add to fitness and potentially lifespan. Being able to stand on one leg is linked to increased levels of physical ...
    SciBlogsBy Guest Author
    1 week ago
  • Climate Change: More dishonesty over the CCR
    Last month the Emissions Trading Scheme turned into a farce, when the government flooded the market with credits in a failed and wasteful attempt to Keep Carbon Prices Low. When I asked about the background of this policy Climate Change Minister James Shaw sent me one of the most egregious ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • Schrödinger’s Wraith: The Status of the Witch-King of Angmar, 15th-25th March, T.A. 3019.
    My recent re-read of The Lord of the Rings reminded me of one of the vaguer head-scratchers in Tolkien. The status of the Witch-King of Angmar between his death at the Battle of Pelennor Fields and the Destruction of the One Ring ten days later… was he, in the ...
    1 week ago
  • How rainbow colour maps can distort data and be misleading
    Philip Heron, University of Toronto; Fabio Crameri, University of Oslo, and Grace Shephard, University of Oslo   The choice of colour to represent information in scientific images is a fundamental part of communicating findings. However, a number of colour palettes that are widely used to display critical scientific results are ...
    SciBlogsBy Guest Author
    1 week ago
  • Gordon Campbell on Korea’s march to global cultural domination, plus a K-pop playlist
    So far, South Korea’s culture industries seem to be pandemic proof. They’re also winning huge global audiences, and not merely large domestic ones. In recent years, South Korea’s TV series (Squid Game, Descendants of The Sun) and movies ( Parasite, Oldboy, The Handmaiden) have become global hits. However, it has ...
    1 week ago
  • In a lockdown, where does work end and parenting begin? Welcome to the brave new world of ‘zigzag...
    Candice Harris, Auckland University of Technology and Jarrod Haar, Auckland University of Technology   All parents work. The difference lies in the breakdown between their paid and unpaid workloads. That equation is influenced by many things, including education, qualifications, age, ethnicity, financial status, number and age of dependants, gendered and ...
    SciBlogsBy Guest Author
    1 week ago
  • Using Rapid Antigen Tests to Improve COVID-19 Control in Aotearoa NZ
    Figure 1: Rapid Antigen Test kit given out freely from the NHS in the UK Dr Jennifer Summers, Assoc Prof James Ussher, Assoc Prof Nikki Moreland, Dr Leah Grout, Prof Nick Wilson, Prof Michael Baker* Most COVID-19 testing aims to identify infected people. To date, Aotearoa NZ has relied almost ...
    SciBlogsBy Public Health Expert
    1 week ago
  • NZ Politics Daily: 7 October 2021
    Today’s NZPD testimonial from Dr Liz Gordon, Former MP, researcher and blogger I just hate NZ Politics Daily. I get settled in to do a good day’s work and ZAP, it arrives in my inbox like a little shiny gift.  I try to ignore it but my cursor creeps inexorably towards the ...
    Democracy ProjectBy bryce.edwards
    1 week ago
  • Bryce Edwards: Political Roundup – Will electoral and political finance law reform succeed this ti...
    It’s welcome news that the Government has announced this week that they intend to improve how elections work in this country, including fixing the political finance rules. Justice Minister Kris Faafoi has announced that major reforms will be investigated in the areas of political donation rules, promising changes that will ...
    Democracy ProjectBy bryce.edwards
    1 week ago
  • Will Jacinda Stand? Or, Has She Already Fallen?
    Free Falling? New Zealanders needed to hear Jacinda take a firm line on vaccination, issuing stern warnings to those who declared their intention to refuse. Kiwis just weren’t in the mood to let lockdown evaders and anti-vaxxers free ride on their good citizenship. Google’s IT wizards confirmed that Kiwis were, overwhelmingly, ...
    1 week ago
  • Climate Change: The CCR was a huge waste of money II
    Last month, in the wake of the September carbon auction, I talked about how the government's policy of flooding the market with a "cost containment reserve" of an extra 7 million tons of pollution in an effort to keep carbon costs low was a huge waste of money. Ministry for ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • Celebrating Women in Space
    Beautiful, Inspiring, Mysterious!  How do you describe space?  What do you think when you look up at the stars?  The United Nations General Assembly certainly knew how beautiful, inspiring, mysterious, and important space is when they designated a week to be World Space Week.  That’s this week, and the theme for this year is ...
    SciBlogsBy John Pickering
    1 week ago
  • COVID Clusterfuck
    Well it has been fun living in the safest country in the world for a year and a half, but a combination of cynical politics from the right, and dithering incompetence from the left, and selfish sociopathy or ignorance on the part of the population , means New Zealand is ...
    1 week ago
  • Unsurprising
    Former rugby league star Manu Vatuvei has admitted importing methamphetamine. The Warriors icon was charged in December 2019 with possessing methamphetamine for supply and importing the Class A drug. He previously denied the charges and earlier this year said he would “fight for his innocence” after he outed himself as the sportsman ...
    1 week ago
  • Bond, Wokeness and Representations in Cinema
    by Gearóid Ó Loingsigh The latest James Bond film has come out.  It is apparently to be Daniel Craig’s last incarnation as the Spy Who Loved Me, or raped me as some have pointed out.  There has been much discussion about how woke the new James Bond is and how ...
    RedlineBy Admin
    1 week ago
  • The Virus, the Bubble, and the Trap
    . . . . . References National Party: Open the Trans Tasman Bubble Now (archived) Twitter: National Party – Sign the Trans Tasman bubble petition Twitter: Judith Collins – Sign the Trans Tasman bubble petition RNZ: Tourism New Zealand forecasting billion-dollar economy boost if trans-Tasman bubble opens Stuff media: Crack ...
    Frankly SpeakingBy Frank Macskasy
    1 week ago
  • Climate Change: Not keeping their promises
    One of the big steps forward in climate change policy was when cabinet started demanding climate change assessments of policy, so when they built that road or changed energy or farm policy, they'd know what they were doing and be able to make an informed decision (and if not, one ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • A useful ruling
    As readers may be aware, I (and everyone else) have been having a growing problem with OIA extensions for "consultations". They're being used by agencies to juke the stats, scam extra time, and cover up administrative failure. So I've taken up complaining about them. And last night, I got a ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • Gordon Campbell on the civil war (and looming famine) in Ethiopia
    When the United Nations wheels out its toughest language – Yemen in 2017 was /is“the world’s worst humanitarian catastrophe” and (this week) the crisis in Ethiopia “ is a stain on our conscience” this is code. Yes, the United Nations is saying that things are really, really bad in those ...
    1 week ago

  • New Zealand Ambassador to France announced
    Foreign Affairs Minister Nanaia Mahuta today announced the appointment of Caroline Bilkey as New Zealand’s next Ambassador to France and the OECD. “Aotearoa New Zealand and France have a shared history, and enjoy a strong, collaborative partnership. This includes a strong trade and economic relationship, a shared commitment to support ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    19 hours ago
  • Govt welcomes nurses’ pay settlement
    The Government is welcoming news that a new employment agreement for nurses working in public hospitals has been settled. “I am very pleased that the hard work of the Nurses Organisation and District Health Boards has led to a settlement that both can support,” Health Minister Andrew Little said today. ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    22 hours ago
  • Judge of the High Court appointed
    Māori Land Court Judge Layne Harvey has been appointed a Judge of the High Court, Attorney‑General David Parker announced today. Justice Harvey graduated with an LLB from the University of Auckland in 1992 and commenced employment as a law clerk with Simpson Grierson in Auckland that same year. In 1997 ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    24 hours ago
  • Kiwis to have their say on plan to reduce waste
    New Zealanders are invited to have their say on proposals for a new waste strategy and options for new waste legislation. “Reducing waste is one of the issues all New Zealanders – especially younger Kiwis - care deeply about,” Environment Minister David Parker said today “New Zealand is one of ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 day ago
  • Next steps in action plan for indigenous rights kicks off
    Minister for Māori Development Willie Jackson has today meet with more than 30 national Māori organisations in an online hui, kicking off the process to develop a plan for New Zealand to implement the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples (the Declaration). The previous National Government signed ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • Iwi-led housing solutions build homes for the future
    Whai Kāinga, Whai Oranga will open on 20 October, to receive applications for investment through Te Tūāpapa Kura Kāinga – Ministry of Housing and Urban Development and Te Puni Kōkiri The $730m fund combines investment from Budget 2021 ($380m) and the Māori Infrastructure Fund ($350m) - the largest investment seen ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • E whakarite ana Te Kāwanatanga i ngā tūāpapa mō tewhakamaumahara ki Te Petihana Reo Māori ka t...
    I te rā nei, i pānuihia e te Minita mō Manatū Taonga, ko Carmel Sepuloni, rāua ko te Minita Whanaketanga Māori, ko Willie Jackson, ā tērā tau, ka whakanuia rawatia te 50 o ngā tau mai i te whakatakotoranga o te petihana mō te Reo Māori me te huanga mai ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • E whakarite ana Te Kāwanatanga i ngā tūāpapa mō twhakamaumahara ki Te Petihana Reo Māori ka t...
    I te rā nei, i pānuihia e te Minita mō Manatū Taonga, ko Carmel Sepuloni, rāua ko te Minita Whanaketanga Māori, ko Willie Jackson, ā tērā tau, ka whakanuia rawatia te 50 o ngā tau mai i te whakatakotoranga o te petihana mō te Reo Māori me te huanga mai ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • Government green lights rapid antigen testing
    Some of the country’s largest businesses have put in an order for 300,000 approved rapid antigen tests for their workforce, after working at pace with the Government on a new scheme unveiled by Associate Minister of Health and Research, Science and Innovation Ayesha Verrall. A coalition of around 25 businesses ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • Government lays foundations as Māori Language Petition commemorations take shape for 2022
    Taiaha hā! Taiaha hā! - Te kairangi o te reo hoki mai ki taku tikanga, ki taku taumata, ki taku reo, ki taku ao. He reo whai tikanga, he reo whai mana, he reo whai tangata koe. Ki te whāngaihia te reo Māori he ao tēnā, ki te kore he ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • Major contract awarded to power NZ Battery investigation
    A consortium of specialist firms has been awarded a major contract to advance the New Zealand Battery Project’s feasibility investigation into a pumped hydro storage scheme at Lake Onslow, the Minister of Energy and Resources Megan Woods has announced. “This contract represents a major milestone as it begins the targeted ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • Additional Funding for Foodbanks and Social Agencies
    The Government has approved $13.55m from the Covid Response and Recovery Fund to support foodbanks and social sector agencies, Minister for Social Development Carmel Sepuloni has announced. “Foodbanks and social agencies across Auckland are doing a great job supporting their communities and the Government is today providing them with more ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • Generating a new generation of guardians
    The Government is supporting a Whakatōhea-led project undertaking landscape scale restoration in forests and around vulnerable rivers within the Eastern Bay of Plenty, Minister of Conservation Kiri Allan says. “The Whakatōhea Tiaki Taiao project will employ four people to undertake pest and weed control, ecosystem restoration and monitoring over three ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • Parts of Waikato, Northland staying at Alert Level 3
    The parts of Waikato that have been in Alert Level 3 and Northland will remain in Alert Level 3 for a few more days, COVID-19 Response Minister Chris Hipkins said today. Auckland remains at Alert Level 3, Step 1. “Based on the latest public health information, ministers have decided that ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • New courthouses for Tauranga and Whanganui
    The Government is moving ahead with new courthouses in Tauranga and Whanganui, which the Justice Minister says provide an opportunity to redesign court facilities that help put victims at the heart of the justice system. “These courthouses are part of the 10-year infrastructure investment plan to restore and modernise Ministry ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • Speech on the launch of the consultation on the development of the Emissions Reduction Plan
    Tēnā koutou katoa. Ngā mihi o te ata. Earlier this month Save the Children wrote to me with their most up to date analysis on the impact of climate change. What they said was that children born in Aotearoa today will experience up to five times as many heatwaves and ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • Opportunity to shape NZ’s first Emissions Reduction Plan
    The Government is inviting New Zealanders to inform the country’s first Emissions Reduction Plan with the release of a consultation document containing a range of policy ideas to decrease the country’s emissions, Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern and Climate Change Minister James Shaw announced today. The Emissions Reduction Plan will set ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • Convention on Biological Diversity COP 15, Virtual High-Level Segment
    Kia ora koutou katoa. I want to thank China for hosting this critically important Conference of the Parties. We are all here for the same reason. Biodiversity loss, and the ongoing degradation of nature, are accelerating at an unprecedented rate. These losses are causing irreparable harm to our planet’s ability ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • Government books show resilient and strong economy
    The end of year audited Crown accounts released today show the Government’s health led approach to the COVID-19 pandemic has protected New Zealand’s economy. “On almost every indicator the accounts show that the New Zealand economy has performed better than forecast, even as recently as the Budget in May. It ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • ​​​​​​​Health system is ready for assisted-dying law
    The health system is ready for the implementation of the End of Life Choice Act when it takes effect next month, making assisted dying legal in New Zealand, Health Minister Andrew Little said today. The law received 65.1 per cent support in a public referendum held alongside last year’s general ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • Taking a lead in threat to curious kea
    Reducing lead poisoning of kea, the world’s only alpine parrot and one-time New Zealand bird of the year winner, is the goal of a two year project being backed by the Government’s Jobs for Nature programme, Minister of Conservation Kiri Allan says.  “Lead poisoning is a serious threat to this ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • Government provides certainty to working holiday and seasonal visa holders and employers for summer
    The Government will extend Working Holiday visas and Supplementary Seasonal Employment (SSE) work visas for six months to provide more certainty to employers and visa holders over the coming summer period, Immigration Minister Kris Faafoi has announced. “This offers employers and visa holders the certainty they’ve been asking for going ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • Lower card fees good for businesses, consumers
    The Bill to help lower the cost of the fees retailers get charged for offering contactless and debit payment options is another step closer to becoming law, Commerce and Consumer Affairs Minister Dr David Clark said today. “COVID-19 has changed the way we spend our money, with online and contactless ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • Mandatory vaccination for two workforces
    High-risk workers in the health and disability sector to be fully vaccinated by 1 December, 2021, and to receive their first dose by 30 October School and early learning staff and support people who have contact with children and students to be fully vaccinated by 1 January, 2022, and to ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • Fund allows more Pacific community led vaccinations
    The Government has made $1.1 million available through ‘The Prepare Pacific Community Vaccination Fund’ to directly support Pacific community-led initiatives towards increasing vaccinations, said Associate Minister of Health, Aupito William Sio. “The best way to protect our communities from COVID-19 is through vaccination. “We need to explore every avenue to ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • Small business at heart of economic recovery across APEC region
    The Minister for Small Business says support for small and medium enterprises will remain ongoing as the Asia-Pacific region moves through response and recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic. Stuart Nash today chaired a virtual summit from Wellington for the APEC Small and Medium Enterprises Ministerial Meeting (SMEMM). “APEC Ministers responsible ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    7 days ago
  • Restrictions on abortion medication lifted for health practitioners
    Abortion services can now be provided in primary care, meaning people can access this care from someone like their trusted GP and in a familiar setting, Associate Minister of Health Dr Ayesha Verrall announced today. “By lifting some restrictions on the funded medications used for early medical abortions, more health ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    7 days ago
  • Record day for Māori vaccinations
    More than 10,000 vaccinations were administered to Māori yesterday, the highest number in the vaccine campaign so far, Associate Minister of Health (Maori Health) Peeni Henare announced. There were 10,145 doses administered across the motu yesterday this is almost equivalent to the population of Hāwera. The doses are made up ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
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  • Statement on Joint Cooperation in Agriculture between Ireland and New Zealand
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